Sarah's dreams come true

A little girl who has been battling leukaemia for half her life was left awestruck yesterday - when her dreams came true and her bedroom received a magical makeover.

Sarah Carty (10) from The Orchard in Ballyrickard, Tralee, arrived home from school to find her old room had been totally transformed - thanks to local businesses who pitched in to help complete the top-secret project.

The old pink paint, wardrobe and timber flooring were all gone, replaced by specially-created unicorn wallpaper, purple painted walls, a new bed fit for a princess - with extra space for friends to sleep over, of course - and best of all, a giant unicorn to cuddle, cushions, a unicorn duvet and a rainbow rug.

What happened in Kerry this week

The HSE has admitted that patients at University Hospital Kerry are facing significant health risks, as management are being forced to make huge cuts of €5.6m. Unexpected costs of hiring agency consultants, doctors, nurses and health-care assistants has left the hospital with a massive hole in its budget, and the only way of finding savings is to make cuts in staff and services.

The new two-way traffic system and revamped Denny Street - unveiled for the first time on Monday morning - has received a positive reaction from members of the public and traders. “You get a sense of entering the capital of Kerry now,” said retail representative, Heather O’Sullivan.

A Kerry couple James and Mary Coffey from Glencar are calling on the HSE and the Minister for Health to reach an agreement to maintain access to a life-saving “miracle drug”, that has transformed their lives. Eight years ago, James was diagnosed with the genetic condition Alpha 1, which can affect the liver, lungs and skin and left him in constant pain, weak and fatigued.

Post offices are at a “critical juncture” and the public must support them if they don’t, they will lose their local post office, a meeting in Tralee heard on Monday night.

Dingle surfer Rory McKeown, who was rescued from the water on Tuesday night, has thanked his rescuers - and said the experience would make him hug his kids a little tighter!

'I hope they leave it like this now!'

The new two-way traffic system and revamped Denny Street - unveiled for the first time on Monday morning - has received a positive reaction from members of the public and traders.

Three days into the new two-way system, motorists have been largely happy, and there has been praise for the new-look Denny Street as it became a two-way system for the first time in 21 years.

Couple seek decision on lifesaving drug

A Kerry couple is calling on the HSE and the Minister for Health to reach an agreement to maintain access to a life-saving “miracle drug”, that has transformed their lives.

Eight years ago, after years of tests, James Coffey (54), from Glencar, was diagnosed with the genetic condition Alpha 1, which can affect the liver, lungs and skin and left him in constant pain, weak and fatigued.

'It makes you hug your kids tighter'

A surfer who got caught up in a rip current and found himself in trouble off a West Kerry beach has thanked his rescuers after a dramatic night time rescue on Tuesday.

Father of two young children Rory McKeown, who lives in Ventry, had been surfing with pal Tom Leach when he got into difficulties off Coomeenole beach, Slea Head at around 9.30pm.

They had been surfing for over an hour when an unexpected rip current pulled Rory under. Tom made it safely to shore, and alerted emergency services, but Rory injured his arm and couldn’t swim.

 

Kerry remembers Manchester victims

Locals have been paying tribute to the twenty-two people who lost their lives in the Manchester terror attack this week by signing a Book of Condolence in memory of the victims at the Kerry County Council buildings.

The attack - which left twenty-two people dead, a further 62 people injured and dozens more missing - took place at Manchester Arena during the Ariana Grande concert on Monday night, and it has resonated with people all over the county.

 

Ashe Memorial Hall rededicated to patriot

One of Tralee’s most iconic buildings was rededicated on Monday to honour Lispole man and 1916 patriot Thomas Ashe, in the centenary year of his death.

Large crowds attended the event outside the building on Monday morning, including members of the Ashe family, local councillors and TDs, business people as well as the Defence Forces and members of the local community.

 

'Stop speeding through our village'

Speeding through Beaufort village has been highlighted by a deputation from Beaufort Community Council, who fear that an accident will happen if Kerry County Council don’t step in and take action.

The deputation of Padrúig O’Sullivan and Tim Moriarty attended the South and West Municipal District meeting last week to appeal for LED speed signage to be put in place in the village.

 

Castleisland documentary in the works

 The history of Castleisland’s castle is set to be preserved and promoted as a local group plan to make a documentary on the castle - and they will launch their plans in the town next week.

The Castle of the Island Society was founded by Currow native Rob McGuire and includes Tom McCarthy, Maggie Prendiville, Denis Divane, Rita McCarthy, Charlie Daly, Eamon Breen and Eamon Fleming to preserve the history of the castle.

 

Blue Jeans Brid seeks national title

It may not be the Rose of Tralee but it’s a close second judging by the amount of preparation Brid O’Shea is putting in ahead of the 2017 Blue Jean Country Queen Festival.

Having only joined Killarney Macra Na Feirme back in 2016, Brid, is representing Kerry and Killarney Macra na Feirme in the national competition.

“Macra runs different competitions on a national level and this is one of them and I was chosen on a county level to represent Kerry.”

 

Eileen and Anne are Sunflower Heroes!

Two Kerry women, who volunteered tirelessly for the Kerry Hospice Foundation’s charity drives, were honoured with Sunflower Hero awards at the Mansion House in Dublin this week.

Friends Eileen O’Connor and Anne Bowler have dedicated a quarter of a century to helping the Iveragh branch of the Kerry Hospice Foundation.

For both Anne and Eileen their work ensures that cancer patients in the Iveragh Peninsula have access to hospice beds at Cahersiveen Community Hospital.

 

Post Offices face most serious threat yet'

It’s 10.30am and the Kerry Flyer pulls up at Lyreacrompane Post Office, on its way to the local community centre. On board are several members of the parish’s seniors, who are looking forward to the day out.

They’re stopping at their post office to collect their pension - without the post office, they would have to travel to Castleisland, Listowel or Knocknagoshel, all very long distances and more so for those without transport.

“I don’t know what I would do if it closes,” says local woman Rose Sheehy, who is picked up by the bus and brought to Lyreacrompane Post Office every Friday morning.

 

'I was so excited to see rainbows in Kerry'

Linda Flanagan was 25 in April 2002, when she stepped off the plane into her new life in Tralee, having married her husband, Mark, just a few weeks previously. Fifteen years later, Kerry and Ireland are now more her home than her native Indonesia ever was.

Linda met her husband Mark on the internet in October 2001 and arrived in Ireland that December for a short holiday. Four months later she moved lock, stock and barrel to her new country on the other side of the world, over 12,000 kilometres from home.

“He invited me over for Christmas that first year, and he came to Indonesia in February, and we got married in March,” Linda recalls.