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Little Alexis gets surprise Garda visit

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MINI GARDA: Alexis O'Mahony from Woodlawn lit up when she received a visit from local Gardai and will later this year become an honorary member of the Force.

By Michelle Crean

A four-year-old little girl will be the first Killarney child to graduate as an honorary Garda after receiving a surprise house visit by the local members of the Force on Friday last.

Alexis O'Mahony from Woodlawn lit up with excitement when local Gardai paid a house call as part of their Little Blue Heroes (LBH) charity work which helps children who are ill or have special needs.

Garda Gillian Mac Eoin, Sharon Maybury, Michelle Reddy, Emmet Flanagan, John Crowley and Mark Foley called by in a Paddy Wagon and two patrol cars and handed her a Garda jacket and hat to wear.

Alexis, daughter of Steve and Teresa, suffers from Pyruvate Dehydrogenase Deficiency (PDHD) a condition that affects her ability to breakdown food to fuel the body which results in side effects that include Cerebral Palsy and epilepsy.

Her dad Steve told the Killarney Advertiser that she really enjoyed it - as did the neighbours once they knew why their estate was surrounded by Gardai.

"She was smiling right throughout when we were outside with them. She seemed to enjoy all the stimulation as she's been inside for the last few months."

Over the last few months Alexis received a number of gifts from the Gardai including an Easter egg, Gardai beanie hat, and a Tesco voucher was kindly given to her parents.

She'll later be given a specially made Garda uniform which is currently being made, her liaison officer Garda Gillian Mac Eoin told the Killarney Advertiser.

"We put on an extra small Garda jacket on her on Friday and her face just lit up as soon as did it. We're getting her little uniform made."

Gillian explained Little Blue Heroes is a lovely way to help distract children who are sick or may be going through difficult times.

"It something different for the kids to distract them. They go through enough. It's great to give them some extra special attention.

LBH are brilliant. They send toys and financial assistance to families and if the family needs anything like a Garda escort in an emergency they know we're there and who to contact."

And later this year Alexis will become a mini Garda graduate, she added.

"We don't know when yet due to COVID but it'll be in the next few months all going well."

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Muckross Rowing Club members on Irish teams for two major regattas

  Six members of Muckross Rowing Club will compete for Ireland in two upcoming international events. Rowing Ireland this week announced the Irish squads for the Coupe de la Jeunesse […]

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Six members of Muckross Rowing Club will compete for Ireland in two upcoming international events.

Rowing Ireland this week announced the Irish squads for the Coupe de la Jeunesse Regatta.

Daniel Fleming and Ian Coffey have both been selected for the Under 19 Irish squad to race at the Coupe de la Jeunesse Regatta for European junior rowers. The Coupe de la Jeunesse Regatta, involving 16 European countries, will be held over from over three days, August 9-11 in Racice, Czechia.

Four Under 23 university rowers from the Muckross club have also been selected as part of the Senior Irish squad for the Home International Regatta this month.

Niamh Coffey (University of Limerick), Patrick Buckley (University of Limerick), Finn O’Sullivan (University of Limerick) and Ethan O’Neill (University College Cork Rowing Club) will take on the ‘Triple Crown’ event of rowing, competing for Ireland against crews from England, Scotland and Wales.

The Home International Regatta will be held on Saturday, July 27 in Strathclyde, Scotland.

All six Muckross rowers have earned their green jerseys following a lengthy and testing trial series on land and water which began in Autumn 2023 and culminated in final water trials at the end of June.

“Muckross Rowing Club sends its best wishes to the very talented Muckross oarsmen and women and all their crewmates as they fly the flag for Ireland this summer. The talented group build on a successful record in the sport,” said club PRO Tim O’Shea.

Niamh Coffey is a multiple Irish and University Championship winner and has previously represented Ireland in the Under 23 European Championships.

In 2022, O’Neill rowed at Junior level at the Home International event and won a gold medal as part of the Irish quadruple scull crew in the 500m sprint event.

Both Buckley and O’Sullivan continue to compete at the highest level nationally with the University of Limerick Rowing Club,  and join the Irish squad for the first time this year.

The international selections come at an exciting time before the Olympic Regatta in Paris, where Zoe Hyde (Tralee Rowing Club) will be among the largest Irish rowing contingent of 16 rowers to contest an Olympic Games.

Killorglin native Zoe has previously rowed for both Killorglin and Muckross rowing clubs and will race the Women’s Double event for Ireland with Alison Bergin (Fermoy Rowing Club) in Paris.

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Valuable role of Kerry cancer support charity recognised nationally

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Cancer support charity Recovery Haven Kerry has been recognised for its vital role in supporting cancer patients and their families at a national ceremony in Dublin.

The renowned cancer support house was one of 16 such centres across Ireland that were presented with plaques to acknowledge their full membership of the National Cancer Control Programme (NCCP) Alliance – a group made up of voluntary and charity organisations delivering support services directly to cancer patients and their families. An additional 10 associate member charities were also honoured, including Kerry Cancer Support Group.

The Alliance advocates for, and supports, the development of integrated pathways between the cancer centres, acute hospitals, community cancer support services and primary care services. All members’ development is in line with the values of Sláintecare, seeking to provide assurance to healthcare professionals that these organisations are working to an agreed standard as set out in Best Practice Guidance published by the NCCP. 

Speaking after the ceremony, which was held at Dublin’s Farmleigh Estate, Recovery Haven Kerry Chairman, Tim McSwiney, explained that being compliant with the Best Practice Guidance for Community Cancer Support Centres is a true mark of quality. 

“It offers us a yardstick to measure what we are doing against the standards required. As a result, healthcare professionals have more confidence in referring people to our services. We are very proud to be a member of the Alliance,” he said.

Recovery Haven Kerry was represented at the event by centre manager, Gemma Fort and Client Services Co-Ordinator, Siobhan MacSweeney and were presented with their plaque by NCCP Lead for Cancer Survivorship, Louise Mullen, Clinical Lead for Psycho-Oncology Dr Helen Greally, and Minister of State at the Department of Health, Colm Burke. 

The event was also used as an opportunity to announce funding of €3m for the NCCP’s Alliance of Community Cancer Support Centres and Services through Budget 2024. The NCCP is currently in the process of distributing these funds which will directly and positively impact the delivery of services for patients and families nationally.

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