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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.”


Killarney and District Motor Club members honoured by Motorsport Ireland

By Cormac Casey Several members of Killarney and District Motor Club were honoured at the Motorsport Ireland awards lunch in Dublin on Wednesday. The highlight of the event is the […]




By Cormac Casey

Several members of Killarney and District Motor Club were honoured at the Motorsport Ireland awards lunch in Dublin on Wednesday.

The highlight of the event is the announcement of the sport’s top awards.

Kilkenny’s Jack Brennan (19) was named Young Rally Driver of the Year, while Wexford native Jack Byrne was named Young Racing Driver of the Year and the International Driver of the Year award went to recently crowned FIA Junior World Rally Champion, William Creighton.

Muckross-based co-driver Noel O’Sullivan was presented with his Irish Tarmac Rally Championship winning trophy.

This year saw the introduction of the Motorsport Ireland President’s Awards which celebrate the achievements of  clubs and organisations.

Killarney and District Motor Club won in the innovation category for their work with their KDMC 2 initiative thanks to the efforts of the club’s vice chairman Mike O’Shea.

Rally Rescue teams were also recognised and the club’s Mike Cleary picked up an award for his role he played in what was a difficult year for rescue crew operators.

Tom O’Riordan, who looks after ambulance procurement on the club’s events, was presented with an FIA Volunteer Pin by Motorsport Ireland President Aiden Harper.

Killarney Advertiser Journalist Sean Moriarty was presented with an award for best use of of PR and media in 2023.


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Kerry Mental Health and Wellbeing Fest ‘thank you’ event at Brehon

Participation in the 2023 Kerry Mental Health and Wellbeing Fest has grown by more than 100% since 2020 with 98% of those who gave feedback saying they would attend similar […]




Participation in the 2023 Kerry Mental Health and Wellbeing Fest has grown by more than 100% since 2020 with 98% of those who gave feedback saying they would attend similar events again in 2024.

Feedback from more than 100 people who attended this year’s Fest events from 7th to 14th October was positive with 91% stating they were satisfied.
The Kerry Mental Health and Wellbeing Fest is held annually over the course of a week to highlight World Mental Health Day on October 10.
It aims to raise awareness of the available supports and services in Kerry as well as empower people to engage with the ‘Five Ways to Wellbeing’ through offering a dynamic and interactive programme of events.
99% percent of respondents, most of whom identified as female, said they would recommend the Fest to friends next year. Some key notes for improvement included a request for more events with wider variety throughout the county.
The Chair of the Interagency Steering Group, John Drummey from Kerry Mental Health Association, said: “We wish to extend a heartfelt thanks to event organisers, community groups, businesses, funders and partners that facilitated the Fest’s dynamic and interactive programme of events in 2023. We are encouraged to see such growth in numbers attending the Fest events with a 50% increase from 2022. We are already making plans for the Fest from 5 to 12t October 2024 and we are looking forward to building on this year’s successes. That said, there is always room for improvement and we would welcome suggestions for new events and activities.”
Many of the event organisers attended a ‘thank-you’ event at the Brehon Hotel, Killarney, courtesy of the Kerry Volunteer Centre to coincide with the annual International Volunteer Day, December 5.
The Kerry Mental Health and Wellbeing Fest was organised by an interagency steering group made up of local agencies that support wellbeing in our community.
The organising committee is a collaboration between Connecting for Life Kerry, Healthy Kerry, Kerry County Council, Kerry Recreation & Sports Partnership, the HSE, NEWKD, SKDP, Kerry Mental Health Association, Jigsaw Kerry, Munster Technological University/Kerry, KDYS, Kerry Volunteer Centre and Family Resource Centres throughout the county.

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