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Agnes sets wheels in motion to buy new wheelchair accessible bus for community

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A NEW bus will hit the road to the delight of wheelchair users in the greater Killarney area in the New Year. And it's all thanks to the vision and dedication of a local woman. Agnes Rooney decided to get in gear to take action when she discovered many members of the local community face difficulty in going about their daily lives because of the lack of wheelchair-accessible transport.

Agnes embarked on a mission to raise funds for a bus for the Kerry Parents & Friends Association and last Friday it was a case of celebrations all round at the Kerry Parents & Friends Association, Old Monastery, Port Road, as Agnes and her group of fundraisers unveiled the grand total of €51,830, and secured the purchase of a 171-registered Ford transit. “I have a sister, Mairead, who has intellectual difficulties, and who unfortunately lost most of her mobility a couple of years ago,” said Agnes.

“She now has to have a wheelchair-accessible bus to go to work each day. I realised there was a need for funding when the bus arrived for Mairead one morning and the wheelchair access lift didn’t work. When I enquired about this, I was told that the fleet of 17 buses are deteriorating with no funding for replacement.”

Agnes added: “These buses take Mairead and her friends to work, home, hospital appointments, social training, respite and holidays to name but a few. They travel all over Kerry and truly support them and their families in ways that the greater community may not understand.”

The buses provide a vital service for home support, respite and everyday activities for people with intellectual disabilities all over the county, said Agnes. “We would deeply appreciate your support in helping the most vulnerable in our local community,” she added.

With the help of fellow locals, including former Kerry Parents & Friends CEO Tony Darmody, Conor Hennigan, Denis Casey, Gabhan O’Loughlin and Ger Counihan, Agnes swept into action to organise a series of fundraisers.

The first event, a golf classic, took place in October and a major concert was staged in Kate Kearney’s Cottage.

Agnes and her team are not resting on their laurels. They aim to generate cash to set the wheels in motion to purchase a second bus also. “You can support a text campaign, donating €4 by texting ‘bus’ to 50300,” added Agnes. Contact Agnes Rooney on 087-9865258 for further details.
 


 
Pictured above are the celebrations at the Old Monastery on Friday following the securing of the new wheelchair-friendly bus for Kerry Parents & Friends Association.

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Fossa’s marathon man competes in Vienna

By Sean Moriarty They are a familiar sight on training sessions out the Fossa way, but last weekend two Killarney marathon runners made themselves known in Vienna, Austria. Tony Harty (Fossa) and Seamus Murphy (Milltown and Glencar) train together and travel together to international marathons all over the world. On Sunday they contested the Vienna Marathon […]

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By Sean Moriarty

They are a familiar sight on training sessions out the Fossa way, but last weekend two Killarney marathon runners made themselves known in Vienna, Austria.

Tony Harty (Fossa) and Seamus Murphy (Milltown and Glencar) train together and travel together to international marathons all over the world.

On Sunday they contested the Vienna Marathon with Tony recording a personal-best time of 2hrs and 45mins. He finished second in the Over 45 category and 27th overall, while Tony completed the course in 3hrs and 3mins.

“You won’t see one of us without the other,” said Tony.

Niall Thompson of Killorglin was also competing in the event.

Tony is a member of the well-known Harty family of Waterford. His two brothers Phillip and William and sister Rebecca all raced for Ireland.

Tony took up running later than his siblings and contested his first marathon in 2015 when was 39-years-old.

Now 45 he cannot stop running and takes in at least two overseas marathons every year as well as Irish and local events.

“It is all part of the experience,” he told the Killarney Advertiser. Both he and Seamus have previously contested marathons in Barcelona, Valencia and Rotterdam and he intends to return to Spain in early December for another crack at the Valencia event.

He prepared for Sunday’s race by winning overall at the Churchtown 5-mile race in Cork last month and the Antrim Half-Marathon a few weeks ago.

“Vienna was very hot, up to 26 degrees, and lots of people were suffering,” he added. “Vienna was supposed to run in April but it got deferred. We prefer running in cooler conditions. Valencia will be around 10 degrees in December which is ideal.”

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Jordan’s new role with St Paul’s

By Sean Moriarty Killarney’s Paralympic hero Jordan Lee is to take on a new role with Scott’s Lakers St Paul’s Killarney Basketball Club. Jordan began his sporting career with the local basketball club where he created history by becoming the first amputee athlete to represent their country at international level. The High Jumper then switched […]

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By Sean Moriarty

Killarney’s Paralympic hero Jordan Lee is to take on a new role with Scott’s Lakers St Paul’s Killarney Basketball Club.

Jordan began his sporting career with the local basketball club where he created history by becoming the first amputee athlete to represent their country at international level.

The High Jumper then switched to track and field and qualified for the Tokyo Paralympics where he made history by becoming the first Kerry athlete to act as a flag bearer for an opening ceremony and lead an Irish team into an Olympic Stadium.

Now back home and preparing for the next Olympics in Paris, he has returned to his first love and will join the backroom staff at the local Division One basketball club ahead of their National League campaign which begins next month.

His father Jarlath Lee is head coach with St Paul’s.

“Jordan is joining us as our strength and conditioning coach,” Jarlath told the Killarney Advertiser.

INTERNATIONALS

Meanwhile, Scott’s Lakers St Paul’s Killarney Basketball Club National League team will have a distinctive feel to it this year after securing the services of three overseas players it for the season ahead.

The club’s biggest signing is Canadian professional Ben Miller. It was originally hoped that the former two-time Manitoba Player of the Year would play for the local side last season but the pandemic got in the way and the National League was never played. However, he did play two training games this time last year before returning to Canada until travel restrictions lifted.

“He is a good guy, very approachable and very good with the young members,” Jarlath said.

The club has also signed Bulgarian International Emilian Grudov.

The 20-year-old has already represented his home country at U16, 18 and 20 level.

“He is young, athletic and very good offensively,” added Lee.

The returning Lithuanian Dianius Varanaukus completes the club international line up for the 2020/21 season.

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