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Kerryman local news  

04 December 2003 (VOL 1 WEEK 23)

Hello, as it is now approaching Christmas, things are starting to quieten down a small bit. However, we still have one or two things to tell you about.

We'd like to start by saying thanks to all those who volunteered for the Rotary International Street Collection in Tralee last Saturday. We'd also like to thank Rotary for donating the proceeds of this collection to our service.

On Wednesday the 10th of December from 2.30pm to 4.30pm, we will have a meeting for staff, and members to draft up our Child Protection Policy. If you work with deaf children or are a parent of a deaf child, you are very welcome to attend this meeting. This meeting is a result of our recent weekend workshop on Child Protection Guidelines. If you want to attend, please let us know as soon as possible.

Our main focus for the remainder of the year will be on our Christmas Party. We are busy organising our Santa, face-painter and spot prizes. As you are aware by now, it's on the 14th of December in Meadowlands Hotel, please inform us soon if you are attending so that we can give exact numbers to the Hotel.

Our office will close for Christmas on the 22nd of December at lunchtime and will re-open on the 5th of January.

If there is any event you would like us to organise in the New Year, please let us know. 2003 was a very busy year for us. We had a group travel to Canada, Scotland and London. Individualmembers also went to Lourdes, Poland and to a range of local events throughout Ireland.

We want to ensure 2004 is just as busy and will need to start planning for that now, so get your ideas to us and we can start working on them. If you have any ideas or events for New YearŐs Eve, please let us know and we will inform our members.

Lastly, don't forget nominations for the Deaf and Hearing Supporter of the Year is still open. Winners will be announced at our Christmas party. If you think someone deserves to be honoured for their support, send us their names.

Notes for you diary:

  1. Tralee Women's Resource Centre will have a Coffee Morning on December 3rd from 10.30am to 12.30pm to mark the "16 Days of Action Against Violence Against Women" If you would like to attend, please inform us as soon as possible or email:
  2. There is a public discussion on Strengthening Families in Ireland on Thursday 4th December. The meeting is open to the public but please note that you must register first as places are limited.
    • Venue: Croke Park, Conference Centre,
      Croke Park Stadium, Jones Road, Dublin 3.
    • When: Thursday 4th December
    • Time: 9.30am
    Organised by The Department of Social & Family Affairs. Opening speech will be given by - Mary Coughlan TD, Minister for Social and Family Affairs. To register email: or to fax number 01 7043594. An interpreter will be provided.
  3. The Centre for Deaf Studies will have an Information stand at Trinity College Open Day on the 10th of December. It will be in the Arts Building in Trinity College on the lower concourse. Time: 10-4pm. Mr. Patrick Matthews will also be giving a lecture in the Davis Theatre at 11.15am on the same day. An Interpreter will be provided. For more information, contact the Centre for Deaf Studies.

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11 December 2003 (VOL 1 WEEK 24)

President Mc Aleese was in Killarney on Tuesday the 9th of December to officially close the centenary of the Kerry Education Service. A number of our members got an invitation to attend and we'd like to thank the Kerry Education Service for including the Deaf community at this important event. Willie White was booked to interpret the event, which enabled our members to have full access.

Do you use the Internet to book flights, hotels, earch for information or e-mail people. If you want to access our Internet service, we will open every Wednesday night from 7.30 to 9.30pm for our members. Deaf staff members will be available to assist you if you require.

If you are studying in any of our sign language classes throughout Kerry, please check with the organisers' tutors about Christmas holidays. A number of classes will finish up next week and re-open in the New Year. As each course has separate timetables, Christmas holidays will vary. A total of 250 students enrolled in classes throughout Kerry and it was essential that we had as many Deaf tutors as possible involved. A huge thanks to Shane Hamilton, Niamh White, Bernadette O Connor, Noelle Reidy and Aaron Spencer for all their hard work.

The Kerry Co. Council will have a presentation of certificates to members of staff who completed a basic course in sign language on the 19th of December at 12noon in the Council Chambers. If you would like to represent the Deaf Community at this, please let us know.

A big thanks to Aaron Spencer who organised for some of our members to travel to London last weekend. A great time was had by all. A formal ball was held and 850 Deaf people attended. Some of our members were amazed to see so many Deaf people attend the event. Our service is now thinking of organising a Ball sometime next Autumn. We don't expect to have 850 people. However, we will do our best to have as many people attend as possible.

The Southern Health Board has asked us to inform those on local authority housing waiting lists to ensure that local authorities are aware of their disability. Local Authorities rely on the waiting lists to plan future developments. By the end of 2002, only 70 people with disabilities were registered between the housing authorities in Cork and Kerry. If people with disabilities are not showing up on the housing lists, it will be very difficult for the authorities to plan ahead.

On the 22nd of December at 11am, we will have a Mince pie and Mulled wine event in our office in Tralee. This is open to our members and to organisations, individuals that supported our service throughout the year. This will be our way of saying thanks to all those who continue to support our service and our members. In order to ensure that we have enough pies and drinks, please let us know as soon as possible if you would like to attend.

Our service will close for Christmas at 1pm on the 22nd of December and will re-open on January the 5th, 2004.

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18 December 2003 (VOL 1 WEEK 25)

Well, Christmas is approaching fast. Things should be a bit quieter in the office but we're still busy doing our final bits of paperwork.

Last week we had our Christmas party and it was a great success. Over 100 people arrived on the day for a four-course meal. We also had our monthly mass, along with Santa, a face painter and a raffle.

As we mentioned before, we had our first ever Deaf & hearing supporter of the Year Awards. The following people received the most votes. We also had a surprise for Willie White on the day.

Deaf Supporter of the Year Awards went to Shane Hamilton for all his support during the year and for establishing sign language classes throughout Kerry. Niamh White got the award for all her hard work particularly with getting 21 people to the World Federation of the Deaf (WFD) in Canada during the summer. Laurence White was awarded for his long time commitment to Deaf services in Kerry. Lastly, the Deaf Action Group won the Group of the Year Award for all their fundraising efforts to attend the World Federation of the Deaf - this group was set-up by Deaf people and all activities were organised by its Deaf members.

The Hearing Supporter of the Year went to The Curtayne Family for organising Golf Classics and other fundraising ventures for our service. The Maunsell Family and the Cahill Family got awards for ensuring that their children got the education that they are entitled to. Both families commute on a daily basis from Kerry to Limerick to ensure their children have access to education. Both families have worked hard to get funding to cover accommodation or travel expenses but to date have received no funding and pay for all expenses themselves. Veronica White was awarded for her interpreting and family support work that she does throughout the year.

Willie White was nominated as Person of the Year for all his work since 1999. Willie has worked tirelessly to ensure services developed in Kerry. He has also worked to ensure Deaf people are involved in all services intended for their use. At times, this work has not been easy and Willie has had to challenge individuals as well as some services. However, it was mentioned on the day, that if it wasn't Willie, that our service would not be where it is today.

A huge rounds of thanks to all the above for their commitment to our service and to Deaf adults, children and their families.

Huge thanks also to all the local businesses that donated spot prizes. A special thanks to all who worked on the day - Bernadette, Noelle, Niamh, Aaron, Veronica, Catherine, Anthony, Rose, Graham and all our younger members who helped with the spot prizes.

The staff in the Meadowlands Hotel deserves thanks also. The food and service was excellent and the room was luxurious.

Lastly, we'd like to thank all those who have supported our service during 2003 and we look forward to working with you all in 2004. A huge thanks to all our staff too - Catherine, Willie, Noelle, Rose, Aaron, Bernadette, Shane and Niamh. Without their support, we would not be able to do the work that we have done.

We will close from lunchtime on Monday the 22nd of December to January 5th. For contacting staff via sms/mobile at Kerry Deaf Resource Centre - Aaron Spencer, Rosaleen Egan, Bernadette O'Connor, Noelle Reidy, Catherine Nourse (nee White) & William White. In emergency, you can text our new office mobile 087 6334687 (our previous number is no longer in use).

If you do not wish to receive this email in 2004, please send us or or email: your details and we will remove your name from our list.

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The Kerryman is a local newspaper that has allowed us put in a weekly section for our news bulletin and articles.

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