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Part of new Cork-Kerry road could open early




Kerry Fine Gael TD and Deputy Government Chief Whip, Brendan Griffin, has received positive indications that part of the new N22 Cork-Kerry road could open early.

In response to Deputy Griffin’s latest Dáil question, Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) said that overlay work has commenced on the eastern section of the scheme, which bypasses Macroom town, and that discussions are currently ongoing between the contract parties regarding certain sections of the scheme that may open to the public early.

TII told Deputy Griffin that the N22 Baile Bhuirne to Macroom Road Development commenced construction in January 2020 and significant progress has been made, with overall construction works about 75% complete at end of May. TII said that this comprises structures that are c.90% complete, earthworks that are c.83% complete and pavement works that are c.15% complete, with various works such as installation of crush and environmental barriers, signage and drainage also progressing.

Deputy Griffin was told that the blasting of rock cut near the western tie-in, where approximately 500,000m3 of rock is being extracted, is nearing completion and that processed rock material is being hauled across the Bohill Bridge and the new bridge crossing of the existing N22 at Cúil na Cathrach, to create road embankments in the low-lying middle section of the road, adjacent to the River Sullane.

TII said that while discussions are currently ongoing between the contract parties regarding certain sections of the scheme that may open to the public early, there remains one overall completion date for the 22km scheme, and that based on current progress, it is anticipated that the scheme will be completed in Quarter 4 of 2023.

Deputy Griffin was told that the eastern section of the scheme, which bypasses the town of Macroom, is the most advanced section, where the laying of mainline road pavement recently commenced.

Deputy Griffin, who is a long-time campaigner for the new Cork-Kerry road, is welcoming the rapid progress on the project and is calling on TII to do everything possible to open the Macroom Town bypass element of the project before the end of the current year.



Valuable role of Kerry cancer support charity recognised nationally



Cancer support charity Recovery Haven Kerry has been recognised for its vital role in supporting cancer patients and their families at a national ceremony in Dublin.

The renowned cancer support house was one of 16 such centres across Ireland that were presented with plaques to acknowledge their full membership of the National Cancer Control Programme (NCCP) Alliance – a group made up of voluntary and charity organisations delivering support services directly to cancer patients and their families. An additional 10 associate member charities were also honoured, including Kerry Cancer Support Group.

The Alliance advocates for, and supports, the development of integrated pathways between the cancer centres, acute hospitals, community cancer support services and primary care services. All members’ development is in line with the values of Sláintecare, seeking to provide assurance to healthcare professionals that these organisations are working to an agreed standard as set out in Best Practice Guidance published by the NCCP. 

Speaking after the ceremony, which was held at Dublin’s Farmleigh Estate, Recovery Haven Kerry Chairman, Tim McSwiney, explained that being compliant with the Best Practice Guidance for Community Cancer Support Centres is a true mark of quality. 

“It offers us a yardstick to measure what we are doing against the standards required. As a result, healthcare professionals have more confidence in referring people to our services. We are very proud to be a member of the Alliance,” he said.

Recovery Haven Kerry was represented at the event by centre manager, Gemma Fort and Client Services Co-Ordinator, Siobhan MacSweeney and were presented with their plaque by NCCP Lead for Cancer Survivorship, Louise Mullen, Clinical Lead for Psycho-Oncology Dr Helen Greally, and Minister of State at the Department of Health, Colm Burke. 

The event was also used as an opportunity to announce funding of €3m for the NCCP’s Alliance of Community Cancer Support Centres and Services through Budget 2024. The NCCP is currently in the process of distributing these funds which will directly and positively impact the delivery of services for patients and families nationally.

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‘More Precious Than Gold’ book launch



At the official book launch of ‘More Precious Than Gold: My enduring connection with John McShain – the man who built Washington’ by Alice O’Neill-McLoughlin at Killarney House, was Minister of State for Nature, Heritage and Electoral Reform, Malcolm Noonan, T.D.

Alice was born the eldest of eleven children into an Irish farming family in Rosbercon, New Ross, County Wexford. In 1978, she was awarded a scholarship from John McShain- the iconic builder, philanthropist, devout Catholic with Derry ancestry, responsible for many famous American landmarks, including the Jefferson Memorial and the Pentagon.

Her book records the lifelong personal correspondence Alice exchanged with ‘The Man Who Built Washington.’ His philanthropy extended to the Irish people in the bequeathing to the State of Killarney House and the surrounding thousands of acres incorporating the Lakes, Ross Castle, and Innisfallen Island. In 2019, Alice had the honour of inducting John McShain into the Irish America Hall of Fame in her home town of New Ross in the presence of his relatives from Philadelphia and Derry. This is a tale of altruism, of gratitude, of faith and of a life lived in the pursuit of excellence.

Alice also donated her treasured correspondence of letters from John McShain for the archive at Killarney House. Also in attendance were Members of the Ignatius A. O’Shaughnessy family, who was founder of The Globe Oil and Refining Company – and part of a consortium of wealthy American businessmen who were going to purchase the lakes of Killarney as a Country Club in the 1950’s.

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