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Killarney pupil left waiting almost two years for life-changing surgery

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URGENT: Ronan Foley, pictured with his dad Tony, mom Caroline and brother Gavin, has been waiting more than 20 months to have an urgent operation to correct a 90 degree curve in his spine. Photo: Michelle Crean

By Michelle Crean

 

The angry parents of young boy who has a painful 90 degree curvature of the spine have this week hit out against the Government to stop delaying his vital surgery.

Tony and Caroline Foley, whose 14-year-old son has just finished up at St Oliver’s National School, say that Ronan has been waiting 20 months for the life-changing operation and is in constant pain every single day as dates for his surgery keep being put off - even though the former Minister for Health, Simon Harris, said no child should wait more than four months for it.

On Saturday, TD Michael Healy-Rae raised the issue in the Dáil, but Ronan's parents say they’re still none the wiser as to when it will go ahead.

“We’re angry because of all this waiting,” Tony told the Killarney Advertiser.

“Ronan’s personality is not as bright as it used to be because he’s in such pain.”

In 2018 Ronan had a curvature of the spine which was at 42 degrees and according to Tony this "disimproved” significantly to 79 degrees within a short space of time. He is in pain everyday and can only sit up for short periods to eat. His family have to make frequent stops during travel to appointments in Crumlin hospital to give Ronan a chance to move to alleviate his pain.

Surgery would change his life and help free him of pain, Tony explained.

“We were told that he was a priority for surgery within three or four months in October 2018. We’re nearly two years now and still there’s no date for surgery. His March 12 date was cancelled due to the Coronavirus situation but I don’t think it would have gone ahead anyway as we were waiting for a cardiologist appointment. As of now we have no date whatsoever. We’re getting no answers and we’re having to advocate for ourselves.”

Ronan was due to leave St Oliver’s NS last year but due to the March appointment for surgery, they kept him back which was another upsetting factor in the whole debacle as Ronan had to see his friends move on. Now Tony says it was all for nothing.

“The staff in the school have been amazing and so have our community.”

And he added that they are a private family, but have had no choice but to put themselves in the public eye to push the powers that be into helping their child.

“We are also very angry having to put ourselves out there in public. We have to do it for Ronan - you’d die for your children.”

Michael Healy-Rae raises Ronan's case in the Dáil

"What I want from the incoming Government is that I do not want it to leave people behind. I will give an example of what it is to leave people behind, and with the permission of himself and his family, I will raise the case of young Ronan Foley from Dungeel in Killorglin. I want each and every Member of this Dáil, the new Minister for Health, and the new Taoiseach, Micheál Martin, to remember this case. He is lying today in pain with a 90° curve on his spine. He has been waiting more than 20 months for an operation the outgoing Minister for Health said no child should wait any more than four months for. This is a tragedy and a travesty, and I do not want this Government to leave people like Ronan Foley behind. I want people like him to have an operation when they need it."

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Katie celebrates 20 years in business

If you enjoy what you do, sure it’s not work at all – and that has been the case for Katie Hickey who has been in business locally for two decades. For the past 20 years Katie has been successfully running Sheer Beauty which is now located at 1 Hogans Lane (Hillary’s Lane). 

 She […]

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If you enjoy what you do, sure it’s not work at all – and that has been the case for Katie Hickey who has been in business locally for two decades.

For the past 20 years Katie has been successfully running Sheer Beauty which is now located at 1 Hogans Lane (Hillary’s Lane).



She said that it was a milestone she felt she may not reach on more than one occasion after coming through a pandemic, a recession, a re-location, and three maternity leaves.

However, she said that the loyalty of her clients over the years have given her great encouragement.

“Sincere thanks to my clients past and present who, without doubt, have been the reason I kept going,” Katie said.

Originally located in Fleming’s Lane for 19 years, Katie then re-located her business to Hogan’s Lane in Norma’s Flair for Hair.

“The beauty industry has evolved so drastically over the past 20 years. For me it is keeping things simple and enjoyable. Realising a client’s needs may not be the treatment itself but the time you give to them. Through the years you get to know your clients so well and some beautiful friendships have developed. I hope my clients have gained from me what I have from them. I have so many people I would like to thank and I will personally, but without doubt my husband Andrew and my family, 20 years in business would not have been achieved.

“

She has remained loyal to the brands she has carried over the years including Lycon Waxing, Aviva Tanning, Shellac and Jessica Manicure and Pedicure.

“I was also delighted to bring on board the fabulous facial range that is Killarney Organic. Killarney has been incredibly kind to me. I’m so proud to be part of such a wonderful community. If the past 19 months have proved anything for business it is together we are stronger.”

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County Board open to GAA museum proposals

By Sean Moriarty The Kerry County GAA Board said it would operate “an open door policy” for any plans to build a GAA museum in the county. There have been talks at a political level to build such a museum in Kerry with political rivals in Killarney and Tralee both pushing for it to be built […]

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By Sean Moriarty

The Kerry County GAA Board said it would operate “an open door policy” for any plans to build a GAA museum in the county.

There have been talks at a political level to build such a museum in Kerry with political rivals in Killarney and Tralee both pushing for it to be built in their home town.

Before he retired from politics in April, Michael Gleeson was campaigning to build a GAA and cultural museum on the grounds of Fitzgerald Stadium.

His campaign goes back several years before the recession set in, with a €0.5 million bridging loan secured from Croke Park along with funding from Fáilte Ireland. That funding was lost with the onset of the recession before 2010.

Tim Murphy, the outgoing chairman of the Kerry County Board, has confirmed to the Killarney Advertiser that no approaches have been made to the County Board at executive level during his five year stint at the helm.

However, he said the Board would be open to such approaches provided there is sound financial planning behind the project in place.

“The first and most important aspect is the capital funding and my understanding is there needs to be Fáilte Ireland funding in place first,” he told the Killarney Advertiser. “If it gets up and running, there needs to be very clear talks with all stakeholders so everyone knows each others expectations. A museum attracts footfall, but it costs a lot of money to run. We would offer an open door policy to all proposals but funding, first from a capital point of view and then from an operational point of view, will need to be in place.”

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