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Killarney Cycling Without Age project hailed a success

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HSE Cork Kerry Community Healthcare and Killarney Cycling Club have joined together on an exciting new initiative for residents of Killarney Community Hospital and St Columbanus Home.

HSE Cork Kerry Community Healthcare and Killarney Cycling Club join residents of Killarney Community Hospital and St Columbanus Home in welcoming the exciting new initiative ‘Killarney Cycling Without Age’. Photo: Domnick Walsh Photography

HSE Cork Kerry Community Healthcare and Killarney Cycling Club join residents of Killarney Community Hospital and St Columbanus Home in welcoming the exciting new initiative ‘Killarney Cycling Without Age’. Photo: Domnick Walsh Photography

‘Killarney Cycling Without Age’ started in May 2023 following postponement of the initiative during the pandemic.

This new initiative is aimed at helping older persons and those with mobility issues to regain the experience of being out and about on a bike and to gain better access to explore their local community.

Over the last four months, hospital and care home residents have been enjoying trips through Killarney town and around the jewel in Killarney’s crown - Killarney National Park.

The electric-assisted trishaw was purchased by Killarney Cycling Club with the help of Cork Kerry Community Healthcare and Kerry County Council, it was then donated to Killarney Community Hospitals to ensure residents of the community hospital and care homes could regain the experience of being out on a bike in their local community.

The Trishaw ‘pilots’ are experienced volunteer cyclists largely from Killarney Cycling Club, who take hospital and care-home residents (usually two passengers at a time) on trips when the weather conditions are suitable.

“Our residents here are really enjoying this new initiative – you can see their delighted smiles as they get to experience being out and about with the wind in their hair. ‘Killarney Cycling Without Age’ has greatly benefitted our residents, playing a pivotal role in keeping them active and socially engaged. We have received very positive feedback from both our residents and their families and look forward to further developing the initiative in the future,” said Breda Delves, Acting Director of Nursing at Killarney Community Hospitals, Cork Kerry Community Healthcare.

Project co-ordinator, Noel O’Connell commented on the success of the initiative, and added:
“The residents love being out on the bike and meeting people. The model of Trishaw we use is called a CHAT and it certainly encourages conversations whenever we are out in the National Park or around the town. Weather can be an issue at times, but the bike has a waterproof blanket cover and canopy to help along the way. Since beginning at end of May, the initiative has been in use each week and will increase with a number of new volunteer ‘pilots’ who have been trained to cycle around Killarney town and the National Park. The hospital and care-home staff are very supportive of the scheme and residents are always encouraged to give it a try and for the most part, they can’t wait to go again.”

The trishaw runs from Killarney Community Hospital and St. Columbanus Home, and plans to develop the scheme for other care homes are being researched.

This initiative is supported by the HSE Cork Kerry Community Healthcare and Killarney Cycling Club

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Muckross Rowing Club members on Irish teams for two major regattas

  Six members of Muckross Rowing Club will compete for Ireland in two upcoming international events. Rowing Ireland this week announced the Irish squads for the Coupe de la Jeunesse […]

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Six members of Muckross Rowing Club will compete for Ireland in two upcoming international events.

Rowing Ireland this week announced the Irish squads for the Coupe de la Jeunesse Regatta.

Daniel Fleming and Ian Coffey have both been selected for the Under 19 Irish squad to race at the Coupe de la Jeunesse Regatta for European junior rowers. The Coupe de la Jeunesse Regatta, involving 16 European countries, will be held over from over three days, August 9-11 in Racice, Czechia.

Four Under 23 university rowers from the Muckross club have also been selected as part of the Senior Irish squad for the Home International Regatta this month.

Niamh Coffey (University of Limerick), Patrick Buckley (University of Limerick), Finn O’Sullivan (University of Limerick) and Ethan O’Neill (University College Cork Rowing Club) will take on the ‘Triple Crown’ event of rowing, competing for Ireland against crews from England, Scotland and Wales.

The Home International Regatta will be held on Saturday, July 27 in Strathclyde, Scotland.

All six Muckross rowers have earned their green jerseys following a lengthy and testing trial series on land and water which began in Autumn 2023 and culminated in final water trials at the end of June.

“Muckross Rowing Club sends its best wishes to the very talented Muckross oarsmen and women and all their crewmates as they fly the flag for Ireland this summer. The talented group build on a successful record in the sport,” said club PRO Tim O’Shea.

Niamh Coffey is a multiple Irish and University Championship winner and has previously represented Ireland in the Under 23 European Championships.

In 2022, O’Neill rowed at Junior level at the Home International event and won a gold medal as part of the Irish quadruple scull crew in the 500m sprint event.

Both Buckley and O’Sullivan continue to compete at the highest level nationally with the University of Limerick Rowing Club,  and join the Irish squad for the first time this year.

The international selections come at an exciting time before the Olympic Regatta in Paris, where Zoe Hyde (Tralee Rowing Club) will be among the largest Irish rowing contingent of 16 rowers to contest an Olympic Games.

Killorglin native Zoe has previously rowed for both Killorglin and Muckross rowing clubs and will race the Women’s Double event for Ireland with Alison Bergin (Fermoy Rowing Club) in Paris.

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Valuable role of Kerry cancer support charity recognised nationally

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Cancer support charity Recovery Haven Kerry has been recognised for its vital role in supporting cancer patients and their families at a national ceremony in Dublin.

The renowned cancer support house was one of 16 such centres across Ireland that were presented with plaques to acknowledge their full membership of the National Cancer Control Programme (NCCP) Alliance – a group made up of voluntary and charity organisations delivering support services directly to cancer patients and their families. An additional 10 associate member charities were also honoured, including Kerry Cancer Support Group.

The Alliance advocates for, and supports, the development of integrated pathways between the cancer centres, acute hospitals, community cancer support services and primary care services. All members’ development is in line with the values of Sláintecare, seeking to provide assurance to healthcare professionals that these organisations are working to an agreed standard as set out in Best Practice Guidance published by the NCCP. 

Speaking after the ceremony, which was held at Dublin’s Farmleigh Estate, Recovery Haven Kerry Chairman, Tim McSwiney, explained that being compliant with the Best Practice Guidance for Community Cancer Support Centres is a true mark of quality. 

“It offers us a yardstick to measure what we are doing against the standards required. As a result, healthcare professionals have more confidence in referring people to our services. We are very proud to be a member of the Alliance,” he said.

Recovery Haven Kerry was represented at the event by centre manager, Gemma Fort and Client Services Co-Ordinator, Siobhan MacSweeney and were presented with their plaque by NCCP Lead for Cancer Survivorship, Louise Mullen, Clinical Lead for Psycho-Oncology Dr Helen Greally, and Minister of State at the Department of Health, Colm Burke. 

The event was also used as an opportunity to announce funding of €3m for the NCCP’s Alliance of Community Cancer Support Centres and Services through Budget 2024. The NCCP is currently in the process of distributing these funds which will directly and positively impact the delivery of services for patients and families nationally.

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