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“Seamus poured his heart and soul into Muckross Rowing Club”

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SADNESS: There was great sadness at the news of the death of the President of Muckross Rowing Club, Seamus Guiney, this week. Photo: Valerie O'Sullivan

 

A great sense of sadness was felt widely this week when news of the passing of one of the most decorated cox and trainer in the 234-year history of Killarney Regatta became known.

Seamus Guiney of Marian Terrace and Woodlawn Road, Killarney, who was aged 87, died on Monday peacefully in the tender care of the management and staff of Killarney Community Hospital.

Seamus had rowed primarily in the bow of various Workmen crews including at the last regattas held at Cahernane in 1954 and 1955. With his shrewd eye, sharp intellect and love of the lake, he migrated from the bow to the cox seat and there a legend was born, whether with Workmen to his involvement with the Commercial Senior Six bid in 1980, to his eventual decision to commit to the mid-1980s effort by Muckross to regain the Men's Senior Six.

The ‘holy grail’ of a Men's Senior Six title continued to elude him throughout the late 1980s but he finally crossed that line in 1993 with Muckross closing a 20-year wait for the club by bringing home the Bourn Vincent trophy. Since that win, Muckross crews have gone on to largely dominate proceedings at Killarney Regatta – by dint of hard work by many but always with the knowledge that Seamus would take each ‘A’ crew in the weeks before the regatta, produce his unique stopwatch, bring them up to speed and ultimately predict the likelihood of victory on the first Sunday of July. A gentleman to his fingertips on dry land – with a steer rope in his hand and a crew at his bidding, he became a different creature. Driven, sharp and a technical genius in the Killarney Six, Seamus had a unique ability to make a crew gel together. Many rowers past and present will hold the memory of Seamus guiding a crew in training from a standing position with only his steer rope for balance.

Sean Coffey, Club Coach and Tim O’Shea, PRO, Muckross RC, reflect on the immense contribution of Seamusto Muckross RC and rowing in Killarney.

"It is with the greatest sadness that the members of Muckross Rowing Club learned on Monday of the passing of our Club President, Seamus Guiney," Tim said.

SETTING RECORDS

Seamus undoubtedly remains the most decorated cox and trainer in the 234-year history of Killarney Regatta, he added.

"In casting an eye over the record books, it remains close to impossible to state with accuracy just how many crews Seamus saw across the line to victory."

His win tally with Muckross became simply countless across four decades from the 1980s through to 2018. Between 1993 and 2013, Seamus coxed 11 Muckross crews to victory in the Men’s Senior Six. Between 1994 and 2014, 16 Senior Ladies Sixes titles were won by Muckross, with Seamus thought to have coxed almost all. In the Four Oar races, 10 Senior Men's titles, between 1990 and 2013, and 17 Senior Women's titles from 1994 to 2014 involved Seamus at least in training, if not on race day.

"At all grades, Seamus set and broke records time and again. Whether it was Junior or Juvenile, Minor or Veteran, Seamusbrought a boundless energy and commitment to the rowers of Muckross both young and old, with silverware resulting more often than not. His rowing prowess was not only confined to the lakes of Killarney and extended to regattas and time trials around Ireland. Among the memorable trips with the club was the Great River Race in London, where Seamus skilfully navigated the 22-mile Thames River course - manoeuvring the Killarney Six with aplomb underneath Tower Bridge and past the Houses of Parliament."  

Sean Coffey, who raced with Seamus as part of the victorious Senior crew of 1993 and Veteran crew of 2018, recalls his earlier days. "His long involvement with the club goes back to the Killarney Regatta season of 1984. With his arrival in Muckross at that time came a storied past in the intensely competitive world of Killarney rowing.

"He was most proud of having an Olympic style sweep Four named in his honour – a much loved man made immortal on the bow of a race boat. After the passing of James Mulligan, Seamus was unanimously chosen as Club President of Muckross RC. He took great pride in the success of the club, watching Muckross crews compete at various regattas, Head of the River events and the Irish Championships. Much of this success was made possible due to Seamus’ tireless efforts in coaching and developing crews. He gave his all to the improvement of whatever six men, women or teenagers he happened to have out on the lake."

He coxed his final winning crew, fittingly a Men's Veteran Six, at the age of 85 in 2018.

"Once more Seamus brought his crew out in time, hit the start, made the calls and brought his boat home straight and safe in a manner which belied his years", said Sean.  

Lough Leane was a truly special environment for Seamus, who spent many happy hours fishing when he wasn’t cycling to and from the Muckross boathouse. He is one of the last anglers to have fished from the traditional whalers, used on the Killarney lakes for centuries. Away from the lake shore, Seamus worked for many years in the former Hilliard’s Factory Tuf Shoes off High Street making many friends throughout his working life. He was also well-known for his musical skills playing the guitar and trumpet. In his younger days, Seamus featured in local bands including the Keynotes and the Billy Williams Band, among others.

 

Tim concluded "Seamus poured his heart and soul into Muckross Rowing Club and was central to a golden era of rowing in Muckross and Killarney. We feel the loss of our Club President like the loss of a family member and will greatly miss his enthusiasm, kindness, good humour and friendship. Seamus’ spirit will always remain with us at the Muckross shore, on the lake and wherever the yellow oars of Muckross may row."  

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COMMUNITY AIR AMBULANCE TASKED 512 TIMES DURING 2021

The Irish Community Air Ambulance has yet to receive any sort of government funding despite being called out on 512 missions in 14 counties during 2021. Last year was the ICAA busiest year since the Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS) Air Ambulance launched in July 2019. There were 490 taskings in 2020. The organisation is […]

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The Irish Community Air Ambulance has yet to receive any sort of government funding despite being called out on 512 missions in 14 counties during 2021.

Last year was the ICAA busiest year since the Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS) Air Ambulance launched in July 2019. There were 490 taskings in 2020.

The organisation is Ireland’s only charity-funded HEMS Air Ambulance. It works in partnership with the National Ambulance Service and responds to serious incidents and medical emergencies from its base in Rathcool, near Millstreet, in Co. Cork. Each helicopter mission costs an average of €3,500, all of which has to be raised or donated.

The CEO of the Irish Community Air Ambulance, Micheál Sheridan said that they engaged with the Government and regional political leaders throughout 2021 to secure some State support for the vital service.

FUNDING

Micheál Sheridan said, “The HSE is releasing funding to private Ambulance firms to provide support during the continuing crisis yet the Irish Community Air Ambulance is still entirely funded by public donations. The increased number of taskings during 2021 show that we provide a vital service,” said Mr Sheridan.

“The cost to run the charity during 2022 is expected to be €2.1 million which is a significant amount of money to raise. We are so grateful to all our supporters who help us to bring hope to those in emergency situations but we will continue to engage with the Government to provide funding during these uncertain times.”

There were more calls to cardiac arrests, farming-related incidents and falls from heights during 2021. Cardiac arrests accounted for one in five calls with 103 taskings last year, that’s up from 81 during 2020.

July and April were the busiest months of the year for the service with 57 missions completed each month. Cork, Kerry and Tipperary accounted for the majority of taskings. The Irish Community Air Ambulance was also tasked to Clare, Limerick, Waterford, Wexford, Kilkenny, Mayo, Galway, Offaly, Laois, Wicklow and Kildare.

One in every three taskings required an airlift to hospital. There were 111 transfers to Cork University Hospital during 2021 which equates to 66% of all transfers. University Hospital Limerick accounts for 20%.

TRANSFERS

Micheal Sheridan added, “There were also transfers to hospitals in Kerry, Tallaght, Galway, Temple Street, Crumlin and The Mater as we saw an increase in the number of times we were required to transfer children and young people to specialist paediatric hospitals in Dublin. We cover an area of 25,000 square kilometres and treat some of the most critically ill and injured patients, bringing them to the hospital that is best suited to their life-saving needs, not just the closest hospital geographically.”

SERIOUSLY INJURED

Diarmuid O’Donovan from Cork was seriously injured when he was thrown over the handlebars of his bike while cycling around Slea Head, Co Kerry in May 2021. He said he needed to be brought to a dedicated Trauma Centre quickly.

“A moment of carelessness saw me hit the road. I was on my own but thankfully it wasn’t long before I was found. Paramedics, a local doctor, the local Fire Service and Gardai all responded,” he explained.

“I was drifting in and out of consciousness and it quickly emerged that I needed to be at Cork University Hospital as soon as possible. I wasn’t in a suitable state for a two-and-a-half-hour journey by road so the Irish Community Air Ambulance was tasked and landed in Ventry. The journey to CUH by helicopter took just 30 minutes. I had 28 different bone breaks including my spine, shoulder and ribs as well as a punctured lung. I underwent several procedures that evening and spent 12 days in hospital. I believe it could have been far worse if I had not been transported to CUH so quickly and that my recovery has been much faster as a result.”

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Now is a good time to plan features in the garden

Now is an excellent time to have a look at your garden and plan any new beds, water features or seating areas. With relatively little growth, it is easy to take measurements and mark out where your new project will take place. There are a few things to bear in mind when planning new features. […]

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Now is an excellent time to have a look at your garden and plan any new beds, water features or seating areas.

With relatively little growth, it is easy to take measurements and mark out where your new project will take place.
There are a few things to bear in mind when planning new features. First, the practical: are there water pipes, septic tanks, gas or electricity lines etc in the way?
Or, if planning a feature where construction is required, is there access to water and electricity?
Secondly, if you are planning a new bed, what is the soil like in that area, or have you better ground elsewhere which can be exploited?
I have learned over the years that the best thing to do with an area of bad soil is to cover it with paving!
On the other hand, if you are planning a patio, should you excavate the topsoil for use elsewhere? Planning a new bed or planting area is a lot of fun, and I always think it is a good idea to take the time, close your eyes and give your imagination free reign. Consult magazines, gardening websites and social media!
Have a look at a friends’ or neighbours’ gardens for ideas.
Decide how much time you have to maintain it, and keep in mind Irish weather, commitments and other hobbies.
Often we take on gardening projects which we think, at the time, we will have time for. Say you want to commit to, for example, three hours of gardening a week – Saturday morning is the one time you have free.
Guaranteed one of those Saturdays it will rain! Then there is a morning spent mowing. Weeding will take up another few hours. Time flies, no matter what you do…and with age, I am coming to realise we have to work realistically with the free time we have. Gardening should not become a job you are forced to do.
Plan what the new area will be used for, and again, keep time in mind. Maybe a mixed area is better than a single purpose one.
What I mean by this is, you may have decided this year is the year to grow vegetables. Rather than planning out half your garden as a rotating vegetable garden, it may be better to plan out two small beds and a seating area, surrounded by an area of wildflowers.
This can then easily be converted to a larger veg garden if you feel the trial run went well, or converted entirely to a patio. In my experience, it is wise not to commit to a large scale project, especially if you are new to it.

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