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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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Motorists urged to be vigilant during deer breeding season

Deer are most active from late September until early November as the breeding season gets underway – but this causes huge problems for drivers especially from dawn and dusk. “While the rut is an amazing experience to witness it is also a time when there is an increased incident of road traffic accidents involving deer […]

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Deer are most active from late September until early November as the breeding season gets underway – but this causes huge problems for drivers especially from dawn and dusk.

“While the rut is an amazing experience to witness it is also a time when there is an increased incident of road traffic accidents involving deer as male deer go in search of females and younger males are ousted by dominant males forcing deer to cross roads and motorways,” Damien Hannigan from the Irish Deer Commission said.

Drivers are being advised to reduce speed, stay alert and dip their headlights as the full beam may cause the deer to freeze.

“If a deer has crossed in front of your vehicle, be aware that others may follow. Do not approach an injured deer. If you are involved in a deer road traffic accident or come across a deer that has been involved in a road traffic accident, immediately contact the local Gardaí.”

The Irish Deer Commission operate a humane deer dispatch scheme with 75 trained volunteers assisting agencies and charities who deal with an increasing number of deer vehicle collisions nationally.

On Sunday October 10 the Irish Deer Commission will hold a Red Deer Rut Watch event in Killarney National
Park. It has taken place in Killarney continuously for over 5,000 years and Killarney National Park is acknowledged as one of the best locations in Europe to observe the red deer rut.
This family friendly event is being hosted by the National Parks and Wildlife Service and is free. There will be talks by a Conservation Rangers and the Irish Deer Commission, along with a display of native red deer antlers.

Booking is available only online via visit www.irishdeercommission.ie.

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Happy Birthday Sham

Well-known Killarney character Seamus ‘Sham’ Courtney celebrated his 75th birthday yesterday (Thursday) at his favourite town centre watering hole. Sham who has entertained countless tourists over the years with his pronounced Kerry accent is one of the town’s best loved characters. One video recorded by RTE’s Today Show around the time of his 71st birthday […]

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Well-known Killarney character Seamus ‘Sham’ Courtney celebrated his 75th birthday yesterday (Thursday) at his favourite town centre watering hole.

Sham who has entertained countless tourists over the years with his pronounced Kerry accent is one of the town’s best loved characters.

One video recorded by RTE’s Today Show around the time of his 71st birthday has amassed 7.5 million viewers.

Yesterday he visited one of his favourite pubs, Jack C O’Shea’s on High St, where proprietors John and Joan O’Shea and their ever-present dog Ginny placed decorative balloons around the bar to mark the occasion.

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