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Killarney man lucky to avoid two major COVID-19 outbreaks over 5,000 miles apart

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By Michelle Crean

 

A Killarney man has amazingly managed to avoid the brunt of not one - but two - major COVID-19 outbreaks in two different countries 5,000 miles apart.

In February, Mike Keogh (27) of O’Sullivan’s Place Killarney came home from Shanghai – which is about 700km from Wuhan in China - just as the outbreak began there.

And, just as the health crisis was beginning to take hold in Ireland, Mike returned to China as they began preparations to go back to normal after the heath crisis began to subside - unbelievably avoiding two major lockdowns.

This week he says he was lucky to leave both countries just as they were each on the brink of the worst part of the global pandemic taking hold.

“I was the last out of Shanghai, I left a week before they locked down the city,” Mike told the Killarney Advertiser.

“It was a little scary but the people in control of Shanghai’s response were quick and efficient and it is probably the reason a city with 35 million people never got into the thousands for active cases. But arriving in Europe at both airports, there was no temperature check, I was never asked my travel history in regards have I been to Wuhan, and got stared at when I kept my mask on because I still had that fear. When I returned home I self-quarantined for a few days."

Before the Irish lockdown, the English teacher, who had been teaching his classes online, left Ireland on March 9 as China expected schools to reopen.

“On March 11, China banned flights from France where I just connected from. The plane was very surreal as it was mostly Chinese with masks, some with hazmat suits. Arriving in Shanghai was a little nerve racking. They disinfected the flight and asked anyone from Italy to get off first where they checked them to make sure they were illness free or had any symptoms. Then we proceeded to use either the WeChat or Alipay Apps to show where we had been the last couple of weeks and at this point Ireland was on the OK list - until two days later.”

He said that he was asked where he had been, to declare if he had been in contact with anyone with the disease, and they took his phone number to contact him if anyone else showed symptoms.

“I had my temperature checked four times in the airport and was given the all green to go back to my apartment and I self-quarantined for two weeks."

He said he feels Ireland needs to step up its preventative measures especially going forward as it begins phasing in the reopening of businesses.

“The introduction of automated hand sanitisers in major public areas are a great feature in supermarkets and shopping centres. Every bar and restaurant here, the servers, bartenders, cooks and managers, are all wearing masks the entire time. We need to look at the countries getting out of this and see what is working.”

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Gaelscoil pupils compete in Fleadh for the first time

By Michelle Crean It was their first time entering Fleadh Cheoil Chiarraí but Gaelscoil Faithleann pupils proved they’ve got talent as they made it to the next stage of the […]

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By Michelle Crean

It was their first time entering Fleadh Cheoil Chiarraí but Gaelscoil Faithleann pupils proved they’ve got talent as they made it to the next stage of the competition.

Muinteoir Treasa Uí Scannláin and Muinteoir Lisa Ni Iarlaithe prepared the children over the last two months on Thursday evenings after school.

For the competition 22 kids were entered in the Under 11 and 13 categories in the Comhra Gaeilge competition in Tralee.

Three of the Under 11s and three of the school’s Under 13s are now going forward to represent Chiarraí the Fleadh Cheoil na Mumhan in Newcastle West on July 15.

“The standard was very high and it was our first time entering this competition. All of the children were representing Cill Airne Comhaltas,” Lisa said.

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Kilcummin has strong representation in Fleadh Cheoil Chiarraí

Fleadh Cheoil Chiarraí may have been absent in the live sense over the previous two years, however it returned over the last two weekends and it delivered with aplomb! The […]

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Fleadh Cheoil Chiarraí may have been absent in the live sense over the previous two years, however it returned over the last two weekends and it delivered with aplomb!

The home of Kerry Comhaltas, the Dúchas Centre on the MTU campus in Tralee, was the host venue on the first weekend of the Fleadh, which accommodated the dancing competitions.

“We were spoiled with the spectacle of live dancing of the highest calibre accompanied by live music from accomplished musicians … food for the soul!” Derek O’Leary, Kilcummin CCE PRO, said.

“Much credit and thanks goes to the Moriarty School of Dancing, Mary, John and Adrian who represented Kilcummin CCE and prepared our teams to compete at the highest level.

“We also had such a great weekend in the singing and music competitions over the second weekend of Fleadh Cheoil Charraí, held in the Dúchas Centre and other areas of the MTU campus. All of our competitors performed to the highest standard in robust competition. Well done to all who competed and congratulations to all who go forward to represent Chiarraí the Fleadh Cheoil na Mumhan, in Newcastle West, Co. Limerick from July 10 to 16.”

Kilcummin had strong representation throughout the dancing competition during the first weekend of Fleadh Cheoil Chiarraí.

U12 Ladies 1st place and County Champions.

“Well done to our second U12 Ladies set who weren’t placed but danced beautifully.”

U12 Mixed 1st place & County Champions.
U12 mixed 2nd place.
15-18 Mixed 2nd place.
15-18 Ladies & Mixed Half set 3rd place
U12-15 Ladies 3rd place
Senior mixed half set 1st place and County Champions
Over 35’s 1st Place & County Champions

Kilcummin also excelled in the music and singing competitions of the second weekend of the Fleadh.

Eoin Foley – Accordion 1st place
Eoin Foley – Melodeon 2nd place
Aisling O’Connor – 1st place – Ladies O18 English Singing
Liam Kerrisk – 1st place – 15-18 Melodeon
Michael Healy – Button accordion (12-15) 1st place
Michael Healy – Melodeon (12-15) 1st place
Sean Butler – Button Accordion (12-15) 2nd place
Colleen Anland and Michael Healy – Duets (12-15) 1st place
Seán Fleming – Kerry Comhaltas U15 History Project 1st place

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