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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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Killarney stage to feature in new look Rás Mumhan

Cycling By Sean Moriarty Killarney will play a crucial role in the revival of four-day Kerry Group Rás Mumhan cycle race. The event, one of the biggest road races in Ireland. It has not run since 2019 after Killorglin Cycling Club withdrew from organising it.The organisation of Rás Mumhan was transferred to a committee in […]

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By Sean Moriarty

Killarney will play a crucial role in the revival of four-day Kerry Group Rás Mumhan cycle race.

The event, one of the biggest road races in Ireland. It has not run since 2019 after Killorglin Cycling Club withdrew from organising it.
The organisation of Rás Mumhan was transferred to a committee in County Tipperary but they never got the event off the ground as a result of the pandemic.

A new joint effort between four cycling clubs in Kerry has taken over the running of the event under new race director Daithi Creedon and his committee.

It will be the first major Stage Race on the Irish Cycling Calendar and will take place over the four days of Easter weekend from April 15 to April 18.

Killarney Cycling club will run the second leg of the event – a stage from the town to Sneem via Bealach Oisin Pass on Easter Saturday.

The opening leg will be hosted by Tralee Manor West BC and will start and finish in the county town and run via Annascaul and Castlemaine.

Sliabh Luachra Cycling Club is in charge of day three which takes in Knocknagree, Rathmore and Kishkeam.

The final day is in the hands of Currow Cycling Club and they will run the Knocknagoshel to Headley’s Bridge looped stage.

“This year’s route will allow the riders to race every day, with undulating roads and deliberately staying away from big category 1 climbs, this will open up the race for aggressive racing. Stage four will be a spectator friendly stage and will be a great finale to Rás Mumhan,” said Creedon.

“We wish to acknowledge and thank Killorglin Cycling Club for the fantastic work they have carried out in promoting and running this event in the past.”

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Northern lights delight for Aoife and Sinead

By Con Dennehy The continued growth, development and participation of women’s handball in Kerry was rewarded at the weekend when Tyrone hosted ‘She’s Ace’, the prestigious All Ladies Handball championships. Attracting all the leading players in Ireland, it was the Spa/Killarney trio of Aoife Walsh, Sinead Moriarty and Niamh Faulds who shot out the Northern […]

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By Con Dennehy

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

Attracting all the leading players in Ireland, it was the Spa/Killarney trio of Aoife Walsh, Sinead Moriarty and Niamh Faulds who shot out the Northern lights with a phenomenal display of handball.

In the Ladies ‘Challenger 1 Wall’ competition Aoife Walsh faced a top-class field.

Following quarter and semi-final wins, she went into the final with the favourites tag.

Walsh again produced a sizzling display of handball to outclass her opponent, Emma O’Neill (Tyrone), to clinch the title on a 15-4 scoreline.

There was further joy for the Spa based club when one of their promising new players, Sinead Moriarty, teamed up with Clare Conway (Tyrone) and Carla Corcoran (Tyrone) in the Mixed Grade team competition.

Twelve teams contested this competition with Moriarty key to their success. In the opening rounds the team scored 25-16 and 25-20 to reach the final where they had an impressive 25-22 victory in a classic game that showcased the finer skills of handball.

The other Killarney competitor, Niamh Faulds added to her growing reputation with some impressive games in the “1 Wall’, ‘4 Wall’ and team competitions, winning one game and narrowly loosing out in the other games despite close 25-18, 21-19, 21-17 score-lines.

“This has been a historic and important weekend for women’s handball in Kerry. Winning titles is a massive boost for the sport and something we can build on in the coming weeks and months,” said Jack O’Shea, P.R.O. of the Kerry Handball Board.

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