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Teammates to give blood following Seán’s lifesaving transfusion

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by Adam Moynihan

When local Gaelic footballer Seán O’Leary was involved in a serious road traffic accident in Limerick in July, a blood transfusion saved his life.

The popular Kilcummin and Kerry player was travelling home from Thurles with his girlfriend, Emma, when their car collided with an oncoming vehicle near Abbeyfeale. Seán broke both his legs in the crash and, in the days and weeks that followed, he required seven units of blood. Those transfusions were of critical importance to the 21-year-old and now, thankfully, he is on the path to recovery.

Next week, to raise awareness around the importance of giving blood, Seán’s Kilcummin teammates will be donating their own blood at a clinic in Killarney. There is a shortage of blood in Ireland; if every senior GAA team followed Kilcummin’s lead, that shortage would surely be no more.

Speaking to the Killarney Advertiser, Seán said that the accident is “not something you can mentally prepare yourself for”, but he thanked everyone in the community for their support and confirmed that he and Emma are recuperating well. He also outlined how the transfusion he received saved his life.

“The night of the accident I had lost all feeling in my legs,” he recalled. “Once I saw what had happened, I realised I had an open wound fracture so there was a lot of blood. But I was very lucky: there’s a femoral artery that runs through your femur and if that’s ruptured you will bleed out within 15 minutes. I was very lucky that that didn’t get ruptured.

“I was rushed to hospital as soon as they got me out of the car. The blood transfusion I got that day was key to me surviving. Over the next few weeks, I had to get seven units of blood in total. That set me on my way to recovery. If the blood wasn’t available, I would have been in a seriously bad way.”

SHORTAGE

Unfortunately, blood is in relatively short supply in Ireland, with some being imported from the UK. Only 3% of the eligible Irish population give blood, despite that fact that 1 in 4 Irish people will need a blood transfusion at some point in their life.

With Seán’s experience and those figures in mind, Kilcummin players Brendan Kealy and Kevin Gorman, along with Seán himself, came together to see if they could help raise awareness by organising a group donation by the club’s senior team. In total, 22 members of the panel and management team have signed up for Killarney’s next Blood Donation Clinic, which takes place in the Dromhall Hotel from October 4-7. Another clinic will take place on October 11-12. Those interested in donating are encouraged to visit giveblood.ie for more information and to find out if you are eligible.

“It would be a great initiative if GAA clubs could get the message out to members about donating blood,” Seán added. “There will be other clubs around Kerry with members who will need a blood transfusion.

“You could be the difference between saving someone’s life or not.”

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Killarney man to launch second Irish history book

By Sean Moriarty Killarney native Patrick O’Sullivan Greene will launch his second book in the Great Southern Killarney on December 2. O’Sullivan Greene explains Éamon de Valera’s mission to gain […]

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By Sean Moriarty

Killarney native Patrick O’Sullivan Greene will launch his second book in the Great Southern Killarney on December 2.

O’Sullivan Greene explains Éamon de Valera’s mission to gain recognition for the newly formed Irish republic in New York in 1919 in his latest book ‘Revolution at the Waldorf: America and the Irish War of Independence’.

Without American recognition and funding the young Irish Government was sure to fail against the might of the British Empire and the book tells the story of how de Valera and Ireland-based Michael Collins – much to the defiance of the British authorities at Dublin Castle – got the new State off the ground.

O’Sullivan grew up in New Street and is now based in Beaufort after a career in finance took him all over the world including Dublin, London, New York and France.

“Killarney is the natural place for me to launch the book,” he told the Killarney Advertiser.

“There will be an interesting mix of people there.”

O’Sullivan Greene published his first book, ‘Crowdfunding the Revolution: The First Dáil Loan and the Battle for Irish Independence’, in 2020.

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Caring group craft charity blankets

By Michelle Crean One community group have shown that they care deeply for others by crafting handmade blankets for charity. Using their range of skills and some colourful wool, members […]

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By Michelle Crean

One community group have shown that they care deeply for others by crafting handmade blankets for charity.

Using their range of skills and some colourful wool, members of Kilcummin Community Care worked together to make blankets for service users on the Kerry Cork Cancer Health Link Bus.

“Each blanket is assigned as a personal gift to the clients using the Cancer Link Bus and is kept by them,” Kate Fleming, Chairperson of Kilcummin Community Care, said.

The knitting of the squares to make the blankets began at a gathering in the Rose Hotel in 2018. It was a gathering of different volunteer groups.

The Kerry Cork Cancer Health Link Bus were requesting knitted squares to make blankets for the clients who were using their facilities, she explained.

“Kilcummin Community Care were knitting at the time, so it was decided to help out this worthy cause. We received donations of wool from people in the parish and surrounding areas. Kilcummin ICA also got involved in the efforts.”

During the two years of COVID-19, members of both organisations continued to knit and are still knitting to the present day.

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