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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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New free local fitness group to motivate people back to health

By Brian Foley from Activate Fitness  Our mission at Activate is to extend and enhance the lifespan of 7,000 people in Killarney which is why we have set up a […]

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By Brian Foley from Activate Fitness
 

Our mission at Activate is to extend and enhance the lifespan of 7,000 people in Killarney which is why we have set up a free health and fitness group. 

Our primary vehicle is our gym but we do a lot of other stuff, too, like:

* Train kids how to exercise in schools
* Helping frontline workers with their mindset
* Supporting local fitness events and teams
* Running fun social events in the community
* Raise funds for local charities

We’ve won awards for this stuff, but the real reward is moving the Killarney community back towards health. So today, I’m thrilled to share a free Facebook group: ‘Fitness, Nutrition & Health in Killarney’ with you.
Visit this link to join: www.facebook.com/groups/fitnessinkillarney.

In that group, we’ll share helpful posts, tips, and support for everyone, whether you exercise at Activate or not. We’re also welcoming other health and fitness practitioners to join the group and help people find valuable and sensible advice around health and fitness.

When you join, Facebook will ask you a few questions, then my team will be around to support you and give you stuff to help.

If you have questions about fitness, health, longevity, nutrition, or exercise, go ahead and ask! If you have answers, please share! Let’s get some positive momentum going in Killarney!

What’s the deal with motivation?

I was having a discussion with a new client the other day and it came up that they sometimes feel a lack of motivation to keep working out. I know many of you feel like this sometimes, so I thought I would write about it today.

I really believe in discipline, as motivation is fleeting – but we’ll address this anyway. There are a few things that you can do to fool-proof the system. Here’s five ways.

1. Find an accountability partner:

When it comes to working out, having someone to hold you accountable can be a huge motivator. Whether it’s a friend, family member, or even a fitness coach, knowing that someone is counting on you to show up for your workout can help you stay on track.

2. Set realistic goals:

Setting goals is a great way to stay motivated, but it’s important to make sure they are realistic. If your goal is too lofty, you may find yourself getting discouraged when you don’t see results as quickly as you’d like. However, if your goals are achievable and realistic, you’ll be more likely to stick with your workout plan and see the results you want.

3. Find a workout routine you enjoy:

If you dread your workouts, it’s going to be very difficult to stay motivated. However, if you find an exercise routine that you enjoy, you’ll be more likely to stick with it. There are so many different types of workouts out there, so take some time to experiment and find one that fits your needs and interests. I feel a key facet many of us in the health and fitness industry miss regularly is making sure people are always engaged and challenged, so it remains fun to work out!

4. Reward yourself:

This one sounds a little weird, but for some, it can really work. One way to stay motivated is to reward yourself after setting a goal and reaching it. Whether it’s your favourite snack or a new piece of workout gear, treating yourself to something special can help keep you on track.

5. Get enough sleep:

This is the one thing we all hear that’s drilled into our brains – but for good reason! It’s important to get enough sleep when you’re trying to stay fit and healthy. When you’re well-rested, you’ll have more energy for your workouts and you’ll be less likely to skip them. So make sure to get plenty of rest each night!

Following these tips can help you stay motivated to workout, even when it feels like a struggle. Just remember to be patient, set realistic goals, and find an exercise routine that you enjoy. With a little effort, you can reach your fitness goals in no time!
 

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Irish food only for Lisa’s September challenge

Could you survive on a diet of food grown only in Ireland for one month – well that’s the challenge one Kerry woman has set herself. Artist and food activist […]

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Could you survive on a diet of food grown only in Ireland for one month – well that’s the challenge one Kerry woman has set herself.

Artist and food activist Lisa Fingleton plans the unusual action as she will eat only food grown in Ireland for the entire month.

That means no sugar, lemons, olive oil, or coffee with the challenge designed to highlight issues with Irish food security.

In the seven years since Lisa founded the 30-Day Local Food Challenge, food supply chains have been hit by a succession of market shocks highlighting Lisa’s concerns with increasing urgency.

From seed shortages caused by Brexit to the global market shock of COVID-19 to potential shortages caused by the ongoing war in Ukraine, to the recent conversation about the need to reduce the Irish National Herd in line with carbon emissions targets, Lisa says there has never been a more important time to talk about Irish food security.

“This year in particular in Europe we are seeing the impact of war on food and the global reliance on Ukraine as an important wheat producer,” said the former Kerry County Council Artist in Residence who lives in Ballybunion.

“This has shown us more than ever just how fragile our food systems are. We need to focus on building sustainable and resilient food systems on the island of Ireland. This year we are encouraging people to do one local meal a day so they can make it really simple and have Irish porridge for breakfast or really elaborate with a meal grown in your own garden.”

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