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Kerry writer helps raise awareness of arthritis

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A Kerry writer and geologist is sharing her personal story in a short film to raise awareness of a form of inflammatory arthritis that can take up to eight years to diagnose in Ireland.

Sneem-based novelist Amanda Geard (38) is supporting 'Back in Action', the new campaign from Arthritis Ireland, which aims to make people more aware of Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS).

The condition mainly affects the spine, but can also cause pain and/or swelling in the shoulders, hips, knees, heels, chest/ribs and small joints of the hands and feet. While back pain is very common in the general population, only a small percentage of people will have inflammatory arthritis of the spine.

Originally from Tasmania, but living in Kerry for several years, Geard was 19 when her symptoms began. What started out feeling like a pulled muscle intensified to the point where she felt there was a knife stabbing into her lower back.

“When every single minute of every day is spent in pain you do let a condition like this define you,” she said.

While diagnosed with Ankylosing Spondylitis in Australia, she lived with chronic debilitating pain for 15 years before she finally found an effective treatment plan for managing her symptoms. Having moved to Ireland a number of years ago, she was referred to a consultant rheumatologist, which altered everything.

“It’s always a surprise every morning you wake up and you can get straight out of bed. My pain has decreased to the point that I could go for a run in the morning if I wanted to. That was completely unheard of for a decade and a half."

It’s not being more active that Geard has noticed but a difference in her quality of life. “By decreasing your pain, you can also at times be a little less mobile, so you are able to sit at a computer without the pain in your pelvis consuming your mind rather than what’s there in front of you.”

She has put that new freedom to good use in writing her first novel, which is due to be published next spring.

Support and information for people living with Ankylosing Spondylitis is available on the Arthritis Ireland website, www.arthritisireland.ieand via their helpline, 0818 252 846.

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Man released without charge in murder case

The man in his 50s arrested in connection with the discovery of a body of a woman in her 70s in unexplained circumstances in Ardshanavooley has been released without charge […]

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The man in his 50s arrested in connection with the discovery of a body of a woman in her 70s in unexplained circumstances in Ardshanavooley has been released without charge in relation to this matter.

Miriam Burns was found in her home on Monday afternoon after family and neighbours became concerned about her welfare.

A file is now being prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions and investigations are ongoing under the direction of a Senior Investigating Officer.

Gardaí are continuing to appeal to any persons who were in the Ardshanavooley area between 5pm on Friday and 1pm on Monday and observed any activity which drew their attention, to come forward.

Any road users who were travelling in the area at these times who may have camera footage (including dash-cam) are asked to make this footage available to Gardaí.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Killarney Garda Station on 064 6671160, the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111, or any Garda Station.

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Plenty of music and entertainment to celebrate Kilcummin talent

The successes of the Kerry, Munster and All-Ireland Fleadh’s were celebrated with Kilcummin CCÉ members, their families and friends in the clubhouse in Kilcummin on Sunday night. The talent within […]

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The successes of the Kerry, Munster and All-Ireland Fleadh’s were celebrated with Kilcummin CCÉ members, their families and friends in the clubhouse in Kilcummin on Sunday night.

The talent within the branch was clearly evident with a packed trophies table. Indeed some of the successes over the last number of months were replayed in a relaxed, jovial atmosphere that meant that all attending had a great night’s entertainment.

“We had demonstrations of winning sets across all age groups and then we moved onto the musicians who pulled out all the stops to entertain the large crowd, packed into the clubhouse,” Derek O’Leary, Kilcummin CCÉ PRO, told the Killarney Advertiser.

John Moriarty, who has recently retired from his role of Supervisor with Kilcummin Rural Development was acknowledged with a presentation to reflect the outstanding work that he has done to enhance and grow Kilcummin Comhaltas over his 25 years in his role, he added.

“Much thanks and praise was also offered to Mary, Adrian and Conor Moriarty, all involved in the progression of dancing and music within the Kilcummin branch. The music and entertainment continued with Helen Kerins and Denis Crowley late into the night. We’re looking forward to next year already!”

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