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Killarney businesses support staff at University Hospital Kerry

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DONATION: Stephen O'Leary with some of the electrical goods his family firm has donated to UHK. Photo: Paudie Healy

By Sean Moriarty

Several businesses in Killarney have donated electrical equipment to new staff canteens at University Hospital Kerry.

O’Leary’s Expert Electrical on Plunkett St has donated kettles, toasters, microwaves and a television to the hospital staff in Tralee.

The hospital had to open additional staff welfare facilities to cope with the growing numbers of new or returning staff.

The new canteen was only fitted out with basic equipment, mainly due to the short time frame involved in getting it up and running.

Kerry Mayor Niall Kelleher approached businesses in the Killarney area who were in a position to donate the vital equipment and O’Leary’s Expert Electrical, a family-run business operated by brothers Mike and Stephen O’Leary, answered the call.

“We are all in this together,” Stephen told the Killarney Advertiser. “Anything we can do to make it easier on the staff and nurses at the hospital – we will do it. It is a good cause and every little helps. We all have to pull together.”

The initial call for donations of electrical goods came from well-known local photographer Paudie Healy.

The Kerry Phone Centre on College St, the local Vodafone agent, donated six mobile phones to the cause.

“We offered to donate some mobile phones to give to the nurses to use instead of them using their own private phones. Video calling has become so important in keeping families connected, so it made sense to help them to do this without any cost to the staff,” Kerry Phone Centre proprietor Jessica O’Connor told the Killarney Advertiser.

"It’s a small token of our appreciation to the nurses and staff on the frontline and we hope it will help the families of COVID patients to stay in touch with their loved ones at this time.”

[caption id="attachment_31458" align="alignleft" width="342"] STAYING IN TOUCH: Jessica O'Connor with staff members Billy O'Connor and Nigel Leahy with some of the mobile equipment that that the Kerry Phone Centre donated to UHK. Photo: Paudie Healy[/caption]

Meanwhile, Vodafone Ireland has committed to supporting older members of society who are alone, in self isolation or cannot see family and friends stay connected over the coming weeks, by donating one thousand new smartphones along with two thousand €20 credit top-ups to ALONE, an organisation which supports older people in Ireland. The smartphones will be distributed by ALONE and its partners, who are working together to support older members of the community during these difficult times.

Vodafone has ensured that the smartphones are pre-loaded with a number of resourceful applications including WhatsApp, Facebook, Spotify, RTÉ News, along with information about online food deliveries and other important phone numbers including the ALONE national helpline.

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County Board open to GAA museum proposals

By Sean Moriarty The Kerry County GAA Board said it would operate “an open door policy” for any plans to build a GAA museum in the county. There have been talks at a political level to build such a museum in Kerry with political rivals in Killarney and Tralee both pushing for it to be built […]

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By Sean Moriarty

The Kerry County GAA Board said it would operate “an open door policy” for any plans to build a GAA museum in the county.

There have been talks at a political level to build such a museum in Kerry with political rivals in Killarney and Tralee both pushing for it to be built in their home town.

Before he retired from politics in April, Michael Gleeson was campaigning to build a GAA and cultural museum on the grounds of Fitzgerald Stadium.

His campaign goes back several years before the recession set in, with a €0.5 million bridging loan secured from Croke Park along with funding from Fáilte Ireland. That funding was lost with the onset of the recession before 2010.

Tim Murphy, the outgoing chairman of the Kerry County Board, has confirmed to the Killarney Advertiser that no approaches have been made to the County Board at executive level during his five year stint at the helm.

However, he said the Board would be open to such approaches provided there is sound financial planning behind the project in place.

“The first and most important aspect is the capital funding and my understanding is there needs to be Fáilte Ireland funding in place first,” he told the Killarney Advertiser. “If it gets up and running, there needs to be very clear talks with all stakeholders so everyone knows each others expectations. A museum attracts footfall, but it costs a lot of money to run. We would offer an open door policy to all proposals but funding, first from a capital point of view and then from an operational point of view, will need to be in place.”

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Loreto pupils are happy to help save the planet

By Michelle Crean School pupils are fast becoming the next generation of environmentalists thanks to a brand new litter-picking campaign. Happy to help save the planet one bit of litter at a time are the children from Scoil Bhríde, Loreto NS, who are currently partaking in the Picker Pal Programme. It’s all about taking on […]

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By Michelle Crean

School pupils are fast becoming the next generation of environmentalists thanks to a brand new litter-picking campaign.

Happy to help save the planet one bit of litter at a time are the children from Scoil Bhríde, Loreto NS, who are currently partaking in the Picker Pal Programme.

It’s all about taking on a litter-picking adventure in their local area as well as learning songs, reading storybooks, filling in activity books while witnessing that their real-world actions are making a positive difference and inspiring others to join the movement.

Picker Pals is a unique primary school programme that gives children the tools and motivation to become the next generation of environmentalists, teacher Claire O’Meara explained.

“The Picker Pal Programme is a fantastic initiative and will go a long way to raise awareness of the impact litter has on our environment,” she told the Killarney Advertiser.

Real litter-picking is motivated by a Picker Pack made from upcycled dinghy sails and containing adult and child litter-picking tools, gloves, hi-vis vests and safety information.

“This pack is then taken home by a different pupil every week. That child takes their adult on a litter-picking adventure. The children then tell the story of their litter-picking adventures through art and writing. Raising awareness is an essential part of the solution to littering. Picker Pals gives young people the tools and positive motivation to steward their local environment and make the world a better place.”

The programme, run by environmental NGO VOICE Ireland, is funded by the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications and various local authorities across Ireland.

Now in its third year of operation, over one thousand schools all across Ireland will be taking part in the Picker Pals programme this year. In Kerry, 29 schools are taking part, and Scoil Bhríde, Loreto is delighted to be included, she added.

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