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Disney characters in town to help Killarney launch July 4 festival

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IT IS a case of Main Street USA in Killarney as the town prepares to celebrate its annual 4th of July festival, which runs on Tuesday, July 4, from 7am to 12 midnight. The festival, now in its fourth year, is shaping up to be bigger, better and more colourful than ever before with an exciting parade, barbecue, live music, street performances, fireworks and much more. The festival aims to celebrate all that is great about the US and to remember the years of legacy between the United States and Ireland.

Speaking about the event, Killarney festival committee member Ollie Favier said:
“The 4th of July is, to a lot of Irish people, what St Patrick’s Day is to Americans. We have a longstanding and positive relationship with the US Of A as so many Irish people have been welcomed into the land of opportunity and have laid foundations there. And how can we forget that America has introduced us to things like American Football, French Fries and Friends! – so what better way to acknowledge all of this than to celebrate with them from across the pond on their Independence Day.”

The celebration will commence on Tuesday, July 4 at 7am with a “dawn chorus” of the Star-Spangled Banner performed by The Shire Male Choir and a ceremonial hoisting of the USA flag over Killarney Town Hall. Every year this proves to be an incredibly emotional event with American visitors joining Irish revellers to hold their state flags aloft and sing their national anthem with pride.

The 4th of July celebrations will see down town Killarney transformed into Main Street USA, with the town coming alive with street entertainment throughout the day – including The Wild West Troupe, Brass bands and can- can girls performing on the streets. As well as a pipe band, a big parade, street party and BBQ; nostalgic movie lovers will get to watch the classic Back to the Future in Killarney House.

And no 4th of July celebration would be complete without a spectacular fireworks display which will round off the evening at 11.30pm and light up the night sky over Killarney.

Ollie Favier added: “This will be the biggest celebration of America’s Independence outside of America itself. We want to show our American visitors how truly appreciative we are of them and also give a nod to our loved ones over in America celebrating the day. This is of course a celebration of all things American so wear your colours, bring your flags and join us on Tuesday, July 4, as Killarney becomes hometown USA just for a day.”


Above: At the 4th of July launch in Killarney were, Paul O’Neill, President, Killarney Chamber of Tourism & Commerce, Diarmuid Leen, Festival Chairman, Ollie Favier, Festival Committee, Cllr Brendan Cronin, Chairman, Killarney Munipical District, Mike Moynihan, Heineken Ireland, and Disney friends.
PICTURE: VALERIE O'SULLIVAN

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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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