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Nathan’s Walk launch set for Tuesday evening

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By Sean Moriarty

Details of this year’s Darkness into Light – Nathan’s Walk will be unveiled at a special launch event at Reidy’s Bar on Tuesday night.

Marie O'Carroll set up the Killarney walk in 2011 following the loss of her 14-year-old son Nathan. It was the second such event – which raises awareness on suicide and mental health.

The idea behind 'Nathan’s Walk, Darkness into Light - Pieta House' is to help spread awareness to help prevent suicide and self-harm. It's also a chance to raise vital funds for the service provided free by Pieta House.

The inaugural event took place in Dublin’s Phoenix Park the year before and it has now grown to become and international event.

This year’s event will start at 4.25am on May 7 from Ross Castle and Marie is encouraging early registration as she is expecting a large turn-out. The walk did not take place in 2020 and last year’s walk was a scaled back version due to the pandemic.

Souvenir t-shirts from the annual event have become sought after collectors’ items.

“We will open registration at the launch,” Marie told the Killarney Advertiser. “T-shirts are in limited supply this year so we are encouraging early registration. We don’t want big crowds at the sign-on desk on Saturday morning either.”

Additional early registration dates have been organised for the Racecourse on May 5 between 5pm and 8pm and May 6 between 5pm and 8pm.

London Darkness into Light

London's Darkness into Light is also making a return next month with two events to raise funds for the Immigrant Counselling and Psychotherapy (ICAP), a mental health charity serving the Irish community in the UK.

Both events have an Aghadoe native at the helm.

Liam Kearney is the chairman of the London organising committee and he is running one walk at the London Irish Rugby Club’s training ground in Hazelwood.

Tara Cronin who, during her term as secretary of the Kerry Association London, was one of the founders of the London walk back in 2014.

She is now the fundraising and events manager with ICAP and she will take charge of the Cricklewood walk.

“We are delighted that the walks are back after two years when we could not gather together to walk from the Darkness into the Light," Liam said. "This year we welcome you to join us at either of the two walks, Hazelwood or Cricklewood, at 4.15am. We will gather to remember all those that we have lost to suicide and hope that each of us by walking, running, hiking, swimming can be the power to be a light against the dark.”

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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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