Don’t drop our guard on virus

A lung transplant recipient who contracted Covid-19 and survived has warned people not to become complacent about the deadly virus as the county reopens.

Gerry Redican (62), from Caherslee, Tralee, battled the coronavirus for six weeks in isolation at Cork University Hospital (CUH) and was finally deemed free of Covid-19 on May 25, having contracted the killer disease in the community in Tralee around St Patrick’s weekend.

He was tested for Covid on Wednesday March 18, two days after first presenting with symptoms to his GP, and admitted to hospital the following Sunday, March 22. ● Now back home, where he’s exercising and getting back to good health, Mr Redican wears a face mask in public and urges others to do the same.

● The former head chef at the Bon Secours Hospital in Tralee underwent a lung transplant in 2018.

● He told Kerry’s Eye that he survived the virus by riding out the storm in isolation: “I had a few scary nights.”

 

What happened in Kerry this week

Nurse Samantha Stackpoole, from Lixnaw, who had an underlying autoimmune health condition when she was diagnosed with Covid 19 said she is ‘lucky to be alive’ and is now urging people to download the new Covid tracker app.

 

‘Don’t drop your guard on Covid 19’, the stark warning of 62-year-old lung transplant recipient Gerry Redican who contracted the deadly virus and who is now urging people not to become complacent about it’s dangers as the county reopens.

 

Kevin Flannery, the director of one of Kerry’s flagship tourist sites, the Dingle Oceanworld Aquarium, said the attraction is in danger of closing down for good if it doesn’t get State aid.

 

Blennerville NS children will find inspiration all around them when they return this September thanks to the work of local artist Mike O’Donnell who has created murals ranging from local history to Blennerville's own Cheltenham Gold Cup-winning jockey Bryan Cooper.

Samantha’s appy with the hi-tech virus alert

A nurse who is ‘lucky to be alive’ after contracting the deadly coronavirus is now urging people to download the new Covid tracker app.

Samantha Stackpoole (27), from Lixnaw, who has an underlying autoimmune health condition, spent two weeks in hospital after initially being told she was on the road to recovery in April after contracting the disease.

Now she is encouraging people to use the new smartphone app, which warns users if they were in close contact with people who have tested positive for Covid-19, as she fears a second surge of the virus.

Virus reporting system is ‘flawed’ says Healy-Rae

A spike in Covid-19 cases in Kerry could go unreported and poses a serious threat to the health of the county’s population and its economic recovery.

Councillor Jackie Healy-Rae warned that the coronavirus reporting system is now seriously flawed and dangerous.

Failure to report a new spike in confirmed cases could leave the county at risk, he said.

He said that the system of attributing new confirmed cases to a person’s home address means Kerry could have far more cases of Covid-19 than are reported in the county-by-county figures which have been released daily.

Golfers must pitch in €250 virus levy

Killarney Golf and Fishing Club has been hit by a staggering €1 million loss as a direct result of Covid-19.

Green fees, membership subscriptions, bar, restaurant and golf shop are all expected to make losses following a fall-off in golf which began in mid-March and is now expected to continue into 2021.

Over 1,000 members, excluding juniors, are now being asked to pay a €250 ‘Emergency Covid-19 Support Levy’ to help alleviate the losses.

One new virus case in three weeks

More people are now testing positive for Covid-19 in Kerry than official figures are showing.

Just one new case of the virus has been confirmed in Kerry during the past three weeks.

However, at least one additional case of the virus has been confirmed in Kerry – but was not reported in the county-by-county figures.

The anomaly arose as a direct result of a Covid-19 reporting system which only attaches a new confirmed case to the patient’s home address – not to where they contracted or tested positive for the virus.

That’s one El of a challenge!

A COUNTY Down woman is nine days into a self-imposed challenge to reach the summit of Carrauntoohil every day this month for 30 consecutive days.

by Majella O’Sullivan

Eilionior or El Fegan (40) has been drenched to the skin most days, has scaled the peak on her own and with friends but she’s adamant she will continue the effort and complete the hike, which takes her on average five hours, every day this month.

El began her 30-day Carrauntoohil Challenge last Wednesday for the Moving Mountains Trust, a Northern Ireland-based charity that works on education and health programmes in Nepal and East Africa.

Council accused of damaging business

THE erection of bollards in Killarney as part of Kerry County Council’s removal of up to 60 parking spaces in the town has been attacked by one local business owner, who says it has heavily impacted his trade.

As part of the Council’s interim Mobility Plans and Safe Streets initiative, bollards were installed last week to ensure people can adhere to social distancing on narrow footpaths by allowing them to walk on the road.

Local business owner Eoin Reen of Reen’s Pharmacy in Plunkett Street, Killarney says the measures are making it ‘very hard’ for him to do business.

Dingle turns tables on nasty visitors

A GROUP of revellers who left a popular Dingle restaurant after refusing to pay their bill and later posted bad reviews on a travel website was blacklisted from other outlets in the town.

A warning about the visitors was circulated on a WhatsApp messaging group to other business owners after a ruckus at Solas Tapas and Wine Bar in Strand Street on Thursday night.

The gardaí were notified, which resulted in the group being tracked down and advised to return to the restaurant to settle their bill.

However, the following day a number of bad reviews and one-star ratings were left on the travel website, Tripadvisor, which were later removed.

‘We’re dead in the water without rescue’

Dingle’s Oceanworld Aquarium, one of Kerry’s flagship tourist attractions, is in danger of closing down for good if it doesn’t get State aid to keep its doors open, its director has warned.

Kevin Flannery said the aquarium may not survive to celebrate its 25th anniversary next year unless drastic action is taken to offset its massive losses as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Mr Flannery said the situation was so dire that unless support was received, the attraction was ‘dead in the water’.

Independence Day with full military honours!

Former Commander of the American Legion Pat Mulcahy, who left Ireland for New York in 1959, was joined by five other American military veterans as The Rose Hotel in Tralee embraced its American heritage to celebrate Independence Day.

Seventy-nine-year-old Pat  said he was delighted to be invited to The Rose Hotel for the celebrations, along with the other veterans.

He served with the American military from 1963 until ‘67’ after which he joined the police force in New York.

Pat, who celebrated his birthday this week, hails from Meelin in Cork but said his ties to the Kingdom are strong - his daughter works as a nurse in Kerry while the veteran also said he has numerous comrades around the county.

No money for faulty Listowel water pipe

A Listowel water main that burst five times in the past two years is not being prioritised for repair by Irish Water during 2020.

The faulty section of pipework in Upper Church Street burst as recently as May 26, leaving many homes and businesses without running water for around 26 hours.

Only last November, Listowel business owners were furious after another major burst left them without running water, flushing toilets or the use of dishwashers, steam ovens or washing machines.

The repair of the 200m section of pipework would cost €50,000 but Irish Water are saying they have no funds available for the work.

‘There’s a light at the end of the tunnel’

A LISPOLE man who’s looking forward to celebrating the fourth anniversary of his lung transplant in August has appealed to the HSE to put in place a pathway for people suffering from the same chronic lung disease that threatened his life.

John Patrick O’Sullivan, who has idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), says a clear clinical care programme is essential, especially for people who are newly diagnosed to offer them hope.

“It’s very important to give people reassurance and some positivity and that there’s a light at the end of the tunnel,” said Mr O’Sullivan, who’s one of around 1,200 patients in Ireland with IPF, a serious, progressive and life-limiting chronic respiratory illness that up to 400 people in Ireland are diagnosed with each year.