RESPITE: John and Anne Keady arriving at new Irish Kidney Association respite/holiday home on the Muckross Road.

By Sean Moriarty

A new holiday house for kidney transplant patients and those on dialysis has just opened in Killarney.

The new facility on the Muckross Road will allow patients enjoy a holiday while undergoing treatment or recovering from a transplant operation.

It is managed by the Irish Kidney Association (IKA) with support from the local branch.

The Killarney facility is the second one in the county, an existing holiday house in Tralee has been in operation since 2006.

Patients can liaise with the IKA’s head office in Dublin and they will allocate a week’s holiday at the house while at the same time booking in their thrice-weekly treatments at University Hospital Kerry (UHK) in Tralee. The facility is also suitable for patients who can self-treat and one of the bedrooms in the house is converted into a home dialysis unit.

Last week Galway man John Keady became the first kidney patient to use the new facility.

Since his transplant in 2015, he has been unable to work which meant current finances would not allow for holidays.

“It was like a five-star hotel,” he told the Killarney Advertiser. “It is a fantastic facility and I was able to enjoy a proper holiday.”

So far the local branch of the IKA have raised over €180,000 for the facility, mainly through the annual Ring of Kerry Cycle, but fundraising remains on-going to pay for the upkeep of the house and to purchase additional equipment.

Proceeds from this Sunday’s Ring of Kerry Honda 50 run will go towards the new facility which will be officially opened in September.

“Fundraising is on-going to pay for maintenance,” Theresa Looney, Local Branch Secretary told the Killarney Advertiser. “We run it on behalf of the IKA and manage bookings, cleaning staff and thing like that. There are 500 people all over Ireland awaiting a transplant and this will allow them to have one week holiday respite in Killarney.”

The annual Honda 50 run was launched on Thursday evening – more details in our dedicated motoring section on page 54.