VIRUS SURGE HITS  KERRY

The number of Covid-19 cases continued to rocket

in Kerry this week, with 699 new infections confirmed in the county - up by 180 compared to last week and more than three times the number recorded at the end of September.

UHK shut its doors to visitors on Tuesday due to increased pressure from the numbers of patients presenting with the virus, and a high volume of cases arriving at the Emergency Department.

Strict visitor restrictions have been enforced - with exceptions only for visitors in end-of-life and other exceptional circumstances.

This comes as:

● 21 Covid patients were being treated at UHK on Tuesday

● Five patients were seriously ill at the ICU

● Kerry prepares to reopen on Friday as restrictions are eased.

What happened in Kerry this week

Can she do it? Yes she can! A lecturer at the MTU in Tralee is planning to become the first Irish woman to row solo across the Atlantic - with an epic trip across 3,000 miles of ocean in December.

 

The Healy-Raes celebrated a family wedding last week which was a real eye-opener for father of the bride Deputy Michael Healy-Rae - he said he never knew that buying dresses could be such an ‘awful racket’!

 

They may have been rivals on the field but stars of the Kerry and Offaly football teams of 1982 joined forces last weekend to help one Kerry woman in her battle against cancer.

 

Beetle-mania hit the roads of West Kerry last weekend as a tribute festival to a much loved local Volkswagen enthusiast rolled once again for its 17th year.

 

The Tralee to Blennerville Canal was dried this week as a temporary measure so that works could be carried out on the canal wall by the N86.

One woman, one boat - and 3,000 miles of ocean

Can she do it? Yes she can! A lecturer at the MTU in Tralee is planning to become the first Irish woman to row solo across the Atlantic - with an epic trip across 3,000 miles of ocean in December.

Dr Karen Weekes is planning to be at sea for between 70 and 90 days as she crosses from La Gomera in the Canaries to Barbados in the Caribbean.

The endurance adventurer - who has already sailed the Atlantic twice and kayaked around Ireland - is planning to leave in mid-December, and is currently training her body and mind for the biggest challenge she has ever set.

Farewell to the poet

Ireland’s most beloved poet Brendan Kennelly was foremost a teacher who displayed ‘extraordinary generosity’ fostering the gifts of others, mourners at his Funeral Mass were told.

The late poet and academic passed away on Sunday, and was laid to rest with his parents, Timmie and Bridie, in Lislaughtin Abbey.

His interment followed a private ceremony at the Church of St Michael the Archangel, where a bronze bust of the poet in the car park celebrates the North Kerry village’s most famous son.

Kerry prepares for another new normal

There were mixed reactions in Kerry to the easing of Covid-19 restrictions from tomorrow (Friday), following the Government’s announcement on the latest reopening guidelines and the introduction of what will be a ‘new normal’.

Restrictions in place for pubs, hotels, nightclubs and wedding venues have all been eased, and full reopening with some safety measures in place is now possible.

However the announcements have been met with confusion by some in the pub trade.

Castleisland hires experts to promote town

CASTLEISLAND businesses are gearing up for the busy Christmas shopping season - and now the local Chamber Alliance is hiring professionals to promote their town to shoppers far and wide.

During lockdown, Castleisland traders adapted to the restrictions imposed by the Government, and now they’re finally seeing a strong rebound in trade.

As almost all remaining restrictions are lifted, Castleisland Chamber Alliance has hired Bespoke Business Support Collective to spearhead a new marketing and branding campaign, which they say will bring a ‘revitalised approach’ to local retail, businesses, tourism and heritage. Chairman Michael J Kearney says they’re delighted with this new campaign that’s due to launch in late November - just in time for the festive season.

Tieanna’s love is in the hair!

Tieanna Nolan Sheehy, a caring and conscientious young lady from Lixnaw, grew her hair to almost three feet in length just so she could get it cut off to make wigs for sick children.

When Tieanna visited Cathriona’s Hair Salon in Tralee after school last Thursday, her hair was over 36 inches long.

Hairdresser at Cathriona’s Grace McDonnell, who had the honour of cutting young Tieanna’s hair said she has never seen anyone come in with such long hair before.

New facility for dementia sufferers

ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGY is now playing a huge role as a memory aid and helping people to maintain their independence and quality of life, a senior occupational therapist at Baile Mhuire Day Services has said.

Catherine Murphy runs the Kerry Memory Technology Resource Room (MTRR) at the Tralee centre, one of 30 memory resource rooms in the country, which was officially opened on Monday by Minister of State for Mental Health and Older People, Mary Butler.

She said although many people felt overwhelmed by digital technology, the resource room aimed to take some of that fear away to enhance the lives of people with memory loss or dementia. They’ve also created a homely and welcoming environment so people would feel at ease when they used the room.

€3 million extension opened at Tralee school

Tralee CBS Primary School had to wait before they could officially open the new Edmund Rice Building extension - but according to principal Denis Coleman, it was worth it.

A stone to the front of the €3 million extension was unveiled during the official opening on Monday. It was carved by local stone mason Billy Leen and is inscribed with the message ‘here everybody is somebody’.

The new extension which was completed in 2020 was officially opened by Minister for Education Norma Foley on Monday who was welcomed to the school by the pupils with a rendition of ‘Dreams’ by the Cranberries.

Killorglin school makes history in switch to Irish

A MID KERRY primary school has made history by changing from an English-speaking ethos to an Irish-medium school - the first time a school in Munster has made the transition which has only been successfully achieved by a few other schools before.

Gaelscoil Naomh Séamas, formerly known as Douglas National School in Killorglin, was officially relaunched on Monday by Education Minister and Kerry TD Norma Foley, who described it as an important event in the revival of the Irish language.

The changeover came about because of a desire by the board of management and its principal, Caitríona Ní Luasa, to build on the school’s strong Irish tradition and give it a unique selling point when it came to future enrolments.

Kerry set to get first alcohol-free club

There’s been a huge reaction to the news that Kerry is about to get its first alcohol-free club, to provide a fun space for those who want a night out without alcohol.

‘The Virtue Club’ is an alternative for those who still want to get out and socialise, but who choose not to drink or cannot drink for medical or personal reasons.

Organiser Lisa Curran said that judging from the public response to the idea, she expects there to be a huge demand for the alcohol-free night out when it opens at Croí in Tralee this month.

Kerry could play starring role in film industry

THERE’S BUSINESS to be done in the film industry in Kerry that could provide an alternative source of income to tourism, according to Irish Film and Television Academy (IFTA) boss Áine Moriarty.

Ms Moriarty said she hoped extra tax incentives introduced for filmmakers to shoot in the West of Ireland would be extended to include Kerry but that a lot of the support infrastructure was already being put in place to support the film industry in the county.

Ms Moriarty said: “The film industry in Ireland is growing exponentially and Kerry has the ability to attract a substantial part of this business into the country and we can all work together to make this happen.”

Kerry Group backs Meals on Wheels

Kerry Group have once again donated their time and money to the Saint Vincent de Paul (SVP), and according to local SVP President Paddy Kevane, they have been a fantastic support since the start of the pandemic.

Kerry Group have always supported Tralee Meals on Wheels which is run by SVP, and have been particularly good since the pandemic hit two years ago.

To mark International Food day last Friday, Tralee Meals on Wheels members and Kerry Group staff met up last week.