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‘Losing weight has been the battle of my life’

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Siobhan Lewis.

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CONGRATULATIONS to Killarney lady Siubhan Lewis who has been named Woman of the Year 2016 District Finalist with Slimming World.

Siubhan, of Muckross, said: “After I had my first child in 1977 I didn't put on any significant weight. That might have had to do with climbing down a cliff face during a camping holiday some weeks before the birth.

"In those early years my husband and I led a very active life – walking and climbing on the Kerry hills, in woodlands, by lake and along the coast; holidays cycling around the Beara Peninsula; having a very distressed Brendan (our first) on the back of the bike in torrential rain on the way home from Sneem; cycling every day during our lunch break."

Three and four years later there were two further arrivals. “My long story of getting heavier appeared to start. While this was very gradual by the time the children had reached First Communion age it was not a pleasant experience looking for something nice to wear,” said Siobhan.

"Since the home birth of number five in 1987 it has been an uphill battle. My increasing weight affected everything I did – the difficulty and expense of buying clothes."

Eating had become an addiction and it affected Siubhan’s feeling of self-worth, she added. “A particularly low point when I was told in the post office ‘Congratulations, you're expecting another baby" - which I was not!” said Siubhan.

For most of 30 years the Muckross resident has been joining slimming groups of various kinds. "I would lose a stone. But then put it back on again – and more," she said.

Staying active became more difficult. “Mountains were a memory. Cycling was a dream of the past,” said Siubhan.

Then in 2012 Siubhan suffered health problems and was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. “The fear was terrible, there were some awful experiences but the treatment and care were superb and after a year and a half I came through with flying colours,” she said. "This was a second chance at life. Clearly I was now making life and death decisions.

In June 2015 her daughter Ide suggested she and Siubhan should try Slimming World. "Although she had no significant weight problem she suggested otherwise," said Siobhan. "She and I would do this together. Then that historic day. Tuesday, July 7, 2015, Ide collected me and we went along to our first Slimming World session in The Brehon.”

Over this past year Siubhan felt she had two “guardian angels”. “Our leader Cheryl Cavanagh inspired with her own story, was endlessly helpful, her wit made everything enjoyable. Ide supported, cajoled, threatened. Anybody who says there are no angels doesn't know what they are talking about,” said Siubhan.

There were “blips”, added Siubhan, including putting on seven and a half pounds over Christmas and eight and a half pounds over holidays. But she battled on with the encouragement of her dynamic duo of helpers. Now, at 35kg lighter, Siubhan’s life has been transformed.

"These past months I have started to walk every evening with neighbours Colm and Kathleen as well as our dog and their two dogs,” she said.

“Walking to the foot of the mountain there is no puffing and panting. Mountains are a real possibility. Maybe I’ll even cycle the Ring of Kerry.

“I’m being told at every turn, ‘you look great’ or ‘you look ten years younger’….’your husband better watch out!’ – though he doesn’t believe that! Life couldn’t be better. Thank you Slimming World ... and those two guardian angels ... Ide and Cheryl.”

Slimming World meetings take place in The Brehon Hotel, Killarney on Tuesdays at 9.30am, 11.30am, 5.30pm and 7.30pm and in the Meadowlands Hotel in Tralee on Wednesdays at 9.30am, 11.30am, 3.30pm, 5.30pm and 7.30pm.

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Free creative workshop for children impacted by cancer

Cancer support charity, Recovery Haven Kerry, will host a free creative workshop for children impacted by cancer this coming Thursday (September 30). The online event has been organised to mark Childhood Cancer Awareness Month this September and will be facilitated by Recovery Haven Kerry deputy manager and art therapist, Katie O’Donoghue from Killarney. The workshop, which […]

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Cancer support charity, Recovery Haven Kerry, will host a free creative workshop for children impacted by cancer this coming Thursday (September 30).

The online event has been organised to mark Childhood Cancer Awareness Month this September and will be facilitated by Recovery Haven Kerry deputy manager and art therapist, Katie O’Donoghue from Killarney.

The workshop, which takes place via Zoom at 6.30pm, is aimed at children who have been impacted by cancer in any way and will also see Katie read from her debut children’s book, ‘‘The Little Squirrel Who Worried’.

Workshop facilitator, Katie, has worked for many years as a child and young people’s therapist with the NHS, before returning to her native Killarney this year. Her background is in fine art and design and she has a Masters degree in Art Psychotherapy.

If you would like to register your child for this free online workshop, please contact Recovery Haven Kerry on 066 7192122 to book your place.

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Not to be for Killarney as Waterford named Best Place to Live in Ireland

While Killarney made it through to the last five, in the end it was Waterford City which claimed the overall title of Best Place to Live in Ireland 2021. While the city was the unanimous choice of the judging panel it had to beat off stiff competition from Killarney and three other shortlisted locations: Clonakilty, […]

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While Killarney made it through to the last five, in the end it was Waterford City which claimed the overall title of Best Place to Live in Ireland 2021.

While the city was the unanimous choice of the judging panel it had to beat off stiff competition from Killarney and three other shortlisted locations: Clonakilty, Co Cork, Galway city and the village of Glaslough in Co Monaghan.

Among the things which impressed the judges about Waterford were its beautiful buildings, its liveability, its pedestrian friendly public space, its weather, and its easy access to the Comeragh Mountains and the Copper Coast.

The Chair of the judging panel Conor Goodman congratulated Killarney on its fine showing in the competition.

“Given the level of entries and the extremely high standard of those entries, making it into the Best 5 Places to Live in Ireland really is a wonderful achievement which I’m sure everyone in Killarney and Kerry is really proud of. We were delighted with the level of interest in the competition and would like to thank everyone who nominated a place or who engaged with us on it.”

The Irish Times Best Place to Live in Ireland contest, which is supported by Randox Health, began in June.

In total 470 locations were nominated by more than 2,400 people from all 32 counties for the title of ‘Best Place to Live in Ireland 2021’.

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