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Calls for Government to prioritise people with disabilities in vaccine rollout

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The Kerry branch of the Irish Wheelchair Association is calling on the Government to prioritise people with disabilities under its vaccination plan - as concerns grow over vaccine delays.

 

The charity said that people with physical disabilities are at severe risk due to underlying conditions.

“Many people with physical disabilities are at severe risk of COVID due to health conditions that could cause complications and hospitalisation, yet they have not been recognised as a vulnerable group by the Government,” Terry O'Brien, from the Irish Wheelchair Association based in Kerry, said.

“The Government must also recognise that in the absence of regular day services, many people with disabilities have been confined at home since the virus took hold last March, adding additional stress. People we support are eager to get the vaccine and are highly concerned about how long they will wait with vaccine supplies lower than planned.

“At the current time, people over 65 in residential settings with disabilities are rightly getting vaccinated. Yet worryingly, those living independently in the community and being assisted at home in Kerry and across the country are not.

“This is a real issue. Our members have told us they are very keen to be vaccinated, but are concerned that they will be left waiting. With concerns about vaccination supplies, we urge the Minister for Health to urgently include people with disabilities on the priority list to ensure their protection.”

Irish Wheelchair Association is Ireland’s largest organisation supporting people with physical disabilities to lead active and independent lives and has 20,000 members. The association currently has 1,500 staff across Ireland visiting 4,000 homes each month, caring for individuals with disabilities, in their own homes.

“In Kerry, we have a strong team of frontline workers, who have been visiting people at home every day since COVID arrived almost a year ago,” Terry added.

“We are helping people get out of bed, get dressed, preparing meals, helping around the home, making trips for shopping, the chemist and with personal care.

“Our immediate priority is to protect people with disabilities and to ensure that the most vulnerable have all the support they need while they cannot be with their family and friends. Our members have added vulnerabilities to the COVID-19 virus. They must be included on the Government’s vaccine priority list.”

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Dan Tim to drive sheep over London bridge

London-based South Kerry man, Dan Tim O’Sullivan, will exercise his rights as a Freeman of the city by herding sheep over a London bridge on Sunday. Mr O’Sullivan from Kells, was awarded the Freedom of the City of London in 2019, in recognition for his work in the construction industry. He employs over one thousand […]

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London-based South Kerry man, Dan Tim O’Sullivan, will exercise his rights as a Freeman of the city by herding sheep over a London bridge on Sunday.

Mr O’Sullivan from Kells, was awarded the Freedom of the City of London in 2019, in recognition for his work in the construction industry.

He employs over one thousand people through his labour hire firm ‘Danny Sullivan and Sons’, and has employed countless Kerry people, many of them from his native South Kerry, since its foundation in the mid-1980s.

The Freedom of the City of London allows the bearer to herd one hundred sheep over the landmark Tower Bridge.

However, logistical issues and traffic management plans mean the number of sheep has been reduced to less than 10 and the event will now take place over nearby Southwark Bridge.

London-based news channels, including the BBC, are expected to cover the event while hundreds of his family and friends from South Kerry will be in London to witness the unique event.

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BIG CELEBRATION

Well-known Killarney man, Donncha Crowley, who lives in Woodlawn Park, was joined by his friends and staff from Centra, Muckross Road, to help him celebrate his very special 50th birthday on Saturday. Donncha is a keen cyclist, and well-known for his mastership of Suduko, and expertise on puzzles and general knowledge quizzes, winning many competitions […]

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Well-known Killarney man, Donncha Crowley, who lives in Woodlawn Park, was joined by his friends and staff from Centra, Muckross Road, to help him celebrate his very special 50th birthday on Saturday. Donncha is a keen cyclist, and well-known for his mastership of Suduko, and expertise on puzzles and general knowledge quizzes, winning many competitions down through the years. Photo: Valerie O’Sullivan

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