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Dawn chorus to be livestreamed from Muckross Abbey

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The beautiful sounds of nature's finest song birds will be broadcast for all to hear on Saturday morning beginning at 5am.

The location of Muckross Abbey - The Franciscan Friary of Irrelagh was carefully chosen established under the patronage of Donal MacCarthy and around 1440 it is believed Donal’s great-grandfather Cormac MacCarthy had a vision that an Abbey be found at Carraig na Chiuil - The Rock of Music. As they passed Irrelagh they heard beautiful music coming from a rock and it was here that Cormac founded the Abbey The site of an earlier monastery built by Saint Fionán. The Conservation Rangers will also speak about the beautifully preserved cloisters and the iconic 500-year-old yew tree. Buried in the Abbey are the internationally renowned Four Kerry Poets from the 17th and 18th centuries Seafraidh Ó Donnchadha Aodhagán Ó Rathaille Eoghan Rua Ó Súilleabháin and Piaras Feiritéar. Photo: Valerie O'Sullivan

The National Parks and Wildlife Services (NPWS) team based in Killarney National Park will livestream the 'Dawn Chorus' through the Park’s Facebook page: www.facebook.com/killarneynationalpark from 5 - 6am.

Against the beautiful backdrop of Muckross Abbey in Killarney National Park, listeners will be treated to a live performance alongside expert commentary from the National Park and Wildlife Services (NPWS) Conservation Rangers.

Listeners can expect to hear birdsong from Killarney National Park’s birdlife, including robins, blackbirds, song thrushes, wood pigeons, wrens, warblers, sparrows, and finches. The livestream will coincide with the annual ‘Darkness into Light’ event and provide an ideal companion to those participating in the walk as well as listeners based at home who are interested in engaging with nature and the heritage of Killarney National Park.

NPWS staff led by Danny O’Keeffe, will guide and identify the various birdsong. The event also brings together the history and heritage of Killarney National Park and its surrounds. Conservation Rangers will speak about the beautifully preserved cloisters and the iconic 500-year-old yew tree. Buried in the Abbey are the internationally renowned Four Kerry Poets from the 17th and 18th centuries, Seafraidh Ó Donnchadha, Aodhagán Ó Rathaille, and Eoghan Rua Ó Súilleabháin and Piaras Feiritéar.

A number of local experts and musicians will also participate in the event, including Sean Forde who will speak about the mythology surrounding the Abbey, Padruig ‘Brac’ O’Sullivan, who will speak about his 40 years’ service as a Park Ranger and music related to summer and the nearby Sliabh Luachra will be played by local musicians Niamh Ní Charra, Bryan O’Leary and Sharon Lyons.

The NPWS team is thankful for the support of INEC Killarney whose expert technicians, Kieran Somers and Denis Lovett will be supplying the audio and live-streaming services.

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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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