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Kerryman local news  

26 March 2009 (VOL 7 WEEK 13)

Kathleen O’Brien Memorial Walk
Congratulations and huge thanks to Bridget McCarthy and all those who participated in the fundraising walk last weekend in memory of Deaf woman Kathleen O’Brien who died of cervical cancer in 2008. Over 100 walkers left Manor West on a beautiful sunny day, completing a circuit to Blennerville and back to Tralee. A fundraising event was held Saturday evening in the Brandon Hotel. Overall €5,000 was collected, with half being donated to the Kerry Deaf Resource Centre. The remaining proceeds have been donated to the Kerry Cancer Society in Kerry. It is hoped that this will become an annual event. The KDRC would like to take this opportunity to thank again the organisers, walkers and those who sponsored the walkers.

Kerry Deaf Resource Centre Street Collections
The KDRC is running a number of street collections in March and April. Last Saturday a group of KDRC members collected donations in the Castleisland area. A big thank you to everyone who gave. This Friday we will be organising a street collection in Tralee. Further collections will be held in Killarney on Saturday, 4 April 2009, and in Listowel on Saturday, 18 April 2009. All the money collected will be used to provide services to Deaf and hard of hearing people in Kerry.

Deaf People And Human Rights
The World Federation of the Deaf (WFD) and Swedish National Association of the Deaf have released a new report called “Deaf People and Human Rights”. The report examines the lives of Deaf people in 93 countries, mostly those living in developing countries, and is based on a survey carried out by the WFD which is the largest knowledge database on the situation of Deaf people worldwide. The report is available for free in English and International Sign from the WFD website:

Deaf Badminton
The Ulster Deaf Sports Council Open Badminton Championships are on in Lisburn on Saturday 28 March 2009. The competition is open to everyone, young and old. A Badminton Ireland Coach will be present looking for potential players for the Deaflympics in Taipei this year and for future international players. If you are interested in taking part or want more information please contact the UDSC at

Niall Mellon March Building Blitz
Five hundred Irish volunteers have begun work on the latest building blitz by the Niall Mellon Township Trust in South Africa. The group hopes to complete 75 houses in the Mbekweni township near Capetown. The Trust has built more than 11,000 houses in South Africa since 2002. Kerryman Mícheál Ó Muircheartaigh is one of the participants on the March blitz. He said he was inspired to get involved after hearing the charity’s founder, Niall Mellon, speak at a fundraising event in Tralee last year.

KDRC manager Willie White will be travelling to South Africa for a second time with the Trust this November. Staff member Suzanne Carey will also be going on the November blitz.
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19 March 2009 (VOL 7 WEEK 12)

Award For April Drew
We would like to send our best wishes and congratulations to April Drew, a Sign Language interpreter who worked with our service for many years. April is set to become the youngest recipient of a prestigious award in New York, and will be presented with the Leadership Award at the annual Kerrymen’s Association ball this Friday.

April has been an active of the Irish lobby for immigration reform and has been involved with the Irish Deaf community in New York. She is currently a news editor with the Irish Voice newspaper.

April is due to return home to Ireland for good on the 5th December. We look forward to working with her again.

Audilogical Reveiew
Over 1,200 children and adults in Cork and Kerry will be recalled for hearing tests after faults were discovered in the work of an audiologist. The audiologist worked with the HSE South until December 2007, but an audit for the specialist's work was not completed until last Monday.

The HSE has written to audiology outpatients in Cork, Tralee and Limerick, inviting them for a re-test. The review relates to services at the following locations and times: Cork (September 2001 -- December 2007) Limerick (February 2002 -- November 2003) Tralee (Six clinics in February/March 2005 and July 2006)

This review was set up following concerns about the quality of aspects of the service previously provided to some clients. Local HSE manager Deirdre Scully apologised for any concerns the review might cause, adding: "I want to reassure those being called back for a check up appointment that this is a precautionary measure and that should any follow up be required, this will be provided without delay."

An information line has been set up on 1850 24 1850 (8am to 8pm, Monday to Saturday).

Flower Arranging Classes
Our first flower arranging class was held last week and we are thrilled with the numbers of people who attended. In total there were 21 participants. Due to the large number we will be unable to accept any new participants for this week’s course. However, if you would like to join any further classes please send us your details.

ISL/BSL Sign Langauge Interpreting
Do you sign in both Irish Sign Language and British Sign Language? Signature (formerly CACDP) and DCAL are interested in learning about BSL/ISL interpreting work. We will be holding a focus group meeting this month on Saturday 14th March at City Hotel, Derry from 1pm - 5pm. Tea/coffee and lunch will be provided free of charge. To book your place and for further information please email

CDA Cake Sale & Easter Raffle
The Cork Deaf Association would like you to join them on their upcoming fundraising activity. A cake-sale will be held on the 7th April from 11am - 3pm in their centre in Cork. Cake donations are also welcome. The CDA will also be selling raffle tickets for their Easter draw.
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12 March 2009 (VOL 7 WEEK 11)

ISL Recognition Campaign
The Irish Deaf Society has been campaigning for the recognition of Irish Sign Language (ISL) for the past 20 years. In this weeks Hands On on RTE, board member Kevin G. Mulqueen gave an update on what they have been doing to date and what response they've been getting from the Irish Government.

Hands On also looked at the proposed ISL Bill, a Private Members Bill that Fianna Fáil Senator Mark Daly proposes to put to the Senate. If passed, the Bill will allow for the legal recognition of ISL but it won't have recognition in the Constitution. ISL is a language in its own right. Campaigners want the Government to declare it as the 3rd official language of Ireland. Over 45 other countries internationally have given legal recognition to their own native sign languages.

As part of this campaign, you can go to our website and click on the red button "ISL Letter Download". You can highlight the text and copy to your own letter and send to your Government representatives or to the Taoiseach.

KDRC Deaf Activities
In conjunction with the Kerry Education Service (KES), we intend to hold a number of activities for members over the coming months. Our first two sessions will be on Flower Arranging. This class will be held on Thursday 12th and 19th of March from 2.30pm - 4.30pm. If you would like to join this group, please contact us immediately. Our thanks to KES for supporting this initiative.

Deaf Pub/ Bowling
A group of local Deaf will going to the new bowling centre in Mile Height, Manor, Tralee on the 14th of March at 6.30pm. Bowling Buddies opened recently and it features a 10-lane ten-pin bowling alley, air hockey and American pool tables, as well as serving up a selection of hot and cold food in a retro-styled diner. After bowling, the group will head to The Mall Tavern in Tralee for a Deaf pub night.

IDSA Monster Draw Results
On Friday 27th February, the results of the Irish Deaf Sports Association Monster Draw were announced. To see if you were one of the lucky 18 winners, go to the following web link

DCC St. Patrick's Day Drinks
The Deaf Community Centre and The Mid West Deaf Association will celebrate St. Patrick's Day with a get together in The Banks Bar in Limerick from 2pm - 5pm on the 17th of March. For more information on the DCC, go to

EUDY Youth Camp
The European Union of Deaf Youth will hold a camp for Deaf juniors in Finland from the 3rd - 10th of August. The camp will cater for 13-17 year olds. If you are interested, you can get an application form by e-mailing or by text to (087) 638 5586. More information is available on the EUDY at
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5 March 2009 (VOL 7 WEEK 10)

Monthly Mass Cancelled
Our next monthly mass in sign language due to be held on the 8th of March has been cancelled. Unfortunately, our regular priest Fr. Nolan is not available on the day. As soon as we have a new date, we will let you all know.

Hands On TV Programme
Hands On has tackled a number of issues of great concern to the Deaf Community in its recent programmes on RTE. Its great to see Hands On and RTÉ giving time to these important issues. The programmes have been well structured and very well presented. The next hot topic to be aired this Sunday at 10.40am will look at the campaign to have Irish Sign Language recognised by the Irish Government.

To view previous Hands On programmes, go to

Unsung / Super Hero Awards
We would like to send our congratulations and best wishes to one of the best-loved members of the Deaf Community, Con Lynch. Con was recently presented with an award at Dublin City Council's Unsung Hero Awards. Con was recognised for volunteering his time, energy and skills to the Deaf community for the last 40 years! The awards, which are now in their fourth year, are organised and run by Dublin City Council. The public nominates all Unsung Heroes. In all, over 350 Unsung Heroes were nominated this year, once again highlighting the great success of the scheme as well as the good will and great giving spirit of the Dublin people.

Spirit Of Sign Drama Group
The Cork Deaf Drama Group will present "Down through the years- a brief history of the Deaf World". It will be held in the Cork Arts Theatre, Carroll's Quay on the 20th and 21st of March at 8pm. Tickets will cost €15 and €10 euro concessions. To book a ticket, call to the Arts Theatre or email:

Signs Of Our Times DVD
The Deaf Association of Northern Ireland (DANI) has produced a DVD called "Signs of our Times". It shows what life was like for Deaf people during the troubles, before technology and the importance of Deaf sport in Northern Ireland. The DVD includes stories and anecdotes from young and old members of Northern Ireland's Deaf community, delivered in British Sign Language, Irish Sign Language and subtitles. For more information, send email to

Parachute Jump For IDYA
The Irish Deaf Youth Association is looking for people to participate in a parachute jump. Participants will do a tandem jump and will be attached to an experienced professional. Training will be provided. The jump will take place in July or August- exact date to be announced.

Entrants are expected to raise €560. Half of the proceeds will pay for the jump and the other half, which will go towards the IDYA.

The following guidelines from the Parachute Club will have to be followed:
  • You must be at least 16 years old.
  • Those under 18 must be with a parent or guardian on the day of the jump to complete paperwork.
  • If you are over 50 years old, a doctor's cert is required stating that you are fit to jump.
  • The maximum weight is 15 stones, which is proportional to height, age & sex.
If you are interested, email Caroline for further information and sponsorship cards at or text (087) 638 5586.
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