Over 270,000 fighting blindness in Ireland

October 23rd, 2021 3:10 PM

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EDITOR – I WOULD be grateful if you could permit me the opportunity to let readers of The Southern Star know about an important virtual conference for people with sight loss and their families.

Most recent statistics show that there are almost 272,000 people living in Ireland with a vision impairment.

It’s been an extremely difficult 18 months for the country, and this has perhaps been even more keenly felt by people with sight loss.

Living with sight loss comes with many challenges. Unfortunately, Covid-19 has compounded these obstacles, from navigating a socially-distant world, to attending hospital appointments, to accessing public services.

With that in mind, our forthcoming Retina 2021 public engagement day, taking place on Saturday November 6th from 10am to 2pm, will focus on rebuilding resilience and optimism for the future among our community.

There will be presentations on the revolutionary developments taking place to retain and regain sight, as well as motivational talks on developing coping skills to ensure we live our best lives in the face of adversity.

There are indeed many reasons to be hopeful for what the next decade holds and this event aims to shine a spotlight on a very positive and encouraging future.

The conference is being presented virtually and registration is completely free at www.fightingblindness.ie

Kevin Whelan,


Fighting Blindness,

Dublin 2.


Give us more bus stops

EDITOR – I wish to express my concern about the lack of public transport in some areas of West Cork. 

During the past couple of years, me and my friends have been stuck at home due to not having a mode of travel to bring us to our local town or neighbouring villages. 

This problem is mainly due to our parents out at work, therefore not being able to bring us themselves, but all of us being within a 15km radius, there is always another way for us to get to each other. 

I know this is a minor issue, but I can assure you that other people are affected when living in the countryside, like me. 

Be it an older person, they cannot drive or simply do not have a car, this results in them relying on other people to give them a lift which can be a major inconvenience if it’s totally out of the way. 

Or go on the opposite side of the spectrum, like a person under 18 not being allowed to drive, they therefore have no way to go places despite relying on their parents. 

These situations can be frustrating especially after being stuck in a lockdown, unable to travel anywhere, to then being out of lockdown and still not being able to travel. 

I think a possible solution would be to create bus stops in smaller localities like Rossmore, Barryroe, Ahiohill etc to therefore be able to travel between them and other towns. A great example would be the West Cork Connect travelling to Skibbereen, Clonakilty, Ballinascarthy, Patrick’s Quay etc, but these stops are mainly in towns. 

I would be very happy to see if it was possible for such bus stops to be placed in these localities. 

Ava Murray,

Sacred Heart Secondary School,



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