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Make Way Day highlights issues that people with disabilities  face every day

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Make Way Day highlights issues that people with disabilities  face every da

By Sean Moriarty

Members of Killarney Access Group and well-known local people with disabilities took to the streets of Killarney on Thursday to highlight obstacles they meet on an everyday basis.

Poorly parked cars and trucks, wheelie bins left on the streets for collection, bicycles chained to fences and lamp posts, suitcases being loaded into tour coaches and even dogs tied to railings are just some of the obstacles wheelchair users and visually impaired people face every day.

Thursday was Make Way Day, a national day of action organised by the Disability Federation of Ireland and locally by the Killarney Access Group and the Municipal District Council.

Well-known local musician Morgan Pierce is visually impaired. He uses a cane to find his way around.

“Suitcases on the footpath are the bane of my life,” he told the Killarney Advertiser. “I enjoy running too and often go for a run out the Muckross Road. People ask me why I need a cane to get around town and can go running without one. It is simple, I just know there will be no obstructions out the Muckross Road.”

Morgan’s cane is fitted with a special golf ball-sized extension. It helps him identify cracks in the pavement and other potential hazards that could lead him to trip or fall.

“The new pedestrian zone in Tralee has a special groove in the footpath that acts like a guide,” he added and would like the Municipal District Council to consider adding the same in future Killarney improvement works.

Municipal District officer Eileen O’Donoghue confirmed that the local council has done an audit in the town centre and that there is now a programme of works based on the results of that audit.

“One of the reasons we put the new bike racks into various town centre locations was to discourage people from chaining their bicycles to railings and other places that may cause an obstruction,” she explained.

Timo O’Sullivan, a well-known member of Lough Lein Anglers Association and a long-time campaigner has been in a wheelchair for 35 years following a workplace accident.

“Since day one things have improved immensely,” he told the Killarney Advertiser. “Killarney is not a bad town but we have to strive for better.”

His biggest issue is poorly parked cars and cars and delivery trucks parked in dedicated blue zones.

“I heard a story where a group of wheelchair users parked several of their chairs in an ordinary parking zone and left notes saying ‘back in five minutes’ on them to get a message across,” he added.

 

 

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Can you talk your way to fitness?

By Brian Foley from Activate Fitness Recently, our team at Activate was talking about the regular check-ins we do with our clients. We try to sit down with each client in person at least once every six months, if not once a quarter, and see how they are doing. If we can’t get them to […]

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By Brian Foley from Activate Fitness

Recently, our team at Activate was talking about the regular check-ins we do with our clients. We try to sit down with each client in person at least once every six months, if not once a quarter, and see how they are doing.

If we can’t get them to sit down with us, we’ll at least touch base via Zoom or phone. Text messages aren’t adequate to really understand how someone is doing and progressing as we help them towards their health goals, so we don’t count those.

What’s interesting is how difficult it can be sometimes to track down and set up a time to catch up with clients. In passing, it’s simple, but those conversations aren’t as focused and usually don’t allow us to get into why someone is or is not seeing the progress they need. So many times it’s something we all know we need to do, but to sit down and have a real conversation with someone about how they are doing can be tough, or even intimidating depending on the situation.

People start with us knowing we want to provide accountability, guidance, education, and motivation to help them accomplish their goals. But, when it comes down to the accountability portion, it can be difficult to want to talk about things that may not be going as planned.

However, when we look back at our most successful clients – those who have accomplished or are accomplishing what they set out to do when they started with us – they are the ones who actually seek us out to sit down and get help. When we ask them about their goals or if they have time, they are excited to catch up and see what they can improve. Or, they are asking us to help even before we reach out to them.

Those clients have not always had it easy either. Post lockdowns there were a lot of people re-orienting their schedule and lives and trying to make sense of what their goals needed to be. I personally had quite a few heavier conversations with people as we stepped through a plan to “reset” and get into a habit that fit their adjusted goals and schedules. Without those conversations, we may not have been able to help people as much as we are able to (thankfully).

ACCOUNTABILITY

For every area of your life; family, marriage, friendships, work; having accountability, a source of quality guidance, and motivation is as absolute must if you want to improve or progress. We can do some things alone, but we can do most of those things far better with others who have been there before or who can walk with us as we step through our journey towards our goals.

If you are looking to improve at anything in life, be it professionally, or with your health and fitness, the first step is to acknowledge where you are and then seek out a trusted source of information to help you clarify and align the moving parts to ensure you can get to where you want in the timeframe you want.

It’s why we start every member at Activate with a free consultation and why we continue to talk to our members. If we don’t know where you want to go, how can we help you get there? “Going to a gym” is fantastic and will be of huge benefit to your health, going to a gym that is invested in your journey multiplies this power exponentially.

So, no, you can’t “talk your way to fitness”, it takes many hours of work and consistency, but starting your journey with a good honest talk and someone in “your corner” will ensure you start – and continue – in the right direction.

To have a chat about your health and fitness goals, visit www.activate.ie and find out more.

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Former footballer to launch new book

By Sean Moriarty Former Senior Kerry footballer and ‘Dancing with the Stars’ winner Aidan O’Mahony will be in Eason on Saturday to sign copies of his new book. The Rathmore man enjoyed a distinguished career in the green and gold jersey, making 70 championship and 85 league appearances for Kerry between 2003 and 2017. In January 2017, […]

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By Sean Moriarty

Former Senior Kerry footballer and ‘Dancing with the Stars’ winner Aidan O’Mahony will be in Eason on Saturday to sign copies of his new book.

The Rathmore man enjoyed a distinguished career in the green and gold jersey, making 70 championship and 85 league appearances for Kerry between 2003 and 2017.

In January 2017, O’Mahony won the RTÉ ‘Dancing with the Stars’ series with professional dancer, Estonian Valeria Milova.

His new book ‘Unbroken’ is an account of the discipline it takes to be part of one of the country’s most successful Gaelic football teams. It is also a story of managing external and internal expectations and pressure, and of the importance of knowing when to ask for help.

“I am really looking forward to meeting everyone next Saturday, great to finally release my book and I hope people enjoy it,” he told Killarney Advertiser.

O’Mahony’s Killarney book signing will be the first of many around the country in the run up to Christmas.

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