VIRUS RULES MUST STAY

There should be no further easing of Covid-19 restrictions in Kerry, despite the county’s success in suppressing the deadly virus, a world-renowned health expert has warned.

Tralee native Professor Mary Horgan urged Kerry people this week to ‘hold tough’ against coronavirus.

She said Kerry is performing remarkably well in suppressing Covid-19 – given the massive influx of people to the county over the past three months.

But it is too early for ‘special cases’ to be made for well-performing, individual counties like Kerry and a recent spike in infections here proves that ‘the situation is still fluid’, she said.

What happened in Kerry this week

SEAMUS O’BRIEN (50) was going about his normal day as a self-employed construction worker on the afternoon of February 22 two years ago when, in mere seconds, his life changed forever.

 

A sea of white crosses in a field in West Kerry, each one signifying someone who suffered at the hands of bad planning laws have been erected in protest by Breanndán Ó Beaglaoich, who himself is facing jail time over his refusal to comply with a KCC planning enforcement order

 

THEY grew up kicking a ball around together at home - but now brothers Wayne and Terry Sparling are preparing to line out on opposite sides in a Cup final.

 

After an agonising two-and-a-half-year wait brave Killorglin teenager Ronan Foley will finally undergo surgery on Thursday next to correct the severe curvature in his spine

 

After 75 years of successful trading, the final curtain is set to descend over Horgan’s Drapers in Ballybunion this month.

‘The day my life changed forever’

SEAMUS O’BRIEN (50) was going about his normal day as a self-employed construction worker on the afternoon of February 22 two years ago when, in mere seconds, his life changed forever.

The Firies man suffered life-changing injuries when his legs were crushed between a dumper and the bucket of a JCB.

Despite several operations, Seamus had his left leg amputated above the knee last November.

This June - for the first time in over two years - Seamus was finally able to stand and walk again with the help of his first prosthetic leg.

End in sight for Ronan’s agony

BRAVE KILLORGLIN teenager Ronan Foley will finally undergo surgery on Thursday next to correct the severe curvature in his spine - after an agonising two-and-a-half-year wait.

The 14-year-old from Dungeel, Killorglin completed his pre-operation assessments at Crumlin Children’s Hospital on Tuesday ahead of the surgery scheduled for September 24 at the Dublin hospital.

Parents Tony and Caroline said that finally they were daring to hope that their son’s agony was coming to an end as this was the furthest they’d ever come before with a date for the scoliosis operation in place and Ronan deemed fit enough to undergo surgery.

Now THAT’s sibling rivalry!

THEY grew up kicking a ball around together at home - but now brothers Wayne and Terry Sparling are preparing to line out on opposite sides in a Cup final.

And as Killarney Celtic ‘A’ face Killarney Celtic ‘B’ in the League Cup Final in Mounthawk Park in Tralee, close siblings Terry (18) and Wayne (25) said this year’s season finale has an added edge with the two brothers set to be in opposite camps on Thursday.

“I am excited now but it is very strange,” said Terry.

“It will be very strange playing against Wayne, especially with it being the same club.

‘Someone will be killed on this road’

It’s only a matter of time before somebody gets seriously injured or killed on a ‘very dangerous’ and collapsing road in Kilcummin, according to a local resident.

Local man Bertie Curtin said he is disgusted with the state of the road, which he says has almost collapsed, and is now a tragic ‘accident waiting to happen’.

Mr Curtin said a lot of local concern has been expressed about the condition of the section of road from Kilcummin Creamery to Lawlor’s Cross, with many residents fearful the sinking road may completely collapse into an open roadside dyke.

‘We’ll continue fight for fair treatment’

Former Debenhams workers in Tralee have pledged to continue their picketing at the Manor West retail centre until their ‘disgraceful and unfair’ treatment ends.

Last week, two of the workers took part in a sit-in protest at the former Debenhams store in Cork.

The fight for ‘fairness’ continues for workers of the former retail giant, who were sacked last Easter by email and who have since rejected a €1m redundancy top-up deal from their former employer’s liquidator KPMG.

KPMG have been in negotiations with the workers’ union Mandate, who represent the former Debenhams staff from 11 stores nationwide.

Council clears mess after illegal dumping

ILLEGAL dumpers are being provided with a ‘fantastic service’ with their discarded rubbish being cleared away at Listowel housing estate, courtesy of the public purse, according to local Kerry County Councillor Tom Barry.

The residents of Feale Drive are ‘disgusted’ with continuous illegal dumping at the rear of an electrical junction box, says the councillor, who lives in the area.

Councillor Barry said the back of the junction box ‘seems to have become a dumping ground’ in recent years, and is urging Kerry County Council to put measures in place to deal with the illegal dumping.

Councillor Barry has also raised the lack of CCTV to deter anti-social behaviour, with the County Council claiming it cannot install cameras due to the data protection law.

Golfers vote on €250 virus levy

Over 1,000 members of Killarney Golf and Fishing Club are to vote on a controversial €250 levy to alleviate a staggering €1m income loss due to Covid-19.

A Special General Meeting of the club has been called by the club’s management council for September 24 and club members are being asked to vote on the proposed levy on the same day.

Members are being asked to pay a €250 ‘Emergency Covid-19 Support Levy’ to help alleviate the losses.

The levy is in addition to annual membership subscriptions, some of which are up to €1,200, and a €20 increase in all annual memberships from 2021.

‘Serial objectors threaten Kerry forestry jobs’

Independent TD Michael Healy-Rae has blamed ‘the horrible scourge of serial objectors’ for threatening thousands of jobs in Ireland associated with the forestry industry.

He told Taoiseach Micheál Martin in the Dáil that there is ‘a timber crisis in the country which is threatening the entire forestry sector, the haulage sector that relies heavily on it, the sawmills that process it and the end users of timber, such as people in the construction industry’.

“Unless the Government acts quickly, Ireland will soon run out of essential construction products, such as pallets and timber for the construction industry and our supply chains, forcing timber production lines to shut,” he warned.

Shooting for the stars

AT a towering 6’ 4”, Jamie O’Sullivan is considered one of the smaller players on the recently announced Ireland U18 basketball squad. But that hasn’t stopped the 17-year-old Killarney student from soaring to new heights while trying to make it as a professional basketball player.

Jamie is joined on the Ireland U18 basketball men’s team by Tralee twin brothers Sean and Tim Pollman-Daamen. The Kerry trio, were picked by head coach Paul Kelleher as part of the 25-man squad following a series of practice sessions, as they build towards the European Championships next summer.

The Pollman-Daamen brothers from Ballymac Bobcats play their school basketball out of Mercy Mounthawk Tralee, while Jamie O’Sullivan is a student of St Brendan’s and plays with St Paul’s in Killarney.

Lovely hurling!

It really is a case of ‘lovely hurling’ this weekend as fans of the County Senior Hurling Championship welcome news that up to 200 spectators can now attend games.

Kerry GAA chairman Tim Murphy confirmed that under the Government’s new ‘Plan for Living with Covid-19’ risk management strategy for the next 6-9 months, up to 200 spectators can attend this Sunday’s County Final in Austin Stack Park where Kilmoyley will meet Causeway at 3.15pm.

In selecting the 200 spectators for Sunday’s match, 100 tickets will be made available to each of the clubs who will then use a lotto system to decide those lucky supporters who will get to go and support their side at Austin Stack Park.

Only 5% uptake on Kerry staycation voucher

THERE HAS only been a 5% uptake on a staycation voucher scheme to encourage Kerry people to holiday in their own county so far - but the organisers of the initiative expect people are ‘storing’ them to enjoy a break later on in the season.

Kerry Tourism Industry Federation (KTIF), supported by Kerry County Council, distributed 56,000 of these vouchers to households all over Kerry in June. The coupons are worth between €5 and €20 and can be used towards a stay at any of the participating hotels, guesthouses and B&Bs in the county, to up to 10% of the cost.

The scheme was introduced as a measure to encourage Kerry people to holiday locally and the vouchers, which are valid until April 2021, are not transferrable to people living outside the county.