Thursday, November 25, 2021

Dr Paul Dunne with his wife Mary (both seated) with the team from Ballina Dental Practice, winners of the ‘Caring Dental Team of the Year’, from left to right: Brenda Walsh, Lorna McGowan, Michael Crowley, Caroline Judge-Lavin, Anne Marie Flannery, Elaine McDonnell and Claire Scanlon, at the Colgate Caring Dentist of the Year Awards.

A Ballina dental practice has won the ‘Colgate Caring Dental Team of the Year Award 2021’ for its commitment and work in preventing serious dental injuries on the playing field.

Dr Paul Dunne’s practice, which is based at Kevin Barry Street in Ballina, was nominated by Knockmore GAA Club, in recognition of the practice’s outstanding care and service to the local GAA community, having provided the club with dental mouthguards for all its adult club players.

After treating two serious dental sports injuries over a relatively short period of time which resulted in tooth loss for patients wearing no mouthguard and an across-the-counter mouthguard respectively, Dr Dunne contacted Knockmore GAA Club to see how many of its adult players were wearing properly fitted customised mouthguards.

On learning that only a few players had properly fitted dental mouthguards, Dr Dunne and his team at Ballina Dental Practice offered to provide individually fitted mouthguards to all the adult players in the club, in both male and female codes, at no cost to either club or player.

Knockmore brothers Shane and Darren McHale, wearing their club and county coloured mouthguards respectively, celebrate their side’s Mayo SFC final victory over Belmullet. Picture: David Farrell Photography

Knockmore GAA Club Coach Patrick Kelly described it as a “herculean” task to pull off.

“Over two Friday afternoons, Dr Dunne and his team stayed back after work and took impressions from 80 players, with impressions taken from three players every 15 minutes with fully staggered and Covid-19-compliant appointments.

“We didn’t ask for it,” he continues, “it was volunteered by Dr Dunne out of his genuine concern for our players’ welfare having seen first-hand the inadequate protection that across-the-counter mouthguards provide in severe collisions. It was a wonderful act of kindness by all concerned and has made a super contribution to our community.”

The award presentation was held in the Burlington Hotel last Saturday night on what was a weekend of double celebration as the Knockmore footballers went and defended their Mayo SFC title with a six points win against Belmullet on Sunday.

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