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Killarney’s festivals to get €30k in funding

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By Sean Moriarty

The future of some of Killarney’s best-loved festivals is secure thanks to much needed financial support that was distributed through Kerry County Council’s Community Support Fund.

Several community groups and organisations received funding under the programme. A total of €30,000 was allocated to four of the town’s festivals.

Killarney’s newest event, The Wander Wild Festival, is in line for €10,000 under the scheme. The St Patrick’s Day Festival and Christmas in Killarney will get €8,000, and the annual 4th of July Festival is to get €4,000,

“The financial contribution made by Killarney Municipal District Council and Kerry County Council is, of course, an enormous boost for which Chamber if extremely grateful," Killarney Chamber of Tourism and Commerce, president Niall Kelleher, told the Killarney Advertiser.

"It almost goes without saying that, without this wonderful support from the municipal authority, the festivals would struggle to survive. These events attract tens of thousands of people to town every year but, of course, festivals are very expensive to run. It costs hundreds of thousands of Euro to keep these wonderful events up and running and, in addition to the very significant promotion and marketing costs, we must ensure the infrastructure and all the necessary equipment, decorations and attractions are in place.”

Killarney is particularly fortunate to have such outstanding and high quality community celebrations to attract people from all over the world and provide top class entertainment.

“Everybody is fully aware and appreciative of the hugely positive impact of events like Christmas in Killarney, the St Patrick’s Festival Killarney, the 4th July Festival and, the latest addition, the Wander Wild Festival which was such a major success in its inaugural year,” Mr Kelleher added.

“Killarney Chamber of Tourism and Commerce is, as always, very grateful to the local businesses who contribute so willingly and so generously every year, without fail, to help offset the costs of running the town’s festivals.”

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Killarney Triathlon Club’s open water swim on the lake

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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, Killarneytri.com.

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

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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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