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“I have nowhere left to turn”: Killarney teacher launches GoFundMe following debilitating diagnosis




By Michelle Crean

A Killarney teacher who has “exhausted” all treatments after being diagnosed with a debilitating illness has launched a fundraiser to help get expensive and vital treatment abroad.

Karin O’Shea (26), who had no option but to quit her teaching job in St Brendan’s College due to her illness, has experienced immense damage to immune and nervous system over the past 12 years.

In April last year, the Kilgarvan native was finally diagnosed with Lyme’s disease and needs to raise upwards of €45,000 for the expensive treatment in Germany.

Over the years she has suffered debilitating neurological symptoms which includes excruciating nerve pain, migraines, head pressure, short term memory loss, episodes of body paralyses and tremors, slurred speech, fainting, loss of balance, extreme exhaustion, insomnia and nausea.

“The disease has had a devastating effect on me. I know that this will be a shock for some people to hear about how serious this situation has become. However, this is now my reality. This is a diagnosis that has deeply affected every single aspect of my life. My Lyme disease went undiagnosed for 12 years. I was given the label of Fibromyalgia and I managed these symptoms. Life was normal.”


In October 2020, Karin experienced a severe deterioration in health.

After visits to countless consultants, undergoing X-Rays, scans, MRIs, and hospital admissions, she says she still had no answers.

Her bloods were then sent to Germany to test for Lyme’s disease and the results came back positive, and also showed chronic immune suppression.

She attended appointments with Dr Lambert an Infectious Disease Specialist in the Mater Hospital, Dublin, and was put on antibiotics which she said is the only available treatment in Ireland for Lymes.

“I was on a treatment plan of up to five antibiotics a day for several months. Unfortunately, this was unsuccessful due to late diagnosis. This treatment also came with severe side effects.“

She says that going to Germany is “the only option left” for her as she is “now mostly housebound”.

“The only option left for me now is to travel to St George’s Clinic in Germany for a month of intensive treatment, followed by a six month rehabilitation plan.”

So far, she said she has spent upwards of €6,000 on medical treatments which does not include travel, post-treatment care, and further appointments.

“My private health insurance nor the Cross Border Scheme can assist in any of the costs involved as Chronic Lyme disease is not recognised by the Irish State. I have nowhere left to turn. Any donation big or small is hugely appreciated.”

Karin’s GoFundMe: ‘Please help Karin get urgent treatment in Germany’ is set at €45,000 to cover all costs including travel and accommodation as well as the treatment. So far she has raised over €30,000 from 687 donations since her page was created less than a day ago.


Today (Wednesday), Kerry TD Danny Healy-Rae, who is personal friends with Karin, highlighted her plight in the Dáil, calling for the need for early diagnosis and treatment for Lymes disease.

“I wish to highlight the plight of Karin O’Shea who is a personal friend of our family and is best friends of my own daughter Theresa. This girl has gone around here in this country undiagnosed with Lymes disease for more than 12 years. The problem is that the department here doesn’t recognise Lymes or won’t accept results of blood tests or diagnosis from Germany or other countries. Testing in Ireland is inaccurate, we have only one specialist in this country who can only offer antibiotics. Irish patients have no other option but to seek treatment abroad, which is not covered by the Cross Border or Treatment Abroad Scheme because GPs here are not allowed to sign off on it," he said.

"There is not enough education about Ticks in Ireland, many going around undiagnosed as not everyone comes out with bullseye rash. More must be done to educate people about other symptoms such as muscle pain, tiredness and headaches, as early diagnosis can make a huge difference in curing this terrible disease. This lovely girl’s whole life is in turmoil. She has had to give up her teaching job in St Brendan’s College in Killarney. The cost of four weeks treatment for her in Germany is €35,000 and she has to embark on a GoFundMe campaign to help her get this treatment.”



Killarney centre stage for Pride Festival

The award-winning Kingdom Pride in Kerry festival is back next week and Killarney will take centre stage. Kingdom Pride will be celebrated in towns all across the county from July […]




The award-winning Kingdom Pride in Kerry festival is back next week and Killarney will take centre stage.

Kingdom Pride will be celebrated in towns all across the county from July 17 to 21.

The organisation’s flagship Party in the Park event will be held again in Killarney House and Gardens, following the Pride march in the town centre on July 20.

This year, in solidarity with the people of Palestine, Kingdom Pride in Kerry is inviting the people of Kerry to come to show their unity by bringing Palestinian flags and kites to the march, and to the Party in the Park.

“Pride is a protest for human rights all over the world. Here in the Kingdom, we have been so lucky to receive tremendous community support from our allies and supporters, and we see the struggle for liberation of all peoples as a united cause,” said Daniel Quirke, chairperson of the organising committee.

“Our events have always welcomed everyone, regardless of gender, orientation, religion, or nationality. We truly believe that together we can create positive change through caring for and loving one another. This year is no exception, and we look forward to helping to highlight the Palestinian cause, and to bringing people together to keep generating positive change for all people.”

Events will take place in Cahersiveen, Listowel, Killorglin, Tralee and Dingle, and include an Irish comedy night with Áine Gallagher, an Irish-language movie screening, yoga, sea swimming, poetry and storytelling, bowling, pitch and putt, a lively drag night at the INEC, and plenty more for people of all ages.

“We do our best to keep tickets as low-cost as possible, and we have lots of events that are totally free to attend. It is important to us that people can share Pride with us, regardless of income. Especially with the rise of the cost of living putting a strain on people’s pockets.” added the chairperson.


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A weekend of Live Music, Fun and Entertainment, at FleskFest 2024

The organisers of the annual FleskFest have “a tremendous line-up, with a weekend full of entertainment to suit all” for the July 18 to 20 event. “It promises to be […]




The organisers of the annual FleskFest have “a tremendous line-up, with a weekend full of entertainment to suit all” for the July 18 to 20 event.

“It promises to be the festival weekend of the summer, an event you don’t want to miss out on. Last year’s Festival was a fantastic memorable experience for our community, a time to get together and celebrate,” said festival PRO Seán Daly.

Organised by Glenflesk GAA, FleskFest 24 will take place at the Barraduff Community Field next week.
There will be a fully licensed bar in the Fest Marquee, some amazing live music on The Big Stage, food trucks and much more.
Glenflesk GAA club’s biggest fundraiser of the year includes a new-for-2024 Texas Holdem Poker Tournament on Thursday night.
Weekend highlights include old-time waltzing, jiving and polka sets with Paudie McAuliffe and Paudie Coffey Band on Friday,
On Saturday, the new Well Flesk event will take place.
“A morning of self-care and wellness at Flesk Fest featuring masterclasses in yoga, pilates, mindfulness, spinning, fitness sessions, workouts, firewood sauna and ice pods with a range of experienced and qualified instructors,” added Daly.
Leading local musician Johnny Courtney and Friends, Sam and Ina, The O’Donoghue Sisters, Reigning All Ireland Champions Glenflesk Ballad Group, and The Border Boys will take to the Big Stage over the weekend.
Sunday is Family Fun Day with children’s entertainment and disco and the All-Ireland Hurling Final Live on the Big screen followed by music with Thingamajig.
The festival will finish with a Sunday evening session with the Meadhbh Walsh Band.

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