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Killarney mom plans national service dog programme for schools

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AUTISM CAMPAIGN: Deirdre and Shane Horgan from Killarney with their boys Fionn and Brian, and dogs Fifi and Bosco. Photo: Michelle Crean

By Michelle Crean

After fundraising for a specialist dog for her son who suffers from Autism – and seeing the enormous benefits – a Killarney mother is now hoping to roll out a national plan to bring service dogs to schools.
Deirdre and Shane Horgan, from Laccabane Village, got their dogs Bosco and Fifi through My Canine Companion Autism Service Dogs, for their son Fionn, following a huge fundraising drive. However, after Deirdre, who teaches in Pobalscoil Inbhear Scéine, Kenmare, started bringing the dogs to school to help socialise them, she says she has also seen the enormous benefits for the students.
And it’s been such a huge success that now she’s planning to meet with the dog service over the Easter holidays to see if a programme could be rolled out to schools nationally.
She says seven year-old Fionn faces challenges with his condition, but since getting Bosco last year they have seen an improvement in his social skills as the dog has had such a calming influence.
With the support of Principal Dermot Healy, the students have not only become more aware of Autism and special needs, but are helping to fundraise for the charity also, she explained to the Killarney Advertiser this week.
“Bosco spends his days in the ASD unit where the students are benefiting greatly from his presence, along with the whole school community,” she said.
“Bosco joined the school as a 12 week old puppy and a year later he loves going to school.”
Six Transition Year students are involved in his training and they work on social interaction, distraction and basic training of the service puppy, she explained.
“Leadership and guidance has also been given to SNAs, teachers and students who interact with Bosco on a daily basis. SNAs and teachers involved have noticed a significant positive effect on students. Bosco has helped lessen the anxiety of one student, just being able to rub Bosco calms the situation. I’m hoping to meet with My Canine Companion over Easter as we’re looking at coming up with a programme for schools nationally.”

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Green light for teen accommodation

By Michelle Crean  Plans for sheltered accommodation to house homeless teenagers in foster care have been given the go ahead. An Bord Pleanala has approved a three-storey building in Flemings Lane just off High Street, which will have eight bedrooms, two one bedroom apartments and one two bedroom apartment. The teens living within the premises […]

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By Michelle Crean
 

Plans for sheltered accommodation to house homeless teenagers in foster care have been given the go ahead.

An Bord Pleanala has approved a three-storey building in Flemings Lane just off High Street, which will have eight bedrooms, two one bedroom apartments and one two bedroom apartment.

The teens living within the premises will be supervised by applicant Eileen O’Brien who will live on the ground floor of the premises.

The two one-bed apartments on the second floor would either be rented out or used for independent living for the teenagers as they reach adulthood.

The two-bed apartment will be on the third floor. There are also plans for balconies at second and third floor levels.

The proposed apartment building is contemporary in design with a mix of stone and render finish on the lower floors and synthetic burned timber finish on the upper floors. The second floor is recessed at the front and the third floor is recessed at the front and the rear with a decorative feature on the front elevation comprising dark grey timber steel poles. The building will also have a flat roof.

Planning permission was granted subject to 14 conditions including a two-metre high boundary wall to be constructed on south, south-western boundaries of the site and there’s to be no overnight commercial guest accommodation.

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Fans return to Fitzgerald Stadium after eight months

By Sean Moriarty Officials from Fitzgerald Stadium remain hopeful that crowd capacity at the venue can be increased to 500 spectators in time for the Munster final on July 25 – subject to both national health guidelines and Kerry qualifying for the game. Last Saturday evening’s National League semi-final between Kerry and Tyrone was the […]

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By Sean Moriarty

Officials from Fitzgerald Stadium remain hopeful that crowd capacity at the venue can be increased to 500 spectators in time for the Munster final on July 25 – subject to both national health guidelines and Kerry qualifying for the game.

Last Saturday evening’s National League semi-final between Kerry and Tyrone was the first game at the stadium since the 2020 Kerry Petroleum Intermediate Club Football Championship Quarter-Final when Glenbeigh-Glencar played Beaufort on October 4 last year.

Due to current restrictions only 200 fans were allowed attend Saturday’s big match. That will remain in place for Kerry’s opening Munster Championship tie with Clare on June 26.

“It had been more than eight months since Fitzgerald Stadium welcomed back fans to the venue,” stadium PRO Tatyana McGough told the Killarney Advertiser. “Everything went exceptionally well.”

She is hopeful that more restrictions will be eased on July 5, paving the way for an increase in capacity to 500 fans in time for the July 25 Munster Final.

“It is likely that from July 5 up to 500 spectators may be permitted to attend games. We hope this number will increase for the Munster Final. If it is a Cork versus Kerry Munster Final the game will be fixed for Sunday July 25 at 4pm in the Fitzgerald Stadium. The stadium’s staff are very confident in being able to host any number of fans that may be allowed.”

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Garda appeal to park legally at beaches and public amenities

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An Garda Siochana is appealing to the public to park legally in designated car parks and spaces when visiting beaches, beauty spots and other public amenities. 

The good weather has seen an increase in dangerous illegal parking at these locations across the country in recent weeks. An Garda Siochana wants people to enjoy the summer but do so safely.

Parking illegally can lead to unnecessary risk and dangers such as pedestrians being forced to walk along dangerous roads. It can also prevent emergency services from gaining access to these amenities a seaside locations which could lead to the loss of life. 

“We encourage the public to plan their journeys and think safety first when parking your vehicle,” the Gardai said in a statement. 

“The outcome of parking illegally could be far more serious than a FCPN or vehicle towing and puts others and your own life at risk. 

An Garda Siochana reminds and encourages the public to social distance and follow public health guidelines when attending these locations this Summer.

An Garda Siochana is also supporting National Water Safety Awareness Week (June 14th – 20th). Information on this campaign and general water safety can be found on Water Safety Irelands Website – www.watersafety.ie/national-water-safety-awareness-week/

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