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Financial crisis could seriously impact Kerry Deaf services

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A financial crisis which has hit the Irish Deaf Society this week - could mean a huge loss of Deaf services in Kerry - from this March.

With funds running low and following an emergency meeting on Saturday in Dublin, the Irish Deaf Society (IDS) has taken the decision to prepare to close its doors - as it has failed to secure financial support from the Government or another state body.

The news comes just one year after the Government officially recognised Irish Sign Language as an official language in Ireland. It’s also the first time in 38 years, since IDS set up, that core funding for the service has been an issue.

The decision to close down will also affect IDS services, including IDS Advocacy, the Irish Sign Language Academy and the Deaf Adult Literary Services.

It came a huge shock to members of Kerry’s Deaf community especially as just this week  Dublin City University unveiled a new undergraduate programme which will enable Deaf and hard of hearing people who use Irish Sign Language (ISL) to enter primary teaching.

This week, Killarney woman Christine O’Donoghue, who is Deaf and teaches literacy to members of the Deaf community in Kerry, says she is shocked with the sudden news.

Both Christine and Bernadette O’Connor from Kerry Deaf Women's Group (KDG), along with Kerry Deaf Resource Centre in Tralee who provide an invaluable service to the Deaf and hard of hearing in Kerry, are calling on the public to support their campaign to save the service.

They plan to get a petition together and lobby TDs to put pressure on the Government to secure financial support and keep the service going.

“I’m absolutely shocked,” Christine told the Killarney Advertiser through an interpreter, on Thursday.

“It's both a disappointment and a shock. If there’s no support, where do Deaf people go and what do they do? To think this has happened after ISL was recognised is so unexpected. Without the core funding we’re going back to square one - the days of no opportunities."

Willie White, Manager of the Kerry Deaf Resource Centre said the closure of the IDS would impact all in the Deaf community nationally.

“On a local level, it would mean the end of our Deaf Adult Literacy Service (DALS) classes as the tutor is funded by the IDS,” he said.

“The newly passed ISL Act wouldn't have been a reality without the leadership of the IDS and we need their input nationally, and indeed locally, if we are to implement access across all Government Depts and Public Bodies in the years to come.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Local author’s debut book makes Late Late Toy Show

Killarney art psychotherapist Katie O’Donoghue was delighted to spot her first children’s book on last Friday’s Late Late Toy Show! ‘The Little Squirrel Who Worried’ was written and illustrated by Katie, and published by Gill Books in July. With almost every eye in Ireland on the Toy Show every year, children’s authors, illustrators and publishers […]

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Killarney art psychotherapist Katie O’Donoghue was delighted to spot her first children’s book on last Friday’s Late Late Toy Show!

‘The Little Squirrel Who Worried’ was written and illustrated by Katie, and published by Gill Books in July.

With almost every eye in Ireland on the Toy Show every year, children’s authors, illustrators and publishers compete for a much-coveted spot on the set. Aware that her book had been sent to Ryan, but not having heard anything from RTÉ, Katie was thrilled to see it in a prominent position. It was a wonderful surprise to discover ‘The Little Squirrel Who Worried’ had been placed in the front row of the book corner. There, it had a little chair of its own and was even embraced by a cuddly toy.

It was visible many times over the course of the evening, particularly during the book discussion, an incredibly proud moment for first-time author Katie.

“I have to admit, when I saw ‘The Little Squirrel Who Worried’ cradled in the teddy’s arms, I may have jumped up and down with excitement,” Katie told the Killarney Advertiser.

What began as a lockdown project while Katie was living in London and missing her family in Kerry, is providing comfort to children around the world.

Using a gentle story with gorgeous illustrations, Little Squirrel and his forest friends teach young people a variety of simple coping techniques.

“These skills will benefit children their entire lives and the book is even helpful for adults who are prone to worrying and overthinking,” she added.

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No 2021 return for Killarney on Ice

By Michelle Crean Fans of the ice will be disappointed to hear that Killarney on Ice will not return for a second year. Following its huge popularity year on year since returning to Killarney in 2015, the promoters of Killarney on Ice are disappointed to confirm that they are unable to operate again this year. […]

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By Michelle Crean

Fans of the ice will be disappointed to hear that Killarney on Ice will not return for a second year.

Following its huge popularity year on year since returning to Killarney in 2015, the promoters of Killarney on Ice are disappointed to confirm that they are unable to operate again this year.

Rising case numbers, uncertain COVID-19 restrictions, and insurance challenges have been the main drivers behind the decision not to open, according to the company.

As Kerry’s only festive ice rink, the facility has brought much fun and life to the town over the years, attracting thousands of people from all over the county, and indeed the whole country, with many families coming to stay overnight in Killarney and enjoying all that this great town has to offer.

As well as friends and families coming to skate, schools, youth clubs, sports teams and employees of local companies use the group booking discount rate to plan sessions on the ice, and Killarney on Ice would like to thank them all for their continuing loyalty.

“We sincerely hope to be back better and stronger in 2022, and we look forward to welcoming all of our valued customers,” Tim O’Donoghue, the promoter of the rink, told the Killarney Advertiser.

“In the meantime, we wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year.”

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