BY MICHELLE CREAN
A Killarney doctor, who says the health service is in crisis, plans to take part in a major protest with hundreds of other GPs outside the Dáil next week.
Dr Michael Moloney from Killarney Medical Centre, says GPs are stressed out, overworked, and working with limited Government resources.
The National Day of Action by GPs, which is being organised by the National Association of GPs (NAGP), will take place almost a week after thousands of nurses nationally, including 400 in Kerry, went out on strike.
NAGP says years of successive cuts in Government funding for general practice have created an inefficient unstructured health system which is now collapsing.
For months they say the Government promised to reverse the 38 percent FEMPI cuts to GPs imposed over past years – and to offer – and properly fund a new, modernised GP contract – but these things have not yet materialised.
They also say that the number of doctors who can no longer take on any more patients is a growing crisis, and that the medical card system can no longer cope – having been starved of Government resources.
Not enough new doctors are being appointed by the State to serve the public, they say, and many are having to retire early, due to burnout.
The future survival of the GP service is vital to enable it to serve patients and the issue affects whole communities around Ireland, explained Dr Moloney, who set up his practice seven years ago, with Dr O’Doherty.
Both are hoping to attend next week’s protest – but say unless they can source a locum for cover – it might not be possible as their practice is just too busy.
“The issue here is that the NAGP have called for a national day of protest amongst GPs in relation to the working environment and the stresses put on general practice,” Dr Moloney told the Killarney Advertiser.
“You can ask any GP across the country about the impact the successive cuts have had – you’ll hear the same thing from everyone.”
He said that he personally works up to 80 to 90 hours per week in order to accommodate patients, take care of paperwork and fulfil his contracted SouthDoc hours.
“The GP service is in crisis and has been for a long time,” Dr Moloney, who worked a full day Tuesday, covered his SouthDoc hours Tuesday night and returned to his practice Wednesday morning, said.
“I’m in strong solidarity with my nursing colleagues – but the same thing is going on with GPs for years. The reality is that this is unsustainable. What we need is to be resourced. It’s a big problem.”
“We have a contract that’s not fit for purpose it’s over 40 or 50 years old.”
Currently, he explained, doctors receive approximately €46 per year for a patient with a medical card, and that same patient has unlimited visits.
“As a private businesses we take up the slack in what’s provided by the Government. You break that down, €46 – divided by 12 is €3 to €4 a month to look after a patient with unlimited visits. You couldn’t insure a pet for €40 a year – it just makes no sense.
“The reality is that this is unsustainable in this current climate. You can’t provide a service to patients like that.”
GPs are retiring younger, he added, while practices are also closing down and communities are left without a GP service as newly trained doctors are instead opting to move abroad to work less hours for higher pay.
“We train about 180 in Ireland per year and they’re exporting half of them.”
Kodaline to play stripped down Killarney gig
By Michelle Crean
One of Ireland’s best known bands – who have had their recently released studio album streamed more than 60 million times – as well as reached 100 million YouTube views – are set to come to Killarney.
Kodaline will play their first ever stripped down fully acoustic tour on December 4 in the Gleneagle INEC Arena, which is part of a nationwide tour across the country.
Tickets went on sale yesterday (Friday) from the www.inec.ie.
‘One Day At A Time’ is the band’s fourth album, and adds a new chapter to a career that has already encompassed three number 1 albums in Ireland, two Top 5 albums in the UK, and more than a billion streams at Spotify. Kodaline approached the album with a streamlined process that took them back to their roots. The majority of the sessions revolved around the four band members alone in their modest recording space in Dublin, with bassist Jason Boland leading the production side of things.
In 2019, Kodaline played some of the biggest shows of their career. At home in Dublin they sold-out two huge outdoor shows at St Anne’s Park, while a 10-date UK tour culminated with a packed show at London’s historic Roundhouse. Further afield, they hit festivals including Lollapalooza, Benicàssim and Open’er before becoming the first Irish band to headline the massive NH7 Weekender in Pune, India. Their extensive touring throughout Asia also included a headline set at Monsoon Music Festival in Vietnam plus dates in China, Japan, South Korea, The Phillippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Taiwan and Singapore.
“We’re excited to do our first ever stripped down fully acoustic tour, it’s something we’ve wanted to do for a long time and something that’s gonna be very special for us. Hope to see you guys there,” the band said.
Relief for students as State exams finally begin
Kayleigh O’Connor and Bethany Kelly pictured ahead of their Home Economics exam on Wednesday afternoon.
By Michelle Crean and Grigoriy Geniyevskiy
Although it was a Leaving Cert like no other – that didn’t stop some students from feeling nerves and others relief – as they finally began their State exams on Wednesday morning.
After a mix of homeschooling due to the COVID lockdowns, it was a tough final year for the Sixth Years who at times had no idea if they final school exams would even go ahead.
Some have opted for no exams, while others want a mixture of Accredited Grades combined with the option to sit the exams.
And it all began on Wednesday morning as English Paper 1 was first up followed by Home Economics in the afternoon.
For Killian O’Brien, a student in St Brendan’s College, he said that there was no stress as he headed in.
“I’m grand out, not stressed at all.”
George Griffin, also a student in St Brendan’s College was glad to begin the final leg of his school journey and said he too felt grand about it.
“Predictable grades are a good backing to it, it levels out the stress.”
His classmate Darren Counihan was “not too worried” about what was ahead of him.
“You can only go up in points, not down thanks to accredited points.”
Luke Tindall, also a student in the school said he was alright and “not too stressed”
For Adam O’Connor there was some nerves.
“I’m feeling a bit of everything, but mostly stressed,” he said. “I’m just waiting to get it done and over with.”
In Killarney Community College Oliwia Bielanska spoke to the Killarney Advertiser after coming out of her first State exam.
“I was nervous at first, but once I started writing it was all good.”
Aoife O’Brien from the same school said she was “kind of nervous” but that “it was fine”.
“It wasn’t too bad.”
Stefan Lajdar, also a student in Killarney Community College said it went “alright”.
“I finished a bit earlier. I was a bit under pressure before the exam, but it was easy enough. We have a backup with the predicted grades so it was fine.”
A turbulent year
Principal of Killarney Community College, Stella Loughnane, acknowledged the uniqueness of this year. “This year has been a turbulent and emotional year for this particular Leaving Cert group. Thankfully, all of our students sitting these exams have the security of knowing they already have an accredited grade from their subject teacher and can really try to improve on that when sitting their chosen exams. I think this is of great comfort to students and will ease some of their nerves.The majority of our students have embraced this challenge and chosen to sit their exams.”
She added that also this year there are a lot more COVID guidelines from both the Department of Health and the Department of Education that both the school and students must adhere to.
“This year has shown how adaptable our students are, therefore I don’t believe they will cause too much fuss. However, like every other year, our students arrived with the age old butterflies in their stomachs but a willingness to begin their exams.”
Sean Coffey, Principal of St Brendan’s College said it was great to see the exams finally underway.
“It has been the most incredible two years for the students. This is as fair as you can get really. I would say the Sixth Years had a less disruptive year than other students as they had their eye on the prise and could see the finish line in sight.”
Lucky local wins dream Barraduff home
WIN A HOUSE: Barraduff Community Field Organisation fundraiser sub-committee members: Derry Healy, Michael O’Keeffe, Cathy Somers, Linda Dennehy, John Culloty and Rory D’Arcy pictured in the INEC on Sunday evening during the ‘Win A Dream Kerry Home’ draw.
By Michelle Crean
It has been seven months in the making but it was one lucky local who claimed the top prize – a 𝟯-𝗕𝗲𝗱 d𝗲𝘁𝗮𝗰𝗵𝗲𝗱 h𝗼𝘂𝘀𝗲 𝗶𝗻 𝗕𝗮𝗿𝗿𝗮𝗱𝘂𝗳𝗳.
Ticket no. 17033 owned by Catriona Moriarty was the winner, chosen on Sunday evening in the ‘Win A Dream Kerry Home’ fundraiser prize draw live streamed on Facebook and the website from the INEC Arena, Killarney.
The MC for the evenings event was Rory D’Arcy, fundraiser committee member.
Committee member, Liam Warren, joined Rory to speak about the history and aims of the Barraduff Community Field Organisation since its inception in 1977. It was then time for the prize draw, with the combined value of all prizes in excess of €300,000. Rory introduced the independent adjudicating team of Peter Malone, Solicitor, Malone Hegarty Solicitors, and Denis Murphy, Auditor, Moriarty & Murphy Accountants.
It was certainly a night to remember for all prize winners, particularly Catriona Moriarty who will soon be receiving the keys to her new home.
“The Barraduff Community Field Organisation are forever grateful to all who supported this fundraiser, through purchasing of ticket(s) and sponsoring of prizes, to assist us in realising the vision of our local community. This is only the end of the beginning of another chapter!” Michael O’Keeffe said.
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