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Gardai continue to adapt to the needs of the community

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As an organisation, the Gardai have tried their best to adapt to the needs of community in Killarney during the COVID pandemic - and as it continues on they are there for those who need assistance. This week Editor Michelle Crean asked local Community Garda Deirdre Quinn from Killarney Garda Station how they're adapting given increased demands from the public such as helping with shopping and prescriptions, and new laws regarding checkpoints and 5km restrictions as the pandemic continues.

 

"In addition to the usual service readers expect from us, I believe one of the most significant contributions we have made since COVID-19, is the Kerry Community Response Forum, which is a free multi-agency service between the HSE, Kerry County Council and An Garda Síochána, that provides essential support to people who need it," Garda Quinn explained.

"I have had the most hilarious responses from the public! Mostly very strange looks and comments from people who see me in full uniform doing the shopping or pharmacy calls, thinking it is for myself!"

 

At Christmas she even had a few extra calls from grandparents who wanted to get gifts and cards for their grandchildren and loved ones, but were unable to do it themselves, or to get someone to do it for them.

"It was so rewarding to be able to do this, because it really meant so much them. I also do a lot of call-backs to people who have experienced domestic related issues. An Garda Síochána understands the added pressure COVID-19 has put on all of us, especially at home, and has recognised the need for someone to reach out. The response has been overwhelming; people have really appreciated this contact."

And as Gardai work hard on the frontline to keep everyone safe, she has performed some less popular duties too!

"Probably the ones I have received the most negative feedback for is the retail premises inspections, licensed premises inspections and checkpoints. We completely understand the frustration everyone is feeling, but sincerely thank everyone for their continued support and co-operation during these unprecedented and extremely challenging times."

FOOD PACKAGES

"Most recently, we just received much needed essential food packages from the Irish Red Cross, for distribution to people who are struggling financially during the pandemic. I have been working with incredible local groups, who will ensure these essential food packages get to the people who need them the most."

And Deirdre wanted to share some important crime prevention advice, as Gardai have noticed a sharp increase in telephone and online scams.

"Never share personal or financial information online or over the phone. If you are in any doubt, ask someone you trust or ring your local Garda station and they will be only too happy to give you sound advice about it," she said.

 

[caption id="attachment_35945" align="alignleft" width="467"] CHECKPOINT: Garda Deirdre Quinn at a local COVID-19 checkpoint carrying out inspections to make sure drivers were within their 5km travel limit.[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_35950" align="alignleft" width="464"] COMMUNITY CONNECTIONS: Garda Deirdre Quinn pictured with pupils from Tiernaboul NS during COVID-19 when the schools were open.[/caption]

 

 

 

 

 

 

[caption id="attachment_35955" align="aligncenter" width="490"] ON PATROL: Garda Deirdre Quinn on a COVID-19 patrol in Killarney.[/caption]

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Killarney man wins most-coveted trophy in sheepdog trials

By Sean Moriarty Kilcummin farmer Tom O’Sullivan – one of the main organisers of last month’s Sheep Dog Trials in Fossa – has become the first Kerry man to win the biggest award in the sport. Tom is the chairman of the Killarney sub-committee and was a member of the 15-strong Irish team that participated […]

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By Sean Moriarty

Kilcummin farmer Tom O’Sullivan – one of the main organisers of last month’s Sheep Dog Trials in Fossa – has become the first Kerry man to win the biggest award in the sport.

Tom is the chairman of the Killarney sub-committee and was a member of the 15-strong Irish team that participated in the international sheepdog competition in Aberystwyth in Wales last weekend.

A total of 60 competitors, 15 each from Ireland, England, Scotland and Wales, contested the biggest event in sheepdog trials on Friday to Sunday last.

After getting through the qualifiers on Friday and Saturday, Tom and his dog Northhill Tess, fended off the challenges of the other top-15 qualifiers to win the International Supreme Champion award.

Not alone is he the first Kerry man to win the competition, which has been running since 1947, he is just the fifth Irishman to do so and the first from Munster.

“The qualifying course was similar to Killarney,” he told the Killarney Advertiser.

However, Sunday’s final was much more difficult. His dog had to round up a flock of sheep at the left hand side of the course. Then Northhill Tess, under the guidance of Tom, had to round up a smaller flock and bring them to the same holding pen. When finished, five of the sheep were wearing red collars and Tom had to instruct his dog to separate them and bring them to a separate holding area.

“It is the biggest trophy in sheep dog trailing,” he added. “Everyone who trains a dog does so for this day. It is mind blowing. My family are very proud, they know the time and the work involved preparing for this.”

The standard at the Killarney event last month was evident in Wales last weekend. The Killarney winner, Peter Morgan and his dog Moss, ran Tom to a very close second.

His son Peter Og won the Young Handlers award and Team Ireland were declared the overall winners based on aggregate scores in the final 15.

Tom arrived home to Kilcummin on Monday night to a traditional homecoming bonfire.

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Vaccination centre leaves basketball club homeless

By Sean Moriarty With the National Basketball League set to get underway in two weeks’ time, Scott’s Lakers St Paul’s Killarney Basketball Club are still unsure where they will play their homes games this season as their usual venue is being used as a COVID-19 vaccination centre. The local side play Limerick Celtic away on […]

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By Sean Moriarty

With the National Basketball League set to get underway in two weeks’ time, Scott’s Lakers St Paul’s Killarney Basketball Club are still unsure where they will play their homes games this season as their usual venue is being used as a COVID-19 vaccination centre.

The local side play Limerick Celtic away on the weekend of October 8 and 9 and their first home game is set for October 16.

Currently their home venue at Killarney Sports and Leisure Centre is unavailable as it is being used as a COVID-19 vaccination centre and according to the Health Service Executive (HSE) this week, there are no plans in place, as of yet, to move out.

Killarney Cougars, the town’s newest addition to the National League, has secured the use of the gym at St Brigid’s Secondary School in the town centre but, as it stands, St Paul’s remain homeless as the season opener looms.

“It is ridiculous at this stage,” said head coach Jarlath Lee. “If you look at what is happening at the Sports Centre, there are very few people in and out of there now compared to the start [of the vaccination roll-out].”

The HSE when contacted by the Killarney Advertiser this week said that they would not be adding to a previous statement issued earlier this month, which said: “In relation to Killarney Sports and Leisure Centre, we are very grateful to staff and management for the use of their facility as a vaccination centre.

“Planning work is well underway for the next phase of the vaccination programme, locally and nationally. This includes a review of where vaccinations are administered in future, but we cannot confirm any decisions in relation to any particular location at this point in time.”

However, the HSE did confirm this week, that the Tralee Vaccination Centre, located at the Munster Technology University, will re-locate to the recently vacated Borg Warner factory in the town. The move is expected to be completed within the next week to 10 days.

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