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Garda warning over COVID phone scam

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Gardai have today (Monday) issued a warning to the public to be aware of a scam relating to the COVID-19 vaccine.

In recent days members of the public have received fraudulent text messages and calls for people to confirm private and sensitive information such as PPS number, date of birth and address.

Other people have received phone calls requesting they make an appointment for a COVID-19 vaccine jab at a random hospital. In most cases, the person receiving the call will say they are not in a position to travel to the hospital. This allows the caller to extract further personal details. Some individuals might confirm that they live alone or reveal their home address. The caller will then offer to come to their residence to administer a vaccine.

The HSE has said that they will never text or call individuals requesting personal information and they will never request payment for a COVID test or vaccine.

The COVID-19 vaccine is free and it is not available privately and your local GP will be the first point of contact about vaccination or COVID testing.

“We would ask that members of the public make contact with any vulnerable friends or family to make them aware of these calls and text messages.”

Tips and Advice

Never disclose private information over the phone or via text message.

  • Do not give out your PPS Number to anyone who makes unsolicited contact with you whether by phone or email. The HSE will never call or text you and ask for your PPS number
  • The HSE will never call you to request your home address
  • Never give away personal data or disclose who you may live with or if you live alone
  • The HSE will never request payment for a COVID test or vaccine
  • If you receive such a call, just hang up
  • Anyone who mistakenly provides personal information in response to this scam should report the matter to their local Garda Station
  • If you have questions or concerns relating to COVID testing or vaccination, contact your local GP.
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Better late than never Christmas present for St Francis Special School

By Sean Moriarty St Francis Special School received a very late Christmas present this week – a specially adapted bike for the pupils to use. Husband and wife team Ciaran […]

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By Sean Moriarty

St Francis Special School received a very late Christmas present this week – a specially adapted bike for the pupils to use.

Husband and wife team Ciaran and Karen Dwyer, directors of Guerin Engineering and Pumps Ltd in Kilcummin, presented the special adapted bicycle to the staff and pupils at the Beaufort school on Tuesday.

After seeing an online request last December that the school needed the bike, they decided to gift one.

They contacted Glencar Medical, a Dublin-based firm that specialises in the supply of equipment to schools like St Francis, and ordered the bicycle.

However, nothing is straightforward in the current climate, Brexit, COVID and war all contributed to a delay in getting the bike to Ireland. Once it was in Dublin there were further delays in sourcing the special straps that St Francis’ children need to ride the bike safely.

It all came to a happy ending this week when the Dwyers were finally able to present their Christmas present to the school.

“We saw this request and we contacted the school and said we wanted to buy one, they told us where to get one, and we ordered it,” Karen told the Killarney Advertiser.

“We had it paid for by the end of the year but then it took three months to get it into the country. It took more time to import the specialist parts. The costs were increasing but we did not mind at all.”

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Jordan Lee to tell his story to the county’s schools

Paralympian Jordan Lee will share his experiences with schools all over Kerry. The Killarney man has embarked on a countywide tour ‘Jordan’s Drive’ in association with Kelliher’s Garage, a series […]

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Paralympian Jordan Lee will share his experiences with schools all over Kerry.

The Killarney man has embarked on a countywide tour ‘Jordan’s Drive’ in association with Kelliher’s Garage, a series of informal talks on his achievements and how he overcame his disability to reach the top of his chosen sport.

The 21-year-old was born with a foreshortened left arm known as amniotic band syndrome but has enjoyed a successful sports career which included representing Ireland at the Tokyo Olympics last summer.

Now he wants to share his story and inspire other students to follow their dreams.

His tour started last week at Colaiste na Sceilge in Cahersiveen and over the next few weeks, depending on his training schedule, will visit schools in Firies, Milltown, and Killarney.

“Don’t be afraid of people with disabilities or different backgrounds,” he said. “A few years ago there was only typical people in classrooms – you never came across people with disabilities or from various different countries. It is a lot more mixed now. I want to inspire people to treat everyone on the same level.”

‘Jordan’s Drive’ is made possible thanks to his role as a brand ambassador for Kelliher’s Garage, dealer principal, Tim Kelliher explained to the Killarney Advertiser.

“Having got to know Jordan so well over the last couple of years we have come to realise how much of an inspiration he is so we decided to ask him to hop into his Toyota CHR Hybrid and bring his story out into the highways and byways of the Kingdom,” he said.

“Headlined ‘Jordans Drive’ and organised by my marketing team headed by Yvonne McMahon they have travelled to many of the schools around Kerry from Cahersiveen to Beaufort, Killorglin and with other dates planned for Firies and Milltown to name but a few. He has spoken his many words of wisdom to the children who have been in awe of the journey and his achievements, and we at Kelliher’s Garage are delighted and proud to have him as our brand ambassador.”

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