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Barraduff man keeping essential services flowing during health crisis

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By Michelle Crean

Kerry’s water services remain flowing with Kerry County Council’s County Supervisor of Water Services, Freddie Bartlett, at the helm during the health crisis.

The Barraduff man joined Kerry County Council 46 years ago and has been County Supervisor for many years. Working in partnership with Irish Water, Freddie and his crews in KCC work to maintain water services 24-7, 365 days a year.
In these unprecedented times, Freddie and his team continue to maintain water services across the county, ensuring that water and wastewater are treated to the highest standards to protect public health and the environment. They also make sure that any unplanned pipe bursts are repaired as quickly as possible, so that water supply is returned and the impact on customers is kept to a minimum.
Freddie’s role is always busy: scheduling work and monitoring the countywide SCADA (network/plant information) systems.
“I can honestly say that I like my job; it is a 24 hours a day, seven days a week job,” Freddie said.
“You always have to be available at the other end of the phone. I work with great crews and conscientious caretakers and know that I can depend on them. We all take great pride in what we do.”

There are additional challenges during the current health crisis, he added.
Crews have to continue to work together to maintain essential services, but also adhere to social distancing guidelines. There has been a big change to work practices, but it is all going very well so far.”

Freddie says that both plant and network caretakers deserve huge credit for adapting to new ways of working during the current health crisis.

“Caretakers would normally call to customers’ properties to investigate issues such as water quality. To adapt to the COVID-19 restrictions, they are now engaging more with customers over the phone and taking samples from nearby publicly accessible areas, such as fire hydrants so that they can continue to provide an essential service without having to go into peoples’ homes.”
As there has been very little rain in recent weeks, water levels in rivers and lakes are equivalent to levels typically encountered in June. Irish Water and Kerry County Council are monitoring the situation closely at this time.
Freddie’s team has noticed an increase in sewer blockages, in particular at pumping stations on the wastewater network.

“We would appeal to the public not to flush unsuitable items, in particular wipes down the toilet, as they cause a lot of damage to the wastewater networks across the county. We are noticing an increase in call outs to unblock drains, particularly in towns and housing estates.”

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Killarney woman completes every parkrun in the country

By Sean Moriarty A Killarney woman has entered the record books after completing every parkrun in the country – and more. There are one hundred open parkruns in Ireland and […]

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By Sean Moriarty

A Killarney woman has entered the record books after completing every parkrun in the country – and more.

There are one hundred open parkruns in Ireland and a further three that take place behind closed doors in prisons and in health institutions and Majella Moloney has completed all of them.

On Saturday last she completed the Irish list by finishing the Borrisokane run in County Offaly.

She was inspired to take up parkruns by her work colleague Stephen Byrne after suffering a personal crisis in 2017.

“It is so good for my mental health, I can’t explain the feel good factor,” she told the Killarney Advertiser. “My personal circumstances changed dramatically in January 2017 and I needed to do something for my mental health.”

She has also done parkruns all over Europe; in total she has participated in 178 runs in countries like Britain, Germany, Poland and Italy.

She has also volunteered for 180 parkruns, often acting as ‘tail walker’ on the event she had entered.

In March this year Majella completed her parkrun Alphabet Challenge by participating in a parkrun in 26 different cities – one for each letter – York in England and Zielona Góra in Western Poland were the two most difficult letters to tick off.

“parkrun has helped me so much,” she added, “I have made friends all over the world.”

Later this year she will join her English friends Don and Sue Esslemont on a parkrun in Britain.

“Sue is doing her 500th walk this year. I first met them in Buncrana [County Donegal] and they encouraged me to travel to more events – it is one big family.”

She also paid tribute to Bertie and Bairbre Hickey from Tralee who have joined her on over 20 runs across Ireland.

SIDEBAR

A new parkrun for four to 14-year-olds has been launched in Killarney.

The first local junior parkrun will take place in Killarney House and Gardens on Sunday at 9.30am.

“Tralee has been holding junior parkruns for a while now but this is a first for Killarney,” Majella said.

The adult Killarney parkrun will take place as usual on Saturdays.

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Students awarded for their contribution to school life

By Michelle Crean Students were honoured for their contribution to school life this week during a special end of year awards ceremony. Held in the school gym on Wednesday afternoon, […]

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By Michelle Crean

Students were honoured for their contribution to school life this week during a special end of year awards ceremony.

Held in the school gym on Wednesday afternoon, the students from St Brigid’s Presentation were presented with a variety of awards from sport to science, music and visual art while Sixth Year student Saoirse Coffey received the Orla Benson Award.

“During this school year, our students have showcased their brilliance and extensive talents,” teacher Adrienne Brosnan, said.

“We are all so proud of these outstanding achievements across all aspects of school life. Awards day is a truly special occasion for all members of the St Brigid’s community and one which we relish the opportunity to celebrate. It is a time of anticipation, a time of excitement and a time of great joy. The awards that are presented are a testament to that dedication and we also acknowledge all the great work that is done by the teachers here in St Brigid’s.”

Sixth Year students also said their final goodbyes ahead of their State exams next month.

“We wish them the best of luck as they spread their wings and leave the shelter of St Brigid’s for the beginning of a new adventure.”

AWARD WINNERS

Other awards winners were:

Anna Dunlea received the Contribution to Graphics award while Leah Vinluan got the Design and Communication Graphics award.

Clodagh O’Connor and Sarah O’Sullivan both received the Contribution to Visual Art award.

Abbie Finan was awarded Soccer: Player of the Year, Chloe Hue Senior Football: Player of the Year, Emily Buckley 1st Year Football: Player of the Year, Abbey Cronin 2nd Year Football: Player of the Year, and Andrea Murphy Junior Football; Player of the Year, Senior Basketball: Most Valued Player went to Tara Donnellan, the Minor Basketball: Most Valued Player was given to Ciara O’Sullivan and the Cadette Basketball: Most Valued Player went to Leah McMahon.

Kara Huggard earned herself the LCA Student of the Year, Sarah McGrath received the CEIST Award, Excellence in Science was awarded to Emma Myers and Jennie O’Mahony, while Rita Akhter received the Overall Contribution to STEM.

Bríd O’Connor who wrote the book Spark presented Saoirse O’Sullivan with the Outstanding Achievements in Music award.

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