‘I felt like I had been
 hit by a bus’

A nurse at University Hospital Kerry is recovering after being diagnosed with Covid-19 - even though she didn’t show the usual symptoms.

 Samantha Stackpoole suffered body and chest pain, shortness of breath and a cough - but never experienced the high temperatures commonly associated with coronavirus infection.

“I felt like I was hit by a bus,” the 27-year-old said. Now she’s issuing a stark warning on social distancing and self-isolation. “You can have coronavirus and not have any symptoms - it’s really hard to stop it spreading,” she said.


What happened in Kerry this week

'I felt like I was hit by a bus’, the words of a 27 year old nurse at UHK in shock after being diagnosed with Covid-19. Her stark warning: “You can have coronavirus and not have any symptoms - so it is really hard to stop it spreading.”


From his medically imposed isolation, little eight year old Blue Hero Sean Kearney has delivered a message of thanks to everyone for staying home - as it could mean saving his life and the lives of many other vulnerable people.


A Killarney man is at the centre of what could turn out to be a breakthrough drug treatment for critically-ill coronavirus patients. Niall O’Leary is now spearheading expanded trials which, it is hoped, could be used as a possible treatment for the deadly virus.


Aisling Sheahan thought it was an April Fool’s prank when she was told her Glenbeigh shop had sold yet another EuroMillions Plus €500,000 winner in last Tuesday night’s draw - just five weeks after selling their last big winner

Discovering the joys of homeschool

Nine-year-old Saídhbh Amira Hanley from Listowel hasn’t hugged her grandparents in weeks - but she’s slowly adapting to life under lockdown and discovering how enjoyable homeschooling with her mother Davina can be.

The pair usually begin the day with a walk through the North Kerry countryside with their dog Shadow before returning home to spend an hour or so covering assigned school work.

And between cooking, gardening, art and Taekwondo, Saídhbh is busy developing her practical knowledge and sharpening essential skills such as maths, reading and writing.

“I miss my friends but we can see each other online through our tablets and we also play online games,” Saídhbh told Kerry’s Eye on Monday.

Kerry man leads search for drug to beat virus

Killarney man Niall O’Leary is at the centre of what could turn out to be a breakthrough drug treatment for critically-ill coronavirus patients.

Mr O’Leary is Vice-President and Head of Operations in Ireland of Regeneron, one of the world’s largest drug companies which manufactures critical medicines for people with serious diseases.

The company is based in the former Dell factory in Raheen, outside Limerick, and employs almost 1,000 people.

Mr O’Leary is now spearheading expanded trials of Regeneron’s arthritis drug, Kevzara, which they believe could be used as a possible treatment for Covid-19.

In the home stretch!

 LISTOWEL man Greg McDonough and his family have finally returned to their own home in China after 47 days of full lockdown.

Speaking to Kerry’s Eye this week, he said everyday life still remains ‘very far from normal’ in China but people are cherishing their new freedom.

Last week, Mr McDonough, along with his wife Wang Xuan and their son Joseph (2), were able to leave the apartment belonging to his wife’s parents after the lockdown was lifted. Now, they’ve returned to their own home in nearby Hefei.

The Listowel man said people in Hefei remain cautious despite being out of lockdown and the area mainly virus-free.

He said restrictions remain in place despite no reported new cases in the Chinese province of Anhui in nearly a month.

Safely home after their Peru ordeal

A WEST Kerry couple who were stranded in Peru are safely home in Ballyferriter, six days into their 14-day quarantine.

Sheila O’Reilly and her husband Peter McKay managed to get on a British government-led flight out of Lima last Wednesday, along with 218 fellow passengers, mainly UK citizens.

The couple were flown to Dublin on Thursday evening and drove the final leg of their journey to West Kerry on Friday morning.



Social distancing with a personal touch

PATRICIA CLAFFEY is at the frontline in the fight against an infectious deadly disease - a role she never expected throughout her six years serving customers at Garvey’s SuperValu in Tralee.

The Kilmoyley woman says supermarket staff play a vital role in keeping food on people’s tables - but are also an outlet for many people experiencing isolation during the coronavirus pandemic.

Ms Claffey said a lot of older customers are staying at home since the government calls for over 70s to ‘cocoon’, but staff at Garvey’s in Tralee continue to offer a helping hand in times of need.



Second €500k win is no April Fool’s joke!

AISLING SHEAHAN thought it was an April Fool’s prank when she was told her Glenbeigh shop had sold yet another EuroMillions Plus €500,000 winner in Tuesday night’s draw - it’s the second time they sold the winning ticket in five weeks.

But lightning struck twice at Sheahan’s Centra on Tuesday night when a ticket sold at the shop earlier that day scooped the €500,000 prize in the EuroMillions Plus draw.



Illegal fires stretch emergency services

Illegal gorse fires in Killarney, Glenbeigh and Castlegregory this week have put a strain on emergency services already stretched due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Last Sunday, firefighters battled a major gorse blaze in Killarney National Park while on Monday more than 10 fire service units were called out to bring three separate fires in Glenbeigh and Castlegregory under control.



Seán salutes stay-at-homers

Little Blue Hero Seán Kearney wants to thank everyone for staying home - it could mean saving his life and the lives of many other vulnerable people.

At eight years old, the Honorary Garda from Ardfert has been through his fair share of struggles. His most recent operation to fit a pacemaker meant that Seán has been in isolation for some time.

Mom Tracey Kearney said they are used to keeping the house sterile and being conscious of any potential threats to Seán’s immune system.



Virus helpline in Council Chamber

 UP to 20 Council staff are operating a new coronavirus telephone helpline in the Kerry County Council chamber in Tralee - but plans are underway to expand the service as the demand increases and as the coronavirus pandemic peaks.

The freephone helpline was launched this week by the new Covid-19 Kerry Community Response Forum to help the public access non-emergency and non-medical services and to provide support and advice during the current public health emergency.

The freephone helpline has been busy since it opened on Monday morning.



 Esther enrols the kids for online fitness

 Fitness trainer and mom Esther Hourigan has enlisted the help of her kids, Jordan, Sean, Kayden and Ronan, to share her own unique videos online.

Esther decided early to close her Currow Fitness Studio because of the coronavirus - especially considering that her daughter Jordan works in healthcare and her husband Stephen is a garda.



Wilma’s Gouda idea!

KILLORGLIN cheesemaker Wilma Silvius O’Connor and her neighbours have learned to improvise during the Covid-19 crisis by bringing the market to her farm.

With the loss of the Saturday farmers market in Milltown and the shutdown of local restaurants, Wilma’s Killorglin Farmhouse Cheese and other food producers in the area have created their own market from her farm shop in Ardmoniel.