A Tipperary dentist who went out of his way to treat a victim of domestic violence has been named Caring Dentist of the Year.
Padraig O’Reachtagáin not only repaired the woman’s broken tooth but showed her and her children a way out of a violent situation.
The woman, who wishes to remain anonymous, said Dr O’Reachtagáin opened his practice on a Saturday morning just to treat her.
“He was caring, compassionate, and also advised me on the avenues I could go down to get myself and my children into a much safer environment,” she said.
“Myself and my children are safe due to his care and understanding. He truly deserves this award,” she said.
The woman, who nominated Dr O’Reachtagáin for the top award, is donating her prize of €1,500 to Women’s Aid.
Dr O’Reachtagáin, who is almost 40 years in dentistry, said he worked in a practice in East London in the 1980s that was very close to a refuge for women experiencing domestic violence.
“I learned that domestic abuse and violence was a lot more prevalent than we all like to think,” he said.
I also learned that it was an issue which, while shrouded in secrecy, affected women from all walks of life.
Guiney Dental in Ballincollig, Co Cork, was named Dental Team of the Year because of their care when treating a young man with mental health issues.
Wrightville Dental Clinic in Douglas, Cork, was runner up for their care of a patient with bulimia.
The patient said the clinic “helped me change my life”.
Claire O’Connor from Bantry Dental in Co Cork won the Munster award for diagnosing a woman with shingles.