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Ian’s shock as he’s presented with new wheelchair-adapted car

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By Michelle Crean

 

Local teenager Ian O'Connell said this week that he "nearly stood up with the surprise" after being presented with a brand new wheelchair-adapted car on Friday night last.

The teenager, who turned 19 on Friday August 14, was invited to take part in the weekly Share the Pot draw in Spa GAA with the promise of a BBQ afterwards.

However, what happened next he never saw coming. The national GAA Golf Challenge presented Ian and his family, mom Nora and dad Mike with the 202 Ford Tourneo Connect. The evening was organised by Liam Daniels, Derek McGrath, Mickey Morrissey, Sean Raher with car sponsors Jerry and Michael Lyng from Lyng Motors Kilkenny.

"I went up and I did the Spa lotto," Ian told the Killarney Advertiser.

"And 20 minutes later Conor Gleeson said we'd go and look at the pitch. Everyone was outside and my dad and mom were in the car. Dad was beeping the horn and every one was clapping. I got an awful land and nearly stood up with the fright!"

Ian was the recipient of a wheelchair vehicle in 2018 when he was nominated as one of the beneficiaries of the KN Group All-Ireland GAA Golf Challenge. The following year, he remained involved when he was asked to be an ambassador for the event.

On Wednesday, he said he had a lovely comfortable drive to a hospital appointment in Dublin, and wants to say a huge thank you to everyone who made it happen.

"A massive thank you to everyone involved especially to Michael Lyng Motors and everyone involved in the All-Ireland Golf Challenge committee. There are no words to describe how grateful I am. And thanks to Spa GAA for making my birthday that more special.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Better late than never Christmas present for St Francis Special School

By Sean Moriarty St Francis Special School received a very late Christmas present this week – a specially adapted bike for the pupils to use. Husband and wife team Ciaran […]

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By Sean Moriarty

St Francis Special School received a very late Christmas present this week – a specially adapted bike for the pupils to use.

Husband and wife team Ciaran and Karen Dwyer, directors of Guerin Engineering and Pumps Ltd in Kilcummin, presented the special adapted bicycle to the staff and pupils at the Beaufort school on Tuesday.

After seeing an online request last December that the school needed the bike, they decided to gift one.

They contacted Glencar Medical, a Dublin-based firm that specialises in the supply of equipment to schools like St Francis, and ordered the bicycle.

However, nothing is straightforward in the current climate, Brexit, COVID and war all contributed to a delay in getting the bike to Ireland. Once it was in Dublin there were further delays in sourcing the special straps that St Francis’ children need to ride the bike safely.

It all came to a happy ending this week when the Dwyers were finally able to present their Christmas present to the school.

“We saw this request and we contacted the school and said we wanted to buy one, they told us where to get one, and we ordered it,” Karen told the Killarney Advertiser.

“We had it paid for by the end of the year but then it took three months to get it into the country. It took more time to import the specialist parts. The costs were increasing but we did not mind at all.”

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Jordan Lee to tell his story to the county’s schools

Paralympian Jordan Lee will share his experiences with schools all over Kerry. The Killarney man has embarked on a countywide tour ‘Jordan’s Drive’ in association with Kelliher’s Garage, a series […]

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Paralympian Jordan Lee will share his experiences with schools all over Kerry.

The Killarney man has embarked on a countywide tour ‘Jordan’s Drive’ in association with Kelliher’s Garage, a series of informal talks on his achievements and how he overcame his disability to reach the top of his chosen sport.

The 21-year-old was born with a foreshortened left arm known as amniotic band syndrome but has enjoyed a successful sports career which included representing Ireland at the Tokyo Olympics last summer.

Now he wants to share his story and inspire other students to follow their dreams.

His tour started last week at Colaiste na Sceilge in Cahersiveen and over the next few weeks, depending on his training schedule, will visit schools in Firies, Milltown, and Killarney.

“Don’t be afraid of people with disabilities or different backgrounds,” he said. “A few years ago there was only typical people in classrooms – you never came across people with disabilities or from various different countries. It is a lot more mixed now. I want to inspire people to treat everyone on the same level.”

‘Jordan’s Drive’ is made possible thanks to his role as a brand ambassador for Kelliher’s Garage, dealer principal, Tim Kelliher explained to the Killarney Advertiser.

“Having got to know Jordan so well over the last couple of years we have come to realise how much of an inspiration he is so we decided to ask him to hop into his Toyota CHR Hybrid and bring his story out into the highways and byways of the Kingdom,” he said.

“Headlined ‘Jordans Drive’ and organised by my marketing team headed by Yvonne McMahon they have travelled to many of the schools around Kerry from Cahersiveen to Beaufort, Killorglin and with other dates planned for Firies and Milltown to name but a few. He has spoken his many words of wisdom to the children who have been in awe of the journey and his achievements, and we at Kelliher’s Garage are delighted and proud to have him as our brand ambassador.”

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