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26/10/2021

Kilkenny legend Eddie Keher: We must show leadership by cocooning

'We miss the matches, we miss our children and grandchildren. But we still stay in touch'

KILKENNY

Hurling legend Eddie Kehere has some advice for people in the over-70s category who may be struggling to adjust to cocooning

Kilkenny hurling legend Eddie Keher is urging older people to heed the advice of experts and cocoon during the Covid-19.

The Inistioge man and Freeman of Kilkenny was out in his garden at home — working within the social distancing guidelines — when he spoke to the Kilkenny People yesterday (Tuesday). He said it was important for the over-70s to show leadership to ensure the virus can be beaten as soon as possible.

“The bottom line is if we don’t make contact with any other person we won’t get it, and if we do make contact there is every chance we will pick it up. And it’s not just for ourselves — it’s for other people,” said Mr Keher.

“No matter how fit we think we are, lungs and things weaken over the years. The proof is that it is mostly people in our age group unfortunately who are dying. We miss a lot of things but we just have to plough on.”

Along with his wife Kay, Mr Keher is ‘cocooning’, and urging those of his generation to do likewise.

“I’m lucky, I’m in the country and have a garden and what have you, but it can be hard,” he says.

“Those of us in that age bracket are senior people in society, and we have to show leadership here. Going back to the 50s and 60s, there was nothing like this occurring.

“We are resilient and we will come back from it. Now we have to show leadership and go by the guidelines of the experts..”
A winner of six All-Ireland medals during a playing career between 1959 and 1977, he is missing the regular hurling action, and of course, his family.

“Yes, we miss the matches. We miss our children and grandchildren. But we are in contact still — we talk to them and they are very good to us as well,” he says.

“The other thing for me is we have discovered a lot of things in technology that we didn’t know were there. All these communication tools — WhatsApp, Twitter. We have a son in Australia and we talk to him on Skype.”

His message is to spend time doing things you enjoy indoors — don’t go outside of your home and garden, and don’t have visitors to your home (except for essential carers). He has also found solace in his faith, and is making use of the new digital ways of keeping up to date.

“I’m a Mass-goer on Sundays, and I’ve got into the habit of watching Mass on the TV or listening on the radio. And prayer is a great help. I feel religion will play a part in all of this,” he says.

“Other things have come up good, and one is neighbourliness. We can’t meet but people we haven’t spoken to in years are ringing to see how we are.

“The other thing is the resilience of people working on the frontline — the doctors, the medical staff. All the people working in shops and the volunteers.

Bottom line
“It is a virus that spreads with contact, so we have to eliminate that contact. If we break the rules, it is going to continue for God knows how long.”

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