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Ballyfinnane cycle is gearing up to return

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By Michelle Crean

The wheels are in motion for the return of the ‘Tour de Ballyfinnane’ Cycle with proceeds going to local education.

After an absence of two years, Ballyfinnane National School are delighted to see cyclists gearing up for the April 2 date with funds raised for the facilities and activities for the children attending the school including reading books, computing and science equipment, sports coaching, music coaches, special needs resources.

This is the seventh year of the cycle which is organised by the parents of the children at the two-teacher, co-educational, rural Catholic school, with the support of the school board, the local community and local businesses.

Built in 1965, it is situated in Kiltallagh Parish, between Farranfore and Castlemaine.

This year’s cycle was launched by Brendan Griffin local TD at Divanes Volkwagen Showroom Castleisland, Anne Marie Crean explained.

"We are delighted to have this long established local business as our host sponsor," she said.

"We want to take this opportunity to thank the community, local businesses and not least the cyclists who take part in the event. We do all we can to ensure the event is enjoyable and run to a high standard, this year will be no different and we look forward to welcoming everyone to Ballyfinnane."

There are two routes on offer; 70k and 45k both commencing from Ballyfinnane Community Hall at 10am. Refreshments will be provided along the route and again at the finish with the now infamous complimentary BBQ and entertainment at The Shanty Bar, Ballyfinnane.

Route 1 is 70km and €25. It takes you west to Castlemaine, Inch, Annascaul, Gleann na nGealt, Camp, Tonevane, Caherleaheen, Farmer’s Bridge and over the final climb of the day at Garraun on the return to Ballyfinnane.

Route 2 is 45km and €20. It goes east to Currans, Castleisland, Ballymac, Tralee and back to Ballyfinnane via the Killarney Road and Gortatlea.

Participants can pre-register or find out more on www.tdb.ie or on the day from 8am. Also see Facebook: 'Ballyfinnane Cycle' for updates.

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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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