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Killarney family mark difficult year with amazing generosity

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GENEROSITY: Paula, Aoife and Siobhan McSweeney presented €7,000 to Kerry Hospice Foundation staff Maura Sullivan and Mary Shanahan. Photo: Brendan Crean

By Sean Moriarty

One Killarney family gave a Christmas present that won’t be forgotten to the Kerry Hospice Foundation - a cheque for €7,000!

The McSweeney family, Siobhan and her daughters Paula Horan and Aoife Cowley, raised the staggering
amount for the foundation in memory of their husband and father Donal McSweeney.

The funds will go to the Kerry Hospice Foundation to be used by the Palliative Care Unit at the University Hospital Kerry.

Donal, who was affectionately known as 'Dodo', passed away just over a month ago after a long battle with oesophageal cancer.

Late of Gneeveguilla and Kilcummin he was well-known in country music circles in the region.

“He was the best father and husband we could ever ask for," Paula said. "We always felt like his number one. We will always have very fond memories of him especially music sessions and ‘sing songs’. He played with country music for most of his life. Music was his passion and he always brought families together with his guitar. ‘Dodo’ was at home during most of his illness, however, the last couple of weeks we were unable to manage his symptoms at home."

However, it was made a little easier with the fantastic services he received from Dr Margaret Clifford and the palliative team in Killarney and Tralee, she added.

“Dad always said he is happy he got ill rather than us. This was an example of his selfless personality. It was a hard journey to go through with dad. His room in Tralee was like a “home from home” and we are so grateful we were with him during his final peaceful moments. Dad always said about the nurses that visited him and the staff in the palliative care team that they were “tops”. I got to play the piano for him one last time at the centre. Dad was able to open and close windows with the touch of a button from his bed, adjust the temperature of the room and listen to music. It was so nice to be able to visit dad and know he was receiving the very best of care. He was always treated with respect and dignity. He had his first jacuzzi there and really enjoyed it. We are so lucky to have such fantastic people working here and a fantastic facility in Kerry,” added Paula.

It was a very difficult year for the McSweeney family, Dodo’s sister Joan McCullough passed away in Boston after a long battle with Alzheimer’s.
Siobhan’s brother Seamus O’Connor, the well-known owner of Kitty O’Se’s restaurant in Killarney also passed away in the late spring.

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Can you talk your way to fitness?

By Brian Foley from Activate Fitness Recently, our team at Activate was talking about the regular check-ins we do with our clients. We try to sit down with each client in person at least once every six months, if not once a quarter, and see how they are doing. If we can’t get them to […]

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By Brian Foley from Activate Fitness

Recently, our team at Activate was talking about the regular check-ins we do with our clients. We try to sit down with each client in person at least once every six months, if not once a quarter, and see how they are doing.

If we can’t get them to sit down with us, we’ll at least touch base via Zoom or phone. Text messages aren’t adequate to really understand how someone is doing and progressing as we help them towards their health goals, so we don’t count those.

What’s interesting is how difficult it can be sometimes to track down and set up a time to catch up with clients. In passing, it’s simple, but those conversations aren’t as focused and usually don’t allow us to get into why someone is or is not seeing the progress they need. So many times it’s something we all know we need to do, but to sit down and have a real conversation with someone about how they are doing can be tough, or even intimidating depending on the situation.

People start with us knowing we want to provide accountability, guidance, education, and motivation to help them accomplish their goals. But, when it comes down to the accountability portion, it can be difficult to want to talk about things that may not be going as planned.

However, when we look back at our most successful clients – those who have accomplished or are accomplishing what they set out to do when they started with us – they are the ones who actually seek us out to sit down and get help. When we ask them about their goals or if they have time, they are excited to catch up and see what they can improve. Or, they are asking us to help even before we reach out to them.

Those clients have not always had it easy either. Post lockdowns there were a lot of people re-orienting their schedule and lives and trying to make sense of what their goals needed to be. I personally had quite a few heavier conversations with people as we stepped through a plan to “reset” and get into a habit that fit their adjusted goals and schedules. Without those conversations, we may not have been able to help people as much as we are able to (thankfully).

ACCOUNTABILITY

For every area of your life; family, marriage, friendships, work; having accountability, a source of quality guidance, and motivation is as absolute must if you want to improve or progress. We can do some things alone, but we can do most of those things far better with others who have been there before or who can walk with us as we step through our journey towards our goals.

If you are looking to improve at anything in life, be it professionally, or with your health and fitness, the first step is to acknowledge where you are and then seek out a trusted source of information to help you clarify and align the moving parts to ensure you can get to where you want in the timeframe you want.

It’s why we start every member at Activate with a free consultation and why we continue to talk to our members. If we don’t know where you want to go, how can we help you get there? “Going to a gym” is fantastic and will be of huge benefit to your health, going to a gym that is invested in your journey multiplies this power exponentially.

So, no, you can’t “talk your way to fitness”, it takes many hours of work and consistency, but starting your journey with a good honest talk and someone in “your corner” will ensure you start – and continue – in the right direction.

To have a chat about your health and fitness goals, visit www.activate.ie and find out more.

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Former footballer to launch new book

By Sean Moriarty Former Senior Kerry footballer and ‘Dancing with the Stars’ winner Aidan O’Mahony will be in Eason on Saturday to sign copies of his new book. The Rathmore man enjoyed a distinguished career in the green and gold jersey, making 70 championship and 85 league appearances for Kerry between 2003 and 2017. In January 2017, […]

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By Sean Moriarty

Former Senior Kerry footballer and ‘Dancing with the Stars’ winner Aidan O’Mahony will be in Eason on Saturday to sign copies of his new book.

The Rathmore man enjoyed a distinguished career in the green and gold jersey, making 70 championship and 85 league appearances for Kerry between 2003 and 2017.

In January 2017, O’Mahony won the RTÉ ‘Dancing with the Stars’ series with professional dancer, Estonian Valeria Milova.

His new book ‘Unbroken’ is an account of the discipline it takes to be part of one of the country’s most successful Gaelic football teams. It is also a story of managing external and internal expectations and pressure, and of the importance of knowing when to ask for help.

“I am really looking forward to meeting everyone next Saturday, great to finally release my book and I hope people enjoy it,” he told Killarney Advertiser.

O’Mahony’s Killarney book signing will be the first of many around the country in the run up to Christmas.

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