'The media is obsessed with the negatives,' says former Mountjoy Governor John Lonergan


Martin Quinn


Martin Quinn



Tipperary Tipperary Tipperary

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Former Governor of Mountjoy, John Lonergan, says that this period is the most ungrateful time that he has lived through. He made the comments at a webinar organised by the Tipperary Excel on Wednesday last week. 

Speaking on the topic of “Caring For Yourself to Care For Others”, John said that the media is “obsessed with the negative”.

“All we see in the headlines is the negative stories along with criticisms of who got the vaccine in advance of the other. Over 100 years ago we had no vaccines when the Spanish Flu hit Ireland and infected some 80,000 people and resulted in 23,000 deaths. We are better off this time round than our ancestors were 100 years ago. We should remember the things that are really important and be very fortunate and very grateful for the fact that there will be vaccines for everyone.”

John also spoke of the need for people not to “self-sabotage”.

“We are notorious for self-sabotage. When you get praise accept it. I am sure that many of you will have heard the term ‘self-praise is no praise’ but that term is not one that I agree with as people should praise themselves, and accept whatever praise is offered to them.”

Counsellor and Psychotherapist, Caroline Crotty, told the webinar that it was important to exercise self-care and not to “suffer in silence”.

“Being anxious about the future is something that many people are dealing with at this time. Find someone that you can share with as no one should suffer in silence. Talking through a difficulty can be the difference for people and allows them to share their worries and fears. Uncertainty feeds anxiety so turn your worry list into a to-do list”.

Caroline also spoke about the need for a good sleep routine and the need to nourish your body.

“Get a good night’s sleep so it is important not to look at your phone for at least an hour before you go to sleep. Keep screens out of the bedrooms to allow people to switch off before going to sleep. It is very important also to keep hydrated with water in order to nourish the body.”

John also spoke about the pressures that people experience and of the need to care firstly for ourselves.

“Mothers for instance give all the time and do not take care of themselves. How many times have you heard someone say, ‘if you want someone to do a job ask a busy person’ - this is not a good philosophy. The most important thing is to mind yourself and to say no and not apologise for it. The most difficult thing is to say no and we must learn how to say no and not feel guilty about it.”