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“Government is failing Lymes disease sufferers” – councillor claims

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By Michelle Crean

A local councillor has been left angered by the Health Minister's comments claiming there was no need for people to travel abroad for Lymes Disease testing or treatment.

TREATMENT ABROAD: Karin O’Shea had no option but to receive treatment abroad for Lymes Disease.

In a letter to Kerry County Council in March, Minister for Health, Stephen Donnelly, said that “there is no need for Irish residents to travel to other countries for diagnosis or treatment”.

However, his words have hit a sour note with Killarney Municipal District councillor Maura Healy Rae who has called on the Council at its meeting last week to write to the Minister asking if the current testing in Ireland at present can diagnose chronic Lyme Disease.

The Independent councillor, who has been actively campaigning for support especially for chronic cases of the disease, said his remarks have angered Lymes sufferers, many who have had no option but to go abroad to seek help.

One such case is St Brendan's College teacher Karin O'Shea who lives in Kilgarvan who raised over €66,000 via GoFundMe to help pay for her vital life-changing treatment in Germany.

"The Minister’s response has not only angered Lymes sufferers, their family and friends who are most aware of their debilitating symptoms, it also displays either a lack of understanding of chronic Lymes Disease on the Minister’s part or a refusal on the part of the Department of Health to acknowledge the inadequacies in relation to diagnosis and treatment offered to Lymes sufferers in this country," Cllr Maura Healy Rae said.

"The testing in Ireland currently, is able to diagnose those who have been recently infected but not those who have become infected over a long period of time. The Irish tests test for antibodies. People with chronic Lymes Disease have suppressed immune systems; their bodies often won’t produce any antibodies, therefore the test will show up negative for Lymes. This explains why so many people have been misdiagnosed with other diseases such as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Multiple Sclerosis, and Fibromyalgia."

The German tests - which costs €1,000, with intensive treatment in the region of €40,000 and the post treatment medication €500 a month - test the cells for the presence or previous presence of Lymes and therefore, is a more effective test, she added.

"The treatment currently available in Ireland is in antibiotic form and is effective for those who have been recently infected and before the disease has taken chronic hold. The intensive treatment needed for chronic Lymes sufferers is not available in Ireland.

"Really and truly, why does the Minister think any person would subject themselves to such intensive treatment at such an enormous cost abroad if they didn’t believe it to be necessary and critical to them in having any quality of life and to tackle their severe symptoms? In my view, the Minister’s response shows immense arrogance as it implies he knows better than a sufferer of Lymes."

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Marie was “lovely, unassuming lady”

By Sean Moriarty Tributes have been paid to Marie Murphy of Aughacureen, who died in tragic circumstances on November 30. Marie was a member of the well known Murphy business […]

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By Sean Moriarty

Tributes have been paid to Marie Murphy of Aughacureen, who died in tragic circumstances on November 30.

Marie was a member of the well known Murphy business family in Killarney – her brother runs KWD Recycling and she was heavily involved in the business.

She was best known for involvement in the local GAA both as a county star and a member of Fossa GAA Club.

She was a third generation Kerry footballer, her grandfather Con and father John all played football for Kerry.

She was extremely proud of her niece Abbie, her brother Seán’s daughter, when she became the fourth generation Murphy to play for Kerry.

Marie played for Kerry in 1976 and re-joined Fossa GAA Club in 2010 when the ladies’ side of the club was re-formed.

She acted as a mentor for current group of ladies.

Back in 2019 when Fossa GAA Club published a book to mark its 50th anniversary she was one of the leading lights on that committee.

This year, when the club held its Night of Legends to raise funds for a new dressing room for the ladies’ club, Marie was one of the guests of honour at the INEC event and was interviewed on the stage in front of a capacity audience.

Only a few weeks ago she was one of the many club members who helped organise the Fossa Golf Classic and acted as official photographer for that event.

“The club is numb with sadness,” said Fossa GAA chairman Dermot Clifford. “She was a loyal member and very proud of the club. Our thoughts are with her family. A lovely, unassuming lady who will be sorely missed.”

Marie will be sadly missed by her brothers Con, Seamus and Seán, sisters-in-law Breda, Gennie and Anna, her nieces Shauna, Amy, Kate and Abigail, nephews John, Jack, Luke, aunties Mairead and Maura, cousins, relatives, neighbours and a large circle of friends.

She was laid to rest at Old Aghadoe Cemetery on Monday following Requiem Mass at The Prince of Peace Church, Fossa.

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Kerry Airport to get almost €1.5m funding

Kerry Airport is in line for nearly €1.5m in funding under the Regional Airports Programme 2021-2025. All five regional airports in the country will share a total of €21,100,051 released […]

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Kerry Airport is in line for nearly €1.5m in funding under the Regional Airports Programme 2021-2025.

All five regional airports in the country will share a total of €21,100,051 released under the scheme.

Kerry Airport will get €1,434,355 to put towards vital safety operations like air traffic control, fire services and security.

The CEO of Kerry Airport, John Mulhern, welcomed the funding.

“We are grateful to Minister Naughton, the Department of Transport and Kerry’s two Government TDs, Minister Norma Foley and Deputy Brendan Griffin for their continued support,” he said.

“The funding will help to ensure that Kerry Airport remains compliant with regulatory requirements in key areas, such as air traffic control, fire services and security.”

Funding this year for airports will total over €37 million building on the €161 million provided in unprecedented aviation supports during 2021.

“I welcome this funding which will deliver further vital financial supports to Kerry Airport with a particular focus on safety, security operations and air traffic control,” Minister Foley said.

“This funding reinforces the importance and value that Government places on the vital role of our regional airports and how connectivity directly supports tourism and enterprise in Kerry.”

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