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Ireland’s oldest man “full of energy and hope” after getting first dose of vaccine

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By Michelle Crean

 

Ireland's oldest man, 107-year-old Michael O'Connor, this week said that he is looking forward to "life without fear" after receiving the first dose of the Comirnaty Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine on Wednesday.

 

[caption id="attachment_36141" align="alignleft" width="503"] RELIEF: Ireland's oldest man Michael O'Connor (107) was relieved after receiving the Pfizer vaccine to protect against COVID-19. He's pictured with Dr Eleanor Johnson, Dr Ken Keohane and Dr Darren Quirke at Deenagh Torc Medical Practice, Reeks Gateway. Photo: Eamonn Keogh[/caption]

Michael, from Muckross, was one of many older residents in the community who was administered the vaccine by Dr Eleanor Johnson and Dr Ken Keohane at Deenagh Torc Medical Practice, Reeks Gateway, on Wednesday morning as part of the rollout for people over the age of 85 years.

"The whole experience was wonderful," Michael told the Killarney Advertiser this week.

"I'm delighted to have the vaccine and the reception I got on arrival was unbelievable. They gave me a standing ovation. I felt I was at a party, such was the joyous atmosphere. After a year at home, it was great to see them all. Afterwards, I was very tired and slept a lot, but today (Thursday), I'm full of energy and hope. I'm looking forward to the second vaccine, and, please God, life without fear."

Micheal was born in Glencar and wasn’t expected to live past the age of six after contracting the Spanish Flu over 100 years ago. He has also lived through the War of Independence, the Civil War, World War One and Two.

Michael's daughter Maureen added that he was excited to be out and about after being housebound for a whole year due to fear of contracting the virus, and was "mesmerised" by everything he saw.
"He was happy out. Everything went well. The sun was hitting the rocks and he said that "there was hope for the future"."

He is set to receive his second dose of the vaccine in four weeks time on St Patrick's Day.

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Killarney man wins most-coveted trophy in sheepdog trials

By Sean Moriarty Kilcummin farmer Tom O’Sullivan – one of the main organisers of last month’s Sheep Dog Trials in Fossa – has become the first Kerry man to win the biggest award in the sport. Tom is the chairman of the Killarney sub-committee and was a member of the 15-strong Irish team that participated […]

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By Sean Moriarty

Kilcummin farmer Tom O’Sullivan – one of the main organisers of last month’s Sheep Dog Trials in Fossa – has become the first Kerry man to win the biggest award in the sport.

Tom is the chairman of the Killarney sub-committee and was a member of the 15-strong Irish team that participated in the international sheepdog competition in Aberystwyth in Wales last weekend.

A total of 60 competitors, 15 each from Ireland, England, Scotland and Wales, contested the biggest event in sheepdog trials on Friday to Sunday last.

After getting through the qualifiers on Friday and Saturday, Tom and his dog Northhill Tess, fended off the challenges of the other top-15 qualifiers to win the International Supreme Champion award.

Not alone is he the first Kerry man to win the competition, which has been running since 1947, he is just the fifth Irishman to do so and the first from Munster.

“The qualifying course was similar to Killarney,” he told the Killarney Advertiser.

However, Sunday’s final was much more difficult. His dog had to round up a flock of sheep at the left hand side of the course. Then Northhill Tess, under the guidance of Tom, had to round up a smaller flock and bring them to the same holding pen. When finished, five of the sheep were wearing red collars and Tom had to instruct his dog to separate them and bring them to a separate holding area.

“It is the biggest trophy in sheep dog trailing,” he added. “Everyone who trains a dog does so for this day. It is mind blowing. My family are very proud, they know the time and the work involved preparing for this.”

The standard at the Killarney event last month was evident in Wales last weekend. The Killarney winner, Peter Morgan and his dog Moss, ran Tom to a very close second.

His son Peter Og won the Young Handlers award and Team Ireland were declared the overall winners based on aggregate scores in the final 15.

Tom arrived home to Kilcummin on Monday night to a traditional homecoming bonfire.

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Vaccination centre leaves basketball club homeless

By Sean Moriarty With the National Basketball League set to get underway in two weeks’ time, Scott’s Lakers St Paul’s Killarney Basketball Club are still unsure where they will play their homes games this season as their usual venue is being used as a COVID-19 vaccination centre. The local side play Limerick Celtic away on […]

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By Sean Moriarty

With the National Basketball League set to get underway in two weeks’ time, Scott’s Lakers St Paul’s Killarney Basketball Club are still unsure where they will play their homes games this season as their usual venue is being used as a COVID-19 vaccination centre.

The local side play Limerick Celtic away on the weekend of October 8 and 9 and their first home game is set for October 16.

Currently their home venue at Killarney Sports and Leisure Centre is unavailable as it is being used as a COVID-19 vaccination centre and according to the Health Service Executive (HSE) this week, there are no plans in place, as of yet, to move out.

Killarney Cougars, the town’s newest addition to the National League, has secured the use of the gym at St Brigid’s Secondary School in the town centre but, as it stands, St Paul’s remain homeless as the season opener looms.

“It is ridiculous at this stage,” said head coach Jarlath Lee. “If you look at what is happening at the Sports Centre, there are very few people in and out of there now compared to the start [of the vaccination roll-out].”

The HSE when contacted by the Killarney Advertiser this week said that they would not be adding to a previous statement issued earlier this month, which said: “In relation to Killarney Sports and Leisure Centre, we are very grateful to staff and management for the use of their facility as a vaccination centre.

“Planning work is well underway for the next phase of the vaccination programme, locally and nationally. This includes a review of where vaccinations are administered in future, but we cannot confirm any decisions in relation to any particular location at this point in time.”

However, the HSE did confirm this week, that the Tralee Vaccination Centre, located at the Munster Technology University, will re-locate to the recently vacated Borg Warner factory in the town. The move is expected to be completed within the next week to 10 days.

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