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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 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 […]

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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 […]

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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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