Correspondence received from sources outside the ClubThis page contains messages from other walking clubs or event organisers which have been received by the Galtee Walking Club.
Message from Annascaul Walking Club KerryHi, I am with the Annascaul Walking Club Kerry, we are going to the Galtees on Sat 11th May. We want to do the Galtee loop. We were at the Walking Festival in Jan but that walk was changed (weather). We would love if one or two of your members would come with us on that Sat walk. We would return the favor if any of your members are in Kerry and want company on a walk. Thanks Marian
New Book re History of Mountain Rescue in IrelandYou are invited to the launch of the new book
Call Out: A History of Mountain Rescue in Ireland
In the Mountain Rescue Base, Fire Station, Heywood Road, Clonmel, E91 H2Y0
At 7.30 p.m. on Thursday, 9th of May, 2019.
For over sixty years voluntary mountain rescue teams have been on standby twenty-four hours a day, every day of the year, ready to help those in trouble on the hills and mountains of Ireland. The South Eastern Mountain Rescue Association (SEMRA) was founded in 1977 by the mountaineering clubs of the South East and since then has responded to over 400 incidents. Many team members come from the clubs who continue to support the team.
This book describes the teams, including SEMRA, records their members and discusses many of their call outs. It attempts to place on record their years of service and to show how the teams have developed from very modest beginnings. This book, and the launch events, will be of interest to anyone who has served in SEMRA or in the other teams, to the members of the clubs in the South East as well as those serving in other emergency services.
182 pages, sixteen pages of colour illustrations. Soft back €20. Limited number of hardback copies €40. Please pass this invitation on to those who might be interested. If you are unable to attend, the book is available (single copies) at https://www.lettertecbooks.com/shop/local-history/call-out-a-history-of-mountain-rescue-in-ireland/, http://www.alanhannas.com/Search.asp?SearchTerm=9780954644819 (wholesale) or from the author (email@example.com).
RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org
Galtee Clean-up Day, Saturday 27th AprilHi,
The Limerick Climbing Club are organising a Galtee Clean-up day on Saturday 27th April. If any member in your club is interested in taking part, it would be greatly appreciated.
Prototype feedback request for college projectHello,
My name is Calvin, and I'm a 4th year student in L.I.T Clonmel.
I'm currently working an an app for college and I'm looking for feedback on my prototype to further refine its design and features. I'd like to get various walking club's opinions on it, as it is very much targeted towards those interested in the outdoors.
I'm quite interested in archaeology and have enjoyed hiking to look at various monuments, but from time to time have had difficulty finding them - which has led to me currently making this app.
The prototype was created with prototyping software as opposed to actual programming, so not every feature works smoothly. It serves as a guide to what the app will consist of.
If you could kindly give it a spin and answer a short survey I'd be very grateful!
I have a document explaining the features here:
The prototype can be found here:
And the survey can be found here:
Thanks in advance, it will be a big help.
Inis Meain walks and Irish language courses summer 2019Hello there,
My name is Mairtin and I run a B&B(Bed and Breakfast) on the island of Inis Meain. It is the middle island of three Aran islands off the west coast. www.coiscuain.com is website.
It is a great place for getting away from hustle and bustle of mainland life and re-connecting with nature in all its unspoilt beauty. Theres miles to walk on and off road, ocean views, flowers, birds etc.
I can give good rates for groups and could also rent out the entire house in spring for people to self cater (ie cook their own breakfast).
There is an Irish language course for adults in July over three weeks for those interested in learning gaelige for more information please see www.gaeilgeinismeain.com
There is great ferry services from Doolin to travel from Munster region.
Hope we might see ye in the summer.
Mairtin O Fatharta
Mountaineering Ireland AGM, Saturday 30th March 2019Dear Member,
Please be advised that Mountaineering Ireland’s Annual General Meeting will take place on Saturday 30th March 2019. As none of our Clubs were in a position to host the AGM and Spring Gathering, the Board has decided to a have a standalone AGM (followed by a Members Forum). All Mountaineering Ireland members have the right to attend the AGM. There are no elections this year.
The AGM and Members Forum will take place at Mountaineering Ireland’s Head Office, Irish Sports HQ, National Sport Campus, Blanchardstown, Dublin 15.
13:00 Meeting of Honorary and Individual Members
13:30 - 14:00 Registration for Mountaineering Ireland AGM(Light refreshments will be available)
14:00 Mountaineering Ireland AGM
The Members Forum will follow directly after the AGM.
There is only one Motion for discussion at the AGM. The Motion was tabled by the Board and proposes to increase to €35.00 the Annual Subscription payable by Club Members.
Statement from the Board of Mountaineering Ireland regarding proposed increase in annual subscription payable by Club Members (the Motion)
The Board of Mountaineering Ireland has tabled a Motion for discussion at the AGM on 30th March 2019 proposing that the annual subscription payable by club members be increased to €35.00 from 1st November 2019. (No change is proposed in the reduced fee payable by club members aged under 23 years)
Club member’s subscriptions have not increased in almost 14 years. Much of that period coincided with the Global Recession which saw low rates of inflation and reductions in the rate of price increases. However, as members will know from their own daily experience, the improvement in economic conditions in recent years has been accompanied by a return to inflation and price increases across a wide range of goods and services.
Mountaineering Ireland has not been immune to these cost pressures. Despite the best efforts of the Board and staff to control expenditure, the company has incurred deficits amounting to almost €130,000 over the last three years, as follows –
These deficits have been funded from our Reserves. However, it is not sustainable to continue to run down our Reserves to fund our day to day expenditure. Action must be taken to eliminate the pattern of annual deficits and to bring our income and expenditure into line.
The Board has carefully considered all aspects of our operations and believes that attempting to achieve this through a reduction in our expenditure would impact adversely on the services provided to members.
While there has been a welcome increase in our core grant from Sport Ireland for 2019, this is not sufficient to bridge the gap between income and expenditure.
The Board has concluded that, unless we increase our income from subscriptions, it will not be possible to maintain the current level of services and to achieve the goals and objectives set out in our Strategic Plan 2018-2021. These include:
Lobbying for improved and assured access for responsible hillwalkers and climbers
Strengthening our support for clubs, hillwalkers, climbers and mountaineers
Striving to ensure that mountain landscapes are valued and protected
Working to tackle upland path erosion
Promoting formal and informal training to meet the needs of hillwalkers and climbers
Encouraging young people to participate in mountaineering
Growing our membership by 25% over the four years of the Plan
At €35.00, the proposed subscription fee compares favourably with similar mountaineering organisations abroad and with other governing bodies for sport in Ireland. The following are the annual subscriptions in a number of such bodies -
Mountaineering Scotland: €35.00(£30.50)
BMC: €46.00(£40.00, assuming BMC proposed increase is approved)
Austrian Alpine Club: €57.00
New Zealand Mountaineering Club: €69.00($115 NZ dollars)
American Alpine Club: €75.00($85.00 US dollars)
German Alpine Club: €97.00
Irish Sailing Association: €46.00
Cycling Ireland: €50.00
Triathlon Ireland: €75.00
Canoeing Ireland: €50.00
Irish Underwater Council: €110.00
No one likes the prospect of a price rise and the Board would prefer not to have to seek an increase in members’ subscriptions. However, the reality is that the organisation has been living beyond its means and a subscription increase is essential to enable Mountaineering Ireland to maintain the services that it currently provides and to deliver on the improvements in services and supports to members envisaged in our Strategic Plan 2018-2021.
The Board urges all Clubs and members to support its Motion at the AGM on 30th March.
The Members’ Forum is open to all clubs and members. The Members' Forum is an informal meeting which provides an opportunity for clubs and members to raise items for discussion, and this is often the catalyst for further examination or for action to be taken. All clubs and members are encouraged to submit items for discussion by email to email@example.com.
Chief Executive Officer
Mountain Skills One course - Three spaces leftGood morning,
I am running a Mountain Skills one course in the Galtees on the 13th and 14th of April. It will start in Kilbehenny community centre at 8.45 and run until approx 4 pm. The cost is €130 per person.
I have three spaces left available on the course. If you are interested in doing the course let me know and I will send out joining notes etc in the next day or two.
Mourne Seven Sevens Challenge WalkDear Club Contact
After a year of absence the Mourne Seven Sevens Challenge walk is back on again this year on 10th August.
The organisation of the event has been handed over to Lagan Valley Orienteers after 25 great years from The Spartan Red Sox.
Entries open online on 1st April and are limited to 400 places.
The event is being publicised on Facebook and is getting huge interest from the digital generation. I am confident that all the places will be taken up very quickly. However, from my previous experience in helping to organise it, I am keen to ensure that the more “dedicated” walkers and people who will have traditionally done this event don’t miss the chance to enter.
We are deliberately holding off the entries open date until 1st April to allow for this.
So I would be grateful if you could share this message with your membership and point them at the event website.
I should say that for the faster of foot members of your club there will also be the traditional fell race on the same day which is organised by BARF. See www.nimra.org for details.
Lagan Valley Orienteers
Guided and self-guided walking holidays in rural SpainHello!
Just a short note from a beautiful little wine village about 100 km south of Barcelona to let you know that we (Anne, originally from Cork, and Ailish, originally from Tipperary) have launched a small rural business that organizes walking, wine, art and other outdoor activity holidays. Our mission is to create "authentic-experience" holidays while supporting this rural community where we have made our home. Incidentally, the Catalan stretch of the Way of Saint James (el camino) passes through our village amongst vineyards and olive and almond groves.
Just in case you think anyone in your club might be interested, our first activity is a 5-night/4-day walking holiday scheduled for May 12-17, but we can also organise bespoke trips (with walks of varying difficulties) at other times of the year for small or larger groups.
If interested, you can read more about this "just launched" project on our website: www.axalar.com. We have also just recently launched our Facebook page (www.facebook/axalar). And if you would like me to prepare something visual to share with your members, please feel free to ask!
Thank you for your time reading this and please feel free to contact me if you have any questions. We are a registered travel agency so are full covered in all respects in terms of guarantees and insurance.
aXalar Walking, wine and art breaks in rural Catalonia
Tel: 0034 646 678 699
Mountain Skills course datesHi All,
There has been a lot of demand for more mountain skills courses so I have set out the below dates for mountain skills one and two courses. It will be booked on a first come first served basis however if there is the demand I can run some further courses during the summer.
The mountain skills two course will be an overnight as there is some night navigation as part of the course. Usually I suggest we stay locally to reduce driving and we can start at an earlier time the second morning so it is worth keeping that in mind when thinking about the dates.
Initially the next dates for courses are:
9th + 10th March - Mountain skills one FULL
23rd + 24th March - Mountain Skills two FULL
13th + 14th April - Mountain Skills one SPACES
27th + 28th April - Mountain Skills two SPACES
As mentioned above if there is the demand I can run further courses however it will more than likely be in June/July due to time constraints. If you have any queries feel free to drop me an email and I will come back to you as soon as possible.
I look forward to hearing from you soon and I hope your all keeping well and still out walking,
Walking Weekend on the Kerry Way, April 12-14th, 2019Hi. We are organising a walking weekend in Kerry, walking different legs of the Kerry Way, April 12-14th, 2019. I would love to send you on information to pass to your group if anyone is interested in joining us. You can also check out the itinerary on our website - www.govisitireland.com.
Club invitation to your club from The Ballyvaughan Fanore Walking ClubDear Club Secretary
We - The Ballyvaughan Fanore Walking Club are currently planning our walking festival which will take place on Saturday 22nd Sept and Sun 23rd Sept. Our festival takes walkers into the heart of The Burren, Co.Clare.
Would your club like to join us for this weekend of walking?. We can offer two walks, tea/coffee & cake after walks, dinner on Sat night and a Burren talk & slideshow after dinner followed by music, all for as little as -- €40 for C walkers, €50 for B walkers or €60 for A walkers - thats a walk on Sat, a walk on Sun, tea/coffee after walks, dinner on Sat night, the Burren talk & music and transport to start of walks if required.
Lots of accommodation choices in the village of Ballyvaughan, hotels, B&B, guesthouses, Air B&B and self catering houses.
If you are interested as a club please let me know and we can help you with any bookings and as we have updates on this years walks we will forward to you. I have attached a copy of last years flyer for info.
We look forward to hearing from you.
Is the Camino on your clubs bucket list?Dear Galtee Walking Club,
I hope you are keeping well and enjoying the autumnal weather we’re enjoying at the moment.
Have you planned your club’s annual walking getaway for 2019 yet? Has your club walked the Camino de Santiago yet? We’re an Irish company based in Galway who now offer self-guided tours along the amazing last 160 km from O’Cebreiro to Santiago on the famous Camino Frances trail.
All of your walkers will receive their well-earned Compostela Certificate at the end of the adventure and the prices start from €299 per person.
Your club will experience the beautiful Galician countryside, indulge in tasty Spanish food and drink and enjoy great camaraderie amongst all the pilgrims with one goal in mind - entering the doors of the Cathedral in Santiago de Compostela.
All of the tours include accommodation in carefully selected B&Bs, a continental breakfast each morning and luggage transfers. As the tours are self-guided you will receive a comprehensive walking pack, containing detailed route notes and maps for your hike, as well as suggestions for evening meals, and information of the region.
If you wanted to take a bigger group on the Camino, we are offering our self-guided Camino tour for groups up to 16 people and if you book with more than 10 people, we will give you a colourful St. James photobook each and a handy Plaster Kit in case of any hiking wear and tear.
Our experienced team will be here for you every step of the way and our five star reviews on Trustpilot, TripAdvisor and Google are testament to our willingness to help you out in any way possible. Feel free to give us a call on (091) 763994 if you have any questions or if you’d prefer, e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org
P.S. Is ‘Hiking the Camino’ on your bucket list? See why it makes sense to book your Camino walking trip ASAP!
"Undiscovered Spain" Hillwalking 2019Hi Guys
Hope you all enjoyed a super year on the hills & that next year offers you continued enjoyment. Regarding the attached tours, I am hoping that it is of interest to you & would be grateful if you would circulate this info to your members & friends.
Over the past three years members of some 20 hill walking clubs have enjoyed their experience. The tour programs attached are generic & may be modified to fit the club’s briefing. The group of guides we use are fully qualified mountain guides from the local regions & are very experienced at all levels A+/A/B/C. This coming year 2019 the tour program has a range of stunningly beautiful places on offer, all within two hour direct flights from Dublin. Hill walkers have the opportunity to enjoy a choice of stunning hill walking regions & walking routes to suit every level, competence & capability.
The core programs for 2019 are attached & are all inclusive, except for flights. While hill walking is the core ingredient, the focus is to give walkers a holistic experience that also includes an insight into the region’s geology, culture, gastronomy & living history. Each tour program is tailored to meet the brief of the club/clients. The tour company Rumboapicos has presented indicative prices for the 2019 program which may be negotiable dependent on program content, numbers of walkers & tour dates.
2019 “UNDISCOVERED SPAIN” TOUR PROGRAM
Picos de Europa
Picos de Europa Experience – 8 days/7nights/5 walks/1 free day – levels A+,A,B – (May to end Oct) – from €820*
Picos “Big Trek”- hut to hut – 8 days/7nights/5 walks/1 free day – level A+, A – (June to end Oct) – from €780**
Western Pyrenees (New 2019)
Pyrenees Experience – 8 days/7nights/5 walks/1 free day - levels A+,A,B – (mid June to end Oct) – from €895***
South Picos & Montana de Riano (New 2019)
Montana de Riano Experience - 8 days/7nights/5 walks/1 free day – levels A+,A,B – (May to end Oct) – from €795****
Camino del Norte
Available Guided or Unguided^^ - 8 days/7nights/5 walks/1 free day – (April to Nov) – from €695^^
For details of the core programs & any further information please see the contact details below.
Best regards & happy walking in 2019
Phone: +353 87 2248694
Associate tour company:
Josť Miguel Real
TEL +34 985 401 458
Movil + 34 610 528 111
Picos de Europa with the HOPE Foundation, June 26th to July 3rd, 2019Hello there,
I am contacting your club on behalf of The Hope Foundation (CHY 13237), an Irish run NGO based in Cork and Dublin, with regard to our new trip to Picos de Europa in the summer of 2019. Our organisation has facilitated a hike through the Himalayas for several years, which has raised vital funds for our projects in operation in Kolkata. Please click here for more details.
This year, we are delighted to announce the beginning a new hiking trip to Picos de Europa 2019, with our partners at Namaste Nomad. We would like to extend to you and your members an opportunity to take part in our trip to Northern Spain next summer, whilst also helping us change the lives of children in Kolkata, offering them safety and the opportunity of a better future.
To briefly discuss what we do here, the Hope Foundation aims to provide a better future for homeless or street-associated children and vulnerable families in Kolkata, India. We have upwards of sixty projects currently underway in a range of sectors from health, education, shelter, vocational training and protection, and over 500 full-time Indian staff. Please see our website here for more details.
The Picos de Europa is an inspiring mountain range spanning Cantabria and Asturias in Northern Spain, reaching up to 2650m in height. They are regarded by many as providing the most natural and untouched walking routes in the country.
Having explored the region many times, our tour operator Namaste Nomad, a Donegal based company, will facilitate our charity trek from June 26th to July 3rd, 2019. There is a grand total of 12 spaces on this trip, with the potential of a second trip later in the summer.
An overview of our itinerary is provided below, which includes 5 days of moderately challenging walking and a final day of rest.
Day 1: Arriving in the heart of the Picos.
Day 2: Depart Espinama to the rustic village of Sotres (10km) taking the Fuente De cable car to an elevation of 1000m. MODERATE 4-5 hours.
Day 3: Leave Sortes to the famous mountain refuge Refugio Vega de Urriellu (8km), an uphill hike which can be taken at an easy pace. MOD/CHALLENGING 5-6 hours.
Day 4: Descend from Refugio Vega de Uriellu to the welcoming village of Bulnes (4km)- downhill all morning. MODERATE 4-5 hours.
Day 5: Bulnes across county borders to the remote Cain village through the famous Cares Gorge or Ruta de Cares (11km) path built into the side of the gorge along an aqua-duct. MODERATE - 5 hours.
Day 6: (OPTIONAL) Option to do a local walk and get a pick up at Cain or hike via high gorge to Fuente De cable car (10km). Overnight at Espenama. CHALLENGING 6-7 hours
Day 7: Rest & Relax day. Bus from Espenama to San Vicente de la Barquera on the coast and absolutely amazing place for beach, seafood and wines.
Our charity trek is open to all ages at all fitness levels.
The rough cost for the trip is approximately €2180, whereby €680 will go towards covering costs including food, accommodation, guides and transport in Spain (exc. flights). The remaining €1500 will go directly to our projects and partners based in Kolkata. Every volunteer has the option to fundraise or pay these funds directly, and we will support each volunteer every step of the way.
To register your interest, please email me at email@example.com
If you have any queries about our trip or would like further information about the Hope Foundation don’t hesitate to get in contact!
I hope to hear from you soon.
The HOPE Foundation Dublin Office
+353 (0) 1 871 693
MacGillycuddy Reeks Events sheetsHi All,
Hope all is well.
Just wanted to send a quick reminder that ALL clubs need to submit an event sheet to The MacGillycuddy Reeks Mountain Access Forum prior to any walks/hikes taking place in the MacGillycuddy Reeks.
Please forward completed sheets to firstname.lastname@example.org or submit online at www.macgillycuddyreekskerry.com/events
This is a requirement for all groups of ten or more accessing the Reeks.
We also require a copy of your clubs public liability insurance.
As you are aware all of the land in the Reeks is privately owned, and insurance is needed to ensure the landowners are adequately covered, as this is a major concern for them, but also so that you/ your club/ organiser are covered in the event of a member having an accident, regardless of those guiding/experience or their qualifications.
We need the event sheets to ensure that:
1. events don’t clash,
2. that access points are not going to get congested from a car parking perspective,
3. to manage and minimise erosion and
4. that farming activities are not negatively impacted.
We are working in conjunction with the landowners and depend on their goodwill, so we feel the above are not terribly difficult requests to those who care about respecting the landscape as well as the landowners who display great tolerance and patience throughout the year, with thousands of people hiking on their land.
Also we would respectfully request that your clubs access the Reeks from one of the main access points only- Breanlee, Lisliebane, Cronin’s Yard or Strickeen where car parking can be facilitated appropriately.
To those of you who have supported and continue to support our path and habitat restoration work- THANK YOU! Your help is gratefully appreciated.
To those who would like to support our work please logon to the website or give us a ring to find out more.
Our priority is to Protect, Manage and Sustainably Develop this beautiful mountain range.
I would appreciate it if you would please take time to consider all of the above, and revert back to us regarding same if you have any queries.
EIP Project Manager,
South Kerry Development Partnership CLG.,
Phone: (064) 6624607/(087)2031034.
"Access threat to national treasure (Luggala)- The State should step in"Dear fellow hillwalker(s)
My name is Alec Dunne, a keen hillwalker from Wicklow. I know we are a fair distance from Tipperary, but the case referred to - Luggala, is a national treasure and I believe of national importance, and has been mentioned in The Irish Times.There are growing concerns over a potential threat to future access to a large area of the Wicklow Mountains- Luggala Estate,('The Guinness Estate') which has a number of very popular walks -Cloghogue Valley down to Lough Dan, Luggala or Fancy Mountain and Knocknahogue. The previous owner of this national treasure, the late Garech Browne, allowed permissive access over most of this 5000 acre estate. New ‘private property, trespassers will be prosecuted’ signs have recently been erected at parts of Luggala. This development, and the death in March 2018 of Garech Browne, signal a possible change to the long tradition of public access maintained by Garech, and previously by his mother. The estate is now for sale and includes the popular walks mentioned above as well as some viewing points over the lake and mountains. There are growing concerns that a new private buyer could close off public access to the estate. If this happens, there is nothing the State or anybody else could do about it. A number of very beautiful walks would be lost. The asking price for the estate as a whole is €28 million but the government could purchase just the extensive lands, excluding the house and surrounds, for a much lesser sum.
Please see the petition, link below, urging the government to purchase part of the lands for inclusion in the Wicklow Mountains National Park. This would guarantee public access for current and future generations. A petition in 2016 prompted the government to purchase a similar acreage of land at the Featherbeds in the Dublin Mountains. Those lands are now part of the Wicklow Mountains National Park and are freely accessible to the general public.
My petition advocates that the government acquires, on behalf of the people of Ireland, just part of Luggala estate, the lands that have been traditionally open to the public, not the house and its immediate surroundings.
Here's what you can do to help-
Sign the petition
Distribute the link to all club members, family & friends via email
Post the petition (by coping the link) on social media and share
If your club has a website or facebook page the petition could be posted there.
Contact local and national politicians outlining your concerns and that you would like the issue to be brought up in your local council and in the Dail when it resumes.
Lyme Disease WarningTo: Mountain bike / walking clubs in the South East
Re: Protecting against Lyme disease when taking part in outdoor pursuits
Dear Sir / Madam,
I am writing to you on behalf of the South East Regional Zoonoses Committee. We are a multidisciplinary group of Human and Animal Health Professionals from the South East whose remit includes informing the public about diseases that can be passed between animals and humans.
Members of your club are involved in outdoor pursuits and may be at risk of contracting Lyme disease because of these activities.
Lyme disease, which is spread by tick bites, can in a minority of cases, cause severe debilitating heart and nervous system disease. The HSE Health Protection Surveillance Centre issued a warning to people who engage in outdoor pursuits in the summer months; ramblers, campers, mountain bikers and others who work or walk in forested or grassy areas to be vigilant against tick bites. Ticks are tiny insect like creatures that feed on the blood of mammals and birds and will also feed on humans. Ticks are more active and numerous in the summer months and protecting against tick bites protects against Lyme disease.
Tick bites can be prevented by:
• Wearing long trousers, long sleeved shirt and shoes.
• Using insect repellent.
• Checking skin, hair and warm skin folds (especially the neck and scalp of children) for ticks after a day out.
• Removing any ticks and consulting with a GP if symptoms develop.
• Using tick collars for pets (they can get Lyme disease) and inspecting them for (and removing) any ticks.
Only a minority of ticks carry infection. If a tick is removed within a few hours, the risk of infection is low. The entire tick, including any mouthparts which might break off, should be removed with a tweezers by gripping it close to the skin.
The skin where the tick was found should be then washed with soap and water and the area checked over the next few weeks for swelling or redness. Anyone who develops symptoms should contact their GP and explain that they had been bitten by a tick.
Further important information on protecting against Lyme disease, an information leaflet and a poster are available at http://www.hpsc.ie/hpsc/A-Z/Vectorborne/LymeDisease/
We would urge you to encourage your members to read this information and we suggest that a copy of the HPSC leaflet and poster be displayed alongside other club information.
p.p P. Brennan
Dr. Sarah Doyle, MB MRCPI MPH MFPHMI,
Consultant in Public Health Medicine,
Secretary to the South East Zoonoses Committee,
Public Health Department.