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Tears of relief as Government do u-turn on Ukrainian move

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By Michelle Crean

It was an emotional morning - but one filled with sighs of relief and many tears - as 135 Ukrainian women and children learned that they are now allowed to stay in Killarney.

In a last ditch move with less than an hour before the bus was due to arrive to Hotel Killarney to take them 300kms across the country to Westport Co Mayo, Minister for Education Norma Foley announced that they could stay in Killarney. It came after the arrival of up to 190 male refugees to the hotel a number of days ago.

A large gathering took place outside the hotel which included local politicians, the media, other members of the Ukrainian community who are living in the Innisfallen Hotel in Fossa and a huge amount of local people who were all outraged that they were to be moved with less than 48 hours notice.

The main concern was for the welfare of the children who had already been traumatised by the abrupt move from their home in March due to the Russian-Ukraine war. The families had settled over the last seven months in town with many women getting jobs, making new friendships and settling the children in local primary and secondary schools.

Dina Kukushkina, who works in Reens Pharmacy, is one such parent and today she said that they are so happy to be staying.

"I am very happy to hear this news," Dina, who was in the car with their luggage when she heard the news, told the Killarney Advertiser.

"When we heard this information we are very very happy. I still can't believe it, it's incredible and unbelievable for us. We will continue our life.

"We didn't sleep [last night] because we didn't know what would be the result. We just collected our things and our children were crying until 2am. Today in the morning I saw women and they were upset too because of the children because again it's stress and adaptation and it's really hard."

The women and children for now will stay at Hotel Killarney but there's plans to move them to other locations locally in the coming days.

READ ALL THE REACTION IN THIS WEEK'S KILLARNEY ADVERTISER - OUT FRIDAY

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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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