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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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Killarney centre stage for Pride Festival

The award-winning Kingdom Pride in Kerry festival is back next week and Killarney will take centre stage. Kingdom Pride will be celebrated in towns all across the county from July […]

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The award-winning Kingdom Pride in Kerry festival is back next week and Killarney will take centre stage.

Kingdom Pride will be celebrated in towns all across the county from July 17 to 21.

The organisation’s flagship Party in the Park event will be held again in Killarney House and Gardens, following the Pride march in the town centre on July 20.

This year, in solidarity with the people of Palestine, Kingdom Pride in Kerry is inviting the people of Kerry to come to show their unity by bringing Palestinian flags and kites to the march, and to the Party in the Park.

“Pride is a protest for human rights all over the world. Here in the Kingdom, we have been so lucky to receive tremendous community support from our allies and supporters, and we see the struggle for liberation of all peoples as a united cause,” said Daniel Quirke, chairperson of the organising committee.

“Our events have always welcomed everyone, regardless of gender, orientation, religion, or nationality. We truly believe that together we can create positive change through caring for and loving one another. This year is no exception, and we look forward to helping to highlight the Palestinian cause, and to bringing people together to keep generating positive change for all people.”

Events will take place in Cahersiveen, Listowel, Killorglin, Tralee and Dingle, and include an Irish comedy night with Áine Gallagher, an Irish-language movie screening, yoga, sea swimming, poetry and storytelling, bowling, pitch and putt, a lively drag night at the INEC, and plenty more for people of all ages.

“We do our best to keep tickets as low-cost as possible, and we have lots of events that are totally free to attend. It is important to us that people can share Pride with us, regardless of income. Especially with the rise of the cost of living putting a strain on people’s pockets.” added the chairperson.

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A weekend of Live Music, Fun and Entertainment, at FleskFest 2024

The organisers of the annual FleskFest have “a tremendous line-up, with a weekend full of entertainment to suit all” for the July 18 to 20 event. “It promises to be […]

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The organisers of the annual FleskFest have “a tremendous line-up, with a weekend full of entertainment to suit all” for the July 18 to 20 event.

“It promises to be the festival weekend of the summer, an event you don’t want to miss out on. Last year’s Festival was a fantastic memorable experience for our community, a time to get together and celebrate,” said festival PRO Seán Daly.

Organised by Glenflesk GAA, FleskFest 24 will take place at the Barraduff Community Field next week.
There will be a fully licensed bar in the Fest Marquee, some amazing live music on The Big Stage, food trucks and much more.
Glenflesk GAA club’s biggest fundraiser of the year includes a new-for-2024 Texas Holdem Poker Tournament on Thursday night.
Weekend highlights include old-time waltzing, jiving and polka sets with Paudie McAuliffe and Paudie Coffey Band on Friday,
On Saturday, the new Well Flesk event will take place.
“A morning of self-care and wellness at Flesk Fest featuring masterclasses in yoga, pilates, mindfulness, spinning, fitness sessions, workouts, firewood sauna and ice pods with a range of experienced and qualified instructors,” added Daly.
Leading local musician Johnny Courtney and Friends, Sam and Ina, The O’Donoghue Sisters, Reigning All Ireland Champions Glenflesk Ballad Group, and The Border Boys will take to the Big Stage over the weekend.
Sunday is Family Fun Day with children’s entertainment and disco and the All-Ireland Hurling Final Live on the Big screen followed by music with Thingamajig.
The festival will finish with a Sunday evening session with the Meadhbh Walsh Band.

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