WEBINAR: HeartBeat Killarney Kerry Cardiac Support Group President Billy O’Sullivan is inviting the public to a Zoom webinar tomorrow evening (Monday). Photo Michelle Crean  


HeartBeat Killarney are planning an online meeting next week to bring important information about the signs of stoke and ways to prevent it. Editor Michelle Crean caught up with one of the founding members, Billy O’Sullivan who is the current president of the group, to find out how the pandemic is affecting group meetings and the their future plans.


Tomorrow evening (Monday), HeartBeat will be hosting a live Zoom meeting with Kerry Neurologist Dr. Helena Moore at 8pm where she will talk about ways to avoid stroke, stroke treatment, and stroke after-care. She will also be on hand to answer questions and bring clarity to people.

Billy explained that it’s been almost a year since they’ve had face to face meetings, and while they’ve no choice but to move online he feels that they’re not reaching everyone.

“We used to have meetings one Monday a month with a speaker of interest in the good old days at the Serenity Centre next to the parish hall,” Billy told the Killarney Advertiser.

“We still have our monthly newsletter to keep people in touch which we send out by post and online. We’ve moved our meetings to Zoom also but a lot of members are older and it can be a problem for them. We’ve split members about half online.”

He said that they’re anxious to get the word out about next week’s stroke meeting as “it’s quite special”.

“It’s the second time we’ve had Dr. Helena Moore speak in the group. She’s a really fantastic speaker about the signs, treatment and aftercare of stroke.”

He added that the meeting is also for people who haven’t had a stroke as the advice can be a huge benefit to them.
“If people have a stroke around them they should move fast. If they catch it in time it brings recovery length down to days and weeks rather than months. It’d be a good thing to tune into to find out all about it.”

HeartBeat is 16-years-old this year. It was set up by Billy and Dr Kay Karim Cardiac Rehabilitation Coordinator at University Hospital Kerry.

“I was after having a triple bypass and Dr Karim had started offering extended rehabilitation for people like me. It was for six weeks every Tuesday and she asked if anybody would be interested in setting up a community support group. About a year afterwards I had done a course, we went from there and it’s going since.”

Last February, on Valentine’s Day, HeartBeat set up a pop up health tent in town and it was hoped to move that into something more regular to offer advice and support to the public.

However, the quick onset of COVID meant that everything shut down. Their voluntary service then, like many others, moved online.

“We’re hoping to get back to that [pop ups]. It’ll probably be the end of 2021 or in 2022. We’d like the pop ups to move out into other towns with nurses – it would rejuvenate us. It’s a hope for the future – that’s what keeps us going.”

To gain access to Monday’s stroke meeting text 085 1773 910 or email heartbeatkillarneykerry@gmail.com beforehand for the codes.