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Government needs to help voluntary sporting organisations

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The Government needs to step up and help all voluntary sporting organisations in their darkest hour by putting a substantial package together, a councillor has said this week.

 

Kerry County Councillor Michael Cahill has said the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic is being felt far and wide throughout the community, in businesses, domestically and basically in every facet of human life.

He said we must not forget all of the volunteer sporting bodies, from rowing to GAA, basketball to soccer, athletics, rugby, drama, dancing and many more, who cater for peoples’ health and entertainment every day of the year and who depend on the public donations and sponsorship to keep the show on the road.

"It would shock many people to know how much it costs to run a small sized sporting club in this day and age in order to provide facilities for our youth and entertainment for the not so young,” said the Fianna Fail Councillor.

"Insurance must be provided for participants, the public, buildings and contents etc. Lighting, heating and water must be on hand and paid for. Affiliation to county and national bodies must be paid in order to take part in competitions.”

He added that other costs include maintenance of grounds and buildings which constantly require updating.

"If your club is small but progressive, you can be sure that expenditure of €100,000 is a conservative estimate of what needs to be raised to keep it afloat," stated Councillor Cahill.

"All of these voluntary groups presently have their activities shut down which means there are no gate/door receipts. Because other businesses such as pubs, etc are closed there is no opportunity to sell club Lotto or collect sponsorship," he said.

"We have to ensure their survival in the same way as all of our family businesses and financial support is vital if we are to be successful. Our Government needs to help all our voluntary sporting organisations in their darkest hour and put a substantial package together. They simply do not have any cashflow or income at this time.”

 

 

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Killarney Triathlon Club’s open water swim on the lake

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On Tuesday evening last, members of the Killarney Triathlon Club took part in a breathtaking open water swim, starting from Dundag Beach and spanning the middle lake to a nearby island. Covering a distance of approximately 1.5 kilometers, the event saw all participants return safely, basking in a well-deserved sense of accomplishment.

Set against the stunning backdrop of Killarney National Park, swimmers enjoyed views of woodlands,  mountains, and Muckross House. Safety was paramount during the swim, as it is in all the club’s events. Essential precautions included the use of tow floats, safety kayakers, and safety boats, ensuring the well-being of all participants.

“Our club is incredibly fortunate to be surrounded by such a beautiful environment,” said Caitriona Shanahan, PRO of Killarney Triathlon Club. “The views during our swims are truly spectacular, and the safety measures we implement help everyone feel secure and enjoy the experience.”

Killarney Triathlon Club offers numerous benefits to athletes of all levels. These include structured training programs, expert coaching, group workouts and more. 

“We welcome all levels and abilities. Joining our club not only improves physical fitness but also offers great fun and the added benefits of stress relief from sea swimming. There truly is nothing like the calming effect of a group swim in the sea.” Caitriona added.

For those interested in joining the Killarney Triathlon Club, more information can be found on their social media platforms and their website, Killarneytri.com.

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Danny Healy-Rae welcomes decision to push back changes for cataract payments

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The Health Service Executive has deferred a move to cut the price it reimburses people for cataract treatments in the European Union and in Northern Ireland, under its overseas treatment schemes and a separate system for the North.

The prices were due to change from the start of this month, but the HSE has pushed the date back so that no one is disadvantaged, and to fully communicate with patients, treatment consultants and providers, cost changes will not come into effect until September 1.

The payments for less complex eye treatments were due to fall from €1,912 to €863 or the National Health Service equivalent of £766 in Northern Ireland. The most common cataract procedure payments were due to reduce from €1,456 to €1,171.

The HSE said that the vast majority of procedures fall into this new payment price. It said that the more complex glaucoma/cataract treatment payments will rise from €1,912 to €4,206.

Danny Healy Rae welcomed the news saying, “Following my representations and raising of this matter in the Dáil, I am glad that the HSE have agreed that they will continue to reimburse the higher rates for cataract procedure for those carried out up to the end of August 2024.

“I am advising anyone who needs to have their cataracts removed to do so now before the change to reimbursement amounts comes in.”

All cataract treatment carried out in Belfast after the 1st September 2024 will be subject to the new DRG rates.

Honouring the Kerry women of the revolutionary period

Kerry County Council is to invite expressions of interest next week for the commissioning and development of a commemorative and artistic piece which will honour the role played by women in Kerry during the revolutionary period between 1912 and 1923.

The project follows a joint motion by the five female members of Kerry County Council who called for the development and commissioning of a meaningful and lasting commemorative piece which would reflect the significant and diverse roles and activities of women and their involvement in the campaign for Irish Independence at the beginning of the twentieth century.

A Working Group, including the five female councillors, has been developing a design brief, and the Council intends to publish a detailed brief for the memorial next week and expressions of interest will be invited.

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