Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius

When It Comes to Health, Kathleen Cares

Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius (née Gilligan) on the future of American health care, her father’s influence, her Irish heritage, and other topics. “I’m a descendant of Irish immigrants. My great-grandmother worked as a maid in the home of William Howard Taft, before he became president. Decades later, the grandson of the president and my father, the grandson...

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Irish American nurses, from the 1905 graduating class of Chicago's Mercy Hospital

The First Word: Sláinte! Good Health

“What’s exciting is that millions of families . . .will have access, some for the first time, to quality, affordable options in just a few months.”       – Secretary of Health Kathleen Sebelius As the national debate on Obamacare takes center stage we thought it an opportune time to interview Secretary of Health Kathleen Sebelius, née Gilligan, and to focus on health issues that...

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Marie Fleming

Irish Woman With MS Loses Assisted Suicide Case

Marie Fleming, a 59-year-old woman from Co. Wicklow in the late stages of Multiple Sclerosis, lost her case against the Irish Supreme Court to overturn Ireland’s laws on assisted suicide. The court announced in early May that it had unanimously rejected her constitutional challenge against the ban. Fleming, a former university lecturer and mother of two, has made public her desire to die in her...

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The proposal for Ireland's new standard cigarette packaging

Cigarette Packs in Ireland May Get a New Look

Ireland is leading the way in the fight against smoking. This past May, the Irish Ministry of Health proposed legislation that would ban the use of cigarette pack branding. No more Marlboros or Camels on display. This would make Ireland the first country in the E.U. to pass such a ban, and the second country overall; Australia passed similar legislation in 2012. In recent years, Ireland has taken...

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The plans for the Narrow Water Bridge

Funding Approved for First Cross-Border Bridge

The newest bridge in Ireland is as important for its symbolism as for its ability to carry cars, and both have Irish on each side of the border excited. When completed, the Narrow Water Bridge will be the first ever cross-border bridge connecting the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. Funding for the bridge was officially granted by the UK’s Finance Minister in May. The Narrow Water...

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