I thought my ex would kill me

Hockey stick used in shocking domestic attacks - Judge brands attacker a 'vile coward'

A 27-year-old woman has told of the terror she endured during a series of savage assaults by her vicious ex-partner.

Rachel Kelleher was speaking following the jailing of Damien Fealy who has been branded a ‘vile coward’ by a judge for his violent attacks on the mother of their child.

Fealy will spend three-and-a-half years behind bars for the brutal assaults which resulted in Ms Kelleher requiring medical care.

This included the inserting of staples on head wounds following a sustained attack that lasted NINE hours. She had been beaten with a wooden hockey stick in front on her little daughter and was left with blood streaming down her face.

 

What happened in Kerry this week

From freezing water plunges to terrifying helicopter crashes and kidnaps - surely it can’t get any worse for Ultimate Hell Week contestant Mark Cushen. But it’s about to - “this week’s is the worst yet - I can only describe it as torture,” the 43-year-old Tralee garda said as he talks about his gruelling time on the hit RTE show.

 

Political lines have been drawn as election fever hits the classroom in Scartaglin this week as the pupils at the local national school get ready to vote in their very own election.

 

After three decades of selfless, dedicated service to Killarney Hospice, volunteers Angela Curran and Noreen Collins were this month named Hospice Heroes at the National Hospice Awards.

 

Over 200 parents and school management hold meeting at the Nagle Rice NS as anger and concerns are raised over the increasing difficulties local pupils face in gaining entry to Miltown’s Presentation Secondary.

 

As International Multiple Sclerosis Day arrives next week awareness is raised about the progressive and debilitating condition that affects about 9,000 people in Ireland. Mary Horan, from Tralee, tells us about living with the condition and how her positive attitude makes life worth living.

 

Will Mark rise from hell to heaven?

Mark Cushen has been through it all on RTÉ’s Ultimate Hell Week - from being dropped without warning into freezing waters to enduring a terrifying simulated helicopter crash and being interrogated by Army Ranger specialists.

It’s one of the most physically and mentally demanding series ever seen on Irish television.

But one of the toughest tests has been to keep quiet on who actually wins.

The final episode of the hugely popular prime time show airs tonight - almost a full two months after the series was filmed in the Wicklow Mountains.

The Tralee garda is one of the last six contestants left standing - but is remaining tight-lipped on how it all turns out.

Victim’s ‘adopted daughter’ wants full investigation

The carer of a cancer patient who died prematurely after he was wrongly given two all-clears by a radiologist at UHK now wants a full inquiry into how he was treated.

Danny Clifford (72), originally from Tralee, is one of the seven victims who have died as a result of the shocking cancer scandal at the hospital, first disclosed in a public admission of failure by the HSE last December.

It took nine months for UHK authorities to discover dreadful errors made in the care given to Mr Clifford. By that stage, Mr Clifford’s cancer had worsened to stage four cancer.

Mr Clifford died six months later, on April 20, 2018.

Over 115,000 people entitled to vote

On Friday, over 115,000 people in Kerry are entitled to go to the polls and have their say in three separate elections.

Voting at 126 polling stations will open at 7am on Friday and close at 10pm.

Voters will be  presented with THREE ballot papers. One ballot paper is for the Council elections and will list the candidates running in your Local Electoral Area.

There will also be a separate ballot paper for the  European Parliament elections. A third paper will be for the referendum on divorce.

Once polling stations are closed at 10pm, all of the ballot papers for the entire county will be taken to the Killarney Sports and Leisure Centre where they will be opened at 9 o’clock on Saturday morning, May 25.

Dáithí comes home to Kerry

DÁithí Ó Sé came home to West Kerry with his crew from his RTÉ show, Today with Maura and Dáithí, in tow for a special live broadcast from Dingle.

On Monday, the Rose of Tralee presenter was praying for a bit of sunshine as he planned his visit to West Kerry.

Dáithí was gearing up for a live broadcast of his long running show, co-hosted by Maura Derrane. Visiting home with the crew has been on the top of the former schoolteacher’s mind, so he had a whole selection of locations back West, hand-picked by himself, which he wanted to show off.

“The crew were blown away as we rounded Slea Head, some of them had been to Kerry but they hadn’t been back that far.

Over 200 attend meeting on school access

Over 200 concerned parents and school management met last Wednesday at the Nagle Rice NS in Milltown - to discuss entry criteria for the local Presentation Secondary, which is just across the road.

Since October 2018, it has become increasingly difficult for pupils in the 18-school catchment area to gain entry to Presentation Secondary.

The secondary school’s entry criteria has been altered so that applicants within the catchment area are given priority.

However, children who have siblings in the school, the children of teachers in the school, kids with siblings who previously attended, or children whose parents had attended are given priority.

Kerry rural LIFT plan goes nationwide

A RURAL transport scheme trialled in Keel-Castlemaine was so successful it’s going to be rolled out nationally.

Minister of State for Transport and Tourism, Brendan Griffin, has announced grant funding of €5,000 for each of 15 Local Link Office areas, including Kerry, to provide a similar community transport service over the next year.

Since it was set up in February, the Keel-Castlemaine Local Individually Flexible Transport (LIFT) Scheme has completed 1,200 journeys in just 15 weeks.

Fine Gael local election candidate Tommy Griffin, who set up the service with his cousin, the Junior Minister, said it had been a ‘huge’ success that provided an important service in a rural area.

‘I’ve had a few tough years’

Ardfert teenager Trevor Leen says he has had a tough few years battling with his mental health but now he’s feeling better, he wants to share his experiences of OCD and depression to help others.

Trevor Leen is a Leaving Certificate student in Mounthawk, Tralee. Recently, Trevor was diagnosed with autism - which, he says, explains a lot about how he was feeling the last few years.

“I’ve had a tough few years. I’ve had depression and OCD. When people think of OCD, they think of cleaning, but mine was different,” said Trevor who is on the awareness campaign for Mental Health Awareness Month.

Before he got his diagnosis, Trevor had been to many counsellors. His medication had to be changed regularly, which didn’t really help.

“My OCD is more about intrusive thoughts. I was afraid if I didn’t do something in a certain way that something bad would happen. It can be debilitating,” he said.

Early detection of skin cancer at UHK

Early detection of skin cancer will now be possible in UHK thanks to a new Pigmented Lesion Clinic which was launched by Minister of State for Tourism and Sport, Brendan Griffin this week.

University Hospital Kerry, along with the South and South West Hospital Group, and the National Cancer Control Programme, announced the official opening of the new clinic in the hospital. Fearghal Grimes, General Manager of University Hospital Kerry, said: “The clinic will provide patients in Kerry with direct access to a vital service. Skin cancer is the most common cancer, therefore early detection and treatment is a vital element in improving patient outcomes,” said Mr Grimes.

The annual incidence of melanoma in Ireland has reached 1,000 per annum. The south coast of the country has the highest incidence of melanoma, which can be fatal, but when caught early most patients are cured. Therefore skin cancer awareness and rapid access to diagnosis and treatment is vital to improve patient outcomes.

Full steam ahead!

A huge crowd gathered in Farranfore last Sunday afternoon as Killarney Mayor John Sheahan officially opened the community’s brand new Railway Park.

Built on the site of the old Water Tower near the start of the Valentia-Farranfore Railway Line, the state-of-the-art facility includes a paved path and meeting area that offers a quiet communal space for locals and visitors alike.

Secretary of the Farranfore Development Association Dan Ahern says this new amenity will add to the community’s rich transport heritage.

“There was a fantastic turnout and we appreciate all the local support,” said Dan.

“It was very enjoyable and hopefully it will be here for generations to come,” he added.

Over 500 ‘Live Life’ for Donal

Over 550 runners and walkers took part in the 5th ‘Donal Walsh Spa 6K Challenge’ hosted by Spa NS on Sunday.

The school organised the family fun day in honour of Donal, their past pupil.

Donal’s mom,  Elma Walsh, was thrilled that the school holds the run every year to remember Donal.

“We are delighted to be back in Spa National School, a place where Donal had so many happy days. The committee have yet again organised a really wonderful day for everyone to ‘live life’ and Donal would have loved it!”

Principal Peter Linehan said they wanted to honour Donal in a special way.

“The committee worked to create an event where people would come together for a few hours, have fun and ‘live life’ just as Donal had urged us all to do,” said Mr Linehan.

Getting active and inspired  for intellectual disabilities fundraiser

The Kingdom got active last Sunday for Inspired, Tralee, to raise money for services for people with intellectual disabilities.

On Sunday, at the John Mitchels Sports Complex, the bouncy castle experts in the county, Active Kingdom, had everyone jumping up and down for a very special cause.

There were over ten bouncing castles of all shapes and sizes, face painting, Zumba, a magician, a coffee shop and loads more, all set up to raise money for Inspired, Tralee.

Inspired are a local charity, only based here in Kerry, who rely heavily on public fundraisers and donations. Active Kingdom organised the event and all proceeds from entry fees, as well as all sales on teas, coffees and refreshments, went to the charity.