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Killarney student in All-Ireland poetry final



POETRY ALOUD: Students Dáire O'Brien and Jack Greaney, pictured with teacher Mary Denise Lyons, took part in the Poetry Aloud competition with Dáire through to the All-Ireland final on December 6. Photo: Michelle Crean



By Michelle Crean


One Killarney student is happy to speak ‘Poetry Aloud’- and his talents have secured him a place in an All-Ireland final next week.

Three students from St Brendan’s College, Fifth Year student Giordano Diro, Transition Year student Jack Greaney and Second Year student Dáire O’Brien, reached the semi-final of the annual ‘Poetry Aloud’ competition held in the National Library in Kildare Street in Dublin on Friday last.

The poetry speaking competition is aimed at post-primary schools, organised by Poetry Ireland and the National Library of Ireland in partnership with University College Cork.

The boys went up against students from schools all over Ireland and had to recite two poems each in their age categories. However, just one, Dáire, made it to the final which takes place next Friday December 6. He is now hoping to win the Junior category which includes a €300 prize and book tokens to the value of €300 for the winner’s school library.

“They had to do two poems, one set poem and one chosen and had to bring out the meaning of it,” teacher Mary Denise Lyons, told the Killarney Advertiser.

“Up to 2,000 students entered the competition and just over 100 made it to the semi-final, with 30 in the final in the different age categories.”


An overall winner will be chosen from the three category winners and will receive a further €200, the Seamus Heaney perpetual trophy and a signed book of poetry. The runner up in each category will receive a book token and certificates of participation will be presented to all finalists.

“We’re very proud of the boys,” Principal Sean Coffey added.




Killarney Triathlon Club’s open water swim on the lake



On Tuesday evening last, members of the Killarney Triathlon Club took part in a breathtaking open water swim, starting from Dundag Beach and spanning the middle lake to a nearby island. Covering a distance of approximately 1.5 kilometers, the event saw all participants return safely, basking in a well-deserved sense of accomplishment.

Set against the stunning backdrop of Killarney National Park, swimmers enjoyed views of woodlands,  mountains, and Muckross House. Safety was paramount during the swim, as it is in all the club’s events. Essential precautions included the use of tow floats, safety kayakers, and safety boats, ensuring the well-being of all participants.

“Our club is incredibly fortunate to be surrounded by such a beautiful environment,” said Caitriona Shanahan, PRO of Killarney Triathlon Club. “The views during our swims are truly spectacular, and the safety measures we implement help everyone feel secure and enjoy the experience.”

Killarney Triathlon Club offers numerous benefits to athletes of all levels. These include structured training programs, expert coaching, group workouts and more. 

“We welcome all levels and abilities. Joining our club not only improves physical fitness but also offers great fun and the added benefits of stress relief from sea swimming. There truly is nothing like the calming effect of a group swim in the sea.” Caitriona added.

For those interested in joining the Killarney Triathlon Club, more information can be found on their social media platforms and their website,


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Danny Healy-Rae welcomes decision to push back changes for cataract payments



The Health Service Executive has deferred a move to cut the price it reimburses people for cataract treatments in the European Union and in Northern Ireland, under its overseas treatment schemes and a separate system for the North.

The prices were due to change from the start of this month, but the HSE has pushed the date back so that no one is disadvantaged, and to fully communicate with patients, treatment consultants and providers, cost changes will not come into effect until September 1.

The payments for less complex eye treatments were due to fall from €1,912 to €863 or the National Health Service equivalent of £766 in Northern Ireland. The most common cataract procedure payments were due to reduce from €1,456 to €1,171.

The HSE said that the vast majority of procedures fall into this new payment price. It said that the more complex glaucoma/cataract treatment payments will rise from €1,912 to €4,206.

Danny Healy Rae welcomed the news saying, “Following my representations and raising of this matter in the Dáil, I am glad that the HSE have agreed that they will continue to reimburse the higher rates for cataract procedure for those carried out up to the end of August 2024.

“I am advising anyone who needs to have their cataracts removed to do so now before the change to reimbursement amounts comes in.”

All cataract treatment carried out in Belfast after the 1st September 2024 will be subject to the new DRG rates.

Honouring the Kerry women of the revolutionary period

Kerry County Council is to invite expressions of interest next week for the commissioning and development of a commemorative and artistic piece which will honour the role played by women in Kerry during the revolutionary period between 1912 and 1923.

The project follows a joint motion by the five female members of Kerry County Council who called for the development and commissioning of a meaningful and lasting commemorative piece which would reflect the significant and diverse roles and activities of women and their involvement in the campaign for Irish Independence at the beginning of the twentieth century.

A Working Group, including the five female councillors, has been developing a design brief, and the Council intends to publish a detailed brief for the memorial next week and expressions of interest will be invited.


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