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Five schools – but one mission – to fundraise!

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FUNDRAISER: Students from five local schools are coming together to raise funds for palliative care by organising a Christmas Jumper Day on December 18. Pictured were: Isabella Dennehy, Jayden Hurley, Lizzie Linehan, Tomás Clifford, Keelyn O’Leary and Gavin White. Photo: Michelle Crean

 

By Michelle Crean

 

Last year's fundraiser was an overwhelming success - raising a whopping €12,000 - and now five schools are joining together to do it all again for another very good cause.

The Sem, Killarney Community College, Holy Cross Mercy, Presentation Monastery, and St Francis Special School - who last year held the fundraising Christmas Jumper Day in memory of the much loved past St Brendan’s College student Niall McGillicuddy, are once again combining their efforts - this time in aid of the Kerry Hospice Foundation.

On Friday, December 18 the students and staff across all five schools will don festive jumpers and donate to this very important facility; one which, like many others across the country, has seen its fundraising activities hit hard by the COVID crisis.

"We were honestly bowled over by the response to last year’s fundraiser – both across the participating schools and among the wider community," Elaine Moynihan, LCVP teacher said.

"The flurry of donations that arrived over the week of that fundraiser was completely unexpected and hugely significant in allowing us to raise the amount that we did. While 2020 has been a devastating year for many, it is also one which showed us the power of community spirit – the potential to achieve great things when we work together. Given the success of last year’s coordinated effort, it made sense that we approach the other schools and invite them to get involved. We were delighted, but not surprised, when all four, without hesitation, agreed."

She added that they are again hoping to have the same community support once again.

"We would love for the public to get behind this; particularly anyone who has benefited from the Palliative services of University Hospital Kerry and is looking for a medium through which to give back. Obviously with COVID, and the current restrictions, it is no longer as easy to drop donations in but if anyone would like to support this worthy cause, donations can be posted, in care of the Kerry Hospice Foundation fundraiser, to the Sem or any of the other participating schools."

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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 […]

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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

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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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