It was an evening of inspiration and positivity at Wexford Library last week as the South Wexford branch of MS Ireland gathered to launch a new book that aims to serve as a guide to yoga and its benefits for people with MS.
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a debilitating condition that affects some 9,000 people across the country. Established in the 1960s, the MS Society of Ireland provides a massive amount of help and supports to sufferers all over Ireland. The organisation consists of 32 voluntary branches that fundraise, subsidise activities and provide informal and financial support.
The South Wexford branch was founded in the 1970s by Fr Oliver Sweeney and has gone on to become a thriving community made up of people with MS, their families and friends.
With an emphasis always on physical activity and the benefits for those who maintain as active a lifestyle as possible, the new book 'Yoga by MSers' fits in well with the branch's ethos. Yoga is one of the many activities subsidised by the branch, as well as physiotherapy classes and other supports.
In terms of inspirational speakers, few are better than Wexford camogie legend Ciara Storey. Having been diagnosed with MS in 2015, the Oulart woman refused to lie down and has been one of the biggest promoters of exercise and a positive mental attitude for people battling the condition. She spoke passionately on the night and was a real source of inspiration to those in attendance.
Also in attendance were Deputy James Browne, Mayor George Lawlor and County Council chairman Michael Sheehan who complimented the work of the MS Ireland South Wexford branch.
'The South Wexford branch volunteers and their families fundraise tirelessly to help subsidise not only the weekly yoga class but also two physiotherapy classes in Murrintown and Ramsgrange where more than 35 people with MS exercise weekly using a research-based programme,' said Cllr Sheehan.
'I would like to congratulate those involved in the branch for their hard work and advocacy on behalf of those with MS in County Wexford and particularly for producing this very professional and inspiring book,' he added.