Saturday 12 May saw the Wexford South Branch leading the way to celebrate World MS Day. The Branch welcomed President Michael D. Higgins and his wife Sabina to a physiotherapy clinic where people who are living with MS, their friends, families and supporters are successfully running a professionally led programme in collaboration with a group of physiotherapists located at Clonard Medical Centre.

President Michael D. Higgins opens World MS Day celebrations in Ireland

The programme, which was set up eight years ago by Bernie Kent, Ann Leacy and physiotherapist Heidi Bramley with help from Katie Hourigan of MS Ireland, is run by a team of chartered physiotherapists. It is the only one of its kind in the country, treating participants through a programme of hands-on physiotherapy interventions combined with medicine-based treatments

Chairperson of the Wexford South Branch, Rita Donovan welcomed the President and acknowledged that the success of the programme owes much to the hard work and support of local groups who have done fantastic fundraising on behalf of the programme. Rita thanked people for their support, adding that without their help the programme could not continue. The President was thanked by Olga Estridge, Community Services Manager with The Multiple Sclerosis of Ireland.

Rita said she was delighted with the success of the visit. She revealed she was a little nervous beforehand but said that

‘from the moment I greeted the President and his lovely wife Sabina, I was made to feel at ease’

President Higgins posed for official photographs and he and his wife Sabina walked around the room greeting and speaking to all the members and guests. Rita said that President Higgins speech raised some of the points that had been brought up during the walkabout of the clinic. He was very impressed with the professionalism of Miriam Rowland, Director of Physiotherapy South East and her fellow physiotherapists, the premises and the work carried out there on behalf of people with MS.

The day was a great success and thoroughly enjoyed by all who attended.