Virus Chaos as Courts Collapse

Exclusive by Chief Reporter Aidan O’Connor

All District Courts in Kerry were dramatically adjourned on Wednesday after a senior garda officer confirmed he had tested positive for Covid-19.

Judge David Waters, wearing a mask, dramatically announced a suspension of Wednesday’s sitting of Tralee District Court at around 1.15pm and advised all present to

 immediately contact a doctor with regard to getting tested for the deadly disease.

 

What happened in Kerry this week

The title of ‘Oldest Man in Ireland’ rests easy on the shoulders of Michael O’Connor, who at age 107 has cheated death twice - including once while on board a ship hit by a torpedo during World War II.

 

Ruling the roost up Clash West way these days is Henrietta the hen as she steps out for one of her regular daily walks to meet the local residents who are said to be simply egg-static to have a real-life farm animal on their doortstep!

 

Rosie Healy-Rae’s ‘10-10-20 wedding’ scheduled for last Saturday is now going ahead next August after Covid-19 forced her special day with Micheál O’Shea to be postponed.

 

When North Kerry schoolboy Bobby McElligott made his First Communion, he didn’t forget the hospital where he had undergone surgery when he was barely a toddler.

 

The vast majority of Listowel business owners are unhappy with ongoing parking restrictions around the town, according to a new report by the Listowel Business and Community Alliance.

 

Meet Ireland’s oldest  man!

The title of ‘Oldest Man in Ireland’ rests easy on the shoulders and the mind of Michael O’Connor, who at age 107 has cheated death twice - including once while on board a ship hit by a torpedo during World War II.

Birthday greetings from the great and the good poured into Michael’s Muckross home last Tuesday, and champagne flowed for the generally abstemious man, who was born at Curraghbeg, Glencar on October 13th, 1913.

A card from singer Daniel O’Donnell and his wife Majella were on proud display along with the now-customary congratulations from President Michael D Higgins, who despatched a seventh medal to Michael.

Big-hearted Bobby gives back

WHEN NORTH Kerry schoolboy Bobby McElligott made his First Communion, he didn’t forget the hospital where he had undergone surgery when he was barely a toddler.

Though he was not yet three at the time, nine-year-old Bobby wanted to donate some of his Communion money to Temple Street Children’s Hospital and generously gave €50.

“This is just a little thank you for the times you helped me when I was younger,” Bobby wrote in a note accompanying his donation.

Parking restrictions ‘a step too far’

The vast majority of Listowel business owners are unhappy with ongoing parking restrictions around the town, according to a new report.

A survey conducted by the Listowel Business and Community Alliance revealed that 71% of the 21 respondents witnessed a decrease in footfall because of the Council’s Safe Street Mobility Plan.

Meanwhile, 66.7% say they’re in favour of a return to the two-hour paid parking system in place prior to these changes.

Killarney ‘exemplary’ in war against litter

The first nationwide litter survey by business group Irish Business Against Litter (IBAL) since the Covid-19 crisis shows Killarney ‘cleaner than European Norms’ and in third spot in the ranking of 40 towns and cities nationwide.

Tralee, in 15th position, was deemed to be ‘clean’ but there was a dramatic fall in the number of towns and cities deemed to be ‘clean’ –  to its lowest level since 2007.

Kilkenny was judged best of the towns and cities surveyed, with ‘seriously littered’ Dublin North Inner City at the foot of the table.

The survey showed PPE litter to be widespread and a rise in the prevalence of cans and glass bottles.

‘Jealous publicans taking cheap shots’

Publicans are now ‘taking cheap shots’ at off-licences by suggesting their opening hours should be cut to curb the virus, according to off-licence owner Dan Joe Nagle.

Mr Nagle, who runs off-licences in Tralee and Ardfert, says it’s ‘jealous minded’ of publicans to be suggesting reduced opening hours at premises like his, now that pubs have been forced to shut their doors until at least October 28.

He believes that pub owners got a ‘raw deal’ from the Government in recent months, but says there’s ‘no need to be taking it out on the rest of us’.

Glynn’s windows into the past

Glimpsing back through the centuries, Glynn Palmer has been restoring stained glass windows in parish churches across the county for the past 12 years.

Glynn, of Palmers Stained Glass, has worked as a stained glass artist for over 25 years now. He started out working for a glass company in England which offered a wide range of glass design, both modern and traditional. Then, in 2007, having strong family connections in Kerry, Glynn and his family decided to relocate to the area and ever since then both Glynn and his brother Richard have been involved in several major restoration projects around the county.

Glynn said some of the largest projects they worked on was the restoration of Brosna parish church along with other notable works at the Holy Cross Church in Kenmare, St Mary’s in Camp, and the Sacred Heart Church in Milltown. Currently, they are busy restoring windows back to their former glory in Knocknagoshel.

‘John of God pullout has upset all of us’

BALLYLONGFORD MOTHER Kathleen Faley said when she heard St John of God was handing over responsibility for its services to the HSE next October she felt like the wind had been taken out of her sails.

Kathleen is the primary carer of her adult son, Stephen (28), who has Down Syndrome and attends the St John of God Kerry Community Adult Day Services in Tralee. Now, she’s worried about her son’s future and what will happen to him.

Stephen joined the St John of God Service when he attended its Skills for Life and Independent course in college.

‘Flu jab will help us  battle Covid-19’

Vaccinating as many people as possible against the common flu will keep pressure off a healthcare system facing a second wave of the deadly coronavirus, according to Tralee GP Kevin Ryle.

GPs have been giving their patients the flu jab in recent weeks with some having difficulties obtaining sufficient quantities of the vaccine.

Speaking to Kerry’s Eye, Dr Ryle, of the Ashe Street Clinic in Tralee, said the ‘20 / 21 season flu jab will help to protect people from the four main strains of the disease expected this year.

Coronavirus  ‘tripled’ demand  for meals

DEMAND for hot dinners from Knocknagoshel Meals on Wheels has almost tripled since the Covid-19 outbreak - and now a €37,286 government grant will allow the rural service to keep up with a predicted spike in calls with stricter restrictions imminent.

Group chair Catherine Lenihan said the Covid-19 Stability Funding will help them to continue to provide a service she described as critical to vulnerable people in the area.

It will allow Knocknagoshel Meals on Wheels to hire extra staff and increase the group’s ability to deal with a predicted rise in calls during the winter months.

South Kerry Greenway decision in weeks

A DECISION on the long-awaited controversial €22m South Kerry Greenway, one of Kerry County Council’s key tourism projects, is now due by the end of the month.

An Bord Pleanála was expected to finally announce its decision last Friday on whether to grant permission for the proposed 32-kilometre greenway, while also determining the outcome of compulsory purchase orders (CPO) for over 220 landholdings along the old railway line on the Ring of Kerry, but now says it will not have its decision until the end of October.

It’s now just over a year since a month-long oral hearing on the proposed multi-million euro paved cycleway from Glenbeigh to Renard, southwest of Cahersiveen, was held by An Bord Pleanála in Tralee.

Positive vibes in full flow at The Green

There was upbeat music, posters, prizes and nothing but positive vibes as CBS The Green hosted its very own Positive Mental Health Day last Friday.

To coincide with the 10th anniversary of World Mental Health Day, The Green’s celebration of positive mental health saw a whole host of events taking place on the day to both raise awareness of mental health issues while also educating the students how best to protect and improve their mental health.

Promoting positive mental health is nothing new to The Green, which is already gaining a reputation as a wellbeing school, having been awarded an Amber Flag last year.