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New sensory ‘Cubbie’ opened at Kerry library

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A self-contained unit that will offer comfort to children, teens and adults with sensory impairments such as ASD, Dementia, ADHD, Dyspraxia and general anxiety, has opened at one local library.

'The Cubbie' is a new sensory hub at Listowel Library can help ease anxiety in a safe and private environment. Its user-friendly software can generate effects like sound, visuals, coloured lights and can be adapted to the individualised sensory needs of each user.

Settings can be saved and used during future visits to Listowel Library or indeed any of the other Cubbie locations across Ireland.

‘The Cubbie’ will offer increased opportunity for more inclusive access to library services, and it will support Listowel in its objective to achieving accreditation from AsIAm (www.asiam.ie) as an Autism Friendly Town.

"Library staff look forward to engaging with the local community – parents, teachers, carers, Special Needs Assistants and the Listowel Autism Friendly Town Committee to promote the benefits and developmental value of ‘The Cubbie’," County Librarian, Tommy O’Connor, said.

"Anyone is welcome to use this service and it can be used as a safe space for anyone seeking a calming environment in which to relax and refocus. It is also suitable for meditation, mindfulness and promoting well-being," he said.

Provision of ‘The Cubbie’ was facilitated by Dormant Accounts Funding, as part of a Government of Ireland initiative from the Dept. Of Community and Rural Development to provide Library Supports for Marginalised, Socially Excluded and Disadvantaged Communities. Kerry County Council provided matched funding.

‘The Cubbie’ is designed and manufactured in Ireland and won a Microsoft for Start-ups Diversity in Technology Award for Disability Inclusion in 2020. It is designed to the Wheelchair Association of Ireland specification and can be used by all people regardless of age, size or ability.

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Volunteers wanted for street collection

By Michelle Crean October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and local volunteers are keen to not only raise awareness but also funds. Kathrina Breen, Eleanor O’Doherty and Kathleen O’Shea who […]

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By Michelle Crean

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and local volunteers are keen to not only raise awareness but also funds.

Kathrina Breen, Eleanor O’Doherty and Kathleen O’Shea who have been supporting the Irish Cancer Society for many years are delighted to be able to get back to their Pink Ribbon street collection in Killarney town next Friday (October 7).

They are the only group in the country doing the collection as many fundraisers have moved online since the pandemic struck.

“We’re the only town in Ireland doing it this year,” Kathrina, who feels it’s important to keep a street collection going, told the Killarney Advertiser.

“We haven’t done it in two years since before COVID. I pushed to do it as it raises a lot of money. People have been supporting this for years, this money goes towards breast detection equipment, information leaflets in doctors surgeries and towards cancer grants.”

In 2021, donations helped 254 breast cancer patients with free transport to and from 2,380 chemotherapy appointments by volunteer drivers, 154 patients received 514 nights of end-of-life care from Night Nurses and 3,430 enquiries were made about breast cancer through the Freephone Support Line 1800 200 700 and at 13 Daffodil Centres across the country.

And she added that they’re looking for a few volunteers to help out on the day.

“If anyone would like to help they can contact me on 087 2612992.”

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Calls for Council to acquire vacant Rock Road properties

By Sean Moriarty There are calls to make two vacant properties on Rock Road available to Kerry County Council’s housing inventory. The two cottages, one either side of the entrance […]

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By Sean Moriarty

There are calls to make two vacant properties on Rock Road available to Kerry County Council’s housing inventory.

The two cottages, one either side of the entrance to St Finan’s Hospital, are vacant for some time.
Cllr Maura Healy-Rae raised the issue at a recent Killarney Municipal District meeting.

“Regarding two vacant houses at the entrance to St Finan’s on Rock Road which appear to be vacant for a significant period of time. One of the properties is in the ownership of the HSE. I requested that Kerry County Council would liaise with the HSE with a view to potentially acquiring this house,” she told the Killarney Advertiser after the meeting.

“I stressed that it is important that the local authority exhaust all possibilities when it comes to providing more houses, particularly properties located within the town of Killarney where the need and demand for housing is critical.”

Kerry County Council said it would get the Vacant Homes Officer to contact the owner of the privately owned bungalow.

“They will inform the property owner that there is funding available under various schemes and grants to aid the return of this property to habitable use. Such schemes include the Repair and Lease Scheme and the recently launched Croí Cónaithe vacant property grant,” said a Council official.

Cllr Healy-Rae added: “I requested that KCC would liaise with the HSE with a view to potentially acquiring this house.”

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