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Ring of Kerry funds to help Ian with his rehab




Organisers of the Ring of Kerry Cycle have confirmed that participants raised a whopping €1.2 million for charity at this year’s event. Official charities associated with the 35th year of the event were presented with their funds at a special reception at the INEC Killarney last Friday evening.

Among the 15 main beneficiaries of this year’s event was much-loved Killarney teenager Ian O’Connell who was seriously injured when he fell from his bike last August. Ian, who is a student in St Brendan’s College, won the hearts of the nation when he appeared on The Late Late Show and shared his inspirational motto, “If I can’t stand up, I’ll stand out.”

The funds raised will go towards assisting Ian with his rehabilitation and help with giving him the support he needs.

The cycle itself in July saw over 7,000 participants from Ireland and abroad arrive in Kerry to complete the 175km cycle challenge around the scenic Ring of Kerry.

The main beneficiaries were divided into three main groups which included Disability Support Services, Cancer and Family Support Services and Community Care. Along with the fifteen main beneficiaries that received donations, there were also twenty local communities that benefited from the event. Each of these local communities will receive a cheque of €2,000. The local communities were heavily involved in supporting, organising and volunteering for the Charity Cycle.

“We are very proud to once again have broken the €1 million mark for very worthy beneficiaries that will utilise the funds raised in various ways to improve and expand services for people across all walks of life,” said Cathal Walshe, ROK Cycle PRO.

“The Ring of Kerry Charity Cycle has become an iconic event over the past 35 years and it has gone from strength to strength. This event would not be feasible if it wasn’t for the huge support from our organisers, charities and volunteers and of course the cyclists themselves who support us year after year. We look forward to seeing you all in 2019”.

15 Main Charity Beneficiaries

Disability Support Services

Buy a Bus Campaign - Kerry Parent & Friends Association

Down Syndrome Ireland

Enable Ireland

Irish Kidney Association

St Mary of the Angels (intellectual disability residential care)

Cancer & Family Support Services

Breakthrough Cancer Research

Brú Columbanus (Family accommodation for seriously ill)

Kerry Hospice Foundation

Community Care

Baile Mhuire

Caherciveen Social Services

Irish Community Rapid Response

KDYS – Kerry Diocesan Youth Service

Pieta House

St. Joseph’s Home, Killorglin

The Ian O Connell Trust

Additional local community beneficiaries

Abbeyfeale Search & Rescue

Ballinskelligs In Shore Rescue

Banna Inshore Rescue

Childhood Cancer Foundation

Fr Sean Myers Brazilian Fund

Friends of the Children of Chernobyl

Heartbeat Killarney

Holy Cross Day Care Centre

Holy Cross School – Autism Unit

Home from Home

Kenya Education Project

Kerry Cheshire Killarney

Kerry Mental Health, Kenmare

Kerry Rape & Sexual Abuse Centre

Kerry Respite Care

Killarney Water Rescue

Muckross Community Centre

Multiple Sclerosis South Kerry

Novas Support for the Homeless

Sean Cairde

Waterville Community First Responders

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How to boost your immune system with nutrition

By Tara Tangney from Activate Fitness The immune system is precisely that — a system. To function well, it requires stability. While there is no magic bullet for increasing immunity, […]




By Tara Tangney from Activate Fitness

The immune system is precisely that — a system. To function well, it requires stability.

While there is no magic bullet for increasing immunity, there are ways to keep your immune system strong so that you are better prepared to fight off infections and heal quickly.

As long as your immune system is running smoothly, you don’t notice that it’s there, but if it stops working properly – because it’s weak or can’t fight particularly aggressive germs – you get ill.

Without an immune system, we would have no way to fight harmful things that enter our body from the outside or harmful changes that occur inside our body. Here are five ways to ensure you support a good immune system coming into the wintery months:

1. Eat More Vegetables

While all vegetables have health benefits, some pack a more powerful immune-boosting punch than others. Broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, brussels sprouts, kale, and other cruciferous vegetables are rich in fibre, phytochemicals, vitamins, and minerals. Vegetables such as sweet potatoes, carrots, spinach and tomatoes are rich in beta-carotene (vitamin A), which helps regulate the immune system and protect against infections.

2. Eat Balanced Meals

Include all macronutrients in your meals. Protein is particularly important for healing and recovery. Protein sources include leaner sources of meat, chicken, turkey, fish, eggs, milk, beans, soy, nuts and seeds. These foods are also good sources of zinc, a mineral that promotes healthy immune function and aids in wound healing. Healthy fats are also essential to support our immune health. Try to include a variety of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats in your daily diet. These are found in avocados, fatty fish, olive oil, nuts, and seeds. These foods provide good fats but are also rich in phytonutrients and fat-soluble vitamins. For example, a small handful of nuts such as almonds is a great source of vitamin E. Wild-caught salmon is one of the only foods naturally rich in vitamin D. Fatty fish are also rich in essential fats called omega-3s, which are known for their multiple health benefits.

3. Regular Exercise

Exercise is one of the main aspects that support a healthy lifestyle. Regular exercise promotes cardiovascular health, lowers blood pressure, helps control body weight, and offers protection against a variety of diseases. And just like a healthy diet, exercise can contribute to a healthy immune system, improves blood circulation allowing immune system cells to move through the body more freely and do their job more effectively.

4. Good Quality Sleep

Getting enough sleep has many health benefits. The lack of sleep puts your body into ‘fight or flight’ mode, releasing adrenaline and increased stress hormones into the body. Research shows that in general, adults need at least seven hours of sleep for optimal health and well-being. As we sleep our immune system works to heal and repair the body. A few tips for getting a good night’s sleep include avoiding caffeine in the evenings, turning off your screens (TV, laptop, phones, etc.) well before bedtime and sleeping in a cool, dark room.

5. Manage Your Stress

You may not often think about how stress affects your ability to fight off infection, but your state of mind can have a significant impact on your health. When you are experiencing more stress, your immunity is compromised, which puts you at a higher risk of getting sick. Managing stress may help you fight germs and infections. Stress management techniques include breath work, meditation, yoga, moderate exercise, walking etc. Having a support system of close friends and family can also help us feel connected and stay strong throughout stressful times.

Although there is no magical potion for immunity, you can take these five steps to boost your immune system which is very important as we enter the colder and darker mornings of winter. Don’t underestimate your lifestyle’s impact on your ability to help keep your immune system strong. Good nutrition, quality sleep, and managing stress can all have a significant impact on your health. If you need help with your nutrition, send us an email at and we will be happy to help you!

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Ireland’s newest and toughest cycle will be a thrilling challenge

Ireland’s newest cycling event comes to Kenmare this month with an exciting and challenging course for the experienced cyclist. Already attracting attention within cycling communities around the country, Velo Kenmare […]




Ireland’s newest cycling event comes to Kenmare this month with an exciting and challenging course for the experienced cyclist.

Already attracting attention within cycling communities around the country, Velo Kenmare will tackle some of Kerry’s toughest climbs and highest mountain passes.

Taking place on October 22, Velo Kenmare is an 135km timed loop route starting and finishing in Kenmare. The total climbing distance is 1,650m, and organisers hope to appeal to serious cyclists who are looking for a new and thrilling challenge.

No stranger to cycling events, Velo Kenmare is being managed by Elite Events Management, who also successfully deliver iconic cycling events Wicklow 200, Ride Dingle and the Ring of Beara Cycle.
Cyclists are encouraged to register for Velo Kenmare on the Velo Cycle Ireland website but places are limited for the enjoyment and safety of all participants, and anyone interested is urged to sign up soon as places are filling up.


​​​​The tough enough mountain climbs are over Molls Gap, Ballaghbeama Pass, Ballaghasheen and Coomakista. The route will take in breathtaking scenery Kenmare is famous for, and incorporating some of the most stunning parts of the Wild Atlantic Way and Ring of Kerry. It is hoped visitors to the cycle event will be encouraged to stay for a few days, and will all be given €20 vouchers or ‘Velo Dollars’ to spend in local shops which will be redeemable against goods and services in Kenmare.

Riders will be allotted a time slot to allow for a staggered start, taking them along a fully marshalled route, with medical cover, bike mechanic support, and hot food and entertainment at the finish in Kenmare.

Making its mark, Velo Kenmare participant race packs will come inside a yellow Velo Kenmare water bottle and finishers’ medals are in the shape of a yellow cow bell. Prizes will be awarded for the quickest top three male and top three female finishers, and fastest male and female will be awarded the title of King and Queen of the Kerry Mountains.

Experienced cyclists are encouraged to take on this exciting new challenge, testing themselves and their clubmates for the fastest finish across these four gruelling climbs, through some of the most beautiful landscape in the country for the best welcome back at the finish.


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