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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.”

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Proinsias says farewell to Gaelscoil after 33 years

By Michelle Crean For over three decades one face has been constant at Gaelscoil Faithleann but today (Friday) it all changes as the school’s first and only Principal to date […]



By Michelle Crean

For over three decades one face has been constant at Gaelscoil Faithleann but today (Friday) it all changes as the school’s first and only Principal to date says a fond farewell.

It’s a day full of mixed emotions for Proinsias Mac Curtain who was appointed the school’s Principal on September 1, 1989.

Today, the school’s 245 children and staff will host a number of events at the school for him which are sure to stir a few emotions.

It follows a special Mass on Innisfallen Island on Saturday morning as 150 children, staff members, parents council and Board of Management members boarded a boat for the occasion. And the location was apt as the school is called after the island, Proinsias explained to the Killarney Advertiser.

“It was lovely, it was meaningful as the school is called after Innisfallen Island. I’ve been blessed with the school community down through the years. It was a pleasure to work with school staff and parents, Boards of Management – but the most important is the children. I’m proud of them and their achievements. They are great children and I’ll miss them.”

He said the school will be in great hands as Lisa Ni Iarlaithe, who has been at the school since 1991, takes over as Principal.

He also praised the hardworking staff.

“I’ll miss it but I’m comfortable to step back as the school is in excellent hands.”

Proinsias is originally from Tournafulla Co Limerick. He began his career as a teacher in Scoil Iognáid in the centre of Galway city, the largest Gaelscoil in the country at the time.

Shortly before he died his father Jerry, who loved to holiday for a few days a year in Killarney, had heard of a new school opening here and phoned Proinsias to tell him. The rest they say is history.

He says his love of Irish language was inspired by Tournafulla Primary School Principal Liam O Loineacháin and in St Ita’s College Abbeyfeale by Jim Tierney and the late Johnny Nelligan.

And although three decades is a long time, Proinsias says it flew by and that he has seen many changes over the years. The first is seeing the children of former pupils coming to school. The second is the advancement of technology – some good and some not so good!

“The biggest change was the growth of technology, the changeover to the whiteboard and the use of devices which makes it challenging for parents. It’s wonderful you can access so much, but there are advantages and disadvantages.”

He added a huge thanks to his wife Karen who supported him down through the years when he was out late at meetings, adding that she was “very patient”.

He also thanked Sean O Luanaigh.

“He has been my chairperson since the start and has been such a tremendous support, help and guidance down through the years.”

In retirement he plans to spend more time with his family including his three children Ruadhán, Meadhbh and Cormac.

He also plans to get more involved in Beaufort Tidy Towns as well as the Annals of Innisfallen project.

“It’s always been an interest of mine. I also plan to relax for a few weeks, make more time for family, and I look forward to playing more trad music, bee keeping, gardening and travel.”


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Start clocking up those ‘Kingdom Kilometres’

With an increase in daylight hours there’s no better time to clock up the ‘Kingdom Kilometres’ on foot or by cycling along the county’s two new Greenways. The recently opened […]




With an increase in daylight hours there’s no better time to clock up the ‘Kingdom Kilometres’ on foot or by cycling along the county’s two new Greenways.

The recently opened Kingdom of Kerry Greenways between Tralee and Fenit and between Listowel and Abbeyfeale are already proving hugely popular with locals and visitors to Kerry.

Representatives of the tourism Industry, local public representatives, travel writers and influencers gathered in Kerry on Monday to experience the exciting new tourist attractions and welcome the arrival of the longer daylight hours as the clocks changed over to summertime.

Sarah Hanrahan, a social media influencer who posts about Irish travel and has more than 100,000 Instagram followers, described the experience.

“Ireland has some of the most amazing outdoor spaces. For a lot of my followers and other people, connecting with green spaces has become much more important to their overall sense of well-being as well as their health and fitness. It’s been really gorgeous to experience the Tralee to Fenit, and Listowel to Limerick Kingdom of Kerry Greenways; a fantastic trip sampling the warm hospitality of Kerry and a great reminder of the active holiday options that are right on our doorstep.”

The new purpose-built trails provide an accessible and inclusive experience for visitors of all abilities.

Mayor of Tralee, Cllr Mikey Sheehy and the Mayor of Listowel, Cllr Aoife Thornton, said that the greenways offer an exceptional recreational amenity for everyone to enjoy.

“The greenways are situated in some of Kerry’s most scenic landscapes and offer spectacular and safe off-road facilities for people of all ages to enjoy as the landscape comes into bloom. They also offer warm hospitality at the trail head towns of each route.”

Visit to find out more.


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