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Time to end Dublin Airport’s monopoly




By Sean Moriarty

More flights should be scheduled in and out of regional airports to solve the current overcrowding issues in Dublin to make the smaller airports more viable.

That is according to Limerick Chamber who have called on the Department of Transport to compel the Dublin Airport Authority (DAA) to partner with airports in the regions to solve its capacity crisis and to ensure that passenger delays are avoided.

Limerick Chamber CEO Dee Ryan said that the problems at Dublin Airport can be relieved by transferring certain flights to Shannon, Cork, Ireland West (Knock) and Kerry airports, all of which have significant spare capacity, particularly as the COVID recovery in airports outside the capital is happening at a much slower pace.

“Dublin Airport’s problems are not good for passengers, for Dublin Airport or our tourism reputation. There is an obvious solution here and that is to make use of the spare capacity of airports in other regions. If Dublin Airport won’t do this, the Department of Transport should step in and compel it to open conversations with Shannon, Cork, Knock and Kerry airports with a view to using their spare capacity,” said Ryan.

“Not one of those airports are near capacity at present. Prior to COVID they were not near capacity, and they are still significantly off their pre-pandemic passenger numbers."

Her calls came in a week when Dublin Airport continued to see long delays at its departure security when Minister Hildegarde Naughton announced the allocation of just over €1 million in Exchequer funding to Kerry Airport under the Regional Airports Programme 2021-2025.

The allocation will contribute towards capital investment in the areas of safety and security at airports, whilst also supporting projects with a sustainability focus.

“The rest of the country have been inconvenienced by travelling to Dublin for decades for flights so it’s not inconceivable that the opposite would also happen. What we are seeing now with the chaos and confusion at Dublin Airport was almost predictable. We had warned, in fact, that Dublin Airport’s monopoly of the aviation market would deepen in the COVID recovery unless there was policy intervention.”



Killarney Triathlon Club’s open water swim on the lake



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,


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Danny Healy-Rae welcomes decision to push back changes for cataract payments



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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