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Restricted reopening of beach car parks from Monday

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Public car parks at Kerry beaches will reopen on Monday next, (May 18). The car parks were closed at the beginning of April in the interests of public health and limiting the spread of the Coronavirus.

 

Kerry County Council has decided to reopen the car parks having regard to the Government Roadmap for the Reopening of Society and Business and the current advice from the National Public Health Emergency Team.

However, the Council is reminding the public that a strict travel limit of 5km applies where individuals are leaving their home for exercise or recreation. Only those residing within 5km of beaches should travel to those beaches in line with the current public health advice.

Those travelling to beaches should ensure that the two-metre physical distancing guideline is maintained. Groups other than small family units should not congregate to avoid transmission of the virus. Advisory signage is being erected by Kerry County Council at beach car parks this weekend and members of the public are asked to adhere to that advice.

Director of Services with Kerry County Council, John Breen, said the decision had been taken following a safety assessment and consideration of the roadmap published recently by the Government as well as the prevailing public health advice from the National Public Health Emergency Team.

“There is an understandable desire by many people to avail of the fine weather and visit our wonderful beaches but we must ensure that this is done in compliance with public health advice and with the core aim of continuing to flatten the curve of the Coronavirus pandemic,” he said.

“This does not, however, represent an unrestricted reopening of beach car parks. Only those living within 5km of our beaches are permitted to travel there under the public health guidelines and if they do, the required two metres distance from others must be maintained. In conjunction with An Garda Síochána, we will be overseeing the new arrangements.”

 

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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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