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Clare get burned by stylish Kerry

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It felt a bit like a Munster final in Killarney on Sunday as Kerry turned on the style in a sun-drenched Fitzgerald Stadium. The weather was unreal. Fellas were baking up in the terrace. One of my friends resorted to lining up alongside some random children who were waiting for their father to squirt them with sunscreen. He got burned anyway but (wait for it - this is a good one) not as badly burned as Clare’s six defenders.

The visitors got the first couple of scores but Kerry were rampant thereafter, moving the ball so quickly and so efficiently that the Claremen were effectively chasing shadows for the duration. 32 points is savage kicking irrespective of who the opposition are.

Stephen O’Brien must literally be told to just run his man every single time he gets the ball and Clare couldn’t cope with him the last day. There are probably more natural players in the camp but you have to give him his due. He has been consistently effective throughout his Kerry career.

I have to admit that I was a small bit surprised at how quickly Micheál Burns moved up the pecking order and became a starter but he looks very comfortable inside there. He’s a serious athlete to be fair to him. Someone was telling me that he covered 14km in an A versus B match recently. To put that into context, 8-9km is considered normal. It’s very early in the summer to be getting carried away but he has done well so far.

The star trio of Geaney, James and Clifford weren’t quite as electrifying as we all hoped but they still scored 13 points between them. It was great to see James bouncing around the place for Kerry again and he’ll only improve as the year goes on. Clifford did okay and again, he’ll only get better as he continues to adapt to the senior game.

Shane Murphy wasn’t tested too often but his kick-outs were mostly excellent, and he’ll be pleased to have kept a clean sheet in his first championship outing as Kerry captain.

It seemed like most of the supporters went home happy, although one or two (myself included) were a bit underwhelmed by the substitutions made. Mikey Geaney, BJ Keane, Darran O’Sullivan and Kieran Donaghy all got a run, but Kilcummin’s Kevin McCarthy didn’t. The game was won by half time. What’s the point of bringing on Donaghy or Darran, players who have played a million championship games, and leaving a young, exciting prospect on the bench? It was strange enough I thought.

As good as Kerry were, you’d have to say that Clare, who finished third in Division 2 this year, were disappointing. Some of their basic skills were very poor and in general they looked to be miles off the standard required to challenge at this level.

I noticed in the programme that their only ever championship victory over Kerry (1992) was excluded from a list of past meetings between the sides. It’s bad enough that Kerry have won 79 Munster titles to Clare’s two. If we start taking wins off them retrospectively, they’re rightly screwed.

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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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