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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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Hike up Strickeen Mountain for air ambulance

  Locals and visitors are being invited to join a guided ascent of Strickeen Mountain on July 4 to raise funds for the Irish Community Air Ambulance. The hike, described as an easy to moderate climb and family friendly well be led by Killarney-based Irish Community Air Ambulance volunteer and tour guide Krzysztof Szwab. It […]

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Locals and visitors are being invited to join a guided ascent of Strickeen Mountain on July 4 to raise funds for the Irish Community Air Ambulance.

The hike, described as an easy to moderate climb and family friendly well be led by Killarney-based Irish Community Air Ambulance volunteer and tour guide Krzysztof Szwab.

It is expected that the 7.5km hike will take around three hours to complete and participants will benefit from the expertise of Krzysztof for a minimum donation €10 per person or €20 per family.

Strickeen Mountain is the eastern most peak of the MacGillycuddy’s Reeks and the hike will start from the Gap of Dunloe at 11am on the day.

As an added bonus fruit and water, donated by local supermarkets including Lidl, Aldi and Daly’s SuperValu, will be provided. The first 20 to register will receive a limited edition Irish Community Air Ambulance face covering snood.

“This is an ideal opportunity for someone who has never climbed this mountain, but wants to do it with the help of an experienced guide,” Donie Lucey, who is one of the Irish Community Air Ambulance’s chief fundraisers, said.

Further details are available from Donie on 086 854 5873 or from Krzysztof on 087 7589697 after 6pm.

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Golf club launches Summer Series competition

By Sean Moriarty Competitive golfing has resumed at Killarney Golf and Fishing Club marking another step towards normality in the locality. The O’Mahony’s Point course hosted an open singles event on Monday last and this competition will continue every Monday for the rest of the summer. Meanwhile the club’s ‘TaylorMade’ Summer Series gets underway at […]

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By Sean Moriarty

Competitive golfing has resumed at Killarney Golf and Fishing Club marking another step towards normality in the locality.

The O’Mahony’s Point course hosted an open singles event on Monday last and this competition will continue every Monday for the rest of the summer.

Meanwhile the club’s ‘TaylorMade’ Summer Series gets underway at the famed Killeen course this coming Wednesday (June 23). This series will continue every Wednesday for eight weeks and top five scorers on each date will qualify for a Grand Final which is scheduled for Sunday, August 22.

“We are delighted to launch the ‘TaylorMade’ Summer Series. This is a singles stableford event taking place on the Irish Open course, Killeen,” said the club’s marketing manager Meg Dalton. “With over €8,000 worth of prizes to be won, this is an event not to be missed. The first opportunity to qualify for the grand final is Wednesday.”

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Investigation continues into New St fire

  Killarney Gardai are continuing their investigation into the cause of a fire on New Street last week. The fire broke out at the Eviston House Hotel in the early hours of Bank Holiday Monday (June 7). It started in a room just off the kitchen on the first floor and spread along the venting […]

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Killarney Gardai are continuing their investigation into the cause of a fire on New Street last week.

The fire broke out at the Eviston House Hotel in the early hours of Bank Holiday Monday (June 7).

It started in a room just off the kitchen on the first floor and spread along the venting and ducting on the first, second and third floors. There was heavy smoke throughout the hotel but all guests were evacuated safely.

The landmark hotel, which also houses the famous Danny Mann pub, has not yet reopened, and local Gardai are still investigating its cause.

“The investigation is ongoing,” a Killarney Gardai Station spokesperson told the Killarney Advertiser. “We are establishing the full facts in relation to the fire.”

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