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Family of severely Alexis welcome hoist grants policy change

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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.”

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Seven An Post staff retire

Seven well-known staff members at An Post Killarney celebrated retirement this week. The staff, Mary O’Sullivan, Joe Clifford, Paudie Cronin, Joe Coffey, Tom Ashe, Jerry McCarthy and Dan Murphy were […]

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Seven well-known staff members at An Post Killarney celebrated retirement this week.

The staff, Mary O’Sullivan, Joe Clifford, Paudie Cronin, Joe Coffey, Tom Ashe, Jerry McCarthy and Dan Murphy were treated to an night of celebration and reminiscing by the South Kerry branch of the Communication Workers Union of Ireland.

The retirees, their families and colleagues enjoyed an evening at ‘The Panoramic’ the newly named restaurant upstairs at Killarney Racecourse.

Ollie Favier, of the Shire fame has taken over responsibility for operating the coffee shop / restaurant at the racecourse.

“A beautiful venue and apt that Ollie’s father Dan RIP from Glenflesk, was also a long serving postman in the community,” said John O’Shea, the Union Secretary An Post Killarney.

“The night included music with Derry Healy and Rosie Healy and was attended by up to 80 people, under the attentive guidance of Sales and Marketing Manager Emma O’Connor and Ollie’s right hand man, Colin Daly

“The event the food and the atmosphere was a great success and credit to all Ollie’s staff for being great hosts. “

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Watch Video: Primary School Students share knowledge from Coffee Cup Project

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Killarney primary schools have joined the crusade against single use coffee cups this week by joining the Killarney Coffee Cup Project and declaring themselves single use coffee cup free. The Killarney Coffee Project is a community grassroots project aimed at eliminating single use coffee cups from Killarney town centre to protect Killarney National Park and the towns surroundings all in the name of conservation.

Alan Oliver, a local coffee shop owner, Lir Café, who is one of the participants of the project has said that he is “thrilled to see the project extend into the local schools. Teaching young people about why we should be moving away from a throw away culture is imperative to the continuous success of projects like this. Today’s young people are the future custodians of this town and so educating them on the importance of sustainability will ensure that Killarney and its National Park will be in safe hands for future generations.”

The schools involved in declaring themselves single use coffee cup free include Holycross Mercy, Gaelscoil Faithleann, Presentation Monastery, Glenflesk, Knocknanes, Coolick, Loreto, Lissivigeen and Tiernaboul. This follows on from the Killarney Coffee Cup Primary Schools Initiative which took place last November supported by Killarney Credit Union, the Kerry Biosphere, and the IKC3 project in MTU.

In November the 5th classes in the Killarney area were brought to Muckross School House and Killarney House for a 2-hour immersive environmental education experience around our connection to the Kerry Biosphere and citizen climate action. Here the students learned about our biosphere and how we as citizens and sustainable initiatives like the Killarney Coffee Cup Project can protect this Special Area of Conservation. Finally, they went outside to work with a park ranger, collecting acorns in leftover disposable compostable cups that the project had gathered from various businesses. They took these acorns back to their classrooms where they have planted and are caring for their oak tree. In 2024, these young oak tree seedlings will be planted back into the National Park.

The Killarney Coffee Cup Project is the 1st of its kind in the world, and it is something that belongs to all the citizens of the town. We all own this!

Want to hear from the future voices of our environment?

This week the Killarney Advertiser caught up with primary schoolers who have been busy learning all about protecting our amazing natural environment

Watch our video where the future eco-warriors share what they’ve learned about keeping our Killarney healthy and thriving! Here is to the next generation of environmental stewards!

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