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Drive-by birthday for 90-year-old Sheila

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By Michelle Crean

With beeping horns and traffic back to back - it certainly wasn’t the 90th celebrations one Headford lady had planned last Friday – but Sheila O’Leary certainly will remember it!

Sheila from Beheenagh, who has eleven children, 26 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren was hoping for a large family gathering in the Height Hotels in Killarney, where she celebrated her 80th in style. She was hoping to be joined by her sister Ana Nash from London who was due to travel over with 10 family members.

Unfortunately, due to the current COVID-19 restrictions, Sheila who lives at home with her son Fr Gerard, is ‘cocooning’ and thought there would be no way to mark the very special day.

However, her family had other plans and surprised with a ‘drive-by birthday’ instead as they beeped and waved before physically distancing in the yard of her home to sing ‘Happy Birthday’. The moment was captured on video on the day by her granddaughter Muiríosa O’Leary.

“The drive-by birthday idea was by her son Dan O’Leary,” Sheila’s grandson Padraig O’Sullivan told the Killarney Advertiser.

“She's cocooning at home but came out to the back door to blow out the candles of her cake which was made by her granddaughter and godchild Sheila.”

Video messages were compiled by her granddaughter Mary O’Sullivan which included loving words from her family, neighbours and friends, including her grandson Conor Dineen all the way from Dubai.

“We actually had to have one more blast of ‘Happy Birthday’ before we left the yard for her granddaughter Mary Lane who turned 32 the same day!”

For now a bigger celebration is postponed with the family hoping they can get-together in August or late September once the health restrictions are lifted.

[video width="288" height="640" mp4="https://www.killarneyadvertiser.ie/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/VID_20200404_114452.mp4"][/video]

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NPWS survey to find out impact of fires

By Michelle Crean The National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) has commissioned a comprehensive survey on the impact of fires over the past four decades – in particular Killarney National Park in April. The tender, worth €300,000, and named ‘Study on the Impact of Fires On The Biodiversity of Killarney National Park’, seeks to find […]

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By Michelle Crean

The National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) has commissioned a comprehensive survey on the impact of fires over the past four decades – in particular Killarney National Park in April.

The tender, worth €300,000, and named ‘Study on the Impact of Fires On The Biodiversity of Killarney National Park’, seeks to find out the biological impacts of the fires in the 26,000 acre park.

The fires in April burned from Friday night on April 23 until around 12pm the following Monday when they were finally brought under control.

Parts of the Park were scorched resulting in flora and fauna being wiped out. Some fires came as close as 10 metres to a church and school in the Black Valley area.

Fires raged near Tomies Wood and fire crews from five different districts quenched fires near the properties under threat. A real threat was for The Oak Woods but fire fighters managed to avert danger.

The fire is believed to have begun on the Kenmare Road area escalated by the strong winds.

“The purpose of this tender is to commission a comprehensive survey of the impacts, and the chrono-sequence of fire recovery or otherwise, on lands burned over the past four decades, as well as surveys in unburned areas, in order to assess the biological impacts of the fires, in particular the fire of April 2021, on the biodiversity of Killarney National Park,” an NPWS spokesperson told the Killarney Advertiser.

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Killarney spin will bring comfort to patients

By Michelle Crean Ahead of this year’s ladies only 54321 Challenge a number of spinathons are taking place, including in Killarney town. Sunday, August 15 a group of 10 ladies plan a spinathon day in Killarney ahead of their four day epic adventure from Thursday, August 19 to Sunday 22. This year due to COVID […]

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By Michelle Crean

Ahead of this year’s ladies only 54321 Challenge a number of spinathons are taking place, including in Killarney town.

Sunday, August 15 a group of 10 ladies plan a spinathon day in Killarney ahead of their four day epic adventure from Thursday, August 19 to Sunday 22.

This year due to COVID restrictions the 54321 team will run with two teams of five people, all female – who are raising funds for one single charity – Comfort for Chemo Kerry.

Their four day challenge will include a cycle the Ring of Kerry on day one (Thursday 19), a climb up Carrantuohil on day two (Friday 20), a cycle from Killarney to the foot of Cnoc Na Tobair and then climb Cnoc Na Tobair on day three (Saturday 21) finishing off with a cycle of the Skellig Ring on day four (Sunday 22).

In advance of the ninth annual challenge they will first participate in the spinathons at various locations to help raise much needed funds for this year’s chosen charity.

The first of the spinathons will take place on Saturday, July 31 in Listowel, Killorglin, Dingle, Cahersiveen. On the day volunteers will take to the spinning bikes from 10am to 5pm in different locations around these towns.
This will be followed by Killarney on Sunday, August 15, and Tralee on Saturday, August 28.

When choosing this year’s charity, organisers contacted a past participant and a dear friend, Mairead Dunphy from Glencar who is currently on her own journey with cancer.

“We wanted to show our support to Mairead and knowing that she would like to support those who have supported her on her journey so far, she had already being looking at ideas to raise much needed funds for Comfort for Chemo Kerry,” TJ O’Connor said.

“Please support Comfort for Chemo Kerry by giving what you can.”

For more information about the spinathons go to www.54321challenge.org or the Comfort for Chemo Kerry Facebook page for online donation information.

There’s also a GoFundMe page: ‘Comfort for Chemo Kerry – 54321 Challenge 2021’ which has a €20,000 target set up.

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