By Michelle Crean
Works to the tune of €22,000 including colour coded areas for children, over 80 hand sanitiser units, a marquee for dropping off children and new electronic doors are all part of the changes at St Oliver's National School.
Principal Rory Darcy this week said that with 714 pupils and between 28 and 30 pupils per class, there's a lot of work going on in the background to ensure social distancing can be met as per the Department's guidelines for when the school reopens next month.
They also have a pre-school with 103 children in attendance.
And although children from Third Class up are advised to socially distance one metre away from each other, he says it's going to be their biggest challenge.
"With the one metre issue, it's very difficult to work. You can't stay one metre away. One metre apart is not going to be possible, that's a worry and a concern. We will have to look at face visors and masks," Rory told the Killarney Advertiser this week.
A big school, reworking the space to try and allow the recommended distance is underway.
"Every available space will be used. Our hall is now a classroom with partition walls going up. This hall was used seven days a week for the gym, speech and drama and choir, that's all gone now."
The expected return date is August 31 and when children return parents are advised to drop them off at the marquee at the courtyard where teachers and SNAs will greet them and bring the pupils in through their various colour coded areas.
"The school is divided up into six pods all colour coded. For instance Junior Infants will be colour coded red and Senior Infants blue. They will follow the coloured line into the school. We've installed four sets of double doors with fob key entry. Each class is like a family and that class then only have a teacher, SNA and support teacher where possible. There'll be three different break times and they will only play with their own class."
He added that they'll be sending out a video explaining the new procedures before they return.
"The children might be nervous in the days before they return so we'll send them a video message to welcome them back."
The Killarney area has a panel of substitute teachers ready for any absences, he added.
Cleaning will also be a priority, including everyone pulling together to keep the school as sanitised as possible. Door handles have been changed costing €4,000. Contract cleaners will now come daily as opposed to every second day and doors to classrooms will be locked each evening.
Aside from the funds to get the school ready for reopening, €55,000 has been spent on new secutiy measures which were already planned for, he added.
"We don't have all the answers, we're doing the best we can. Everyone will need to be patient."
COMMUNITY AIR AMBULANCE TASKED 512 TIMES DURING 2021
The Irish Community Air Ambulance has yet to receive any sort of government funding despite being called out on 512 missions in 14 counties during 2021. Last year was the ICAA busiest year since the Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS) Air Ambulance launched in July 2019. There were 490 taskings in 2020. The organisation is […]
The Irish Community Air Ambulance has yet to receive any sort of government funding despite being called out on 512 missions in 14 counties during 2021.
Last year was the ICAA busiest year since the Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS) Air Ambulance launched in July 2019. There were 490 taskings in 2020.
The organisation is Ireland’s only charity-funded HEMS Air Ambulance. It works in partnership with the National Ambulance Service and responds to serious incidents and medical emergencies from its base in Rathcool, near Millstreet, in Co. Cork. Each helicopter mission costs an average of €3,500, all of which has to be raised or donated.
The CEO of the Irish Community Air Ambulance, Micheál Sheridan said that they engaged with the Government and regional political leaders throughout 2021 to secure some State support for the vital service.
Micheál Sheridan said, “The HSE is releasing funding to private Ambulance firms to provide support during the continuing crisis yet the Irish Community Air Ambulance is still entirely funded by public donations. The increased number of taskings during 2021 show that we provide a vital service,” said Mr Sheridan.
“The cost to run the charity during 2022 is expected to be €2.1 million which is a significant amount of money to raise. We are so grateful to all our supporters who help us to bring hope to those in emergency situations but we will continue to engage with the Government to provide funding during these uncertain times.”
There were more calls to cardiac arrests, farming-related incidents and falls from heights during 2021. Cardiac arrests accounted for one in five calls with 103 taskings last year, that’s up from 81 during 2020.
July and April were the busiest months of the year for the service with 57 missions completed each month. Cork, Kerry and Tipperary accounted for the majority of taskings. The Irish Community Air Ambulance was also tasked to Clare, Limerick, Waterford, Wexford, Kilkenny, Mayo, Galway, Offaly, Laois, Wicklow and Kildare.
One in every three taskings required an airlift to hospital. There were 111 transfers to Cork University Hospital during 2021 which equates to 66% of all transfers. University Hospital Limerick accounts for 20%.
Micheal Sheridan added, “There were also transfers to hospitals in Kerry, Tallaght, Galway, Temple Street, Crumlin and The Mater as we saw an increase in the number of times we were required to transfer children and young people to specialist paediatric hospitals in Dublin. We cover an area of 25,000 square kilometres and treat some of the most critically ill and injured patients, bringing them to the hospital that is best suited to their life-saving needs, not just the closest hospital geographically.”
Diarmuid O’Donovan from Cork was seriously injured when he was thrown over the handlebars of his bike while cycling around Slea Head, Co Kerry in May 2021. He said he needed to be brought to a dedicated Trauma Centre quickly.
“A moment of carelessness saw me hit the road. I was on my own but thankfully it wasn’t long before I was found. Paramedics, a local doctor, the local Fire Service and Gardai all responded,” he explained.
“I was drifting in and out of consciousness and it quickly emerged that I needed to be at Cork University Hospital as soon as possible. I wasn’t in a suitable state for a two-and-a-half-hour journey by road so the Irish Community Air Ambulance was tasked and landed in Ventry. The journey to CUH by helicopter took just 30 minutes. I had 28 different bone breaks including my spine, shoulder and ribs as well as a punctured lung. I underwent several procedures that evening and spent 12 days in hospital. I believe it could have been far worse if I had not been transported to CUH so quickly and that my recovery has been much faster as a result.”
Now is a good time to plan features in the garden
Now is an excellent time to have a look at your garden and plan any new beds, water features or seating areas. With relatively little growth, it is easy to take measurements and mark out where your new project will take place. There are a few things to bear in mind when planning new features. […]
Now is an excellent time to have a look at your garden and plan any new beds, water features or seating areas.
With relatively little growth, it is easy to take measurements and mark out where your new project will take place.
There are a few things to bear in mind when planning new features. First, the practical: are there water pipes, septic tanks, gas or electricity lines etc in the way?
Or, if planning a feature where construction is required, is there access to water and electricity?
Secondly, if you are planning a new bed, what is the soil like in that area, or have you better ground elsewhere which can be exploited?
I have learned over the years that the best thing to do with an area of bad soil is to cover it with paving!
On the other hand, if you are planning a patio, should you excavate the topsoil for use elsewhere? Planning a new bed or planting area is a lot of fun, and I always think it is a good idea to take the time, close your eyes and give your imagination free reign. Consult magazines, gardening websites and social media!
Have a look at a friends’ or neighbours’ gardens for ideas.
Decide how much time you have to maintain it, and keep in mind Irish weather, commitments and other hobbies.
Often we take on gardening projects which we think, at the time, we will have time for. Say you want to commit to, for example, three hours of gardening a week – Saturday morning is the one time you have free.
Guaranteed one of those Saturdays it will rain! Then there is a morning spent mowing. Weeding will take up another few hours. Time flies, no matter what you do…and with age, I am coming to realise we have to work realistically with the free time we have. Gardening should not become a job you are forced to do.
Plan what the new area will be used for, and again, keep time in mind. Maybe a mixed area is better than a single purpose one.
What I mean by this is, you may have decided this year is the year to grow vegetables. Rather than planning out half your garden as a rotating vegetable garden, it may be better to plan out two small beds and a seating area, surrounded by an area of wildflowers.
This can then easily be converted to a larger veg garden if you feel the trial run went well, or converted entirely to a patio. In my experience, it is wise not to commit to a large scale project, especially if you are new to it.
COMMUNITY AIR AMBULANCE TASKED 512 TIMES DURING 2021
The Irish Community Air Ambulance has yet to receive any sort of government funding despite being called out on 512...
Now is a good time to plan features in the garden
Now is an excellent time to have a look at your garden and plan any new beds, water features or...
Weird and wonderful insurance policies
As it is January I thought I would start the year on a light hearted note. Lloyds of London is...
Kerry to feature in new TG4 documentary on Wild Atlantic Way
Three episodes of a new ten-part TG4 series on the Wild Atlantic Way were filmed in County Kerry. The series,...
Further rise in house prices forecast for 2022 as average price of a resale home in the capital reaches €500,000
According to the latest residential market review and outlook from leading property advisors DNG, house prices are set to continue...
Fleming and Doherty top Killarney crew at Boggeragh
The Boggeragh Rallysprint, organised by Cork Motor Club and based in the forest complex of the same name, took place...
Killarney Valley athletes rubbing shoulders with the best
Killarney Valley AC continued their upward curve last Sunday when they entered men’s and women’s teams in the prestigious National...
Hoops to host Cork City at Celtic Park
League of Ireland giants Cork City will be back in Killarney on Saturday afternoon, three years after they last paid...
Kerry victory sets up Killarney final versus Cork
McGrath Cup Tipperary 0-5 Kerry 1-23 Templetuohy A depleted Kerry squad made light work of Tipperary on Wednesday night to...
Killarney RFC coast to U16 Munster final
Munster U16 League Semi-Final Killarney 26 Bruff 0 Aghadoe The Killarney RFC U16 girls are on the cusp of provincial...