ROSCREA’S very well known and respected dentist, Dr. Pádraig O’Reachtagáin
ROSCREA’S very well known and respected dentist, Dr. Pádraig O’Reachtagáin has won the prestigious Irish ‘Dentist of the Year 2019’ award for the compassionate treatment he provided to a woman who was injured in an incident of domestic violence.
Dr. O’Reachtagáin, who is known widely in Tipperary and surrounding areas for the exceptional level of professionalism and care offered in his practice, located in the shadow of Roscrea Castle and a family business synonymous with the Heritage Town.
The woman who benefited from Dr. O’Reachtagáin extraordinary kindness, wishes to remain anonymous and said Dr O’Reachtagáin not only repaired her broken tooth, but also showed her and her children “a way out of a violent situation.”
The woman, who travelled a considerable distance to Roscrea to receive treatment, was full of praise for the popular dentist.
“Pádraig opened up his practice on a Saturday morning just to treat me at much expense to himself I am sure. 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. I can’t express how thankful I am; he not only repaired my tooth but showed me a way to get out of a violent situation – myself and my children are now safe due to his care and understanding….he truly deserves this award”
Nominators receive a prize if the dentist they nominate wins. In this case the woman asked that in the event of her nominee winning, the €1,500 prize money should go to Women’s Aid. Colgate who sponsor the awards, said they would match the donation.
Dr O’Reachtgáin, who has been running his family friendly Castle Street Dental Practice in the town for 30 years, said once the immediate dental issue had been addressed, the most important issue was the safety of the woman and her children.
“I’m delighted to win this award, it means a huge amount to me after almost 40 years in dentistry. But the real winner and the heroine of this story is of course the woman who nominated me and who took the courageous step to get herself and her children out of an abusive situation. If other victims of abuse are inspired by this woman’s story and see that it is possible to get out of these situations that will be a real result.”
“I worked in East London in the 80’s for 10 years very close to a refuge for battered wives, as victims of domestic violence were known then.”
“I suppose that experience made me more aware of domestic violence as an issue in society. And that would be the other thing. If this story makes dentists, doctors and other health professionals more aware and informed of the issue that would be a real positive,” Dr O’Reachtagáin said.
The President of the Irish Dental Association, Professor Leo Stassen praised Dr O’Reachtagáin for his generosity of spirit and professional dedication in treating a woman who found herself in a violent situation.
“Pádraig displayed tremendous sensitivity and understanding of the physical and emotional needs of a patient in distress. After ensuring the patient had a secure and caring environment, he went on to provide her with excellent treatment and wise counsel.
“This enabled the mum and her children to escape from a dangerous situation. Her story - and indeed her own generosity in donating her prize to Women’s Aid - will undoubtedly inspire others who find themselves in similar situations,” Professor Stassen told the audience.
There were several other winners on the night, including Guiney Dental in Ballincollig in Cork, which was named the Dental Team of the Year.
Dr Freda Guiney’s practice received the award for their outstanding kindness and the excellence of the care they provided to a patient struggling with severe mental health challenges over a prolonged period.
The awards, which were attended by over 360 people at the Clayton Hotel on Dublin’s Burlington Road on Saturday night last enabled patients to nominate dentists who have provided them with dental care above and beyond their expectations.
The IDA received over 1,000 nominations from dental patients all over the country for this year’s awards.
Professor Stassen said there was a wonderful human story between the dentist and patient behind every nomination.
“You have nervous patients, people with MS, people who’ve had accidents in remote locations, patients with suspicious looking lumps, people with asperger’s syndrome, young people living in direct provision, people with mental health issues, patients with shingles. Every patient and situation is different. The common denominator is the tremendously high standard of care they received, which reflects so well on our profession,” Professor Stassen said.
Christina Havaldar, Professional Oral Care Leader for North Europe at Colgate described the Awards as “a celebration of exceptional patient care” and said the enthusiasm of patients to share their stories is “a wonderful reflection on the care they have received from their dentist. We would like to congratulate all the award winners and all the dentists who were nominated by their patients.”
“In recognition of the courage and generosity shown by the woman who nominated this year’s ‘Dentist of the Year,’ Colgate is delighted to match her donation and present it to Women’s Aid,” the representative of the multinational Colgate company said.