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Thousands send well wishes as Sean recovers

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By Michelle Crean

Thousands of messages have poured in from all over the world and that simple act of kindness has helped lift the spirits of one local businessman - who, after a enduring one of his toughest years in business, suffered a heart attack.

This week, Sean Coffey (41) who runs Kate Kearney's, praised the hospital staff for his care saying they 'saved his life', thanked his dedicated staff for their "phenomenal commitment" in a sector which is severely short staffed at present, and also said the messages flowing in helped keep him going.

Working 90 hour weeks to mitigate the COVID challenges and its affects on business resulted in Sean's health taking a serious and sudden decline.

This week he went public online reacting to a few bad reviews on Tripadvisor calling on people not to go on the Internet and complain but to take any issues up with owners. He also called on them to try to understand what the hospitality industry across the board is currently experiencing.

On the Kate Kearney's Facebook page he said:

"We've had a few complaints, not directly of course, we could have explained what's going on (TripAdvisor), about our aluminum trays and the fact that we didn't have water. Please forward all water complaints to Kerry County Council or Irish Water Uisce Éireann. This has been an issue for us for decades and is completely out of our control. So here's the story! We are understaffed by at least 50% in all departments. The reason we're using tin foil trays is because we are operating as a take away. Our pricing reflects that! All dishes are priced about 30% below restaurant service price. Would we like to operate as a restaurant again? Yes, obviously! But we have no one in wash up, an extremely limited culinary team and even as a take away we can only operate 5 days a week. We can not use plates because we have no one to wash them! It's that simple".

RECOVERY

Sean is the seventh generation working in the business which was established 172 years ago.

This week he told the Killarney Advertiser that he has now hired a manager as he has been told to take six weeks off work, and added that he is making a good recovery.

"I'm feeling good now, I'm home and I'm out for the next six weeks and I'm going to make full use of it. I'm forcing myself to take a break - a back seat - I'm trying to take it easy."

He said at his age a heart attack "is the last thing you'd think".

"I thought I had COVID. I had aches and pains, tightness in my chest, trouble breathing and a pain in my left arm."

Of the reviews he said that you have to take the good and bad on board and added that finding staff at present is difficult and this will ultimately result in some issues.

"All reviews good, bad or indifferent, are earned. We're doing our absolute best here, it's all we can do."

He praised his "phenomenal" staff as well as the team at the Bon Secours for their care.

"A massive thank you to the team in Kate's and the customers from literally all over the world for all their well wishes and messages. It's pouring in, it's amazing. It really did lift me while I was in hospital, that people cared, and it meant so much," he said.

"Also a massive thank you to all the staff in the Bon Secours, they were truly, simply amazing and put two stints in my heart in three hours."

He also said the support from his immediate family has been "incredible". 

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Weird and wonderful insurance policies

As it is January I thought I would start the year on a light hearted note. Lloyds of London is an insurance marketplace founded in a London coffee shop over 300 years ago. Today it is the world’s leading market for specialist insurance, from large maritime risks to space satellites. Here are some of the […]

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As it is January I thought I would start the year on a light hearted note.

Lloyds of London is an insurance marketplace founded in a London coffee shop over 300 years ago. Today it is the world’s leading market for specialist insurance, from large maritime risks to space satellites.

Here are some of the more interesting and obscure insurance policies put in place over the years.
· David Beckham insured his legs with Lloyds for £100m in 2006

· Dolly Parton has insured her 40dd breasts for £3.8m

· Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards hands are insured for $1.6m

· Michael Flatleys legs were insured for $47 Million. The policy was only in effect when he was touring and forbade him from dancing except on stage.

· James Dean took out a life policy for $100,000 just a week before his tragic death at the age of 25

· The actor Richard Burton purchased a 69.42 carat diamond from Cartier for $1.1 Million in 1969 as a gift for Elizabeth Taylor. It was the world’s most expensive diamond at the time. Once Lloyds had insured the diamond they specified that Taylor should wear it in public for only 30 days a year and even then be protected by security guards. The diamond was sold in 1978 for an estimated $5 Million which would equate to roughly $19 Million today.

· According to novelist and inventor Arthur C Clarke, director Stanley Kubrick wanted to take out insurance with Lloyds to protect himself against losses in the event that extra-terrestrial intelligence was discovered before his movie, ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’ was released. Lloyds refused to quote for this one.

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Kerry to feature in new TG4 documentary on Wild Atlantic Way

Three episodes of a new ten-part TG4 series on the Wild Atlantic Way were filmed in County Kerry. The series, which started last Wednesday night this week, and continues every Wednesday for the next nine weeks, follows the Wild Atlantic Way from Donegal to Kerry. In this series ‘An Cósta Thiar’, presenter Áine Ní Bhreisleáin gains […]

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Three episodes of a new ten-part TG4 series on the Wild Atlantic Way were filmed in County Kerry.

The series, which started last Wednesday night this week, and continues every Wednesday for the next nine weeks, follows the Wild Atlantic Way from Donegal to Kerry.

In this series ‘An Cósta Thiar’, presenter Áine Ní Bhreisleáin gains an insight into the culture, challenges and benefits of living by the Atlantic and to find out if seawater still flows through the veins of its coastal communities.

On her travels, Áine will meet with the people of the coast, both young and old. She will spend time in the company of people who live and work by the sea, learning more about the attraction of these areas, and this life, through their eyes, stories and experiences. She will meet those communities and people who have a strong affinity with the coast and the sea, through new businesses, traditional livelihoods, recreational activities, ecology, birdwatching, eco-tours, swimming, boats (of all kinds) and more.

Áine began her journey at home in Gaoth Dobhair and heads to the wilds of Árainn Mhóir on the second leg of journey.
The third show platforms south Donegal while in week 4, Áine heads to the beautiful Achill Island.

Half way through her journey from Donegal to Kerry, Áine is in Carna in Conamara while in the the sixth programme, Áine continues her journey on the Galway coast, this time in Cois Fharraige

Áine visits Inis Oírr in the seventh programme, the smallest of the three Oileán Árainn, to explore how life has changed for islanders in recent generations through fishing, farming, tourism and sport.

In programme eight, Áine continues her journey, heading for the West Kerry coastline this time around, rowing with a local musician, Breanndán Ó Beaglaoich, a boatbuilder Eddie Hutch and even All-Ireland champions in Cumann Rámhaíochta an Daingin. She investigates the attraction of sea swimming for local women with local group ‘Snámh for the Soul’ goes foraging and paddleboarding with a woman who lives and breathes the sea and all it has to offer, Susan Feirtéar.

In the penultimate programme, Áine continues on her journey around the Corca Dhuibhne coast, exploring the history of trade in An Daingean with Brenda Uí Shúilleabháin and how the coast inspires artists with the talented Tomáisín Ó Cíobháin. She takes a class with local yoga instructor, Ails Ní Chonchúir and heads out to sea with local guide, Eoghan Ó Slatara, to learn about the islands on the west Kerry coast and she tastes some local seafood but she has to cook it first at the Dingle Cookery School.

Áine ends her journey in Uíbh Ráthach, in South Kerry. She gains a different perspective on the sea while snorkling with Gráinne Ní Ailín from Sea Synergy and surfing with Cian O’Connor, explores the long history of this coastal community from the time of the Milesians with poet and historian, Paddy Bushe, and learns about the Seine boat with a local TikToker, Séaghan Ó Suilleabháin, better known as The Kerry Cowboy, and is there a better way to finish her journey than a first visit to the majestic Sceilg islands?

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