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New training programme for Kerry based counsellors

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COUNSELLING: Kerry Rape & Sexual Abuse Centre Manager Vera O'Leary says remote trauma counselling is here to stay. Photo: Michelle Crean

By Michelle Crean

A new training programme for Kerry based counsellors has been launched to help provide specialist supports for rape survivors in a pandemic world.

Rape Crisis Network Ireland (RCNI), including its member service, Kerry Rape & Sexual Abuse Centre, has devised the new training and research programme to ensure there is standardised and specialist counselling for victims of sexual violence, both on and off-line, following the impact of COVID-19.

Tomorrow (Monday), a Government supported, free Zoom Q&A training opportunity will take place from 10.30am to 12 noon for counsellors and therapists.

Co-created with Dr Jessica Taylor, a UK based forensic psychologist, survivor and author of the best-selling book 'Why Women Are Blamed for Everything', it is specifically designed to address issues which have emerged during the lockdowns, after rape crisis centres, including the Kerry centre, had to be vacated and trauma counselling services had to move online.

Counsellors throughout Kerry are invited to register on www.rcni.ie, which is CPD accredited and completely free to participants.

Kerry Rape & Sexual Abuse Centre Manager Vera O'Leary, who lives in Killarney, said that the change in the provision of counselling services had a profound impact on the quality and impact of the deep intervention needed for survivors.

There was a 23 percent increase in contacts made to rape crisis centre helplines and while almost all of those already in counselling in the centres could switch to remote counselling, some could not and so hybrid counselling is critical, Ms O’Leary said.

“While there is some optimism that a vaccine for COVID-19 may mean a return to some normality in 2021, the impact of COVID and dealing with the trauma of sexual violence within a global shared trauma of a pandemic is not going to disappear,” she said.

“Remote trauma counselling is here to stay as part of a new hybrid model of on and off clinical counselling, but it’s vital that we know that what we are doing in this new era is working, is of the highest possible standard, and is completely survivor centred.”

The training will be recognised as best practice by key stakeholders including Government and a register will be created for all those working with survivors who have completed the training.

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Spa GAA lights up – continues each Wednesday night

By Sean Moriarty Spa GAA club has signed up to participate in the Ireland Lights Up winter walking initiative. The lights will be on every Wednesday night between 7pm and 8pm for the next few weeks at the club’s new walking track. This week marked the second week of night walking but the club also held […]

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By Sean Moriarty

Spa GAA club has signed up to participate in the Ireland Lights Up winter walking initiative.

The lights will be on every Wednesday night between 7pm and 8pm for the next few weeks at the club’s new walking track. This week marked the second week of night walking but the club also held a candle-light vigil in memory of Ashling Murphy, the Offaly school-teacher who was murdered while out for a walk two weeks ago.

“Participants can follow the walking track that offers a safe off-road path and this activity is open to everyone in the community. If anyone would be available to help with registration or stewarding any night, all help is greatly appreciated,” said club PRO Deirdre O’Sullivan-Darcy.

Any volunteers that can help any evening or any questions please contact Margaret Doyle on 0879181970.

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Specialists to examine Killarney trees ahead of future storms

By Sean Moriarty Killarney Municipal District is to appoint the services of a tree specialist to exam the condition of trees in the wider district. The move follows last December’s Storm Barra. during which several tress were toppled. One motorist had a lucky escape when a tree fell on their car during the storm. Another fallen […]

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By Sean Moriarty

Killarney Municipal District is to appoint the services of a tree specialist to exam the condition of trees in the wider district.

The move follows last December’s Storm Barra. during which several tress were toppled. 
One motorist had a lucky escape when a tree fell on their car during the storm. Another fallen tree blocked access to the Moll’s Gap road near Muckross.
Both Cllrs John O’Donoghue and Donal Grady raised the issue at a recent Killarney Municipal District meeting.
“In order to mitigate against such events, the Killarney MD Office are in the process of preparing tender documents to procure assessment of specific trees that are in the charge of Kerry County Council.” A council official told the meeting.
“This will allow the MD to make determinations on individual trees in its charge. Individual property owners are responsible for the welfare and maintenance of trees within and along the boundary of their property lines.”

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