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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

 

EXCLUSIVE

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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Ireland’s newest and toughest cycle will be a thrilling challenge

Ireland’s newest cycling event comes to Kenmare this month with an exciting and challenging course for the experienced cyclist. Already attracting attention within cycling communities around the country, Velo Kenmare […]

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Ireland’s newest cycling event comes to Kenmare this month with an exciting and challenging course for the experienced cyclist.

Already attracting attention within cycling communities around the country, Velo Kenmare will tackle some of Kerry’s toughest climbs and highest mountain passes.

Taking place on October 22, Velo Kenmare is an 135km timed loop route starting and finishing in Kenmare. The total climbing distance is 1,650m, and organisers hope to appeal to serious cyclists who are looking for a new and thrilling challenge.

No stranger to cycling events, Velo Kenmare is being managed by Elite Events Management, who also successfully deliver iconic cycling events Wicklow 200, Ride Dingle and the Ring of Beara Cycle.
Cyclists are encouraged to register for Velo Kenmare on the Velo Cycle Ireland website www.velocycleireland.ie but places are limited for the enjoyment and safety of all participants, and anyone interested is urged to sign up soon as places are filling up.

TOUGH CLIMBS

​​​​The tough enough mountain climbs are over Molls Gap, Ballaghbeama Pass, Ballaghasheen and Coomakista. The route will take in breathtaking scenery Kenmare is famous for, and incorporating some of the most stunning parts of the Wild Atlantic Way and Ring of Kerry. It is hoped visitors to the cycle event will be encouraged to stay for a few days, and will all be given €20 vouchers or ‘Velo Dollars’ to spend in local shops which will be redeemable against goods and services in Kenmare.

Riders will be allotted a time slot to allow for a staggered start, taking them along a fully marshalled route, with medical cover, bike mechanic support, and hot food and entertainment at the finish in Kenmare.

Making its mark, Velo Kenmare participant race packs will come inside a yellow Velo Kenmare water bottle and finishers’ medals are in the shape of a yellow cow bell. Prizes will be awarded for the quickest top three male and top three female finishers, and fastest male and female will be awarded the title of King and Queen of the Kerry Mountains.

Experienced cyclists are encouraged to take on this exciting new challenge, testing themselves and their clubmates for the fastest finish across these four gruelling climbs, through some of the most beautiful landscape in the country for the best welcome back at the finish.

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Additional Flat fixture for Killarney Races next week

Horse Racing Ireland has announced there will be an additional Flat Meeting at Killarney next Monday (October 10). This meeting will close for entries by 12 noon this Wednesday (October […]

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Horse Racing Ireland has announced there will be an additional Flat Meeting at Killarney next Monday (October 10).

This meeting will close for entries by 12 noon this Wednesday (October 5) with declarations to run to be made by 10am this Saturday (October 8).

The race programme details for this fixture are on the HRI RAS website www.hri.ie.

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