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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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Killarney centre stage for Pride Festival

The award-winning Kingdom Pride in Kerry festival is back next week and Killarney will take centre stage. Kingdom Pride will be celebrated in towns all across the county from July […]

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The award-winning Kingdom Pride in Kerry festival is back next week and Killarney will take centre stage.

Kingdom Pride will be celebrated in towns all across the county from July 17 to 21.

The organisation’s flagship Party in the Park event will be held again in Killarney House and Gardens, following the Pride march in the town centre on July 20.

This year, in solidarity with the people of Palestine, Kingdom Pride in Kerry is inviting the people of Kerry to come to show their unity by bringing Palestinian flags and kites to the march, and to the Party in the Park.

“Pride is a protest for human rights all over the world. Here in the Kingdom, we have been so lucky to receive tremendous community support from our allies and supporters, and we see the struggle for liberation of all peoples as a united cause,” said Daniel Quirke, chairperson of the organising committee.

“Our events have always welcomed everyone, regardless of gender, orientation, religion, or nationality. We truly believe that together we can create positive change through caring for and loving one another. This year is no exception, and we look forward to helping to highlight the Palestinian cause, and to bringing people together to keep generating positive change for all people.”

Events will take place in Cahersiveen, Listowel, Killorglin, Tralee and Dingle, and include an Irish comedy night with Áine Gallagher, an Irish-language movie screening, yoga, sea swimming, poetry and storytelling, bowling, pitch and putt, a lively drag night at the INEC, and plenty more for people of all ages.

“We do our best to keep tickets as low-cost as possible, and we have lots of events that are totally free to attend. It is important to us that people can share Pride with us, regardless of income. Especially with the rise of the cost of living putting a strain on people’s pockets.” added the chairperson.

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A weekend of Live Music, Fun and Entertainment, at FleskFest 2024

The organisers of the annual FleskFest have “a tremendous line-up, with a weekend full of entertainment to suit all” for the July 18 to 20 event. “It promises to be […]

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The organisers of the annual FleskFest have “a tremendous line-up, with a weekend full of entertainment to suit all” for the July 18 to 20 event.

“It promises to be the festival weekend of the summer, an event you don’t want to miss out on. Last year’s Festival was a fantastic memorable experience for our community, a time to get together and celebrate,” said festival PRO Seán Daly.

Organised by Glenflesk GAA, FleskFest 24 will take place at the Barraduff Community Field next week.
There will be a fully licensed bar in the Fest Marquee, some amazing live music on The Big Stage, food trucks and much more.
Glenflesk GAA club’s biggest fundraiser of the year includes a new-for-2024 Texas Holdem Poker Tournament on Thursday night.
Weekend highlights include old-time waltzing, jiving and polka sets with Paudie McAuliffe and Paudie Coffey Band on Friday,
On Saturday, the new Well Flesk event will take place.
“A morning of self-care and wellness at Flesk Fest featuring masterclasses in yoga, pilates, mindfulness, spinning, fitness sessions, workouts, firewood sauna and ice pods with a range of experienced and qualified instructors,” added Daly.
Leading local musician Johnny Courtney and Friends, Sam and Ina, The O’Donoghue Sisters, Reigning All Ireland Champions Glenflesk Ballad Group, and The Border Boys will take to the Big Stage over the weekend.
Sunday is Family Fun Day with children’s entertainment and disco and the All-Ireland Hurling Final Live on the Big screen followed by music with Thingamajig.
The festival will finish with a Sunday evening session with the Meadhbh Walsh Band.

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