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Festival video captures town’s history, lore and legend



A stunning video showcasing Killarney’s fascinating history, lore and legend has been produced as part of this year’s unique virtual St Patrick’s Festival in the town. Chronicling the monasticism and ecclesiastical heritage of the town and its surroundings, from the arrival of the monks on Innisfallen Island to the building of the landmark St Mary’s Cathedral, the production will be beamed into homes all over the world as Killarney marks the national feast day in a very special way.

In the absence of the colourful parade and street celebrations that have traditionally made Killarney a must-visit town on March 17, the St Patrick’s Festival Committee has opted for a virtual celebration to allow people everywhere to celebrate the town, its history and its people.

Killarney Chamber of Tourism and Commerce, Kerry County Council, Fáilte Ireland and the National Parks and Wildlife Service have joined forces for the project which will promote Killarney as a destination with a treasured history.

This year’s celebration will be much different to previous years – for obvious reasons – but it will still be quite spectacular as the town will turn various shades of green to mark the annual feast day with several iconic landmarks in the spotlight.

The specially commissioned video, titled 'Killarney: A place between heaven and earth', captures Killarney in all its glory with dramatic footage of standout mythical and magical features and contributions from high quality local performers.

[caption id="attachment_36474" align="alignleft" width="457"] The Venerable Simon J. Lumby, Rector of St Mary's Church of Ireland, Killarney. Photo: Valerie O'Sullivan[/caption]

It tells the story, in words and pictures, of how the beauty of the surrounds which now form Killarney National Park set the scene for monks, writers, poets and mystics down through the centuries and the production culminates in a spectacular fashion with St Patrick lighting the fire on the Hill of Tara which is depicted in the stained glass windows of St Mary’s Cathedral.

Soprano Sharon Lyons performs 'The Deer’s Cry – a hymn by St Patrick' composed by Shaun Davey – and the video also features performances from David Rea of Celtic Steps and his daughter Jennifer, as well as interviews with the Venerable Simon J Lumby of St Mary’s Church of Ireland and St Brigid’s Secondary School students Éabha and Kate Rudden.

The video production is the work of award-winning Killarney photographer Valerie O’Sullivan with voiceover by Breda O’Farrell, lighting and effects by Kieran Somers, and Killarney National Park and Wildlife Conservation Ranger Seán Forde.

The Cathaoirleach of Killarney Municipal District, Cllr Brendan Cronin, said he is really looking forward to what will be a very different St Patrick’s Day in 2021.

“After what has been a difficult year, we are delighted to have an opportunity to be able to celebrate our national holiday in what will be a very unusual but very exciting manner,” he said.
“Kerry County Council is delighted to work with St Patrick’s Festival Committee to develop this unique celebration of our people and place."

[caption id="attachment_36473" align="alignleft" width="708"] This year's greening of The Methodist Church, Killarney. Photo: Valerie O'Sullivan [/caption]

St Patrick’s Festival Chairman, Paul Sherry, said the committee understands that many people who would like to be in Killarney for the event this year will be unable to do so as they are stranded elsewhere because of pandemic restrictions.

“We are instead calling on Killarney people all over the world to join us in our virtual celebration as we await better days ahead,” he said.
“The video is a splendid piece of work and it will be a very valuable and important tool in the promotion of Killarney going forward."


[caption id="attachment_36470" align="alignleft" width="1024"] Bean an Tí Joan, at Foley's Farm House, Muckross Traditional Farms, Killarney, celebrating a virtual St Patrick's Day this year on the farms. Photo: Valerie O'Sullivan[/caption]

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Now that’s what we call dedication!

With over 41 years volunteering as a research biologist Áine Ní Shúilleabháin is the longest serving volunteer in Killarney National Park. Áine is dedicated to the recording of valuable scientific […]




With over 41 years volunteering as a research biologist Áine Ní Shúilleabháin is the longest serving volunteer in Killarney National Park.

Áine is dedicated to the recording of valuable scientific data on waterfowl and water quality in Killarney National Park. Her research has been an invaluable source of material with recordings dating back to 1982. Her contribution, observing ecosystems, and reports on her findings will be recognised for generations to come.

Áine’s ‘wingman’ is boatman and co-counter, John Michael Lyne, who operates from Muckross Boathouse. John’s knowledge of the lakes and interest in wildlife is remarkable. Generations of John Michael’s family have been involved with Muckross and Killarney National Park. The day on the lakes, John Michael, Áine and bird expert and National Parks and Wildlife Conservation Ranger, Sam Bayley, observed, nesting Herons, ringed Mute Swans, Golden Eye pair, an Egret, Cormorants, Irish Red Deer Hinds by the shoreline, and a White Tailed Eagle in the distance.

“It’s a wonderful privilege to be working in Killarney National Park, the Rangers are so open and welcoming,” Áine said.

“I first came to the Park in 1974, working with Dan Kelleher and the late Paudie O’Leary, and then on contract from 1976-1984. My supervisor suggested that I link my work as a fresh water biologist looking at the lake water quality with my great interest in wildlife ecology and management, that’s how I started doing the waterfowl counts.”

The project was spearheaded by prof John Bracken, Zoology Department UCD.

When Áine was appointed Senior Fisheries Environmental Officer in Donegal and Cavan (1982-2008), she still found time to travel to Killarney and carry out her bird counts.

“Being involved in waterfowl counts and waterfowl research in the Killarney National Park, alongside the great staff, so committed and knowledgeable from Dan Kelleher to the current management and staff, Éamonn Meskell, Danny O’Keeffe, and the great team of Conservation Rangers, and Sam Bayley being the bird expert, is such a privilege for me.”

After retiring, Áine returned to Kerry and Glenflesk became her home place. She immersed herself helping Glenflesk GAA Club, with her strong Kerry roots she served as Club PRO and now as Health Club Officer. She was appointed to the role of Kerry County Board Children’s Officer, a role she is very proud to hold.

As she says she is in a unique position volunteering.

“It’s unique having a long series of data going from 1982 to 2023, that’s because of the commitment from past and present staff and for me to continue to work as a volunteer is a wonderful privilege. It’s great to be out in nature, in such a beautiful place, so many different ecosystems and great wildlife.”

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This week it’s all about the eyes

By Jill O’Donoghue from Killarney Toning and Beauty Studio Our eyes and eyebrows are natural beauty features that help to frame our face to achieve the famous no make-up look. A […]




By Jill O’Donoghue from Killarney Toning and Beauty Studio

Our eyes and eyebrows are natural beauty features that help to frame our face to achieve the famous no make-up look.

A good eyebrow shape and tint really helps to give this look so you won’t have to try to draw or fill in the brows.

This is a popular treatment with both men and women. The lash lift can give you a natural boost, by lifting, conditioning, curling up which helps to open the eye giving it a brighter, more open look. Also, by tinting with the lash lift you are darkening; this helps the lashes look fuller and you won’t need to wear mascara. Your eye lashes will look very fluttery. You would even think you were wearing extensions without the damage to the natural lashes and its suitable for all ages. Even the shortest of lashes will be lifted.

The eyes and hands are some of the most important places for anti-ageing. With all the hand sanitising, it’s important to use hand cream more often. I always recommend applying just before bed so it can have time to really get to work on hydrating the hands. It’s clear from all my years of anti-ageing skincare for the face that hyaluronic acid is a key ingredient for hydration and anti-ageing. If you feel you need a boost for the hands, it’s a great idea to try a warm paraffin hand manicure which is a game changer for the hydration of the hands. SPF is essential to reduce and prevent further age spots. Use an eye cream morning and night, followed by an eye mask once a week and an eye facial once a month. Eye facials can be added into your regular facial for an extra lift.

Eyes for me are an area that needs most work as they don’t have any sebaceous glands of their own unlike the rest of the body. I often hear people saying they are allergic to eye cream, mostly it’s applied wrong or into the eye. Imagine you were looking at a skull – the bone of the eye socket is far back from the actual eye itself. You apply the eye cream on the bone area, just under the eyebrow and well under the eye using the ring finger as not to drag the skin as it’s super delicate. Use light circular motion from the inner corner under the eyebrow out to the temple lifting the brow as you go. It will drop with time and gravity, so it’s our job to encourage it to stay in place by exercising the muscle.

For more information or to book a skin consultation for the New Year, call Jill on 064 6632966.

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