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Seamus Weldon was such a good engineer he could have worked for John Deere in America

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Such was the engineering skills of the late Seamus Weldon he could have worked for the design department of the legendary John Deere company in America, his funeral Mass was told this week.

The popular businessman passed away last week.

Best known as the main John Deere lawn keeping equipment agent for Munster, Seamus was also ingrained in the sporting and community life of his adopted Kerry.

A native of County Meath, Seamus met his wife Eileen in the Galtymore, the legendary Irish dance hall in Cricklewood, London.

They moved to Killarney, where Seamus took a job at the Liebherr Container Crane Factory in Fossa before setting up his eponymous lawn mower dealership in 1969, first in Killarney town centre before moving to a permanent base in Barleymount.

“Seamus often made his own design modifications to John Deere machines, working on feedback from his customers. These were fed back to the parent companies who often acted out on them I used to wonder, at times, if we were going to end up moving to America with him working in the John Deere design department,” his son James told his requiem Mass at the Prince of Peace Church in Fossa.

Seamus passed away the previous Saturday after a battle with Motor Neuron Disease.

“MND is a dreadful disease to deal with but you would have been forgiven for thinking that Seamus didn't have it at all as he was so strong and courageous right up until the end,” added James.  “We would like to take the opportunity to thank the medical teams and Palliative Care [staff] for their compassion and professionalism as they showed during his time.”

Mr Weldon was a huge GAA fan and managed his home club, Fossa GAA, to successive Division Two and One East Kerry championships. He was also a great supporter of St Paul’s Basketball Club in the town.

He is survived by his wife, Eileen, daughter Kathleen and sons Michael, James and Padraig, son-in-law James Culloty, daughters-in-law Hilda, Sharon and Gillian, and grandchildren Ewan, Eve, Shea, Ava, Rian, Ruairí, Zachery and Esme.

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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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