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Killarney extends VIP welcome to COVID carer

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A KILLARNEY WELCOME: Lisa Connolly, pictured with her mom Tina and sisters Ciara and Jessica, enjoyed a VIP experience in Killarney all for free last weekend thanks to the generosity of locals.

 

By Michelle Crean

 

It is a holiday they’ll never forget with VIP treatment last weekend as Killarney locals generously extended their kindness to a compassionate COVID carer who featured on RTÉ.

In June, during the height of the health crisis, hearts across the country broke as viewers of RTÉ ONE’s ‘Inside Ireland’s COVID Battle’ watched kind-hearted Dublin lady Lisa Connolly care for a 97-year-old patient named Patrick, as he lost his battle with COVID-19.

With no family close by to care for him, his support worker Lisa regularly visited him in St James’ Hospital. And after he passed away, she even went into the hospital room to hold his hand as she sang ‘The Irish Lullaby’ to him and bent down and kissed him on the forehead through her mask despite the risks to her own life.

Moved by Lisa’s selflessness, local guesthouse owner Ciara Roche who runs Killaran House on Park Road reached out to her and offered Lisa and family a three night stay for free as a thank you for being so kind.

On Friday last, Lisa, her mom Tina and sisters Ciara and Jessica were thrilled when they arrived in Killarney and were treated like VIPs.

What’s more is that many local businesses also offered their services for free including Danny O’Sullivan from Killarney Hackney Cabs who made himself available as their personal chauffeur and said he “was glad to help”.

On Friday, the ladies had their hair and shellac nails done by Elegant Styles followed by dinner at Killeen House Hotel and Rozzers Restaurant.

[caption id="attachment_33466" align="alignleft" width="226"] Lisa Connolly on RTÉ ONE’s ‘Inside Ireland’s COVID Battle’.[/caption]

The next day it was a facial for Lisa at What Women Want and fun for the family at Escape Killarney which they said was “absolutely brilliant”, and lunch in the Eviston House Hotel. On Sunday they enjoyed a carvery lunch and then a trip to Ross Castle with Jarvey John Kearney. Lisa also received a voucher for Who’s 4 Shoes while Ciara’s aunt in Dublin, Deirdre Quinn, gave a cash gift and Pauline O’Connor from Cill Ide B&B dropped in a Penney’s voucher. Lisa also received a gift of a printed image of Killarney by local photographer Peter O’Toole which was framed by the Killarney Printer.

“I was so delighted to finally welcome Lisa, her sisters Ciara and Jessica and her mum Tina to Killaran House for their three night staycation,” Ciara told the Killarney Advertiser.

“They are a fab bunch of girls. At first it was kind of emotional. A lovely gentleman called in as soon as the girls arrived and they hugged. He gave her an envelope and he cried. It was heart wrenching - she really did touch people.”

Ciara said over the weekend it was great to see the ladies have such a relaxing fun time.

Her appeal on Facebook and in the Killarney Advertiser, which we ran two weeks ago, meant more businesses came on board to make their weekend extra special.

“It was their first visit to Killarney and they had a ball. Lisa said they felt like VIPs and that she’s dying to come back down again.”

Ciara, who said that she felt the urge to help after watching the moving programme, added that she’s very thankful to everyone who came on board and made it extra special for Lisa and her family.

“It worked out great in the long run and I want to thank everyone that came on board to help.”

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Students awarded for their contribution to school life

By Michelle Crean Students were honoured for their contribution to school life this week during a special end of year awards ceremony. Held in the school gym on Wednesday afternoon, […]

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By Michelle Crean

Students were honoured for their contribution to school life this week during a special end of year awards ceremony.

Held in the school gym on Wednesday afternoon, the students from St Brigid’s Presentation were presented with a variety of awards from sport to science, music and visual art while Sixth Year student Saoirse Coffey received the Orla Benson Award.

“During this school year, our students have showcased their brilliance and extensive talents,” teacher Adrienne Brosnan, said.

“We are all so proud of these outstanding achievements across all aspects of school life. Awards day is a truly special occasion for all members of the St Brigid’s community and one which we relish the opportunity to celebrate. It is a time of anticipation, a time of excitement and a time of great joy. The awards that are presented are a testament to that dedication and we also acknowledge all the great work that is done by the teachers here in St Brigid’s.”

Sixth Year students also said their final goodbyes ahead of their State exams next month.

“We wish them the best of luck as they spread their wings and leave the shelter of St Brigid’s for the beginning of a new adventure.”

AWARD WINNERS

Other awards winners were:

Anna Dunlea received the Contribution to Graphics award while Leah Vinluan got the Design and Communication Graphics award.

Clodagh O’Connor and Sarah O’Sullivan both received the Contribution to Visual Art award.

Abbie Finan was awarded Soccer: Player of the Year, Chloe Hue Senior Football: Player of the Year, Emily Buckley 1st Year Football: Player of the Year, Abbey Cronin 2nd Year Football: Player of the Year, and Andrea Murphy Junior Football; Player of the Year, Senior Basketball: Most Valued Player went to Tara Donnellan, the Minor Basketball: Most Valued Player was given to Ciara O’Sullivan and the Cadette Basketball: Most Valued Player went to Leah McMahon.

Kara Huggard earned herself the LCA Student of the Year, Sarah McGrath received the CEIST Award, Excellence in Science was awarded to Emma Myers and Jennie O’Mahony, while Rita Akhter received the Overall Contribution to STEM.

Bríd O’Connor who wrote the book Spark presented Saoirse O’Sullivan with the Outstanding Achievements in Music award.

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Businesses face closure due to staff shortages

Hospitality sector businesses might have to close a few days a week to off-set staff shortages. Fáilte Ireland last week launched a recruitment drive to attract part-time workers into hospitality […]

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Hospitality sector businesses might have to close a few days a week to off-set staff shortages.

Fáilte Ireland last week launched a recruitment drive to attract part-time workers into hospitality and tourism roles, where it is estimated that there is as much as a 40,000 shortage in such roles for the peak summer season.

Damien McCarthy of HR Consultancy firm HR Buddy, founded in Killarney but now based in the RDI Hub in Killorglin, said that workers are losing out due to a more cashless society.

“Hospitality businesses may have to consider shutting their doors or decreasing their operational hours during the peak summer season as many businesses such as bars, restaurants, cafes, B&Bs and hotels are struggling to find staff for the demand. The industry is suffering over these few current weeks in particular as many part-time student workers are not available due to college and Leaving Cert exams. This shows how dependant the industry has become on young student workers,” he said.

“Many service industry workers choose part-time or casual work in hospitality roles because of the tip bonus, but this has even been impacted negatively now as most tips are taxed because they are coming in electronically. The worker is losing out and this key attraction tool that existed when we were a more cash orientated society in pre-pandemic times, is now gone.”

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