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FarmElder Research Group visits Kerry Social Farming





Over 80 people came to learn more about social farming at the farm of Michael Joe and Brid Murphy in Slaheny, Kilgarvan in last week.

Farmers, social farming participants, service providers, social farming projects from across Ireland, support services and local representatives were among the large attendance, who heard from a range of speakers about how social farming in Kerry is operating and its potential to expand to assist older people and those living with dementia.
The event, organised by South Kerry Development Partnership (SKDP) through Kerry Social Farming was part of a visit by FarmElder research group, who are studying the role of social farming for older people at a European level.

Claire McAuliffe (Teagasc Advisor) and members of KSF Working Group, outlined how dairy farms can be ideal venues for social farming. They provide a variety of activities, which change depending on the season. For the benefit of guests, Claire outlined how the dairy farming system works on the Murphy farm and how factors such weather and markets can impact farming life. She noted how farmers and their families provide a welcoming environment for social farming and are conscious of safety as part of their farming operations.

Dr Brendan O’Keeffe (O’Keeffe Research) told the gathering that he is currently completing an Evaluation of KSF and how the growth of the project, which now has 40 active farms and over 60 participants, has been guided by the framework from a previous Evaluation which he and colleagues did in 2017. The potential for social farming for older people is one of a number of new avenues which KSF can follow. He noted the strength of the partnership approach and the advantages of the long-term relationship which develops between host farmer, their family and the participant who comes to their farm.

Anni and Josef Hindelang, who run a social farm in the foothills of the Bavarian Alps, shared their story through a video about their farm. Since 2020, they have hosted older people with dementia, their family members and carers on the farm twice a month.

The gathering also heard from Danny Healy-Rae TD and Mayor of Kenmare Municipal District, Cllr Patrick Connor-Scarteen.

The attendance brought together the groups operating social farming across Ireland, with Rachel Budd (IRD Duhallow social farming), Debbie Kelleher (Field of Dreams, Cork) and Eadaoin O’Connell (Social Farming Ireland Development Officer, West Limerick Resources) among the attendance.

More information about the project is on their website and information on Kerry Social Farming can be viewed at or by contacting Joseph McCrohan (087) 284 9165 or



Muckross Rowing Club members on Irish teams for two major regattas

  Six members of Muckross Rowing Club will compete for Ireland in two upcoming international events. Rowing Ireland this week announced the Irish squads for the Coupe de la Jeunesse […]





Six members of Muckross Rowing Club will compete for Ireland in two upcoming international events.

Rowing Ireland this week announced the Irish squads for the Coupe de la Jeunesse Regatta.

Daniel Fleming and Ian Coffey have both been selected for the Under 19 Irish squad to race at the Coupe de la Jeunesse Regatta for European junior rowers. The Coupe de la Jeunesse Regatta, involving 16 European countries, will be held over from over three days, August 9-11 in Racice, Czechia.

Four Under 23 university rowers from the Muckross club have also been selected as part of the Senior Irish squad for the Home International Regatta this month.

Niamh Coffey (University of Limerick), Patrick Buckley (University of Limerick), Finn O’Sullivan (University of Limerick) and Ethan O’Neill (University College Cork Rowing Club) will take on the ‘Triple Crown’ event of rowing, competing for Ireland against crews from England, Scotland and Wales.

The Home International Regatta will be held on Saturday, July 27 in Strathclyde, Scotland.

All six Muckross rowers have earned their green jerseys following a lengthy and testing trial series on land and water which began in Autumn 2023 and culminated in final water trials at the end of June.

“Muckross Rowing Club sends its best wishes to the very talented Muckross oarsmen and women and all their crewmates as they fly the flag for Ireland this summer. The talented group build on a successful record in the sport,” said club PRO Tim O’Shea.

Niamh Coffey is a multiple Irish and University Championship winner and has previously represented Ireland in the Under 23 European Championships.

In 2022, O’Neill rowed at Junior level at the Home International event and won a gold medal as part of the Irish quadruple scull crew in the 500m sprint event.

Both Buckley and O’Sullivan continue to compete at the highest level nationally with the University of Limerick Rowing Club,  and join the Irish squad for the first time this year.

The international selections come at an exciting time before the Olympic Regatta in Paris, where Zoe Hyde (Tralee Rowing Club) will be among the largest Irish rowing contingent of 16 rowers to contest an Olympic Games.

Killorglin native Zoe has previously rowed for both Killorglin and Muckross rowing clubs and will race the Women’s Double event for Ireland with Alison Bergin (Fermoy Rowing Club) in Paris.


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Valuable role of Kerry cancer support charity recognised nationally



Cancer support charity Recovery Haven Kerry has been recognised for its vital role in supporting cancer patients and their families at a national ceremony in Dublin.

The renowned cancer support house was one of 16 such centres across Ireland that were presented with plaques to acknowledge their full membership of the National Cancer Control Programme (NCCP) Alliance – a group made up of voluntary and charity organisations delivering support services directly to cancer patients and their families. An additional 10 associate member charities were also honoured, including Kerry Cancer Support Group.

The Alliance advocates for, and supports, the development of integrated pathways between the cancer centres, acute hospitals, community cancer support services and primary care services. All members’ development is in line with the values of Sláintecare, seeking to provide assurance to healthcare professionals that these organisations are working to an agreed standard as set out in Best Practice Guidance published by the NCCP. 

Speaking after the ceremony, which was held at Dublin’s Farmleigh Estate, Recovery Haven Kerry Chairman, Tim McSwiney, explained that being compliant with the Best Practice Guidance for Community Cancer Support Centres is a true mark of quality. 

“It offers us a yardstick to measure what we are doing against the standards required. As a result, healthcare professionals have more confidence in referring people to our services. We are very proud to be a member of the Alliance,” he said.

Recovery Haven Kerry was represented at the event by centre manager, Gemma Fort and Client Services Co-Ordinator, Siobhan MacSweeney and were presented with their plaque by NCCP Lead for Cancer Survivorship, Louise Mullen, Clinical Lead for Psycho-Oncology Dr Helen Greally, and Minister of State at the Department of Health, Colm Burke. 

The event was also used as an opportunity to announce funding of €3m for the NCCP’s Alliance of Community Cancer Support Centres and Services through Budget 2024. The NCCP is currently in the process of distributing these funds which will directly and positively impact the delivery of services for patients and families nationally.

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