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Family of severely Alexis welcome hoist grants policy change




By Sean Moriarty

A Killarney family have welcomed news that that fixed track hoists will be included in the Housing Adaptation Grants for Older People and People with a Disability Schemes.

Parents Steve and Teresa O’Mahony have been fighting government bureaucracy for months.

The urgently need a hoist fitted to their home to help them care for their daughter Alexis. She suffers from a pyruvate dehydrogenase, PDH, deficiency and she has a brain injury. She has cerebral palsy, quadriplegia, visual impairment, a subluxation of her hip and is at high risk of aspiration.
In recent months the family were dealing with Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage, the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth, and the Department of Health, in an effort to get a grant to fit a hoist to their home.

None of the government departments were willing to commit to the scheme until political intervention by TDs Pa Daly and Norma Foley and Tralee councillor Jim Finucane.

It was announced this week that that fixed track hoists will be included in the Housing Adaptation Grants for Older People and People with a Disability Schemes.

“It is a big relief that funding has finally been reinstated and a clear pathway now exists in the years ahead for those across Ireland that require ceiling track hoists,” Steve told the Killarney Advertiser.

“Access to the scheme without worry now exists and enables people with a disability to live day to day with their dignity and comfort protected. It should never have taken almost three years to get the legislation in place and a lot needs to be learned in terms of engagement and communication channels between government departments.

“Ultimately it is some of society's most vulnerable that suffered because of the impasse and it is also society's most vulnerable and their families and carers that will benefit enormously from the scheme. A thank you to all Kerry politicians that engaged on this in various times.”



Killarney Triathlon Club’s open water swim on the lake



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,


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Danny Healy-Rae welcomes decision to push back changes for cataract payments



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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