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The shows go on with €130,000 in funding

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Over 182 Kerry based professionals in the arts and culture sectors will be supported thanks to funding through the Local Live Performance Programming Scheme 3.

After a competitive application process that highlighted the talent and skills in the county, 23 applications were awarded over €130,000 in funding through the Local Live Performance Programming Scheme 3 by the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media.

The scheme, designed to support employment and well-being in the arts and culture sectors through the provision of live performances by engaging the services of professional artists, musicians, crew and other staff members involved in live performances, will fund over 50 performances in Kerry before the end of June.

The funding is to support the industry which has faced many challenges the past two years and now looks ahead with renewed hope and optimism.

Kate Kennelly, Arts Officer for Kerry County Council, acknowledges all who made the scheme possible.

"Kerry County Council thanks Minister Catherine Martin and the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media for their continued support," she said.

"This is the third instalment of the Local Live Performance Programming Scheme and it has offered us the opportunity to hear from and support a variety of Kerry based performers, producers, and event coordinators. I would also like to thank all individuals and organisations who applied for funding. We are always humbled by the talent that resides within our county."

Projects such as the Silabh Luachra School Concert series will be supported by this scheme. This series will facilitate 10 concerts in primary and post primary schools during the months of April and May. The aim will be to entertain and educate primary and secondary school children around Kerry about the world of Irish Traditional music.

Music will also be heard in the beautiful gardens of An Díseart in Dingle. During the month of June the top garden of An Dísearrt will host Ceol Am Lóin sa Díseart for free lunchtime performances from local musicians.

The scheme has also offered the opportunity for unique performances such as 'Projections' in Carnegie Arts Centre Kenmare to take place. 'Projections' by Denis O’Sullivan is a one man multi-media show incorporating live music singing performance with video and photo on June 17 and 24.

These performances and many more will raise the curtains, turn on the lights and take to the stages across Kerry - from Dingle to Listowel to Kenmare to Tralee and everywhere in between.

A full schedule of events is available on the Arts Office website.

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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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