From Baghdad with love

It was LOVE at first sight when a North Kerry nurse met an Iraqi soldier in Saddam Hussein’s Baghdad.

Now, as they celebrate 28 years together this Valentine’s Day, Kay Carr and Namir Karim are telling the world how love always trumps fear - and can transcend all borders.

The happy couple revealed their love story to the nation on Friday’s Late Late Show, and melted the hearts of hundreds of thousands.

“We were married in 1992 and have lived happily together ever since,” Kay said.

 

What happened in Kerry this week

Five people have been given a better chance at life this week having undergone transplant operations to receive the organs of Glencar man, Stephen O'Connor, who died on Monday following an alleged assault in Killorglin at the weekend.

Nicola Lawless from Castleisland, whose son Ben son is profoundly disabled, has lashed the HSE as ‘inconsiderate’ - after being told he has to reapply to his medical and GP visit cards.

A staggering 20 million litres of water supplied every day from the new Lough Guitane treatment plant in Killarney is going to waste and never makes it to the tap, Kerry’s Eye can reveal.

No criminal charges will be brought following the tragic deaths of two American tourists in a freak pony-and-trap accident in the Gap of Dunloe last year.

Almost 410,000 fans tuned in for the final moments of what turned out to be a classic encounter between Kerry and Dublin on Saturday evening.

It was love at first sight for Kay Carr when she met Iraqi soldier Namir Karim in war-torn Baghdad. As they celebrate 28 years together this Valentine's Day, they’re telling the world how love always trumps fear and can transcend all borders.

How Kerry men inspired a South Pole first

Two years after fracturing his L1 vertebrae while snowboarding in the Sierra Nevada, adventurer Grant Korgan became the first spinal cord injured athlete to reach the South Pole, on January 17, 2012.

 The European premiere of ‘The Push: Owning your reality is where the journey begins’ will close the four-day festival on March 24, when Korgan, Dr Lynch and members of the cast and crew will take part in a question and answer session at the Phoenix Cinema.

Korgan said he took his inspiration from Annascaul native Tom Crean, who took part in three major expeditions to Antarctica more than a century before.

Fitness does Mater

Laura Fitzgerald, originally from Scartaglen, lives in Castleisland and works as a dental nurse at Anne Lyons’s clinic in the town.

When she’s not looking after the dental needs of patients or her eight-year-old son Joey, she’s off exercising, running the roads and training at An Ríocht in Castleisland.

Still pumped from competing the 31-Day Challenge, a fitness charity event for the month of January, Laura is ready to face her next challenge.

“I have a massive passion and drive for keeping fit and healthy living. Exercise is a huge part of my life and I wouldn’t change that for the world.

20 million litres of water leaking EVERY DAY

The €30m state-of-the-art plant at Lough Guitane took two years to construct and was officially opened last November.

Over 62,000 people and over 1m tourists annually are supplied from the Kerry Central Regional Water Supply Scheme, serving major regions in Kerry such as  Killarney, Tralee, Castleisland and Castlemaine.

Now, Irish Water has confirmed that half of the entire daily volume of water produced at the new plant – the equivalent of eight Olympic sized swimming pools – is going to waste.

Mother’s fury over ‘inconsiderate’ HSE

Nicola Lawless from Castleisland has lashed the HSE as ‘inconsiderate’ towards her 22-year-old son Ben.

And as the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) and Psychiatric Nurses Association (PNA) called off their strike action this week, Nicola said elements of the HSE were ‘top-heavy and inadequate’.

“I one hundred per cent stand with the nurses and see my grievance as being symptomatic of the issues they are protesting against,” explained Nicola.

Nicola told Kerry’s Eye that the HSE was now asking her son Ben - who has a profound long-term disability - to reapply for his medical card, despite knowing he is unable to complete the form without assistance.

“This is just one example of the unnecessary and wasteful administration in the HSE. They are able to waste so much money in this area and yet the nurses are completely overworked and underpaid,” she added.

‘We need these  things to live’

Milltown Organic Store has been in operation since 2001 but faces an uncertain future, as VAT on the majority of its produce is set to rise from 0% to 23% on March 1.

“These items are expensive enough already - people are prescribed them by their doctor, they need these things to live,” said Lilian Leask, manager at Milltown Organic Store.

Supplements like vitamins, minerals, probiotics, Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids and folic acid have come with a 0% VAT since 1972.

It’s a Howl: Kenmare festival wins award

Kenmare’s annual Halloween Howl Festival fought off competition from Limerick, Fingal and Wexford to take the gold medal in the Best Arts/Culture category at the All-Ireland Community and Council Awards in Dublin on Saturday.

“The community effort that goes into it is incredible,” said Helen McDwyer, Marketing and Events Officer for the festival. “The shops change their names, we have Kenmare Ice Scream, the White Room became the Fright Room, that kind of thing. All the businesses decorate their shop fronts for the week. Winning this award should help us push it on further.”

TEN years to save our world

“It’s a pretty gloomy future, but it’s possible for people to make the changes needed,” said Catriona Fallon of KCAN. “It’s not in someone else’s lifetime, it’s in ours. If we don’t make changes in the next 10 years, it’s game over.”

Catriona was one of over 70 people who convened for KCAN’s inaugural meeting at IT Tralee last week. Joined by representatives from several local organisations and supported by Kerry County Council, the goal at that first meeting was, according to fellow member Thomas O’Connell, to ‘create a shared vision’ on how to tackle climate change at grassroots level.

Getting smart about new technology

A four-week technology course, held at Recovery Haven in Tralee, has been teaching people about the Internet and how to use expensive gadgets which, often, have been purchased for them by well-meaning relatives at Christmas.

Entitled ‘How to use your smart phone and tablet’, the course has proven so successful that plans are in place to make it a regular part of Recovery Haven’s schedule.

“Before Christmas, there was a six-week course but we’ve had to run another one because there was more demand,” says tutor Lynda Curley-Lee.

Champions for kicks

Those are not the words of a US track and field coach or someone from the all-conquering hype-machine that is ‘Team GB’, but those of a Kerry man, sat in sparsely decorated martial arts’ gym in Tralee.

The gym in question is Blackbelt Martial Arts Academy (BMAA) on Pembroke Street, and the man is Alan Guilfoyle, a highly-decorated martial artist who oversees the progress of children from the ages of five upwards three nights a week.

But although he’s proud of all his club members and marvels at their progress, he refuses to take credit for their achievements. No, that accolade goes to his daughter, 17-year-old Ally.

Strictly A-Ma-Zing!

Students from Cassie Leen’s School of Dancing and Revolution Dance School were joined by Oliver Hurley’s performers from his musical theatre and the talented Cantarina Music and Dance School performers who all delivered on what promised to be an awesome night of dancing at the Ballyroe Heights Hotel.

The winners on the night were Cassie Leen’s talented dancers, eight-year-old Rian Duffy, Tralee, and his dancing partner Aine Fitzmaurice, Listowel.

The pair danced to a mash-up of the iconic ‘Time of your Life’ from Dirty Dancing and a number of hip hop hits to get the crowd moving.

Some Holy hilarity at Na Gaeil Clubhouse

Na Gaeil have brought their comedy dramas to the stage over the past two years and now they are back with their third offering on February 27, 28 and March 2, being held in the clubhouse in Tralee.

The cast for this new play will be more or less the same as before, and everyone in the club is getting excited as rehearsals are well underway.

“The latest offering from the pen of the supremely talented Mary Quirke is currently in rehearsal. The title this year is ‘One Ordination and a Donation’, and it is shaping up to be just as hilarious as ‘One Wedding and a Funeral’ and ‘One Murder and a Christening’,” said Na Gaeil member and one of the organisers Margaret Doody.