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Local drama teacher inspired to help grieving family

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By Michelle Crean

A local drama teacher - who was so inspired by the strength of a mother who lost her little daughter - has offered her services to help arrange an anniversary concert in her honour.

Paula Gleeson, originally from Cork but living in Arteegallivan was devastated to learn of the death of nine-year-old Béibhinn O'Connor who passed away from a rare heart condition on September 16 last year.

As her anniversary occurs this week a team of talented people, including drama teacher Paula, came together to organise 'Heart Angel - the Concert' in her memory.

Paula said Béibhinn's parents Irene and Eoin O'Connor, although still grieving, "are the most amazing, inspiring people".

"A month after she passed her parents set up a charity called the 'Heart Angel'," Paula told the Killarney Advertiser. "They have channelled their grief into creating a legacy for their daughter, and spreading positivity and kindness in her name. They have done amazing things thus far. To mark her first anniversary the city of Cork Symphony Orchestra and a host of stars have come together to create the most magical concert. It is a real feel good event for all the family! We shot it recently, it was amazing. I was involved singing, playing violin, script writing, drama coach - a bit of a everything!”

It was produced and shot by Riverside Productions who make Ireland’s Fittest Family and Operation Transformation, she added.

"It goes out live at 7.30pm tomorrow (Saturday) free to watch on YouTube by searching 'Heart Angel - The Concert'. However, we are asking people if at all possible to donate on www.theheartangel.ie, it would be so appreciated, and will go towards making sick children’s wishes coming true," she said.

"The aim is to get this concert out to schools all over Ireland in conjunction with a kindness programme they have put together. We are looking to push it all over Ireland and beyond!"

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Killarney Triathlon Club’s open water swim on the lake

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On Tuesday evening last, members of the Killarney Triathlon Club took part in a breathtaking open water swim, starting from Dundag Beach and spanning the middle lake to a nearby island. Covering a distance of approximately 1.5 kilometers, the event saw all participants return safely, basking in a well-deserved sense of accomplishment.

Set against the stunning backdrop of Killarney National Park, swimmers enjoyed views of woodlands,  mountains, and Muckross House. Safety was paramount during the swim, as it is in all the club’s events. Essential precautions included the use of tow floats, safety kayakers, and safety boats, ensuring the well-being of all participants.

“Our club is incredibly fortunate to be surrounded by such a beautiful environment,” said Caitriona Shanahan, PRO of Killarney Triathlon Club. “The views during our swims are truly spectacular, and the safety measures we implement help everyone feel secure and enjoy the experience.”

Killarney Triathlon Club offers numerous benefits to athletes of all levels. These include structured training programs, expert coaching, group workouts and more. 

“We welcome all levels and abilities. Joining our club not only improves physical fitness but also offers great fun and the added benefits of stress relief from sea swimming. There truly is nothing like the calming effect of a group swim in the sea.” Caitriona added.

For those interested in joining the Killarney Triathlon Club, more information can be found on their social media platforms and their website, Killarneytri.com.

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Danny Healy-Rae welcomes decision to push back changes for cataract payments

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The Health Service Executive has deferred a move to cut the price it reimburses people for cataract treatments in the European Union and in Northern Ireland, under its overseas treatment schemes and a separate system for the North.

The prices were due to change from the start of this month, but the HSE has pushed the date back so that no one is disadvantaged, and to fully communicate with patients, treatment consultants and providers, cost changes will not come into effect until September 1.

The payments for less complex eye treatments were due to fall from €1,912 to €863 or the National Health Service equivalent of £766 in Northern Ireland. The most common cataract procedure payments were due to reduce from €1,456 to €1,171.

The HSE said that the vast majority of procedures fall into this new payment price. It said that the more complex glaucoma/cataract treatment payments will rise from €1,912 to €4,206.

Danny Healy Rae welcomed the news saying, “Following my representations and raising of this matter in the Dáil, I am glad that the HSE have agreed that they will continue to reimburse the higher rates for cataract procedure for those carried out up to the end of August 2024.

“I am advising anyone who needs to have their cataracts removed to do so now before the change to reimbursement amounts comes in.”

All cataract treatment carried out in Belfast after the 1st September 2024 will be subject to the new DRG rates.

Honouring the Kerry women of the revolutionary period

Kerry County Council is to invite expressions of interest next week for the commissioning and development of a commemorative and artistic piece which will honour the role played by women in Kerry during the revolutionary period between 1912 and 1923.

The project follows a joint motion by the five female members of Kerry County Council who called for the development and commissioning of a meaningful and lasting commemorative piece which would reflect the significant and diverse roles and activities of women and their involvement in the campaign for Irish Independence at the beginning of the twentieth century.

A Working Group, including the five female councillors, has been developing a design brief, and the Council intends to publish a detailed brief for the memorial next week and expressions of interest will be invited.

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