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Killarney hospitals to lose 42 beds

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By Sean Moriarty

The two HSE operated care facilities in Killarney are set to lose a total of 42 beds as a result of COVID-19 restrictions, documents seen by the Killarney Advertiser can reveal.

The news comes less than one week after the HSE promised an increase in bed numbers across the country in preparation for a potential second wave of the Coronavirus and increased demand over the winter months.

It's understood that St Columbanus Community Nursing Home will lose 27 beds while Killarney Community Hospital (known locally as The District Hospital) will suffer a 15-bed reduction.

The reason given for the bed losses is to allow safe social distancing within the hospitals and the Killarney Advertiser understands that no more than four beds will be permitted in each ward.

Documents seen by this newspaper reveal that the measures could be in place for at least 18 months.

The document does not reveal the levels of cutbacks at any specific hospital including the two Killarney-based facilities. While the moves won't affect current residents, new admissions to long term care at the local hospital will not be accepted.

“While I understand that you would like detailed information on the impact on your local community hospital or community nursing unit, we cannot say at this point exactly how many beds will be temporarily removed," a HSE statement said.

"We are currently engaging with staff, unions and employee representative bodies. The Directors of Nursing in each facility are currently involved in a process of reviewing safe occupancy. What I can say is that for about 18 months there will be a temporarily reduced level of public residential service available to some local communities. However, work will be underway to restore the overall number of beds in purpose-built and compliant centres as quickly as possible."

It is understood that capacity at the St Columbanus Community Nursing Home will be reduced from 92 to 65 beds while the Community Hospital will have a total of 23 beds, down from its previous 38 beds.

Local TD Danny Healy-Rae raised the matter in the Dáil on Tuesday.

“I am horrified at the closure of 27 beds in the home in Killarney and 15 beds in the Killarney Community Hospital,” he told the Killarney Advertiser.

“Recently the Minister and HSE said they were opening up more beds throughout the country to cater for patients with the Coronavirus, while beds are actually being closed in Killarney where there is a huge need for these beds to be available. What should be happening now is that all the beds and wards which have been closed for years need to be opened up and used.”

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Therapy dog begins first day of school

By Michelle Crean A four-month-old puppy is the latest addition to school life at one local secondary school and his homework is to help students and staff. On Wednesday, there was great excitement as therapy dog Zoomer joined the school community at St Brigid’s on New Road – the second post primary school in the county […]

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By Michelle Crean

A four-month-old puppy is the latest addition to school life at one local secondary school and his homework is to help students and staff.

On Wednesday, there was great excitement as therapy dog Zoomer joined the school community at St Brigid’s on New Road – the second post primary school in the county to welcome such a dog.

It’s part of the My Canine Companion (MCC) charity which has a number of therapy dogs in schools across the country.

Deirdre Horgan from MCC paid a visit to schools looking for families for the charity’s socialisation programme. ​​​​​​

Zoomer is a mix of a sheepdog and a poodle and Deirdre’s dog Fifi is his mother.

In May Fifi had 10 puppies all named with the letter ‘z’. Just recently Fossa National School welcomed Zoomer’s sister Zazu to their classrooms, and puppy Zoro went to the CBS in Tralee.

The dogs not only provide comfort and support to pupils and students with Autism but to all in the school.

“There is an increasing body of research to support the benefit of a dog in school,” Ber O’Connor, a teacher in St Brigid’s, said.

Zoomer will be under the guidance of Ms O’Connor and some Transition Year students who will undertake a specific training programme for the therapy dog.

“The dog will be based in different rooms around the school but will have a timetable of interactions. We hope Zoomer settles in well and brings joy to many of our students lives. You can follow all the updates of Zoomer’s life on Instagram by following @zoomersbk or his TikTok account ‘zoomerthepuppy’.

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Brian James secures much sought after award

A local business is celebrating receiving a very special accolade – beating off stiff competition from UK and Irish retailers – by taking home the title of ‘Menswear Independent of the Year 2021’. Brian James, whose business is located on Main Street, secured the award at the internationally acclaimed Drapers Independents Awards in London last […]

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A local business is celebrating receiving a very special accolade – beating off stiff competition from UK and Irish retailers – by taking home the title of ‘Menswear Independent of the Year 2021’.

Brian James, whose business is located on Main Street, secured the award at the internationally acclaimed Drapers Independents Awards in London last week.

The highly respected and sought after Drapers Awards celebrate the very best of independent fashion retail and Brian James saw off exceptionally tough competition from other menswear stores to bring home this much coveted award.

Brian James were announced the winners at a celebratory luncheon in The Hilton London Bankside amongst fashion industry leaders and were presented with the iconic Drapers mannequin bust to much applause.

Commenting that Brian James has been a destination for fashion-conscious shoppers for more than 15 years, the judges praised Brian James’ strong “roster of brands” and said that it “offers an aspirational experience in Killarney”.

“Killarney is an incredible town to trade in – it is a brand in itself, offers the best of everything to those that are lucky to live here and an unbeatable experience for those that visit,” Brian O’Shea, who founded and runs Brian James for the last 15 years, said. “This award recognises Brian James and Killarney as a superior shopping destination town. Brian James and the other superb retailers in Killarney are an important piece of the jigsaw – the Park, the lakes and mountains, the hotels, restaurants and bars… it is the whole picture which guarantees the experience is first class.”

He added that his team are a key element of the experience at Brian James.

“My sincere thanks go to each of the team as without them we could not provide the customer experience and service we aim to ensure each and every time. Brian James’ success is also down to the partnerships we have developed over time with key international brands. On the store itself, of course we have relocated to our new super store on Main Street and more than doubled our floor space. Although it has been great to be able to design and create this stunning space to enhance the customer experience, it also allowed us to add more brands to our menswear mix. This year we will have added Hugo Boss and Eden Park to our familiar brands such as Tommy Hilfiger, Calvin Klein, Gant, Barbour, Bugatti and Farah. The new space also plays host to ladies collections from Tommy Jeans, Calvin Klein, Diesel and Superdry and this is an exciting new element we are really enjoying too!”

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