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Let golf continue says retired Killarney GP

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REVERSE THE DECISION: Retired GP Dr John McCullagh is calling on NPHET to reverse last week’s decision to close golf courses. Photo: Michelle Crean

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By Sean Moriarty

A retired Killarney doctor is calling on the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) and the Golf Union of Ireland to immediately reverse last week’s decision to close golf courses in the interest of mental health - saying golf is one of the safest sports to play during the pandemic.

Under current COVID-19 regulations, golf courses, like so many other aspects of Irish society, remain closed for the duration of the Level 5 restrictions, and will do so until at least December 1.

Dr John McCullagh originally operated a medical practice on New St before going on to become one of the founding partners of the Deenagh Medical Practice.

Dr McCullagh has written to the Golf Union of Ireland outlining why he believes the sport should continue. He highlighted the health benefits of golf and according to his medical experience many of these benefits outweigh the risk of contracting the Coronavirus.

This week he shared the letter with the Killarney Advertiser.
“The game of golf is arguably the safest sport to be involved in. Huge numbers of elderly people, both women and men, enjoy this activity, many of them living alone and many with various disabilities or co-morbidities ranging from Arthritis and Parkinsons to heart and lung disease," he told the Killarney Advertiser. “Those with difficulty walking have the option of using a buggy, thereby facilitating four hours of social and health benefits embraced with enthusiasm and huge satisfaction. Unfortunately, they are now prisoners in their homes and will be for the next six weeks with all the adverse health implications that may follow both mentally and physically."

RISK
Dr McCullagh, who plays golf at least once a week, when allowed, added that he had yet to see any medical evidence that there is a COVID-19 risk on a golf course.
“We await nervously the negative impact it will have on the general health of golfers especially on the elderly,” he added. “In my opinion, the risk/benefit ratio favours playing golf as I have yet to see or hear of any evidence supporting the spread of COVID-19 on the golf course. Furthermore, the elderly in particular are meticulously adherent to NPHET's social distancing and hygiene guidance given that we are the very group most at risk for worse COVID-19 clinical outcomes.”

He is also concerned about a third wave. The current restrictions are in place to ‘Save Christmas’ but he fears there will be another outbreak of the disease in January as a result of festive season gatherings.
“Fair enough we have it for these six weeks, but what will happen after Christmas when there are more lockdowns coming?"

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Weird and wonderful insurance policies

As it is January I thought I would start the year on a light hearted note. Lloyds of London is an insurance marketplace founded in a London coffee shop over 300 years ago. Today it is the world’s leading market for specialist insurance, from large maritime risks to space satellites. Here are some of the […]

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As it is January I thought I would start the year on a light hearted note.

Lloyds of London is an insurance marketplace founded in a London coffee shop over 300 years ago. Today it is the world’s leading market for specialist insurance, from large maritime risks to space satellites.

Here are some of the more interesting and obscure insurance policies put in place over the years.
· David Beckham insured his legs with Lloyds for £100m in 2006

· Dolly Parton has insured her 40dd breasts for £3.8m

· Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards hands are insured for $1.6m

· Michael Flatleys legs were insured for $47 Million. The policy was only in effect when he was touring and forbade him from dancing except on stage.

· James Dean took out a life policy for $100,000 just a week before his tragic death at the age of 25

· The actor Richard Burton purchased a 69.42 carat diamond from Cartier for $1.1 Million in 1969 as a gift for Elizabeth Taylor. It was the world’s most expensive diamond at the time. Once Lloyds had insured the diamond they specified that Taylor should wear it in public for only 30 days a year and even then be protected by security guards. The diamond was sold in 1978 for an estimated $5 Million which would equate to roughly $19 Million today.

· According to novelist and inventor Arthur C Clarke, director Stanley Kubrick wanted to take out insurance with Lloyds to protect himself against losses in the event that extra-terrestrial intelligence was discovered before his movie, ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’ was released. Lloyds refused to quote for this one.

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Kerry to feature in new TG4 documentary on Wild Atlantic Way

Three episodes of a new ten-part TG4 series on the Wild Atlantic Way were filmed in County Kerry. The series, which started last Wednesday night this week, and continues every Wednesday for the next nine weeks, follows the Wild Atlantic Way from Donegal to Kerry. In this series ‘An Cósta Thiar’, presenter Áine Ní Bhreisleáin gains […]

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Three episodes of a new ten-part TG4 series on the Wild Atlantic Way were filmed in County Kerry.

The series, which started last Wednesday night this week, and continues every Wednesday for the next nine weeks, follows the Wild Atlantic Way from Donegal to Kerry.

In this series ‘An Cósta Thiar’, presenter Áine Ní Bhreisleáin gains an insight into the culture, challenges and benefits of living by the Atlantic and to find out if seawater still flows through the veins of its coastal communities.

On her travels, Áine will meet with the people of the coast, both young and old. She will spend time in the company of people who live and work by the sea, learning more about the attraction of these areas, and this life, through their eyes, stories and experiences. She will meet those communities and people who have a strong affinity with the coast and the sea, through new businesses, traditional livelihoods, recreational activities, ecology, birdwatching, eco-tours, swimming, boats (of all kinds) and more.

Áine began her journey at home in Gaoth Dobhair and heads to the wilds of Árainn Mhóir on the second leg of journey.
The third show platforms south Donegal while in week 4, Áine heads to the beautiful Achill Island.

Half way through her journey from Donegal to Kerry, Áine is in Carna in Conamara while in the the sixth programme, Áine continues her journey on the Galway coast, this time in Cois Fharraige

Áine visits Inis Oírr in the seventh programme, the smallest of the three Oileán Árainn, to explore how life has changed for islanders in recent generations through fishing, farming, tourism and sport.

In programme eight, Áine continues her journey, heading for the West Kerry coastline this time around, rowing with a local musician, Breanndán Ó Beaglaoich, a boatbuilder Eddie Hutch and even All-Ireland champions in Cumann Rámhaíochta an Daingin. She investigates the attraction of sea swimming for local women with local group ‘Snámh for the Soul’ goes foraging and paddleboarding with a woman who lives and breathes the sea and all it has to offer, Susan Feirtéar.

In the penultimate programme, Áine continues on her journey around the Corca Dhuibhne coast, exploring the history of trade in An Daingean with Brenda Uí Shúilleabháin and how the coast inspires artists with the talented Tomáisín Ó Cíobháin. She takes a class with local yoga instructor, Ails Ní Chonchúir and heads out to sea with local guide, Eoghan Ó Slatara, to learn about the islands on the west Kerry coast and she tastes some local seafood but she has to cook it first at the Dingle Cookery School.

Áine ends her journey in Uíbh Ráthach, in South Kerry. She gains a different perspective on the sea while snorkling with Gráinne Ní Ailín from Sea Synergy and surfing with Cian O’Connor, explores the long history of this coastal community from the time of the Milesians with poet and historian, Paddy Bushe, and learns about the Seine boat with a local TikToker, Séaghan Ó Suilleabháin, better known as The Kerry Cowboy, and is there a better way to finish her journey than a first visit to the majestic Sceilg islands?

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