Working life: Daragh Connolly, pharmacist

Daragh Connolly, Co Waterford pharmacist and President of the Irish Pharmacy Union (IPU).
Working life: Daragh Connolly, pharmacist


I am very lucky to live in Dungarvan and there’s nothing more invigorating than an early start to walk the dog. I have a choice of harbour, beach or woodland, ideal to shake out the cobwebs.


I live over the pharmacy, so once I’m booted and suited, I open up downstairs. Pharmacy is in the blood – I’m third generation. Helping people get the most out of their medicines is part of what makes me tick. Medicines are complicated and my job is to make sure they are dispensed correctly.


I have a steady stream of customers during the morning, many of whom I’ve known for years. We can have up to four generations of the same family coming in. That’s actually very useful — you build up a bank of knowledge in relation to different families and sometimes ailments you see in a first generation are carried down. It can help when it comes to giving advice.


I bring a customer into the private consultation room to administer the ’flu vaccine. I’ve had the consultation room for the past six years and it’s useful to discuss a complicated medicine in private or contraception options. I use the room three of four times a day and it’s one of the many developments in pharmacy that I’ve seen since qualifying in 1997.


I have lunch in the back of the pharmacy or I pop upstairs for a few minutes.


There’s plenty interaction over-the-counter in the afternoon. At this time of year, it’s less about hayfever and more about gearing up to quit smoking. The majority of the population I serve lives within a few kilometres and the pharmacy is an important resource: dispensing medicines, giving advice on exercise and diet, selling sun protection creams and health and beauty products. This time of year we get a lot of men looking for advice on Christmas presents.


Towards the end of the day, I devote half an hour to checking stock and seeing what needs to be ordered. We stock up to 8,000 medicines at any one time.

I have a full-time pharmacist working with me because I also have union business to attend to two days a week. Evenings are spent catching up with my wife and kids.

More in this section

Send a special message, and a
festive Irish Examiner eCard, to the people you love this Christmas. 

Send Here

In the Kitchen with

ieFoodLogo   Video Series

Join Darina Allen for Stir It Up Sunday and cook along with her as she makes her mother’s plum pudding recipe. She also makes Mrs Hanrahan’s sauce - a recipe that is so delicious that Darina says people ask for more plum pudding just so they can have more sauce!

Join Darina Allen as she makes her mother's plum pudding with Mrs Hanrahan's sauce.

Watch Here
Puzzles logo

Puzzles hub

Visit our brain gym where you will find simple and cryptic crosswords, sudoku puzzles and much more. Updated at midnight every day. PS ... We would love to hear your feedback on the section right HERE.


The best food, health, entertainment and lifestyle content from the Irish Examiner, direct to your inbox.

Sign up