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Urgent appeal as earthquake death toll reaches over 21,000

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By Michelle Crean

A Turkish man living in Killarney is urgently appealing for help following multiple earthquakes in his home country this week which has left over 21,000 dead.

Monday's devastating 7.8 magnitude earthquake ripped through Turkey and Syria leaving thousands of people without shelter or food, and with just the clothes on their backs.

At least 26 staff of the Irish aid agency Goal have also died.

It's the biggest earthquake Turkey has experienced in over 200 years with 10 cities affected, according to well known Turkish barber Michael Kaya, who is urgently appealing to Killarney locals to donate what they can to help the people in his home country.

At least 6,400 buildings were destroyed in Turkey and approximately 30 percent of the area has been completely destroyed with the remaining 70% damaged. People desperate for food and basic goods have been forced to loot supermarkets as they await aid. Babies have been found alone in the city of Kahramanmaras and brought to hospital for treatment.

Michael, who is from Kuşadası, has been living in Killarney for 19 years and runs Michael's Barbers on High Street which is a busy and popular spot.

Upon hearing the news of the devastation to hit his country he put a call out for donations and has been overwhelmed by the response so far.

It's currently winter in Turkey with temperatures hitting minus four degrees.

He says people urgently needs hats, gloves, scarves, coats and shoes for all ages, blankets as well as nappies, baby food and hygiene products. He is not accepting money.

He plans to transport the goods to the Turkish Embassy in Dublin and they will then arrange for them to be transported to aid agencies.

He says he knows of people close to his family members who have died. Ergin Kuccuk who has lived in Tralee for two decades and currently works in The Rose Hotel lost both his parents this week. They had survived the initial earthquake and he spoke to them on the phone but they died soon after when another earthquake struck while they were inside their home.

"As a person from my home country I want to do my duty to help," Michael told the Killarney Advertiser.

"We had an earthquake in the early 2000s so I know what it feels like, the desperation especially in the cold winter. We want to give them a bit of hope. Irish people are very fair, I see that the last few years for the people of Ukraine."

He says he plans to drive to the embassy to drop off the goods.

"If anybody would like to donate any of the goods you can drop them into my shop 20 High Street, Killarney."

A second collection is being organised by Mary O'Leary.

She's calling on people to consider picking up similar items when shopping over the coming days.

She will be available on Monday evening at 7pm in the Cathedral car park, Killarney where people can drop the items off.

"I will park at the edge of the cathedral car park and will have my boot open so that people can easily drive by and drop off items that they want to donate," she told the Killarney Advertiser. "The items will be sent to the Dublin embassy on Tuesday so I will not be collecting any items after that." 

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Top 10 Essential tips for Leaving Cert Students in lead up to June 5

The final weekend leading up to the Leaving Cert exams can be very tough, as you try to balance last minute revision with much needed rest after a long, exhausting […]

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The final weekend leading up to the Leaving Cert exams can be very tough, as you try to balance last minute revision with much needed rest after a long, exhausting year.

The natural anxiety felt by students is often heightened by the annual media hype around the state exams and it is really important that you do your best to manage that stress effectively, so that you are ready to perform to the best of your ability once the exams start. The following tips may help to keep you focused and a little calmer in the lead up to June 5.

1. Review, don’t cram – Focus on summary notes, flashcards, or mind maps. This reinforces what you’ve already studied. Prioritise areas where you feel less confident, but don’t try to learn new material.

2. Practise past papers – Review marking schemes and time allocation for each question you will need to answer on each paper. Practise a sample of questions against the clock. This will maximise your scoring potential.

3. Organise your materials – Check the exam timetable and highlight your own exams. Prepare the stationary that you need, gather pens, pencils, calculators, and so on. Pack your bag the night before to avoid last-minute stress.

4. Maintain a healthy balance – Aim for 8 hours of sleep each night. Proper rest is crucial for memory, concentration and stamina. Eat well, include proteins, healthy fats, and complex carbs in your meals to maintain energy levels. Drink plenty of water, hydration is essential.

5. Try to manage stress – Schedule short breaks during study sessions and do something enjoyable and relaxing, like a short walk, playing or listening to music. Get fresh air and some light exercise. Use relaxation techniques like breathing exercise, mindfulness and meditation.

6. Focus on a positive mindset – Focus on your strengths and remind yourself of your preparation. Concentrate on what you know and not on what you think you don’t! Try to avoid negative self-talk and steer clear of discussions that heighten anxiety, such as comparing how much you’ve studied with friends.

7. Plan your weekend – Create a realistic timetable for the weekend, balancing study sessions with breaks and relaxation and don’t overdo the study. You need plenty of energy for the exams.

8. Stay connected – Talk to friends and family, if you are feeling overwhelmed reach out and get support from loved ones. If it’s helpful, have a short, focused study session with friends to clarify doubts.

9. Keep things in perspective – The Leaving Cert is important but won’t define you and regardless of what happens you have several options open to you. Try to reframe the media hype as the whole country getting behind you, for what they know to be a tough time for you.

10. Get Set for exam day – Double-check the venue, seating arrangements, and required materials for the day of the exam. On the evening before the exam, do a light review of key concepts but avoid heavy studying. Ensure you know how to get to the exam venue and plan to arrive early (at least 30 mins on the first day). Decide what you’ll wear to avoid rushing in the morning and have your water and snacks ready to go.

Above all else, give the exams your best shot! Once they are over you have a lovely ‘study-free’ summer and bright future to look forward to. Go n-éirí libh ar fad, the very best of luck to each and every one of you!

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Disability toilets for Killarney Library

Works to build new toilet facilities for people with disabilities should commence later this year. Cllr Marie Moloney tabled a motion at a recent Kerry County Council meeting. She said: […]

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Works to build new toilet facilities for people with disabilities should commence later this year.

Cllr Marie Moloney tabled a motion at a recent Kerry County Council meeting.
She said: “Application has been made for funding to the Department. As soon as the funding is approved, work will commence on the provision of Disabled Toilet Facilities.
“While ramps are installed for accessibility, it is unacceptable that any public building be without disabled toilet facilities in this day and age.
“I am aware of several people with a disability who constantly use the services of the Library and are very happy with the staff and the services that Killarney Library offers but are disappointed at the lack of disabled toilets.”
“I will be keeping the pressure on to have these facilities provided as soon as possible.”

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