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HSE management thank public for their continued support

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Yesterday (Thursday) marked one year since the HSE Area Crisis Management Team for Cork and Kerry met for the first time in relation to COVID-19, and today (Friday) they are thanking the community for their ongoing support during such a difficult time.

The HSE Area Crisis Management Team met 81 times in 2020, and continues to meet at least twice a week at the moment as all parts of the health service respond to a third wave of COVID-19.

The Area Crisis Management Team is chaired by Michael Fitzgerald, the Chief Officer of Cork Kerry Community Healthcare. Senior managers from across the health services in both counties meet through the team to co-ordinate plans and provide the best possible response to COVID-19 challenges. The team brings together representatives from acute hospitals, from community services, from vital support services along with experts in emergency management.

Chair of the Area Crisis Management Team Michael Fitzgerald said that all healthcare staff have been boosted throughout the crisis by the support of the public in Cork and Kerry.

“Our teams in all parts of the health service have been working non-stop to protect communities, and when possible to keep other services running. In the last month, they have faced the biggest challenges of the pandemic. At all times, the support of the people of Cork and Kerry has been behind them, and our staff are very grateful for this. They are particularly grateful for the ongoing efforts which people are making to stop the spread of COVID-19, as this is beginning to make a difference,” Mr Fitzgerald said.

Gerry O’Dwyer, CEO of the South/South West Hospital Group paid tribute to all staff working in the health service who have worked tirelessly throughout the pandemic to provide the highest quality of care in the most difficult of circumstances in probably the most challenging year ever in healthcare.

“On behalf of all our incredible, dedicated staff, we have to ask you to keep up your efforts and continue to obey the Government and Public Health Guidelines. We are hopeful that the vaccination programme will enable us to reach a stage where restrictions can be relaxed, but this will take time and will require continued support by the public, who have already made huge efforts to adhere to the restrictions. Until then, the best thing we can all do to protect our hospitals, our nursing homes and our healthcare workers is to stay at home as much as possible, limit our contacts, wash our hands and wear our masks,” Mr O’Dwyer said.

Dr Anne Sheahan, acting Director of Public Health for the region, said that it’s clear that the people of both counties are following public health advice and avoiding contact with anyone outside their household.

“We can clearly see that transmission in the community has dropped. Unfortunately, there will be a lag of several weeks before that will be felt in the health services. For now, all health services remain under significant pressure and we all need to continue our efforts a little longer. Unfortunately, if we ease up at all, then transmission rates will go back up quickly and we all know the toll that takes on vital health services,” Dr Sheahan said.

Dr Sheahan added that it’s understandable that people may leave their guard down slightly once transmission rates in the community reduce, but warned that this would again increase the ongoing pressure on hospitals, nursing homes and the testing system.

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Killarney co-drivers to the fore at this weekend

Two Killarney-based co-drivers will contest this weekend’s Trackrod Rally Yorkshire, the fourth rounds of the British Rally Championship. The two-day event gets underway tonight (Friday) with one stage set to be run under the cover of darkness. On the startline will be Muckross man Noel O’Sullivan and Aghadoe’s Mikie Galvin. O’Sullivan, co-driver to Welshman Osian […]

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Two Killarney-based co-drivers will contest this weekend’s Trackrod Rally Yorkshire, the fourth rounds of the British Rally Championship.

The two-day event gets underway tonight (Friday) with one stage set to be run under the cover of darkness.
On the startline will be Muckross man Noel O’Sullivan and Aghadoe’s Mikie Galvin.

O’Sullivan, co-driver to Welshman Osian Pryce, is the current leader of the series while Galvin, who reads pacenotes for fellow Killarney and District Motor Club member, West Cork’s Keith Cronin, is eighth after missing the opening round.

“The element of darkness certainly brings an additional challenge to all the crews, especially since most of us will not have done any night stages for some time, the most recent I did was in 2017 on the Ulster Rally,” Cronin noted.

The route layout reads like an extract from the itinerary of the World Championship counting RAC Rally of the 1980s, featuring familiar locations such as Dalby, Gale Rigg and Langdale, and it will be the Dalby Forest test that opens the competition shortly after 8pm tonight.

Meanwhile, Irish rallying returned last Sunday after the pandemic-enforced lay-off with the ‘Munster Car Club’s Cork 20’.

London-based Listry co-driver Shane Buckley was the best of the local entrants, guiding Daniel Cronin, Keith’s brother, to fifth overall.

Ger Conway and his driver Stephen Wright were just two places and 8.9 seconds behind in another Ford Fiesta RC2. It was Conway’s first taste of a RC2 car since he and Rob Duggan finished second overall on the 2018 Donegal International Rally.

“There is a taste of more after this,” said Ger after a trouble-free day.
Damien Fleming came close to making it four local co-drivers in the top 10. He and his driver Stephen McCann were 11th, just 16.6 off the leader board. They said it took a while to get used to the bumpy Irish tar after a recent trip to the Tour of Flanders in Belgium.

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Education Minister officially opens The Mon’s new classrooms

A town primary school – which has a deep connection to Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty – has a whole new look which was officially opened today (Friday) by the Minister for Education. Norma Foley TD officially opened the newly constructed wing to the Presentation Monastery Primary School on New Road which will house two special needs classrooms, a multi-sensory room […]

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A town primary school – which has a deep connection to Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty – has a whole new look which was officially opened today (Friday) by the Minister for Education.

Norma Foley TD officially opened the newly constructed wing to the Presentation Monastery Primary School on New Road which will house two special needs classrooms, a multi-sensory room and a general-purpose hall.

The project, which was funded by Department of Education along with money raised by the school as part of their ‘THE MON-ster Fundraiser’, was just one of three officially opened new additions to the school along with a special dedication of the school’s hall in honour of Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty, a past pupil of the school from 1909-1914.

Also, The Most Rev. Ray Browne, Bishop of Kerry, officially opened a three-classroom extension at the school’s present site which was opened in 1958 having moved from its College Street location which was opened in 1838 by the Presentation Brothers.

Former Supreme Court Judge Hugh O’Flaherty and Mrs Pearl Dineen the nephew and niece of Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty officiated over the dedicating of the school’s new hall to past pupil, Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty, in recognition of his heroic deeds during WWII.

O’Flaherty, who also taught at the school later, became better known for the role he played in World War II while at the Vatican leading over 6,500 prisoners of war, partisans and Jews to freedom to earn him the title of the ‘Vatican Pimpernel’, leading to the 1983 film ‘The Scarlet and the Black’ with Gregory Peck portraying the role of O’Flaherty.

OUTDOOR CLASSROOM

A special outdoor classroom ‘Dotts Garden’, dedicated to the memory of Dorothy (Dott) Hennggler the 2011 Washington DC Rose who died at the family home in Baltimore from a brain tumour, was officially opened by Anne O’Shea (aunt of the late Dorothy), and Àine McMahon (cousin of the late Dorothy and BOM member). The outdoor classroom was beautifully decorated over the summer by artist Katríona Lynch.

Due to COVID restrictions, the main event took place outdoors with staff joined by a small group of pupils selected from each of the classes representing the student body along with members of the school’s Board of Management.

“Your achievements have been remarkable over the last number of months,” Minister of Education, Norma Foley, said today at the official opening.

“It is my wish going forward that the next year in education will be less complicated, less trying and less difficult one. I think school staff are deserving of that. We can put the COVID atmosphere behind us and we are moving positively along. We hope that in a few months we will talk about living in a post-COVID time. The story of Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty speaks of the calibre of students produced here, but it also speaks of the courage and bravery and vision that Kerry people can have in the most difficult and trying of times.”

School principal Colm Ó Suilleabháin, who is shortly moving on to St Oliver’s NS in Ballycasheen, was delighted to be in attendance to see the building come to fruition.

“It’s a fantastic culmination of hard work by the staff and the Board of Management, and we are delighted to see the school is fully equipped and resourced for the next generation of pupils from Killarney and beyond,” he said.

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