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“No one is listening” says UK based Irish nurse

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ON THE FRONTLINE: Lucy Whelan (28) from Milltown, whose grandmother Eileen Whelan is from Beaufort, is an A&E nurse in the UK.

By Michelle Crean

A Kerry nurse who is working hard on the frontline in a London Hospital says that the people in the UK are not taking the current health crisis seriously.

Lucy Whelan (28) from Milltown, whose grandmother Eileen Whelan is from Beaufort, says numbers of patients with COVID-19 are rising and it’s getting busier.

Lucy, daughter of Susan Harris-Doyle, who attended secondary school in Presentation, has been living in the UK for 11 years and says she’s picking up as many shifts as possible to help in the COVID-19 crisis they now find themselves in. She’s appealing to people to continue physical distancing and to practice good hygiene.

She trained in Hertfordshire University where she qualified as a nurse in 2012 and now works as an A&E nurse in a London hospital.

This week, as Prime Minister Boris johnson announced new stringent measures to keep people at home, she told the Killarney Advertiser that Ireland is taking it more seriously than the UK as people are still out in groups and many non-essential shops such as vaping stores still have their doors open.

“Ireland is taking it way more seriously than here,” she said. “There’s people out in groups on the high street where I live. There’s this attitude of it won’t happen to them. I want to shout at people ‘what are ye doing?’.”

She explained that with numbers rising rapidly to over 2000 in the last few days, A&Es are now turning into respiratory centres to treat as many as possible.

And although she has an underlying health condition, Lucy says she’s not worried for herself.

“We have been given extra scrubs. We put on a full gown from wrist to ankle, a visor, masks and have to cover our hair. We shower before we leave work and I go home wash my clothes at 90 degrees and shower again. I won’t let anyone in my car. I’m not worried for myself but worry what I’ll bring home to my boyfriend. He’s nervous.”

She’s appealing to people not to get complacent and think of those like her on the frontline.

“A lot of nurses I know have separated from their family because they don’t want to spread it to them. One sent her child to relatives up the country. It’s awful what people are having to do.”

And wearing gloves isn’t the best measure to take, she added.

“Don’t rely on them because when people wear them they forget to wash their hands.”

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Black Valley broadband installation gets underway

Works are under way to install a high-speed fibre broadband network in the remote Black Valley area of Kerry. The Black Valley was one of the last areas of Ireland […]

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Works are under way to install a high-speed fibre broadband network in the remote Black Valley area of Kerry.

The Black Valley was one of the last areas of Ireland to be electrified but broadband in the region is expected to be live in the second half of the year with residents already able to pre-order their connection. 
“It is well known that Black Valley was one of the last locations to get electricity due to its remoteness and challenging terrain, so we are extremely pleased to be commencing the rollout of our high-speed fibre network now with a view to connections being available later this year,” said National Broadband Ireland Deployment CEO, TJ Malone.
  
“We are determined to ensure the rollout is as fast as possible and connection is made easy for Black Valley residents, and we have a plan in place to work around the location’s all-important tourist season.

“Black Valley is a symbol of NBI’s mission that no area will be left behind no matter how rural or remote and we are delighted that this beautiful location moves one step closer to high-speed fibre today, with all the opportunities that will unlock for the local community.” 

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Players of the year don’t duck a challenge

They never duck when faced with a big challenge on the field so it was safe to assume that GAA players of the year David Clifford and Louise Ní Mhuircheartaigh […]

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They never duck when faced with a big challenge on the field so it was safe to assume that GAA players of the year David Clifford and Louise Ní Mhuircheartaigh weren’t going to shy away from the latest task on their home patch.

The two top footballers in the country teamed up to launch a charity duck race which will form part of this year’s St Patrick’s Festival in Killarney, where they both live.

When the working day was done, busy secondary school teachers David and Louise had some great quack and they got caught up in the spirit of the occasion along the scenic River Deenagh in Killarney National Park.

The reigning Player of the Year and Ladies Player of the Year award winner demonstrated their competitive streak when they expressed confidence that their own ducks will win The Deenagh Duck Dash on the same river at noon on Monday, March 18.

But, luckily, festival chairman Jason Clifford was there to keep the peace and he even threatened to cry fowl and brandish a card at the star players – with duck yellow deemed the most appropriate colour.

Considered by many to be the greatest players of all time in their respective codes, between them, Fossa hotshot David and Corca Dhuibhne star Louise have an incredible nine All-Star awards.

But they might be tempted to swap one if their duck wins the fun-filled race on the day after St Patrick’s Day.

All proceeds from the event will go to St Francis Special School in Beaufort, Killarney which provides specialist education for young people with learning disabilities.
Festival chairman Jason remarked: “This isn’t just a race – it’s great fun for the whole family.
“Picture the scene with a flotilla of vibrant rubber ducks racing down a winding river, their owners cheering them on and all in the name of a fantastic cause”.
Super prizes await the winners, the cost of a rubber duck to participate in the race is just €5 and they can be bought online at https://stpatricksfestivalkillarney.ie/.

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