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Killarney man beats waiting lists with free soccer injury operation in Spain

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A Killarney man has spoken about how he flew to Spain to get free treatment on a horror injury picked up in a hometown soccer derby game.

Rory O'Sullivan pictured the day after his operation at the Marina in Denia.

Dad-of-three Rory O’Sullivan (38), flew back to Kerry this week after undergoing surgery for the ACL injury at a hospital in the upmarket seaside city of Dénia.

The facility used by patients travelling with Healthcare Abroad is dubbed ‘the Irish hospital’ by Spanish locals because so many Irish patients now get treatment there.

Striker Rory was able to jump waiting lists at home under the European Union’s Cross-Border Directive, a decade-old scheme which allows patients from any EU country to avail of treatment in another EU country. The HSE here in Ireland reimburse the costs of the operation.

“The treatment I received in the HCB Hospital in Dénia was first class,” said Rory.

“It couldn’t have gone any better. I’d heard about the cross-border scheme from a friend and was advised to call Healthcare Abroad. They helped deal with all the forms and referrals from my GP and when I arrived in Alicante I was collected at the airport by an executive driver and taken to a lovely 4-star hotel for a couple of nights before surgery.

“I had a consultation with my surgeon who has performed so many similar operations before. I felt reassured straight away. The operation itself went very well. I didn’t feel a thing.”

Rory was injured 13 months ago while playing for Killarney Athletic against local rivals Killarney Celtic.

“It wasn’t even a tackle which caused the injury. I fell awkwardly when my foot went into a divot on the pitch. I could hear the ‘pop’ from it. Players on the Celtic team also heard it. I felt sick,” said the Killarney man.

“I was actually feeling really fit - fitter than I had ever been - so to pick up the injury was tough to take.”

Rory had a number of bookings with clinics in Ireland but work and family commitments and COVID led to various delays.

“The insurance I had only covered less than half of any surgery costs, so I began to look into it further and realised that the full cost of the operation I badly needed could be covered under the EU Cross Border Scheme,” said the data analyst.

“I just had to pay for my flights and the hotel, and the hotel was very cheap because of the arrangement they have with Healthcare Abroad.”

Rory, a UEFA-badged coach, is urging anyone with similar injuries to get a flight to Spain for fast-track surgery.

“It just makes sense,” he said.

“Your only costs are the Ryanair flights and hotel, which was 4-star and included breakfast and a four-course evening meal for an extra tenner. The sun was shining when I was there in early January and that just lifts you too.

“Healthcare Abroad meet patients at the airport before you leave and then their team picks you up in Spain and takes you to the hotel too. It really is first class. I am happy to talk to anyone about my experience if anyone wants to hear first-hand how it all works.”

Healthcare Abroad Ireland works alongside the HSE to assist patients through the Cross Border Scheme, helps to complete the paperwork and liaise with Irish GPs. Any treatment offered by the HSE can be treated abroad under the EU legislation. Details of some of the operations available can be found on www.healthcareabroad.ie.

“We are delighted that Rory had a very successful operation and is now well on his way to a full recovery," a Healthcare Abroad spokesperson said. "We wish him every success too with his coaching in the time ahead.”

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Rebel lights delight for Killarney star

By Con Dennehy The continued growth, development and participation of women’s handball in East Kerry was rewarded at the weekend when Cork hosted ‘She’s Ace’, the prestigious All Ladies Handball […]

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By Con Dennehy

The continued growth, development and participation of women’s handball in East Kerry was rewarded at the weekend when Cork hosted ‘She’s Ace’, the prestigious All Ladies Handball championships.

Attracting all the leading players in Ireland, it was Sarah Dineen, the Spa/Killarney player who shot out the Rebel lights in Conna with a phenomenal display of handball.

Competing in the highly competitive Ladies Challenger championship, the Killarney player, who took up the sport just 18 months ago, had the perfect start in the competition defeating the home town favourite Agnes Hurley from Conna on a 21-20 scoreline following an energy sapping and close encounter that hung in the balance to the final ace.

In her second game she took on the challenge of Nolwenn Even from St Brigids where her skill, superior fitness and movement on the court resulted in the 21-12 victory and a place in the prestigious final.

“The final was always going to be a difficult game not least playing local girl Kate O’Riordan from Conna. I concentrated on my serve and kill shots which ensured we shared the aces early in the game. It was a difficult game with the home supporters out in force to cheer on their local hero. However, I played well and secured a 21-11 victory. This was the second time this title came to Spa Killarney following the 2022 win by Aoife Walsh in Northern Ireland,” said Sarah, who is currently chairperson of the Killarney Camogie Club.

A native of Westmeath, Sarah (46) runs a jewellery business in Killarney and lives in Rathmore. No stranger to competitive sport she played camogie for Westmeath and Leinster and also won an Intermediate championship Gaelic football medal in Westmeath.

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STEM Scholarship for outstanding female student

By Michelle Crean A Killarney student attending University College Cork has received a STEM scholarship. Annie O’Donoghue (22) who is in her final year of a Bachelor of Science Degree in Data Science […]

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By Michelle Crean

A Killarney student attending University College Cork has received a STEM scholarship.

Annie O’Donoghue (22) who is in her final year of a Bachelor of Science Degree in Data Science and Analytics in University College Cork, was recognised as an outstanding female student in STEM2D disciplines: Science, Technology, Engineering, Math, Manufacturing and Design at a ceremony held at Janssen Sciences site in Ringaskiddy.

Annie, from Muckross, will receive a student award, a bursary of €1,500, industry mentoring and leadership training, along with the opportunity to attend career workshops, visit Johnson & Johnson sites and participate in WiSTEM2D events designed to support students with pursuing future STEM careers.

The Johnson & Johnson WiSTEM2D programme fuels the development of the female STEM2D talent pipeline by awarding and sponsoring girls and women at critical points in their educational experience and their careers, in STEM disciplines. The Undergraduate programme was first introduced at University of Limerick in 2016. Since then, it has expanded to include University College Cork in 2018, University of Galway in 2021, and Munster Technological University in 2022, supporting more than 400 female students over the last six years.

“It’s an honour to be a recipient of this award,” Annie, who is a former St Brigid’s Presentation Secondary School student, told the Killarney Advertiser.

“It’s great to see the number of women in Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, Manufacturing and Design, increase over the years.”

She added that the goal of the award is “to inspire women to pursue their career path in their respective STEM2D field of work”.  
 

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