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Kevin conquers the world’s coldest and toughest race!




By Sean Moriarty

Killarney man Kevin Leahy - who took on the ultimate challenge - has today (Wednesday) reached the finish line of the world’s coldest and toughest race.

DOCUMENTARY: Killarney firm Grandview Media was there to capture the historic moment. Photo: Adrian McCarthy

Kevin crossed the line at the Yukon Arctic Ultra Marathon in Canada - where temperatures can dip as low as -50°C - in first place in his class and second place overall.

Kevin completed the course at lunchtime today – around 6am Canadian time, in a time of five days, 19 hours and 15 minutes.

Rival Jessie Gladish finished almost six hours ahead but the Canadian was on a bicycle. Kevin was on foot meaning he was the first athlete to complete the gruelling race under his own steam.

Third placed is a race between Stephan Huss of Germany and Daniel Benhammou who were over 180 miles away from the finish by the time Kevin crossed the line.

A second Kerry man, Aodh O Currain from the Dingle Peninsula, is currently in fifth place.

Throughout the 500km race Kevin had to be fully self-sufficient and dragged a sled weighing between 25kg and 30kg with all his cooking essentials, tent and spare clothes on board.

Some of the final section of the 500kms had to bypassed as there was too much ice on the bank of the River Yukon. Competitors were originally expected to walk or run on the frozen river but the excess ice on its banks meant there was no available escape route should they hit trouble.

Kevin’s progress was followed by local digital production company Grandview Media.

The Pawn Office Lane-based company is run by director and producer Adrian McCarthy and he is making a documentary on Kevin’s adventure.

“Kevin hasn't slept for around 27 hours and he isn’t talking too much to be honest,” Adrian told the Killarney Advertiser from the Whitehorse finish.

“Still, it's class that an Irish man is the first foot racer over the line.”

Kevin has no intention of resting on his laurels. In just a few weeks he is off to Swedish Lapland where he will tackle a second 500km race.

The Lapland Arctic Ultra, billed as a race “through Europe’s last wilderness”, takes place between March 6-16 in Överkalix, Sweden. The Swedish town is about 160km west of the Finnish town of Rovaniemi, the official home of Santa Claus in Lapland.



Killarney Triathlon Club’s open water swim on the lake



On Tuesday evening last, members of the Killarney Triathlon Club took part in a breathtaking open water swim, starting from Dundag Beach and spanning the middle lake to a nearby island. Covering a distance of approximately 1.5 kilometers, the event saw all participants return safely, basking in a well-deserved sense of accomplishment.

Set against the stunning backdrop of Killarney National Park, swimmers enjoyed views of woodlands,  mountains, and Muckross House. Safety was paramount during the swim, as it is in all the club’s events. Essential precautions included the use of tow floats, safety kayakers, and safety boats, ensuring the well-being of all participants.

“Our club is incredibly fortunate to be surrounded by such a beautiful environment,” said Caitriona Shanahan, PRO of Killarney Triathlon Club. “The views during our swims are truly spectacular, and the safety measures we implement help everyone feel secure and enjoy the experience.”

Killarney Triathlon Club offers numerous benefits to athletes of all levels. These include structured training programs, expert coaching, group workouts and more. 

“We welcome all levels and abilities. Joining our club not only improves physical fitness but also offers great fun and the added benefits of stress relief from sea swimming. There truly is nothing like the calming effect of a group swim in the sea.” Caitriona added.

For those interested in joining the Killarney Triathlon Club, more information can be found on their social media platforms and their website,


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Danny Healy-Rae welcomes decision to push back changes for cataract payments



The Health Service Executive has deferred a move to cut the price it reimburses people for cataract treatments in the European Union and in Northern Ireland, under its overseas treatment schemes and a separate system for the North.

The prices were due to change from the start of this month, but the HSE has pushed the date back so that no one is disadvantaged, and to fully communicate with patients, treatment consultants and providers, cost changes will not come into effect until September 1.

The payments for less complex eye treatments were due to fall from €1,912 to €863 or the National Health Service equivalent of £766 in Northern Ireland. The most common cataract procedure payments were due to reduce from €1,456 to €1,171.

The HSE said that the vast majority of procedures fall into this new payment price. It said that the more complex glaucoma/cataract treatment payments will rise from €1,912 to €4,206.

Danny Healy Rae welcomed the news saying, “Following my representations and raising of this matter in the Dáil, I am glad that the HSE have agreed that they will continue to reimburse the higher rates for cataract procedure for those carried out up to the end of August 2024.

“I am advising anyone who needs to have their cataracts removed to do so now before the change to reimbursement amounts comes in.”

All cataract treatment carried out in Belfast after the 1st September 2024 will be subject to the new DRG rates.

Honouring the Kerry women of the revolutionary period

Kerry County Council is to invite expressions of interest next week for the commissioning and development of a commemorative and artistic piece which will honour the role played by women in Kerry during the revolutionary period between 1912 and 1923.

The project follows a joint motion by the five female members of Kerry County Council who called for the development and commissioning of a meaningful and lasting commemorative piece which would reflect the significant and diverse roles and activities of women and their involvement in the campaign for Irish Independence at the beginning of the twentieth century.

A Working Group, including the five female councillors, has been developing a design brief, and the Council intends to publish a detailed brief for the memorial next week and expressions of interest will be invited.


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