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Killarney optician detects brain tumour in nine-year-old girl



BRAIN TUMOUR: Nine-year-old Aoise O’Sullivan, pictured with her family, was diagnosed with a brain tumour after local Specsavers optician Thomas Doyle spotted it during an eye examine.


A nine-year-old girl underwent potentially lifesaving surgery after her optician at Specsavers Killarney helped to identify signs of a brain tumour. Suffering with headaches and nausea, Aoise O’Sullivan’s mum Ciara began to notice a change in her daughter’s eyes. No longer moving in sync, one also appeared to look slightly different to the other. Wondering if she might be having an issue with her vision, Aoise visited Specsavers for an eye test.


During the appointment, using the fundus camera, the optician Thomas Doyle could see that there was some swelling in her optic disc. This coupled with her symptoms was a worry, so Thomas urgently referred Aoise to her GP to request an MRI scan.

[caption id="attachment_36171" align="alignleft" width="430"] DETECTION: Optician Thomas Doyle from Specsavers in Killarney detected the brain tumour.[/caption]

Knowing how concerned her optician Thomas was, Aoise’s mother insisted on get getting a scan that week and after a speedy referral to Tralee, the scan confirmed their worst fear - a brain tumour which was causing a build-up of pressure and fluid in the brain that needed to be treated immediately.

Under the care of the neurological team in Beaumont Hospital, Aoise was scheduled for surgery within days. The tumour was thankfully benign. However, it was in a difficult position that made removal a challenge. The decision was made to leave the mass, but the team were able to relieve the pressure and drain the excess fluid that was building up, blocked by the tumour.

Aoise’s mum Ciara has praised Thomas for his expertise, quick thinking, and insistence in getting her an MRI, which saved her sight.

"Thomas was the calm in a storm," Ciara said. "We never expected to get the news we did and from the moment he suspected something wasn’t right he was patient and calm with us while also ensuring we knew how hard to push for Aoise’s MRI. Thanks to him, giving me that strength, we got the scan and found out what was wrong. Thomas said that we were incredibly lucky to have been proactive about getting Aoise seen to by an optical expert when we noticed a change in her eyes. Thomas said he might see something like this once every four years and the time in which you act is critical."

Thomas says that while Aoise’s experience is not common, it shows how important it is to take a proactive approach to your eye health, even during these difficult times in lockdown.

"What we thought was going to be a normal eye test turned out to be something very different," he says. "Had Aoise’s parents not decided to seek an optician’s advice after seeing the change in her eyes, the result could have been very different. Thanks to her parent’s trust in us as a local optician, we were able to pick this up before it was too late."

Specsavers Killarney remains open for all eye care and hearing needs with strict health and safety measures in place to ensure the safety of customers and staff.

"It’s important that anyone noticing a change in their vision gets it seen to right away. While usually this is down to a change in prescription or from our eyes feeling tired, in other cases it can be something more serious. With people refraining from visiting GPs and hospital A&E departments, please do speak to your local Specsavers experts for anything eye related. Don’t delay," he added.



Killarney centre stage for Pride Festival

The award-winning Kingdom Pride in Kerry festival is back next week and Killarney will take centre stage. Kingdom Pride will be celebrated in towns all across the county from July […]




The award-winning Kingdom Pride in Kerry festival is back next week and Killarney will take centre stage.

Kingdom Pride will be celebrated in towns all across the county from July 17 to 21.

The organisation’s flagship Party in the Park event will be held again in Killarney House and Gardens, following the Pride march in the town centre on July 20.

This year, in solidarity with the people of Palestine, Kingdom Pride in Kerry is inviting the people of Kerry to come to show their unity by bringing Palestinian flags and kites to the march, and to the Party in the Park.

“Pride is a protest for human rights all over the world. Here in the Kingdom, we have been so lucky to receive tremendous community support from our allies and supporters, and we see the struggle for liberation of all peoples as a united cause,” said Daniel Quirke, chairperson of the organising committee.

“Our events have always welcomed everyone, regardless of gender, orientation, religion, or nationality. We truly believe that together we can create positive change through caring for and loving one another. This year is no exception, and we look forward to helping to highlight the Palestinian cause, and to bringing people together to keep generating positive change for all people.”

Events will take place in Cahersiveen, Listowel, Killorglin, Tralee and Dingle, and include an Irish comedy night with Áine Gallagher, an Irish-language movie screening, yoga, sea swimming, poetry and storytelling, bowling, pitch and putt, a lively drag night at the INEC, and plenty more for people of all ages.

“We do our best to keep tickets as low-cost as possible, and we have lots of events that are totally free to attend. It is important to us that people can share Pride with us, regardless of income. Especially with the rise of the cost of living putting a strain on people’s pockets.” added the chairperson.


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A weekend of Live Music, Fun and Entertainment, at FleskFest 2024

The organisers of the annual FleskFest have “a tremendous line-up, with a weekend full of entertainment to suit all” for the July 18 to 20 event. “It promises to be […]




The organisers of the annual FleskFest have “a tremendous line-up, with a weekend full of entertainment to suit all” for the July 18 to 20 event.

“It promises to be the festival weekend of the summer, an event you don’t want to miss out on. Last year’s Festival was a fantastic memorable experience for our community, a time to get together and celebrate,” said festival PRO Seán Daly.

Organised by Glenflesk GAA, FleskFest 24 will take place at the Barraduff Community Field next week.
There will be a fully licensed bar in the Fest Marquee, some amazing live music on The Big Stage, food trucks and much more.
Glenflesk GAA club’s biggest fundraiser of the year includes a new-for-2024 Texas Holdem Poker Tournament on Thursday night.
Weekend highlights include old-time waltzing, jiving and polka sets with Paudie McAuliffe and Paudie Coffey Band on Friday,
On Saturday, the new Well Flesk event will take place.
“A morning of self-care and wellness at Flesk Fest featuring masterclasses in yoga, pilates, mindfulness, spinning, fitness sessions, workouts, firewood sauna and ice pods with a range of experienced and qualified instructors,” added Daly.
Leading local musician Johnny Courtney and Friends, Sam and Ina, The O’Donoghue Sisters, Reigning All Ireland Champions Glenflesk Ballad Group, and The Border Boys will take to the Big Stage over the weekend.
Sunday is Family Fun Day with children’s entertainment and disco and the All-Ireland Hurling Final Live on the Big screen followed by music with Thingamajig.
The festival will finish with a Sunday evening session with the Meadhbh Walsh Band.

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