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Visitor restrictions in place at University Hospital Kerry due to rising COVID cases




Due to the continuing increase in COVID-19 numbers, University Hospital Kerry (UHK) has had to revise its visiting arrangements. 

Over the past number of months, the hospital had re-instated visiting arrangements on a safe and structured basis in recognition of the importance of visiting for patients and their families.

However, COVID cases are on the rise with the 14 day incidence for Kerry currently trending at 430.6. The consequence of this high incidence rate is that UHK has a significantly increased number of COVID-19 inpatients at the hospital along with a high level of emergency presentations.

UHK Management say they have taken the difficult decision to revise visiting arrangements in order to protect patients, their relatives and staff.

The following restrictions are currently in place:

General Wards: One visit per patient per week [to be agreed with the ward manager and relevant Consultant, in advance of visiting]. Additional visiting will be facilitated on compassionate grounds. UHK Visiting Co-ordinator shall co-ordinate visits and can be contacted on 087 1138053. Visiting outside of the designated times will be on compassionate grounds only.

Maternity: Accompanying partner arrangements unchanged presently. Supportive person can attend for Antenatal appointments and labour. No children to attend maternity services.

Palliative: Visiting will be facilitated by prior arrangement in order to protect patients and staff.
All visiting arrangements will be reviewed weekly.

"University Hospital Kerry empathises with and understands that this announcement will make it difficult for many families, however our priority is to continue to keep your loved ones safe while in the care of UHK, as well maintain the safety and well-being of staff at the hospital. We would like to remind the public that UHK has in place some alternative means of keeping contact with loved ones."

Keeping Contact Initiative: UHK has set up a specific email address so that patients can receive direct messages. Communications from friends and family can be of great comfort to patients during these times and can be emailed to:

Be sure to include on the subject line the Patient’s Full Name, Ward Name (if known) and the first line of the patient’s home address.

Virtual Visits: UHK have an initiative to facilitate Video Calls using WhatsApp on Digipads for patients who do not have smart phone/devices. Please contact Ward Manager/Nurse in Charge to request a video call with your loved one.

"UHK would like to extend a very sincere thank you in anticipation of the public’s co-operation with these arrangements."



Kerry rowing clubs flock to Killarney for the start of the coastal season

There was a fantastic spectacle of colour and rowing on Lough Leane last Sunday (June 16th) with the coastal rowing clubs of Kerry participating in the first ‘Head of the […]




There was a fantastic spectacle of colour and rowing on Lough Leane last Sunday (June 16th) with the coastal rowing clubs of Kerry participating in the first ‘Head of the Lake’ time-trial for coastal one-design boats.

The event, hosted by the local Flesk Valley Rowing Club, signalled the start of the summer season for clubs rowing the coastal ‘one-design’ boats.

It was fitting that on the weekend that the Killarney National Park celebrated the 60th anniversary of the opening of Muckross House to the public, that hundreds of people also flocked to the Flesk Valley shore to appreciate and enjoy the splendour of the park.

Speaking after the event, Flesk Valley chairman, John Fleming thanked all the Kerry clubs who supported this new event and congratulated all the first-time rowers taking to the water in a competitive event for the first time.
“We were delighted to welcome our neighbouring clubs Workmens’ and Fossa, and look forward to renewing rivalries with them again at the Killarney Regatta at the end of this month,” he said.

“We would also like to thank Mary B. Teahan, Andrew Wharton, Johanna King and the Kerry Coastal Rowing Association for all their support and encouragement, and Denis O’Leary for coordinating safety on the water.”
Flesk Valley would also like to thank the Killarney National Park, Leanes Tool Hire, Hegartys Shop and Muckross Rowing Club for their support.

“This was a great start to the coastal rowing season, and augurs well for the months ahead as clubs build towards the All-Ireland Coastal Rowing Championships to be held in Dingle at the end of August,” added the chairman.

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NPWS announces nature scholarships to mark ‘Muckross 60’

Director General of the National Parks and Wildlife Service, Niall O’ Donnchú, this week announced the inaugural ‘Muckross 60’ nature scholarships to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the opening of […]




Director General of the National Parks and Wildlife Service, Niall O’ Donnchú, this week announced the inaugural ‘Muckross 60’ nature scholarships to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the opening of Muckross House and Gardens to the public. The scholarships will be funded and managed by the National Parks and Wildlife Service.

Niall O Donnchú said, “Killarney and Muckross have a very special place in Ireland’s heritage legacy, and  such beautiful gems need constant care, nurturing and indeed protecting by future generations. In supporting these third level scholarships, the NPWS is building the knowledge base of the future to assist those generations in continuing to realise the full beauty and nature value of the very unique Muckross House and Gardens and Killarney National Park.”

Mr O Donnchú added: “Killarney has a long history of scholarship, research and frontier work on nature and that continues to this day in the management of Killarney National Park and Muckross House and Gardens. The endowment of these annual scholarships is a very clear attestation that this crucial work continues to be undertaken across our national park system and especially here in Killarney and Muckross. This work has been pioneering in respect of wildlife and nature research and indeed the reintroduction of endangered species and the discovery, even this year, of more.”

Minister for Education and Kerry T.D. Norma Foley also welcomed new scholarships to mark the 60th anniversary of Muckross House.

“Muckross House is one of the jewels in the crown of Kerry tourism and received almost one million visitors last year. These scholarships will further add to our understanding of this outstanding part of our national heritage,” she said.

Muckross House was built by the Herbert family, who were local landlords. They became very wealthy during the 18th century due to the working of the copper mines on the Muckross Peninsula. They commenced the building of the present Muckross House in 1839. It was completed in 1843 at cost of £30,000, just two years prior to the Great Irish Famine. The Herbert family hosted the visit of Queen Victoria to Muckross House in 1861 but later got into financial difficulties and lost the house in 1897.

It was then bought by Lord Ardilaun, a member of the Guinness family. He in turn sold it in 1911 to William Bowers Bourn, a wealthy Californian gold miner. Bowers Bourn gave it to his daughter Maud as a wedding gift when she married Arthur Rose Vincent, an Irish barrister who later became a Senator.

After Maude died from pneumonia in 1929, Arthur Rose Vincent decided to donate Muckross house to the Irish nation as a memorial to his wife. Muckross House was transferred to the state in 1932 with its 11,000 acre estate and became Ireland’s first National Park in 1933.

The park and gardens were opened to the public but the house remained closed until 1964 when it was reopened as a folk museum on June 14, 1964 following a campaign by people in Killarney.

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