Connect with us


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




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

“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.”

Continue Reading


Ireland’s oldest citizen has Killarney connections

Ireland’s oldest woman met with President Michael D. Higgins at Áras an Uachtaráin this week. Máirín Hughes, who turned 109 on May 22 has strong Killarney connections. The previous record […]




Ireland’s oldest woman met with President Michael D. Higgins at Áras an Uachtaráin this week.

Máirín Hughes, who turned 109 on May 22 has strong Killarney connections.

The previous record was held by 107-year-old Nancy Stewart who died on September 10 2021.

Although born in Belfast, Máirín went to school in the Mercy Convent. Her father was a customs and excise officer and the family moved around a lot eventually coming to Killarney after spells in County Down and Dublin.

Her mother came from the Rathmore area and her father was from Newmarket in County Cork.

She attended the Mercy Convent and has, in previous interviews, recalled growing up on the shores of Lough Lein.

“Neighbours who had three children were given the job of taking me to school,” she said. “They were annoyed because the children were going to school for two or three years but I was put in to the same class as them – my mother had taught me.”

In 2021 she featured in the book ‘Independence Memories: A People’s Portrait of the Early Days of the Irish Nation’, sharing stories of being kept in school in Killarney during an attack on the RIC barracks down the road.

In 1924 she started a degree in science and a diploma in education at University College Cork, before working in the pathology lab in University College Cork’s Department of Medicine for 16 years.

last year she recalled her story on the podcast: ‘Living History – Irish Life and Lore’.

During the broadcast she talked about her parents’ membership of the Gaelic League in 1910; the Spanish Flu in Ireland in 1918; The Black and Tans in Killarney in 1921; the early days of the new Free State; Eucharistic Congress in Dublin in 1932, visiting the Basket Islands in 1929; and working in the UCC medical laboratory from 1932 until 1948.

This week President Michael D. Higgins hosted an afternoon tea event to celebrate the important role that a variety of people have and can play in different communities and Máirín was among the guests of honour.

Continue Reading


Philip is running over 100kms for Cancer charity

Local runner and charity fundraiser Philip Kissane is set for the biggest challenge of his career as he lines up for the Cork City Marathon on Sunday. Phillip has already […]




Local runner and charity fundraiser Philip Kissane is set for the biggest challenge of his career as he lines up for the Cork City Marathon on Sunday.

Phillip has already completed four half marathons at various locations around Killarney – all in aid of Kerry Cancer Support Group – or the Cancer Bus as it popularly called.

This is the second time that Phillip has run four half marathon and an official race for the charity.

Back in 2021 he finished with 5km Run Killarney event but his finishing race this time around is over eight times the distance at 42kms.

“We are delighted with Philip’s continued fundraising support but also with his awareness raising for the charity,” Breda Dyland, Service Manager Kerry Cancer Support Trust.

“We are getting busier all the time and still get no statutory funding so are dependent on fundraisers like Philip’s to keep us on the road. We have just put our new wheelchair accessible bus on the Cork route so Philip’s funding will be going towards the operation of this vehicle.”


Continue Reading


Last News