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Cork Independent

Lifestyle & Leisure

Tim takes reins at Arthritis Ireland

Wednesday, 30th September, 2020 2:05pm

A Dungourney man has been announced as the new chairman of Arthritis Ireland.

Tim O’Sullivan is also chair of the Cork branch of Arthritis Ireland and was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis ten years ago.

Prior to his retirement, he worked in construction management. He is taking over from Seoirse Smith who is leaving the board after ten years, including three as chair.

Tim outlined his priorities, saying one of his aims will be “developing the organisation’s membership and branch network to further increase our support and services for those living with arthritis. Equally, we will advocate for increased investment in rheumatology services to address the chronic waiting list situation. We will also continue to fund research to improve the lives of people living with this destructive disease.”

Gráinne O’Leary, Chief Executive of Arthritis Ireland, welcomed the appointment. “Tim brings to the role direct experience of what it’s like living with this condition. He’s rooted in our community structure and understands the dynamics of being a national organisation.

“As a staff team, we are very much looking forward to working with our new chair and the rest of the board as we continue to support people living with arthritis through these very challenging times.”

When he was first diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, Tim said that it initially had a huge impact on him due to the pain, fatigue and reduced mobility.

He continued: “However, over time, I learned how to cope with it and realised there is life with arthritis. Perhaps the turning point was when I came in contact with Arthritis Ireland and attended their self-management course, Living Well with Arthritis, which gave me the impetus that I needed to cope with this newfound condition.”

He went on to train as a self-management leader and now delivers the course to people throughout the south.

“Arthritis Ireland has opened up a whole network of support to me,” Tim added.

“In the Cork branch, we have a very hard-working committee that organises a wide variety of events, including aqua aerobics, seated yoga, mindfulness, walking groups and information events. It’s a world of support and a community network that’s open to anyone living with this condition.”

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