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Local services available to help people quit smoking ahead of ‘National No Smoking Day’




Cork Kerry Community Healthcare smoking cessation experts are reminding the public that tomorrow (Wednesday) is National No Smoking Day. As a result, the HSE is calling on people who smoke to prepare to take the 28-day #TheLastStop no smoking challenge in March – and local support is available.

Research shows that four in five people (79%) who smoke intend to kick the habit, and those who succeed in quitting for 28 days are five times more likely to quit for good.

Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic was a trigger for some to start smoking again. This is not surprising given that many use smoking as a way of managing stress, but the fact is that smoking does not actually reduce stress but speeds up the heart rate, which increases blood pressure, and increases stress. The good news is that within one to two days of quitting oxygen levels in your body will improve, your blood pressure and pulse reduce which in turn decreases the overall stress on your body.


“The Cork Kerry Community Healthcare Smoking Cessation Service is free and available to you today, to support you to quit smoking,” Anna Burns, Tobacco Control Manager, Health & Wellbeing, Cork Kerry Community Healthcare, said. “During the COVID-19 pandemic we have maintained our service, due to the importance of quitting for health. The World Health Organisation stated in 2020 that smokers are more likely to develop severe disease with COVID-19 compared to non-smokers. Quitting immediately reduces the risk of respiratory infection. Smoking further damages blood vessels, and this is linked to the development of more severe symptoms from COVID-19. If you have an existing health condition we particularly encourage you to quit. Your local Smoking Cessation Advisor is there to support you by phone or virtual consultation. It is never too late. Now is the ideal time.”


The HSE QUIT service provides personalised, free support by phone, email, SMS and live chat. Smokers can free call 1800 201 203, FreeText QUIT to 50100 or visit for stop smoking tips and resources, a free QUIT Kit, and to create a QUIT Plan.

Peer-to-peer support is available on the QUIT Facebook Page or on Twitter at HSE QUIT @HSEQuitTeam

You can also contact your local Smoking Cessation service in Kerry by calling Margaret Enright on 087 1219618.

Five Top Tips to Quit Smoking:

1.    Prepare to quit: take a moment to write down your reasons for quitting. Keep them close to hand or even stick them on your fridge as a reminder to stay strong.

2.    Change your routine and habits - do you normally have a cigarette with a coffee or tea? Then change your routine – have a cup of water instead or hold your cup in the other hand.

3.    Keep check on cravings – your craving for nicotine will peak at 3-5 minutes and will pass if you deal with it.

Have your heard of the 4Ds?

·         Delay at least 3 – 5 minutes and the urge will pass,

·         Drink a glass of water or fruit juice,

·         Distract yourself, move away from the situation,

·         Deep breathe – breathe slowly and deeply.

4.    Get by with a little help from your friends – supportive friends, family and even work colleagues could make all the difference to you on your QUIT journey.

5.    The single best advice is to help yourself QUIT by getting support from the QUIT Team. Our service is available to everyone and is free of charge. By using a support service like our makes you twice as likely to succeed.


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 […]





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



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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