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Glenflesk duo ring in New Year on top of the world

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TWO Killarney pals were literally on top of the world as they got set to ring in the New Year.

Niall Dennehy and Pat Sheehan reached the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro early yesterday, New Year's Eve, a day ahead of their schedule.

And as they scaled Africa's highest mountain, the dynamic duo showed what a difference a year can make.

In October 2016, Niall was just about able to walk one lap around Barraduff Community Field.

Turning his life around, Niall has shed an inspirational 10 stone in weight and boosted his wellbeing and fitness over the past 12 months.

He has accomplished all of this with the help of his friend and fellow Glenflesk native Pat Sheehan, a health and fitness instructor.

Niall, a farmer, began his exercise regime by walking around the local community field but as his fitness rapidly improved he set more and more goals. “Farming had taken over my life but gradually I started to learn to prioritise my health and fitness,” said Niall.

Pat, who runs Pat Sheehan Health and Fitness wellness centre at Club Vitae Leisure Centre, Hotel Killarney, and another weightloss centre in The Loft Fitness Studio in Millstreet, was well placed to give Niall advice.

On St Stephen's Day when many will have been relaxing by the fire, Niall and Pat arrived in Moshi town in Tanzania ahead of commencing their strenuous five-day trek.

And together with their guide Fredy Tarimo in an expedition organised by Venture 2 Adventures, on Sunday morning, they scaled the summit of a peak that is six times higher than Niall and Pat's "training slope", Carrantuohill. "We made our way onto Uhuru Peak, 5895m, the Roof of Africa, at 10.30am. We posed for photos with the Kerry GAA and the Munster Rugby flags," said Niall. "I placed a stone from my farm which was inscribed with the names of my nephews and nieces on the summit."

Niall and Pat are raising money for the Kerry branch of the Irish Kidney Association through the climb and paid for the trip themselves.

In addition, money raised from an annual pool tournament in memory of Niall’s brother, Denis, will also be donated to the cause.

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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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