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Killarney’s hospital beds could take pressure off UHK

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SIPTU has asked the government to alleviate the overcrowding problem at University Hospital Kerry in Tralee by transferring patients to Killarney. The trade union’s Branch Organiser for Kerry Hospitals, Donie Doody, says there are unused beds in Killarney and these spaces should be utilised to take pressure off of Kerry’s largest hospital.

Speaking to the Killarney Advertiser, Mr Doody said there should be more “coordination” between Kerry’s hospitals.

“At present there are 30 vacant beds in Killarney Community Hospitals. Why are these beds being left vacant when 20 miles away, in University Hospital Kerry, patients are waiting on trolleys for days at a time? It’s a ludicrous situation. Why is it being allowed to happen? Why is there no policy in place to rectify the situation? Why can patients waiting for the fair deal scheme not be transferred to these vacant beds?

“I call on you, Mr Harris, as Minister for Health, to intervene immediately and initiate a policy that would relieve the pressure on beds at UHK and utilise vacant beds available 20 miles away in Killarney.

“The people of Kerry deserve and are entitled to have this situation rectified immediately. The beds are available and urgently need to be utilised.”

The lack of hospital beds in Ireland has been well documented in recent years. 1,600 were lost in the last decade and Ireland’s rate of 2.8 beds per 1,000 people is well below the norm for OECD countries (4.8). On Wednesday, the nationwide figure for people on trolleys waiting for beds was 396, a 23% increase on the same day last year. There are currently 14 people waiting for beds in Tralee.

The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO), which collects the figures, says that the problem is caused by a lack of nursing staff and limited bed capacity in hospitals. In University Hospital Limerick, for example, there are over 70 unfilled nursing vacancies.

INMO General Secretary, Phil Ní Sheaghdha, said: “These are genuinely startling figures to see in summertime. It’s only July, and our hospitals are already way over capacity. Nurses will be looking to winter with a sense of dread. A decade ago we’d call this a national emergency, but it’s the new normal in our broken health service.

“Capacity simply has to increase. The government must make it a priority to fill nursing vacancies urgently. That won’t happen without the pay rise that nurses have earned. I worry that if pay stays low and conditions worsen, more nurses will be forced out of our health services.”

What do you think? Should Killarney’s vacant hospital beds be used to alleviate the problems at University Hospital Kerry? Let us know by emailing newsdesk@killarneyadvertiser.ie.

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Life-long supporter to be honoured

By Michelle Crean There’ll be a very special launch tomorrow afternoon (Sunday) as one club dedicate a new boat to a loyal supporter. Muckross Rowing Club are inviting all members, past and present, friends and supporters to the boathouse for the boat launch at 2.30pm. “We are delighted to honour and name our new Janousek Coxed […]

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By Michelle Crean

There’ll be a very special launch tomorrow afternoon (Sunday) as one club dedicate a new boat to a loyal supporter.

Muckross Rowing Club are inviting all members, past and present, friends and supporters to the boathouse for the boat launch at 2.30pm.

“We are delighted to honour and name our new Janousek Coxed Quad, sponsored by the Cahernane House Hotel, after Kathleen Murphy, a dedicated supporter of our club,” Shona O’Sullivan from the club, who is also Kathleen’s granddaughter, said.

“Kathleen is always supportive of our club fundraisers and has been selling the Muckross Lotto tickets since day one. Every year Kathleen’s enthusiasm and love for the club is especially shown from the shore at Killarney Regatta, as she is all decked out in the yellow of Muckross.”

She added that Kathleen’s family are also very active members of the club and she enjoys listening to their stories from the boathouse and regattas.

“We hope to see you all there to honour and thank Kathleen, a life-long supporter of our club.”

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Killarney man wins most-coveted trophy in sheepdog trials

By Sean Moriarty Kilcummin farmer Tom O’Sullivan – one of the main organisers of last month’s Sheep Dog Trials in Fossa – has become the first Kerry man to win the biggest award in the sport. Tom is the chairman of the Killarney sub-committee and was a member of the 15-strong Irish team that participated […]

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By Sean Moriarty

Kilcummin farmer Tom O’Sullivan – one of the main organisers of last month’s Sheep Dog Trials in Fossa – has become the first Kerry man to win the biggest award in the sport.

Tom is the chairman of the Killarney sub-committee and was a member of the 15-strong Irish team that participated in the international sheepdog competition in Aberystwyth in Wales last weekend.

A total of 60 competitors, 15 each from Ireland, England, Scotland and Wales, contested the biggest event in sheepdog trials on Friday to Sunday last.

After getting through the qualifiers on Friday and Saturday, Tom and his dog Northhill Tess, fended off the challenges of the other top-15 qualifiers to win the International Supreme Champion award.

Not alone is he the first Kerry man to win the competition, which has been running since 1947, he is just the fifth Irishman to do so and the first from Munster.

“The qualifying course was similar to Killarney,” he told the Killarney Advertiser.

However, Sunday’s final was much more difficult. His dog had to round up a flock of sheep at the left hand side of the course. Then Northhill Tess, under the guidance of Tom, had to round up a smaller flock and bring them to the same holding pen. When finished, five of the sheep were wearing red collars and Tom had to instruct his dog to separate them and bring them to a separate holding area.

“It is the biggest trophy in sheep dog trailing,” he added. “Everyone who trains a dog does so for this day. It is mind blowing. My family are very proud, they know the time and the work involved preparing for this.”

The standard at the Killarney event last month was evident in Wales last weekend. The Killarney winner, Peter Morgan and his dog Moss, ran Tom to a very close second.

His son Peter Og won the Young Handlers award and Team Ireland were declared the overall winners based on aggregate scores in the final 15.

Tom arrived home to Kilcummin on Monday night to a traditional homecoming bonfire.

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