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Aqua Dome to reopen in time for St Patrick’s Day

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The Aqua Dome has announced that it will reopen its doors to customers on Tuesday, March 15 - almost two years to the day since it was forced to close due to the pandemic.

Coinciding with the extended St Patrick’s Day Bank Holiday weekend, the reopening of the facility will bring a timely boost to the tourism industry in Tralee and other parts of Kerry.

The leisure pool, with its fantastic features such as the waves, slides, and rapids, are a big attraction for children and the Vitality Spa is a huge draw for the adults.

Of course, it is worth noting that there is no time limit on your stay in the Aqua Dome which is a magnificent venue for all ages.

“We are delighted to be reopening once again," CEO of the Aqua Dome, Kieran Ruttledge, said.

"We are very aware of the importance of the Aqua Dome as it brings so much business to Tralee. It’s widely known that many people visit the area primarily because of the Aqua Dome. We hope it will be business as normal for the years ahead and we look forward to welcoming our staff and regular customers back.”

The Aqua Dome retained a core staff who have kept the place in excellent condition but plans for a new major attraction at the site were shelved because the funds were needed to offset losses caused by the closure.

Management remain mindful that the reopening of the Aqua Dome, which is powered by both gas and electricity, comes at a time when energy costs are on the rise and insurance premiums continue to be high.

“We are excited to welcome back our customers and we hope they will return in great numbers in the Spring and, in particular, during the peak months of July and August,” he said.

For more information about opening times and admission fees, please visit www.aquadome.ie or contact info@aquadome.ie.

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Killarney Triathlon Club’s open water swim on the lake

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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, Killarneytri.com.

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

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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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