Better late than never

There’s late and there’s really late - and then there’s 24,000 days late.  A Kerry book lover has broken all records at the County Library this week, after finally returning a book borrowed 67 years ago.

Staff at the library were stunned on Monday when Ruby of a Thousand Dreams made its way back to the shelves after an amnesty on overdue fines was announced.

What happened in Kerry this week

Gardaí monitoring drug dealing in Tralee found heroin hidden in a backpack being worn by a child, and found a substantial amount of the drug in a refuse sack being carried by a second child. When they searched a nearby child’s buggy, needles fell to the ground, Tralee Circuit Court heard this week. Judge Tom O’Donnell described the case as “absolultely gobsmacking”, and that using young children in this way was “appalling”.

As little as €3 million could lengthen and vastly improve the lives of twenty cystic fibrosis patients in Kerry, it emerged this week.

It was revealed last weekend that the HSE will not fund a ground-breaking drug for CF, because the manufacturers are demanding €159,000 per patient a year.

But it would cost just over €3m in the first year to give a lifeline to the twenty adult CF sufferers in the county who stand to benefit from the superdrug, Orkambi.

Anti-social behaviour is “out of control” in Ballyspillane housing estate in Killarney, with terrified residents being forced to move away due to threats and abusive behaviour by some residents, it was claimed this week.

Politicians in the county are furious over plans by Kerry County Council to keep them in the dark on decisions made about people waiting for a local authority house.

Switching on the Christmas lights this Sunday will be an even bigger celebration than normal in Listowel - as traders and locals welcome the reopening of William Street.

American film crews will travel to Tralee and Castleisland next year to shoot scenes for a film based on the life of a Hall of Fame baseball player whose family came from Tralee. The Duke of Tralee traces the story of baseball legend Roger Bresnahan, whose parents emigrated from Tralee, and who went on to become a leading figure with the Washington Senators, Baltimore Orioles, the New York Giants and the Chicago Cubs, amongst other teams.

Thousands caught in traffic chaos

Thousands of motorists were caught up in huge delays  in Farranfore on Tuesday as minor roadworks caused tailbacks for several miles.

by Aidan O’Connor

Kerry County Council apologised for not giving advance notice to motorists using the main N22 route between Tralee and Killarney.

Motorists trying to get to work, taking children to school and delivery vehicles found themselves waiting up to 40 minutes just trying to get through Farranfore village on Tuesday morning.

'What about  their future?'

“You tell them they’re not worth it” was the message from devastated and heartbroken Kerry parents of children with Cystic Fibrosis, as news broke this week that a new superdrug will not get the go ahead in Ireland - because it is not “cost effective”.

It emerged last weekend that the HSE will not approve CF drug Orkambi due to its high cost of €160,000 per patient per year.

Awards  for Kerry blood donor heroes

Killarney man Jimmie Smith takes time out of his busy schedule every month to donate blood to help treat cancer patients, newborn babies, burns patients and those undergoing surgery - and his contribution is to be recognised this weekend.

Jimmie first started donating to the Irish Blood Transfusion Service 31 years ago and he has made over 100 donations.


Vandals strike at Killarney defibrillators

Just weeks after Killarney led the way with a new initiative to house a life-saving defibrillator in a traditional phone box vandals attacked the iconic box.

The key pad which holds the key for unlocking the defibrillator was damaged by a vandal who smashed the glass over a week ago.

A second defibrillator was also damaged when the defibrillator was pulled from its case and thrown on the ground near the Killarney Cinema.

The incidents are separate but could have consequences if the life-saving defibrillators were needed at any time.


Kerins O'Rahillys prepare for Christmas Fair

Kerins O’Rahillys will host a Christmas craft fair next week to give something back to supporters, raise funds for charity and get people into the festive spirit.

Kerins O’Rahillys Christmas Craft Fair will take place on December 11th from 11.30am to 5pm, while a kids Christmas party will take place from 2pm to 6pm in the clubhouse.

There will be everything from baked goods to crafts and Christmas wreaths along with bric-a-brac, food stalls and a kids gift corner where young kids can pick up a present for their parents and family members.


Flower power for Tralee soup kitchen

It was all about the flower power in the Grand Hotel, Tralee on Monday night as over 100 turned up for a charity floral demonstration.

Organised by Tralee Flower and Garden Club as part of their annual Christmas Gala Flower Demonstration funds raised from the €10 entry fee and monies from the raffle will be given to the Tralee Soup Kitchen in Ashe St.


Coastal heroes eye national award

So much hard work is going on behind the scenes to save their coastline that the Maharees Conservation Group are hoping for an award in Dublin today, after being shortlisted for Best Newcomer in the Ocean Hero Awards 2016.

The group this week said that regardless of whether they get an award, that it's fantastic that their good work is being recognised.

Maharees Conservation was formed in February 2016 to protect the Maharees, its community, its special areas of conservation, protected habitats and its coastline.


Keep track of what's yours!

Know your own and be able to prove it - that's the advice from Listowel Gardaí and North Kerry Community Alert Groups this week as they launch a Property Log Book.

The new booklet, an initiative by Diarmuid Cronin, Community Development Officer with Muintir na Tíre, was launched last week at the Listowel Community Alert and Text Group AGM.

It allows owners to claim their personal property in the case of a theft as all details such as serial numbers, make and model of the item will be to hand to help and owner and gardaí in its recovery.


Castlemaine steps back in time

Castlemaine’s community pulled out all the stops to celebrate the centenary of 1916 last weekend, with young and old getting into the spirit by sporting clothes from the era.

A central aspect of the day’s celebrations was a parade through the town which included Tralee Volunteers in full uniform as well as local school children and local groups, many of whom looked like they had stepped back in time to reflect life 100 yeas ago.

The parade also included floats to represent the historic celebration of that era and included a model of Kilmainham jail.


Vital service relies entirely on fundraising

Most people in Kerry have heard of Recovery Haven and the support they provide to cancer sufferers and their families. However, what most don't know is that the work of this vital service is all down to fundraising.

The state provides no funding to the centre, which this year alone had 2,000 attendances from across the county. Despite this lack of funding, Recovery Haven provides a host of supports to cancer patients and their families.


'Brexit will be bad for everyone'

MEP Sean Kelly says that he believes Brexit will not happen as it was a “false vote” based on “emotion and mistruths”.

The Killarney MEP was one of the speakers at the Let’s Talk Tourism Conference in the Muckross Park Hotel in  Killarney last Thursday, which saw tourism leaders and experts discuss the future of the industry in Kerry and Ireland.

He says that if Brexit is to happen, talks will have to begin in 2017 and finish in November 2018 ahead of European elections in 2019.