The school wishes to say a sincere thanks to Ms. Michelle O’Brien who took time out of her busy schedule to speak about being a coeliac to Ms. Orla O’Sullivan’s second year SPHE class. This week is Coeliac Awareness Week. In a class of thirty, it was amazing that only three students were aware of coeliac disease.

Ms. O'Brien explained that coeliac disease is a reaction to gluten protein found in oats, wheat, barley and rye. She explained that a simple blood test can detect if one has coeliac disease. She said that if you were a coeliac and it was undetected you would be fatigued, anaemic, have headaches and could have a very high risk of getting osteoporosis. She told the class of the difficulties being encountered by being a coeliac. Coeliac food whilst now readily available, is very expensive. She explained that nowadays restaurants are very helpful and aware of coeliac disease. This was not the case previously. When she was growing up there were only two shops in Cork City that supplied gluten free products. She said that in her house, she has compartments that segregate gluten and gluten free products and she has her own toaster.

She explained that we can all support a coeliac. If we have a friend who is a coeliac it is important to know what to have for them, as growing up at parties, she often could not eat anything. Ms. O’Brien informed the class that Ms. O’Sullivan always has Cadbury’s chocolate in her house for when Ms. O’Brien calls over!