Connect with us


Teammates to give blood following Seán’s lifesaving transfusion



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.”


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 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.”


Proinsias says farewell to Gaelscoil after 33 years

By Michelle Crean For over three decades one face has been constant at Gaelscoil Faithleann but today (Friday) it all changes as the school’s first and only Principal to date […]



By Michelle Crean

For over three decades one face has been constant at Gaelscoil Faithleann but today (Friday) it all changes as the school’s first and only Principal to date says a fond farewell.

It’s a day full of mixed emotions for Proinsias Mac Curtain who was appointed the school’s Principal on September 1, 1989.

Today, the school’s 245 children and staff will host a number of events at the school for him which are sure to stir a few emotions.

It follows a special Mass on Innisfallen Island on Saturday morning as 150 children, staff members, parents council and Board of Management members boarded a boat for the occasion. And the location was apt as the school is called after the island, Proinsias explained to the Killarney Advertiser.

“It was lovely, it was meaningful as the school is called after Innisfallen Island. I’ve been blessed with the school community down through the years. It was a pleasure to work with school staff and parents, Boards of Management – but the most important is the children. I’m proud of them and their achievements. They are great children and I’ll miss them.”

He said the school will be in great hands as Lisa Ni Iarlaithe, who has been at the school since 1991, takes over as Principal.

He also praised the hardworking staff.

“I’ll miss it but I’m comfortable to step back as the school is in excellent hands.”

Proinsias is originally from Tournafulla Co Limerick. He began his career as a teacher in Scoil Iognáid in the centre of Galway city, the largest Gaelscoil in the country at the time.

Shortly before he died his father Jerry, who loved to holiday for a few days a year in Killarney, had heard of a new school opening here and phoned Proinsias to tell him. The rest they say is history.

He says his love of Irish language was inspired by Tournafulla Primary School Principal Liam O Loineacháin and in St Ita’s College Abbeyfeale by Jim Tierney and the late Johnny Nelligan.

And although three decades is a long time, Proinsias says it flew by and that he has seen many changes over the years. The first is seeing the children of former pupils coming to school. The second is the advancement of technology – some good and some not so good!

“The biggest change was the growth of technology, the changeover to the whiteboard and the use of devices which makes it challenging for parents. It’s wonderful you can access so much, but there are advantages and disadvantages.”

He added a huge thanks to his wife Karen who supported him down through the years when he was out late at meetings, adding that she was “very patient”.

He also thanked Sean O Luanaigh.

“He has been my chairperson since the start and has been such a tremendous support, help and guidance down through the years.”

In retirement he plans to spend more time with his family including his three children Ruadhán, Meadhbh and Cormac.

He also plans to get more involved in Beaufort Tidy Towns as well as the Annals of Innisfallen project.

“It’s always been an interest of mine. I also plan to relax for a few weeks, make more time for family, and I look forward to playing more trad music, bee keeping, gardening and travel.”


Continue Reading


Start clocking up those ‘Kingdom Kilometres’

With an increase in daylight hours there’s no better time to clock up the ‘Kingdom Kilometres’ on foot or by cycling along the county’s two new Greenways. The recently opened […]




With an increase in daylight hours there’s no better time to clock up the ‘Kingdom Kilometres’ on foot or by cycling along the county’s two new Greenways.

The recently opened Kingdom of Kerry Greenways between Tralee and Fenit and between Listowel and Abbeyfeale are already proving hugely popular with locals and visitors to Kerry.

Representatives of the tourism Industry, local public representatives, travel writers and influencers gathered in Kerry on Monday to experience the exciting new tourist attractions and welcome the arrival of the longer daylight hours as the clocks changed over to summertime.

Sarah Hanrahan, a social media influencer who posts about Irish travel and has more than 100,000 Instagram followers, described the experience.

“Ireland has some of the most amazing outdoor spaces. For a lot of my followers and other people, connecting with green spaces has become much more important to their overall sense of well-being as well as their health and fitness. It’s been really gorgeous to experience the Tralee to Fenit, and Listowel to Limerick Kingdom of Kerry Greenways; a fantastic trip sampling the warm hospitality of Kerry and a great reminder of the active holiday options that are right on our doorstep.”

The new purpose-built trails provide an accessible and inclusive experience for visitors of all abilities.

Mayor of Tralee, Cllr Mikey Sheehy and the Mayor of Listowel, Cllr Aoife Thornton, said that the greenways offer an exceptional recreational amenity for everyone to enjoy.

“The greenways are situated in some of Kerry’s most scenic landscapes and offer spectacular and safe off-road facilities for people of all ages to enjoy as the landscape comes into bloom. They also offer warm hospitality at the trail head towns of each route.”

Visit to find out more.


Continue Reading