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Kerry Parents and Friends face difficult funding cuts

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FUNDING CRISIS: Dermot and Rita Moriarty with Rita's sister Roseanne O'Connor from Tiernaboul with Marie Lenihan (KPF) and Denis Kerins from Gneeveguilla. Photo: Grigoriy Geniyevskiy

 

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By Sean Moriarty

A Kerry service which provides immeasurable support to its clients and their families faces a devastating €60,000 budget cut this year.

Kerry Parents and Friends Association (KPFA), who care for 270 special needs patients across Kerry - 115 of them based in the greater Killarney area - say they will have no choice but to cut back on services after the HSE made the announcement this week.

Some difficult decisions will now have to be made by the service as they face cutting either  wages of two staff members, hiring two mini buses, or 50 respite bed nights this year.

KPFA were told earlier this week by the HSE that the funding cutback was part of a national cost cutting exercise.

Between 2000 and 2013, the Kerry service suffered a range of funding cutbacks, so much so that its regulator informed them in 2014 that it would have to recruit more staff to meet the standards expected.

This was followed by a few difficult years where KPFA operated at a loss, but looked like they were about to turn the corner this year - until the HSE dealt the funding blow earlier this week.

“Just as we felt we were finally getting back on our feet we lose another €60,000,” KPFA Chief Executive, Marie Lenihan, told the Killarney Advertiser.

“We will have no choice but to cut back on services. We are very sad and upset to have to do this. There were rumours about cutbacks but we really hoped it would not come to our door. The Government is at fault, they signed off the HSE budgets, and with politicians knocking at our doors these days, I would ask what are you going to do to meet the needs of people with disabilities nationwide.”

In a statement this week the HSE said that; ‘All health services are this year working on making savings, and have targets for these savings. Cork Kerry Community Healthcare has sought to discuss with KPFA how it can make savings without impacting services. Unfortunately this discussion has yet to take place, but we remain available to discuss this with KPFA. We have made it very clear that these savings must not impact on the people using KPFA's services’.

 

 

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Family to run in memory of the late Linda Eviston

By Sean Moriarty The family of a much-loved Killarney woman who passed away from cancer almost a year ago plan to run a marathon past her favourite local landmarks in her memory. Linda Eviston died on October 10 last after a long battle with cancer. Her husband Patrick and son Erik, with the support of […]

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By Sean Moriarty

The family of a much-loved Killarney woman who passed away from cancer almost a year ago plan to run a marathon past her favourite local landmarks in her memory.

Linda Eviston died on October 10 last after a long battle with cancer.

Her husband Patrick and son Erik, with the support of her daughter Alannah, will run a 42.2km course, on the day before her anniversary to raise funds for the Irish Cancer Society.

The route will be based on landmarks that were an important part of Linda’s life. Starting from the family home in Dromkerry, before heading for the town centre and passing the Eviston House Hotel, Linda’s grandmother’s home at Park Road, Linda’s childhood home and national school in Glenflesk, Loreto where Linda attended secondary school, back to Killarney and finishing at Linda’s pride and joy – Brook Lodge Hotel.

“It is tough but we wanted to do something in Linda’s memory and help other people who might find themselves in similar circumstances,” Pat told the Killarney Advertiser. “We originally hoped to do the Dublin City Marathon but that got cancelled. This route is much better, but much tougher as it’s more hilly.”

All proceeds will be donated to the Irish Cancer Society and donations can be made via: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/inhonouroflinda.

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Women bravely bare all for Kerry’s first ‘Dip in the Nip’

By Michelle Crean  It really was girl power at its finest – as 170 women of all ages braved the elements on Sunday to bare all for charity at the weekend. Shore Acre in Camp was the location which was only revealed to the participants for Kerry’s first ever ‘Dip in the Nip’. And amongst […]

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By Michelle Crean
 

It really was girl power at its finest – as 170 women of all ages braved the elements on Sunday to bare all for charity at the weekend.

Shore Acre in Camp was the location which was only revealed to the participants for Kerry’s first ever ‘Dip in the Nip’. And amongst the all female grouping were some Killarney ladies who joined in the empowering adventure for what was described as “a special and unforgettable morning” all in aid of Recovery Haven Kerry.

According to Marisa Reidy from Recovery Haven, the women were of all ages and all walks of life who came together for so many personal reasons.

“Some were still on their own cancer journey, some were celebrating coming out the other side and of course, many were there to honour friends and loved ones who they had lost to cancer, but we were all equal on the day – flaws and all,” Marisa, who also took part in the event, told the Killarney Advertiser.

“It was a truly uplifting and exhilarating experience and we are so, so grateful to each and every lady who joined us for a morning we will never forget. One woman described it as ‘companionship among strangers’ and that really sums it up perfectly. It was emotional, there were some tears, but lots of laughter and we couldn’t have asked for anything more. When the ladies hit the water, they all formed a circle and held hands in a gesture that was totally unplanned – it just happened organically and it was quite overwhelming.”

She added that a very special mention has to be made to Michaela and John Edwards and their team from Wild Water Adventures for their support and expertise in ensuring no stone was left unturned in making it a fabulous, safe event.

“It was an all-female team from beginning to end, from our own volunteers, stewards, registration, Gardai, teas and coffees, lifeguards, sea rescue – girl power at its finest! Now all that’s left to do is start planning for 2022!”

Donations are still being taken via the link on the Recovery Haven Kerry Facebook page.

“So far we are close on €9,000 which is just fabulous.”

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