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Schools programme will be Stephen’s legacy

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LOSS: Lotte Lyne says she will never come to terms with the murder of her teenage son Stephen (17), as his 10 year anniversary approaches. Photo: Michelle Crean

Local mother fundraising to continue positive school programme

By Michelle Crean

One local mother, whose son was murdered in Killarney 10 years ago, is hoping a school programme to prevent violence in young people will go nationwide.

Lotte Lyne says she will never come to terms with the brutal murder of her teenage son Stephen (17) who was stabbed in 2009, and says it’s vital to teach empathy to young children to prevent similar violent acts in future.

As it comes to the 10thanniversary of his death on June 18, Lotte says she’s still devastated by his death, but choses to channel her emotions into something positive.

Not only did she set up the ‘Stephen Lyne Foundation’ but three years ago introduced the ‘Roots of Empathy’ programme to Killarney schools in a bid to stamp out violence amongst young people. It helps decrease aggression and increases social and emotional understanding.

So far, the programme which is running in four Killarney primary schools is working, and she now plans to introduce a similar programme into local secondary schools this coming September.

However, in order to keep the programme running she holds regular fundraisers - the next one, ‘Jump for Stephen’, a skydive on Saturday, June 15 takes place in Co Offaly.

She says she chooses to believe in the goodness of humanity and will dedicate her life to creating a safer world for the next generation.

"Stephen never got a chance to live his life or reach his full potential,” Lotte, speaking exclusively to the Killarney Advertiser this week, said.

“The sorrow and grief we as a family live every day will never go away, but I am determined not to let it destroy us or break us. Change starts in your own community.” She said that she felt “compelled” to set up the schools programme to reach out to young people before they get caught up in a situation they may someday regret.

“I do it because somebody has to. I’m doing it because I can and I must. I feel compelled to do it. It’s about creating a better and safer community for our children."

She explained that the programme, which is running in St Oliver’s, Gaelscoil Faithleann, the Mercy and the Monastery, was developed 20 years ago in Canada with Barnardo’s as the lead agency in Ireland.

“You have got to change the heart behind the knife, the gun, the suicide vest,” she said.

“If we could do something in our own community that would have an impact. This is a year-long programme and can be implemented into any school class.”

Lotte remembers Stephen as a wonderful young man who would do anything for his friends.

“Stephen had a great sense of humour. He was great at sport, especially soccer, and was a very loyal, great friend. He was there for people."

One hundred percent of the funds raised from fundraisers go to the programme, she added.

“What we are doing is more relative than ever. It’s not for Stephen - it’s for all the young people. We have to do something or it’ll get worse, little by little there’ll be change. This will be Stephen's legacy."
For more information visit www.stephenlynefoundation.org or see Facebook page: Stephen Lyne Foundation

 

 

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Are you getting enough sleep?

By Angela Kerrisk from Activate Fitness We have all heard the phrase “routine is the killer” however for many of us who, on a daily basis, stretch ourselves thin wearing a variety of different hats, simply creating a specific and sustainable routine will separate the successful and organised from the stressed and overwhelmed. Incorporating a […]

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By Angela Kerrisk from Activate Fitness

We have all heard the phrase “routine is the killer” however for many of us who, on a daily basis, stretch ourselves thin wearing a variety of different hats, simply creating a specific and sustainable routine will separate the successful and organised from the stressed and overwhelmed.

Incorporating a routine helps to bring direction and structure, and as Craig Ballantyne so wonderfully put it in his book ‘The Perfect Day’; “Structure = Freedom”.

In our childhood, we became accustomed to a bedtime routine. In fact, those of us who are parents go to great lengths to create this routine for our own children, knowing the benefits it brings. However, as we moved into adulthood, that same routine was thrown out the window by the demanding world of school and full-time work.

Sleep and health are locked together. When we improve our sleep, we have better energy, mood, and recover easier from exercise. When we sleep better it helps us to make better nutrition choices because sleep regulates our hormones. Yet it’s one of the first things we sacrifice in order to get through our full to-do list. Whatever these or our end goal is, jeopardising our health seems to be counterproductive and also just a little crazy! Why is it that as adults we stray so far away from one of the very foundational rituals that can keep us feeling grounded?

So how much sleep do you need? About six to eight hours is good but the exact number depends on the person. No matter who you are, you’ll feel worn out if you don’t get enough.

Here are some suggestions to help you achieve greater balance and a sound night’s sleep:

Limit caffeine:

It takes a long time for caffeine to get out of your system, so avoid it late in the day. Typically, have your last caffeinated drink 10 hours before your bedtime.

Be active:

Physical activity reduces stress and improves sleep. One exception is not to do a hard workout right before bed as it might be tough to wind down for a while afterwards.

Unwind early:

Turn off screens well before bedtime. Bright screens can mess with your body’s sleep mechanisms, so turn off TV’s, tablets and smartphones earlier in the evening. Take the dog out, brush your teeth, get into your pyjamas, and get into bed before the time you want to be asleep.

Brain dump for the next day:

Spend 5-10 minutes each night writing a list of to-do items to ensure you hit the pillow feeling organised and in control.

Set out your clothes the evening before:

This small task can save you a lot of last-minute rushing. Take the extra five minutes now when you have it.

Cool, dark and quiet:

When it comes to sleep, you want it cool, dark and quiet. Adjust the temperature or get a fan going, hang some blackout curtains and try to reduce any noise near your bedroom.

Buy an alarm clock:

This will help you to avoid being distracted by notifications should you wake and check the time in the middle of the night. Set an alarm right now for tonight. When it goes off, start your evening routine so you get into bed on time for a good night’s sleep!

Here at Activate, we promote and encourage balance to ensure we are living a happy and healthy life. Sleep is one very essential and key component of this. We hope these tips help you get some much-needed rest! When you combine great sleep with sound nutrition and solid training, you’ll feel amazing and make more progress toward your goals.

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Kerry Stars “pursuing dream to build own sports centre”

By Sean Moriarty Kerry Special Olympics Club is still pursuing its dream to build a sports centre in Derreen, a senior club official has confirmed to the Killarney Advertiser. The club has identified a site, with support from Kerry County Council, between the existing Killarney Legion and Killarney Celtic sports grounds. However, the project remains […]

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By Sean Moriarty

Kerry Special Olympics Club is still pursuing its dream to build a sports centre in Derreen, a senior club official has confirmed to the Killarney Advertiser.

The club has identified a site, with support from Kerry County Council, between the existing Killarney Legion and Killarney Celtic sports grounds.

However, the project remains on the long finger as the club has been concentrating on the safety of its members throughout the pandemic.

The delay prompted Cllr Donal Grady to ask Kerry County Council if it had any plans to build houses on the site.

Mr Grady asked the question in the context of making sure the land did not go to waste and not in opposition to any plans by Kerry Stars.

“The site referred to was originally identified as a potential site for development as a specific sports facility. That project has not materialised,” a Council official said.

“Kerry Stars had been in contact with Kerry County Council regarding use of the site, and it was expected that further communication would be received from them in the very short-term. As yet, Kerry County Council is awaiting further communication and will liaise directly with the Kerry Stars group before we can give consideration to use of the lands under the ‘Housing for All’ housing plan.”

However, Kerry Stars chairman John Spillane said they still “have every intention of pursuing our dream of have our own sports centre”.

“The location makes perfect sense, it is the sports hub of Killarney and all the clubs there could help and learn from each other.”

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