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The new Brandonvale Pharmacy in Graignamanagh is rooted in the heart of the local community, and Ellen Cushen is proud to be able to contribute to local employment and while doing so breathe new life into such a unique and important local building before and after construction.
Since opening the doors this year on September 21, she now employs a team of four who are all local. Ann Cahill is a pharmacy technician and had previously worked for Carroll’s Pharmacy in Gowran for the past 16 years before joining the Brandonvale Pharmacy team.
Ann’s niece Joanne Byrne works on the shop floor, as well as running all the digital side of the business. Ellen also employs Amanda Lynch who is their friendly part-time front of shop assistant.
Pharmacists are at the forefront of many important issues, including drug safety, affordable health care, and customer service.
All pharmacies in Ireland, must have a private consultation room for their customers. Brandonvale Pharmacy has two such rooms. Ellen explains why: “Because I am local, I know that people are travelling for services, even my own parents have to. It is such a lovely big space, so why not become a one stop shop.”
To address this need, Ellen decided to install a second consultation room to facilitate allied health practitioners address the needs of the local community. This has been a great success with a weekly chiropody clinic and a monthly audiology clinic being run from the pharmacy, as well as Ellen’s provision of flu vaccines, covid vaccines and certified covid antigen tests.
In line with the latest Covid restrictions regarding travel, Certified Rapid Antigen Testing are now available at Brandonvale Pharmacy and only costs €30. The swab and test will be performed by a trained member of staff, and you will have your results within 15 minutes.
They also have great parking!
Brandvale Pharmacy stocks a lot of great Irish and Kilkenny products that are perfect for gifts this Christmas.
Such as the Magic Pyjamas from the makers of the famous Fairy Doors. The also stock the very popular Valley of the Roses inspired perfumes, to which Ellen said the owner was delighted because she was constantly posting packages to Graignamanagh.
Other Irish cosmetics such as Bare by Vogue Williams and LUNA skincare range are available. They also are support Kilkenny’s Cancer Support Charity Cois Nore by stocking their beautiful Christmas cards collection designed by Cartoon Saloon.
Non-Irish, but exclusive to Brandonvale Pharmacy in Graiguenmanagh are the full range of Vichy, La Roche-Posay, Cerave and beautiful displays of perfumery.
Most of the seven members of the Cushen family entered the world of medicine in one shape or form. Anna-Maria is a Hospital Pharmacist and Breda is a Respiratory Consultant, both sisters work in Beaumont Hospital. Patrick and Philip are both mechanical engineers working on the design of medical devices in Cork and Galway respectively. Michael is a GIS analyst in Australia. Miriam is now the sixth generation running the family business Cushendale Woollen Mills, with her father.
Philip and Mary Cushen must be very proud parents. Miriam has taken over the reins and the rest of the family are experts in their fields, at a time when their country needs them during a pandemic.
“It’s great to chat to each other about things that are happening in medicine, especially at the moment,” Ellen says.
Ellen gained firsthand experience herself of medicine at a very young age, when she had a brain haemorrhage at the age of 16. In fact, it’s an experience that none of us from school will ever forget.
Thank God she recovered. We were all secretly jealous of her scar and cool hair cut when she came back to school the following month. Ellen went on to ace her leaving cert and with top points.
However, as faith would have it, Ellen had a second brain haemorrhage while at university. Followed by more surgeries, she has had first-hand knowledge of the brilliance of medical care.
Nothing was going to stop this determined young woman from completing her studies to becoming a successful, empathetic pharmacist, as well as a great businesswoman.
With a beaming smile, Ellen tells me that she considers herself to be extremely lucky.
“You can go one way or another, become down and feel terribly hard done by or be grateful. I am proud I got over it, not just once but twice. It’s all good and I have a full bill of health now,” she says.
On that note, I am truly honoured to know this wonderful lady, who inspires all who know her.