Friends of Maureen show support

Communities in East Kerry are rallying around well known GAA and Killarney Celtic stalwart Maureen Kelliher from Headford, whose life has been turned upside down following a diagnosis of MS last year.

After years of uncertainty, Maureen - who believed she had a knee injury - was diagnosed with the incurable illness in 2016. Having been fit and active, and well-known for standing on the sidelines of every GAA and soccer game possible when her four children were on the pitch, she has now has to use a walking aid.


What happened in Kerry this week

Hundreds attended the funeral on Wednesday of a popular young mother of five, whose unexpected death at the weekend has shattered communities across north Kerry and left her family devastated. Hours before her death, 38-year-old Patricia (Trish) Flavin had celebrated Women’s Christmas with her friends and family. She took ill at her sister Sandra’s house on Saturday morning and was rushed by ambulance to University Hospital Kerry, where it is believed she died of a suspected heart attack.

A 104-year history ended on Friday when Herlihy’s bar in Farranfore, the oldest business in the village, closed its doors for the final time. “All I wanted was a united community and happy customers,” said owner Marie O’Sullivan.

Kerry’s latest centenarian Johanna Griffin’s secret to a long life is simple - clean living. Valentia Island’s oldest residnet, who never smoked or drank, celebrated her 100th birthday yesterday, and credited her continued good health to a lifetime of healthy habits.

Kerry’s five TDs will revolt against plans to reduce the drink driving limits and want Transport Minister Shane Ross to come up with hard evidence to support his move.

Minister Ross wants to reduce the current drink driving limit by over a half, after it emerged that 187 people lost their lives on Irish roads last year - 25 more than in 2015.

However, Kerry TDs are not convinced that drink driving is the main culprit in the increase in road deaths, and they’ll move to block the minister if he pushes ahead with his plan.

Last ordersas pub calls time after 104 years

A 104-year history ended on Friday when Herlihy’s bar in Farranfore, the oldest business in the village, closed its doors for the final time.

The bar has been passed down through generations of the Collins, Herlihy and O’Sullivan families since 1912 but in fact was open in the 19th century.

The current owner, Marie O’Sullivan, took over the family business in 2006, and it was with a sad heart that she finally called time on the premises.

Medics 'swamped' by flu-like symptoms

People experiencing flu-like symptoms are being urged to use “common sense” and only attend Emergency Departments if they believe they have a serious condition.

Leading Kerry GP, Dr Eamon Shanahan, (above) said this week that the majority of people who are feeling ill have the flu which is in effect a serious cold and not in fact influenza.

“There are two things going on. One is that there is lot of colds this time of year but also there is influenza which is more serious especially for those with underlying illnesses. However, he said what most people are calling the flu is a bad cold but is not influenza.”

'I can't believe I made it to 100!'

 If you get to the age of 100 you have plenty of life lessons to share and Kerry's latest centenarian Johanna Griffin's secret to longevity is simple - clean living.

Johanna, who never smoked or drank, celebrated her 100th birthday yesterday (Wednesday), and credited her continued good health to a lifetime of healthy habits.

Johanna now has the distinction of being Valentia Island's oldest resident, and on Saturday next she is planning a party to celebrate the wonderful occasion.


Budding scientists set sights on RDS

Pupils at Mercy Primary School in Tralee are determined to increase the number of student cyclists in 3rd to 6th class to 10% by June of this year.

Sixth class pupils at the Moyderwell school have been researching the topic over the past few months and have collated a lot of data on cycling at the school.  They now hope to use their findings to encourage more students to cycle to school, in keeping with government policy - by increasing the number of pupils cycling from the current 2% in November 2016 to 10% by June 2017, and an additional 5% thereafter until June 2020.


Sailing event a huge success

Up to fifty youngsters from all over the country made their way to Fenit to participate in the first ever Tralee Bay Maritime Centre international coaching sailing event last week.

Aged between eight and eighteen, the young sailors came to Kerry on Wednesday evening and stayed until Sunday.

They included some of the top juveniles in Ireland, according to organiser Brian O'Sullivan, Centre Principal at TBMC.


Listowel's going up the walls!

If you attended St John’s Theatre, Listowel in 2016 then there’s a very good change your photo is on the wall - as the centre is running their annual photo exhibition.

For the month of January, Artistic Director Joe Murphy, has hung a selection of photos along the walls of the Centre looking back at the previous year’s events and happenings.

“It’s a nice way of recapturing the year,” Joe said.


'One day at a time and you'll get there'

There was a time - not so long ago - when Catherine Ryan from Rock Street in Tralee would take a restaurant menu in her hand and begin reading it from the bottom up. She always looked at the dessert menu first.

By the end of the meal, she'd watch her friends eating, hoping none of them would finish their desserts so she could eat theirs as well.

On the outside, Catherine was a bubbly person; good at her job, always helping others. A problem-solver who gets things done.


'Let's grow our own!'

Transition Kerry are urging more people to grow their own food - and to help the county become more sustainable in local produce.

The group is hoping that more locals will begin to grow food in their own gardens, community gardens, school gardens and on larger scale farms, as over 90% of food produce is currently being imported into the county.


Library reveals Kerry's reading habits

Almost half a million people visited local libraries in Kerry last year and they borrowed 644,376 separate items between them, the majority of which were books.

In 2016, there was a total of 483,858 visits to Kerry libraries - an increase of three percent on the number of visits from 2015.

The local branches in Kenmare and Ballybunion each saw a 14% increase in the number of items borrowed during the year. A total of 42,786 items were borrowed from Kenmare and 32,260 items were borrowed from Ballybunion.


Hundreds step up for New Year Transformation

It seems Kerry is putting their best foot forward in 2017, with hundreds turning up around the county to take part in this year's Operation Transformation national walks at the weekend.

With three venues around the county - Killarney, Listowel and Tralee - those looking to get fit had no excuse not to attend and they didn't with all three walks proving hugely popular.


Memorable night for Mounthawk students

Mercy Mounthawk students brought their Christmas holidays to a stylish end as they gathered in the Ballyroe Heights Hotel for their much-anticipated debs last Thursday night.

It was the highlight of the year to date for the 300 plus students who attended on the night as everything went off without a hitch and it was a night to remember for all involved.