National Diabetes Cup Kids Soccer Tournament

In September 2016, 85 children with type 1 diabetes in Ireland took part in the National Diabetes Cup Soccer Tournament. The tournament was equally successful in 2015. However, in 2017, the National Diabetes Cup lost it’s sponsor and had to cancel. Diabetes Ireland have committed to providing it again in 2018, despite having a shortfall in their sponsorship of  €10,000 because the benefit of the Diabetes Cup to children with diabetes is so great.


For many, this event, is not just about the soccer:

Yes, it's a soccer tournament for children with type 1 diabetes aged between 4 and 15 years. But in between games, the children chat with new friends about everything from soccer to how they treat their hypos (low glucose levels) to how their friends in school react to their diabetes. For the children, it's about being with others who know what living with diabetes is like.

And proud Mammies and Daddies, who are watching from the sidelines, are also mingling with other parents who know exactly what it’s like to raise a child with diabetes.

It’s a fantastic opportunity for type 1 families to come together and meet other families who live with type 1 diabetes.


Here’s a video of the event in 2015

And some of the photos of the event in 2016


Do you think you can help the National Diabetes Cup in any way?

If you know of a business who can donate sponsorship please contact Jennifer Brennan, Fundraising Manager Diabetes Ireland to help them reach their €20,000 goal!

Email or Telephone 01-8426276.

The 2018 National Diabetes Cup takes place:

When:             Saturday, August 25th (time tbc) Where:            National Sports Campus, Abbotstown

If you would like to register your child for the Diabetes Cup click here


What's Next in the Freestyle Libre Campaign?

What's next in the Freestyle Libre/Equality for all people with type 1 diabetes Campaign? Since I posted my initial reaction to the HSE's announcement to reimbursed only children and young adults on multiple daily injections (MDI) for the Freestyle Libre, I have joined forces with fellow advocates, Davina Lyon from Diabetes T One and Elizabeth Murphy, Waterford Diabetes Support.


Leinster House Diabetes Delegation: Anna Clarke, Rebecca Flanagan, Grainne Flynn, Kieran O'Leary, Nuala Murphy, Siobhan Horkan, Elizabeth Murphy, Ronan Canavan, Davina Lyon and Hillary Hoey


Firstly, I would very much like to thank all the members of the diabetes community who have reached out to us, emailed their local TD's and have been sharing those replies with us. We have gathered so much information from that process.

Diabetes Equality Petition

Image of Equality for all people with type 1 diabetes PetitionDavina created a petition that has gathered an unprecedented 13,000 + signatures. She is working with her local TD, Frank O’Rourke and with Diabetes Ireland to get this petition into the hands of Minister Harris.

Elizabeth has also been working with her local TD, Mary Butler on the same objective. She has been emailing Deputy Butler with follow up parliamentary questions to get more information from the HSE.

Dáil Topical Issue Debate

Both Davina and Elizabeth requested that their local TDs, Frank O’Rourke and Mary Butler, ask parliamentary questions to clarify some of the information in the HSE's statement. Both Deputies decided to do this jointly and on Tuesday 6th February, publicly, asked the Minister for Health these crucial questions:

  • What is the specific criteria which must be satisfied in line with the recommendations of the Health Technology Assessment Group in order to get reimbursement for children/teenagers with diabetes who use the Freestyle Libre Blood Glucose Management system?
  • What does the term “young adult” mean? Is age going to be a binding limit for determining suitability of people for reimbursement of the Blood Glucose Management system Freestyle Libre?
  • How long will it take for the reimbursement suite (the reimbursement paper trail process) to be established and what date can suitable children/young adults expect to get access to use the Freestyle Libre Blood Glucose Management system?
  • Why are children on insulin pumps being excluded given that the HSE advocates for insulin pumps for children?
  • Is the minister for Health, Simon Harris willing to meet a delegation from the type 1 diabetes community and accept the petition with 13,000 signatures?

The minister did not attend this session in the Dail on this occasion. He deputized Deputy Jim Daly, Minister for State with Special Responsibility for Mental Health and Older People to respond. Deputy Daly acknowledged that he did not have any answers or new information for us. But that we did indeed deserve and need answers to the questions asked.


The next step is taking matters into our own hands. Davina emailed the Minister for Health, Spokespeople for health from both Fianna Fáil and Sinn Fein, Diabetes Ireland and the Director General of the HSE, Tony O'Brien requesting this meeting again.

If the Minister doesn’t respond we plan to deliver it anyway. We hope that Frank & Mary and other members of the Dáil will accept it on the Minister's behalf. Do you think if we give you about two weeks notice you would join us?


Watch this space!

I also have follow up questions on why the HTAG document makes it’s recommendation that this device be approved for children without any clinical evidence to support it to ask the Minister and the HSE on my personal blog: publishing on Wednesday 14th February.


Here is the video of Deputies Mary Butler and Frank O'Rourke asking those questions;

Managing Blood Glucose and Exercise at Thriveabetes 2018

One of the most ask questions in the online diabetes community is in relation to managing blood glucose and exercise, fitness, or any physical activity when you live with type 1 diabetes. The challenge of exercise reducing glucose levels dramatically, even hours afterwards, and the frustration of having to replace the glucose burned with extra calories put people off for many years.But now we have more research and more knowledge on the science and exercise is less frustrating.

Thriveabetes type 1 diabetes conference on 24th February 2018

We have brought the expertise of Dr. Alistair Lumb, amateur cyclist James O’Reilly and former senior county GAA footballer, Kevin Nolan. Here’s a little of what we have in store.




Type 1 diabetes; Managing Blood Glucose and Exercise

Alistair is a Consultant in Diabetes and Acute General Medicine at Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. He is also one of the key organizers of the OneTouch Sports Weekend (formerly known as the Animas Sports Weekend) in the UK since it began. Thriveabetes exhibition coordinator, Christine Meehan, who has been an enthusiastic cyclist, runner, boot camp participant for many years, attended this event last October and said she learned so, so much from it.




Diabetes & Exercise - My Personal Experience

James was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 2006, when he was 19 and only developed a passion for cycling in 2013.

However, based on medical advice, he was only doing rides of up to two hours in duration and it was only out of curiosity that he did a google search for “professional athletes with type 1 diabetes” that he realized he could go beyond. He started following the NovoNordisk Team Type 1 professional cycling team and broke through that barrier.

In 2015, James was featured in an Irish Times article because he took part in the 2015 mHealth Grand Tour which involved a 1,500km cycle with 20,000 metres of climbing over 10 days with 26 riders, all with type 1 diabetes.

And in 2016, he took part in Team Novo Nordisk’s Development Camp. James wrote a blog post for Thriveabetes just before he went off on this trip. You can read more here.

Follow James on: Facebook  Twitter @semajoreilly



Diabetes Doesn’t Stop You Type 1 Adult Panel

Kevin Nolan is a former Gaelic footballer for Dublin Senior team and continues to play for Kilmacud Crokes. He played on the team when they won the 2011 All-Ireland Senior Football Championship for the first time in sixteen years. Kevin was named the man of the match in that game.

Four days after experiencing the euphoria of Dublin winning the 2011 All Ireland Football Final, he was diagnosed Coeliac disease. Three months after that, in December, he was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. After weeks of sitting out training he did finally get back out with the team and played to another victory in 2013. He no longer plays at Senior level and is a teacher based in Lucan.

Follow Kevin on Twitter @KevinNolan7





Saturday, February 24th 2018 The Red Cow Hotel, Naas Road, Dublin. ADVANCED REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED Includes a hot lunch and refreshments valued at €25.

Additional Information;

Full Conference Programme and schedule

Venue Information (Getting there and Staying there)

Speaker Profiles (still waiting on a couple of speaker biographies and photos)

Register Here.

If cycling or football isn’t your thing here are a couple more Irish Sporting Role Models.



Stephen Clancy Professional cyclist from Limerick diagnosed at 19, member of Team NovoNordisk aiming to make it into the 2021 Tour de France.

George Clancy, IRFU International Rugby Referee

Alan Sothern Irish international hockey player

Mary Flynn, dietician and show jumper dxd aged 41 DI mag Autumn 2010

Catherine Brady World Champion Kick

Kenneth Sweeney, Former Senior County footballer in Sligo

Alan Kernaghan Former ROI Footballer