Father wants alert signs erected in national park

Ross Barry: children were targeted by ticks
Ross Barry: children were targeted by ticks

A KILLARNEY native home on holidays with his family has complained that, between them, his two children and their cousin were bitten up to 100 times by ticks during a visit to Muckross House and Gardens.

He contacted KillarneyToday.com from his base in Switzerland when he read our report about two local teenage rowers contracting Lyme disease in recent weeks.

Ross Barry said his two sons, aged five and seven, and his brother’s six-year-old daughter spent an evening playing on the grass in front of the landmark house when the tick bites occurred.

“When I say grass, I really mean the main lawn. They were not in the bushes at any point,” he said.

“That evening we were literally picking ticks out of them for hours. In total, between the three children, I estimate we extracted about 100 ticks, the majority of which were in their hair,” he added.

It happened when Ross was home on holiday in the first week of August and he has now called for warning signs to be erected in the national park to advise the public of the threat posed by ticks who are the main cause of the potentially lethal Lyme disease.

“We are highly sensitive to this theme due to the fact that my eldest son previously had Lyme disease which he caught from a bite in Switzerland,” Ross said.

He said public notices should be erected so that visitors are aware of the need to check for ticks after a visit to the park and to advise them to contact a doctor in the event of the bitten area becoming red or inflamed in the following weeks.

How the Donegal Democrat followed up on our report
How the Donegal Democrat followed up on our report

“I grew up in Killarney and spent many hours and days in all kinds of grass and bushes. In all my years I was never bitten once by a tick. I was in disbelief when I saw the number of these creatures on the kids,” said Ross who is a real outdoors enthusiast.

“This is a major health hazard, likely due to deer grazing on the lawns at night. Something needs to done to rid the park of these dangerous creatures and in the meantime to inform unsuspecting visitors,” Ross added.

Meanwhile, KillarneyToday.com’s breaking news on the two juvenile members of Workmen’s Rowing Club who were diagnosed with Stage 1 Lyme disease went viral and was viewed by tens of thousands of people.

Officials with the Killarney club were of the opinion that the tick bites occurred when they were participating in the All-Ireland Coastal Rowing Championships in Donegal a fortnight ago.

The Donegal Bay Rowing Club has shared KillarneyToday.com’s report with all members and urged all those that attended the championships in Ballyshannon to be vigilant.

“We would like to take this opportunity to wish the two juvenile rowers from Workmens a speedy recovery,” a spokesperson said.

The Donegal Democrat and several other news service providers also shared the report to alert the public to the dangers involved.

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