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Funding down but demand for food up – say SVdD volunteers

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MEETING DEMAND: Volunteers with St Vincent de Paul Killarney Conference say there's a huge demand for food hampers this year. Pictured were: Mike Riordan, Niall Keogh, Liz Ryan, Jackie Foley, Brendan Joy, Dymphna Horgan and Breda Dwyer. Photo: Michelle Crean

 

By Michelle Crean

With funding decimated and a huge increase in families seeking assistance as a result of COVID this year the St Vincent de Paul (SVdD) is urging the public to help.

As volunteers prepare hundreds of hampers for the vulnerable in Killarney and surrounds, the Killarney Conference is expecting a massive demand on their services.

Speaking this week to the Killarney Advertiser, President of the local conference Breda Dwyer said that 2020 "is the toughest year" the service has experienced to date.

Not alone have they lost out on church gate collections - including the annual Christmas one - their biggest of the year usually runs the second weekend of December - but more families are in dire straights due to the loss of jobs or reduction in hours.

In recent weeks SVdP has sent out 6,000 envelopes to homes across the town and are asking people to give a generous donation to help raise the funds to fill the food hampers which will be distributed to their clients in need.

The service - which has also felt the loss of revenue with their charity shop closed in both the first and second lockdown - will also help by providing food vouchers, coal or oil to those who cannot afford it.

"It's our toughest year," Breda told the Killarney Advertiser this week.
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"Our main aim is to help people who are in poverty. Our church gate collection, that's our biggest fundraiser of the year but that won't be going ahead this year. That's an awful lot of fundraising we won't have this year. Our funds are down substantially and we're making a special appeal to people to please support SVdP as the needs of people have increased."

Volunteer Niall Keogh added that not only do they provide food and other provisions but can monitor those who need additional services like mental health.

However, due to COVID, calling in and just sitting and chatting to clients isn't possible this year.
"We can't call and sit down and have a chat. We can't access their mental health needs."
Anyone who needs support in any way should call 064 6634021 or 087 7718200. "They can leave a message and a volunteer will get back to them," he said.

And the service is also seeking more volunteers, anyone who'd like to give a hand can contact them on the numbers above.

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Women’s health the focus of HeartBeat meeting

By Sean Moriarty HeartBeat Killarney will present a special meeting dedicated to women’s health next week. Hosted by HeartBeat nurse Anna O’Donoghue, the meeting tomorrow evening (Tuesday) will feature specific […]

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By Sean Moriarty

HeartBeat Killarney will present a special meeting dedicated to women’s health next week.

Hosted by HeartBeat nurse Anna O’Donoghue, the meeting tomorrow evening (Tuesday) will feature specific discussions on every decade of women’s lives.

Special guest on the evening will be Obstetrician and Gynaecologist Dr Mary McCaffrey.

“Topics will include hormones and how they affect health from puberty, the importance of bone health, a cameo on female cardiac symptoms, heart health and mid-life, as well as common health symptoms specific to women’s well-being,” said HeartBeat chairman Billy O’Sullivan.

“We welcome women of all ages to this important meeting which is an opportunity not to be missed, especially if you have health worries.”

The meeting will take place at 8pm at the Parish Centre on Park Road.

It will be followed by a Q&A session and there is an optional blood pressure and pulse clinic from 7.30pm.

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Killarney man to launch second Irish history book

By Sean Moriarty Killarney native Patrick O’Sullivan Greene will launch his second book in the Great Southern Killarney on December 2. O’Sullivan Greene explains Éamon de Valera’s mission to gain […]

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By Sean Moriarty

Killarney native Patrick O’Sullivan Greene will launch his second book in the Great Southern Killarney on December 2.

O’Sullivan Greene explains Éamon de Valera’s mission to gain recognition for the newly formed Irish republic in New York in 1919 in his latest book ‘Revolution at the Waldorf: America and the Irish War of Independence’.

Without American recognition and funding the young Irish Government was sure to fail against the might of the British Empire and the book tells the story of how de Valera and Ireland-based Michael Collins – much to the defiance of the British authorities at Dublin Castle – got the new State off the ground.

O’Sullivan grew up in New Street and is now based in Beaufort after a career in finance took him all over the world including Dublin, London, New York and France.

“Killarney is the natural place for me to launch the book,” he told the Killarney Advertiser.

“There will be an interesting mix of people there.”

O’Sullivan Greene published his first book, ‘Crowdfunding the Revolution: The First Dáil Loan and the Battle for Irish Independence’, in 2020.

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