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Kev’s ultra challenge for Down Syndrome Kerry

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RUN FOR CHARITY: Ultra-Runner and charity fundraiser Kevin Leahy of the Black Sheep Hostel, Killarney will run 1000km in aid of Down Syndrome Kerry. Photo: Valerie O'Sullivan

Ultra-Runner and charity fundraiser Kevin Leahy of the Black Sheep Hostel, Killarney, has set an arduous challenge to run 1000kms, stretching from the wilds of the Iveragh Peninsula to the frozen ice of Yukon Canada, in aid of Down Syndrome Kerry (DSK).

Kevin hopes to raise €10,000 for DSK which is a charity very close to his heart as his niece Emilie was born with the condition.

The first of Kevin’s three runs begins at sunrise on Saturday July 11, at the Bronze Age Wedge Tomb at Coomakista, Derrynane.

Kevin is also taking the honours to be the first ultra-runner to set the time of a new running challenge - ‘Ancient Warriors Trail’ a journey of endurance and self-discovery along the Iveragh Peninsula, Kerry Way, Cnoc na dTobar and MacGillycuddy’s Reeks.

120km of trails, completing this run with a customary “bang on the door for a Pint at Kate Kearney’s Cottage, Gap of Dunloe that night.”

His second race is the spectacular annual Kerry Way Ultra - a 200km, non-stop endurance race on September 6 and 7, which traverses the MacGillycuddy's Reeks and Iveragh Peninsula, along ancient trails and coastal cliffs.

Kevin is no stranger to harsh conditions; last year inspired by the greatest Kerry adventurer - Arctic explorer, Tom Crean - Kevin made world headlines by winning the famous Yukon 160km Arctic Ultramarathon!

His third and most daunting challenge in 2021 is the mammoth Yukon Arctic 700km Ultramarathon - a gruelling 10 day race of physical and mental adversity, with temperatures as low as -30°.

“This time I will be setting my sights on the mammoth Yukon Arctic 700km ultramarathon. To date, this will be by far my biggest running endeavour, requiring months of training, along with a tank load of mental and physical grit to get me across that frosty finish line. I hope that during this challenge, adversity will be my greatest teacher. A sincere thank you in advance for your support,” Kevin said.

To donate to Kevin’s amazing challenge via the following link: www.give.everydayhero.com: kevs-1000km-adversity-run-for-down-syndrome-kerry.

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Better late than never Christmas present for St Francis Special School

By Sean Moriarty St Francis Special School received a very late Christmas present this week – a specially adapted bike for the pupils to use. Husband and wife team Ciaran […]

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By Sean Moriarty

St Francis Special School received a very late Christmas present this week – a specially adapted bike for the pupils to use.

Husband and wife team Ciaran and Karen Dwyer, directors of Guerin Engineering and Pumps Ltd in Kilcummin, presented the special adapted bicycle to the staff and pupils at the Beaufort school on Tuesday.

After seeing an online request last December that the school needed the bike, they decided to gift one.

They contacted Glencar Medical, a Dublin-based firm that specialises in the supply of equipment to schools like St Francis, and ordered the bicycle.

However, nothing is straightforward in the current climate, Brexit, COVID and war all contributed to a delay in getting the bike to Ireland. Once it was in Dublin there were further delays in sourcing the special straps that St Francis’ children need to ride the bike safely.

It all came to a happy ending this week when the Dwyers were finally able to present their Christmas present to the school.

“We saw this request and we contacted the school and said we wanted to buy one, they told us where to get one, and we ordered it,” Karen told the Killarney Advertiser.

“We had it paid for by the end of the year but then it took three months to get it into the country. It took more time to import the specialist parts. The costs were increasing but we did not mind at all.”

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Jordan Lee to tell his story to the county’s schools

Paralympian Jordan Lee will share his experiences with schools all over Kerry. The Killarney man has embarked on a countywide tour ‘Jordan’s Drive’ in association with Kelliher’s Garage, a series […]

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Paralympian Jordan Lee will share his experiences with schools all over Kerry.

The Killarney man has embarked on a countywide tour ‘Jordan’s Drive’ in association with Kelliher’s Garage, a series of informal talks on his achievements and how he overcame his disability to reach the top of his chosen sport.

The 21-year-old was born with a foreshortened left arm known as amniotic band syndrome but has enjoyed a successful sports career which included representing Ireland at the Tokyo Olympics last summer.

Now he wants to share his story and inspire other students to follow their dreams.

His tour started last week at Colaiste na Sceilge in Cahersiveen and over the next few weeks, depending on his training schedule, will visit schools in Firies, Milltown, and Killarney.

“Don’t be afraid of people with disabilities or different backgrounds,” he said. “A few years ago there was only typical people in classrooms – you never came across people with disabilities or from various different countries. It is a lot more mixed now. I want to inspire people to treat everyone on the same level.”

‘Jordan’s Drive’ is made possible thanks to his role as a brand ambassador for Kelliher’s Garage, dealer principal, Tim Kelliher explained to the Killarney Advertiser.

“Having got to know Jordan so well over the last couple of years we have come to realise how much of an inspiration he is so we decided to ask him to hop into his Toyota CHR Hybrid and bring his story out into the highways and byways of the Kingdom,” he said.

“Headlined ‘Jordans Drive’ and organised by my marketing team headed by Yvonne McMahon they have travelled to many of the schools around Kerry from Cahersiveen to Beaufort, Killorglin and with other dates planned for Firies and Milltown to name but a few. He has spoken his many words of wisdom to the children who have been in awe of the journey and his achievements, and we at Kelliher’s Garage are delighted and proud to have him as our brand ambassador.”

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