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UN Peacekeepers to receive prestigious award

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AWARD: UN veteran John O'Mahony from Scartaglin, pictured at the announcement that the men and women of the Irish Defence Forces, who served on UN Peacekeeping duties over the past 60 years, are to receive the Hugh O'Flaherty Humanitarian Award 2019. Photo: Don MacMonagle

 

It was announced this week that the men and women of the Irish Defence Forces, who have served on UN Peacekeeping duties over the past 60 years, are to receive the Hugh O'Flaherty Humanitarian Award 2019.

This year, the Hugh O’Flaherty Memorial Society decided to move the programme forward to June 4, to coincide with the 75th Anniversary of the WW II liberation of Rome and the successful conclusion of the Hugh O’Flaherty inspired Rome Escape Line.

In 2008, the Hugh O’Flaherty Memorial Society was formed in his home town of Killarney to honour his memory by acknowledging his humanitarian works during the 1930s in Haiti and San Domingo, and the early 1940s during WW II in Rome.

At its first meeting of 2019, the Memorial Committee unanimously decided that it should present the 2019 Humanitarian Award to the members of the Irish Defence Forces, past and present, who have served in UN Peacekeeping Missions overseas for the past 60+ years,

Chair of the O’Flaherty Memorial Society Jerry O’Grady explained.

“To date, 86 members of the Irish Defence Forces have lost their lives while serving in peacekeeping humanitarian missions with the UN,” he said.

“We believe that this immense selfless sacrifice in the name of world peace deserves to be acknowledged in this way and we should all be tremendously proud of our men and women who wear the famous Blue Beret.”

In 1980, Private John O’Mahony 15 Bn. UN Veteran (Retd) from Scartaglin (pictured) served with the Irish Peacekeeping Force in the Lebanon. While there, John and two of his colleagues were captured by Lebanese Christian Militia. Although shot in three places, John survived, but sadly, his colleagues Private Derek Smallhorne from Dublin and Private Thomas Barrett from Cork were both killed.

The ceremony will be attended by the Minister of State for Defence, Paul Kehoe TD and the Defence Forces Chief of Staff, Vice Admiral Mark Mellett. Invitations will also be issued to the ambassadors of the various countries of origin of the PoWs saved by the Rome Escape Line.

“Details of the full programme of events will be announced later, but we are delighted to confirm that it will include a free public performance of Donie Courtney’s highly successful one-man play on the Monsignor’s life – ‘God Has No Country’.”

The Hugh O’Flaherty Commemoration Programme is supported by Killarney Chamber of Tourism and Commerce and Kerry County Council Community Support Fund.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Shoebox appeal is biggest yet for Faha kids

By Michelle Crean It’s no wonder Faha pupils have a big smile on their faces as this year’s Team Hope Shoebox Appeal is their biggest yet! The children happily packed and wrapped 140 shoeboxes which will be sent to children in need throughout the world. The school has been doing the Team Hope Shoebox Appeal […]

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By Michelle Crean

It’s no wonder Faha pupils have a big smile on their faces as this year’s Team Hope Shoebox Appeal is their biggest yet!

The children happily packed and wrapped 140 shoeboxes which will be sent to children in need throughout the world.

The school has been doing the Team Hope Shoebox Appeal for approximately six years when parent, Margaret Scully, initially contacted one of the SNAs, Delia O’ Shea, wondering if they’d be interested in taking part. Since then the appeal has been wholeheartedly supported by the pupils, staff and extended Faha NS community.

“This year has been the biggest yet with 140 shoeboxes collected and many more donations online,” Jerry Fitzgerald, Principal of Faha NS, said. “It is a learning experience for the children to realise that there are children just like themselves who may not be so fortunate and they really enjoy being given the opportunity to help out. They have great suggestions as to what to put in the shoeboxes and really put a lot of thought into it. The boxes are wrapped in Christmas paper which is also very exciting both for the children doing the wrapping as well for the children receiving the boxes.” However, he added that last year the COVID-19 pandemic brought about big changes and the physical shoeboxes were not collected. “Instead the children were able to do virtual shoeboxes or donate money. This cloud had a silver lining as this year people have both options and it makes it easier than ever to donate. The shoebox appeal always marks the start of Christmas at Faha NS and we are delighted to be able to help out. We are already looking to smash our record next year! Thanks to everyone who donated. The staff and students of Faha NS would like to wish everyone a Happy Christmas and a safe New Year 2022.”

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More than  38,000 homes, farms and businesses across the country without power

Gale force winds associated with Storm Barra, with gusts of over 130 km/h, are continuing to cause damage to the electricity network, currently affecting more than  38,000 homes, farms and businesses across the country. The damage is mainly attributable to fallen trees on overhead lines as a result of the high winds. ESB Networks’ crews will […]

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Gale force winds associated with Storm Barra, with gusts of over 130 km/h, are continuing to cause damage to the electricity network, currently affecting more than  38,000 homes, farms and businesses across the country.

The damage is mainly attributable to fallen trees on overhead lines as a result of the high winds. ESB Networks’ crews will continue to work late into the evening to restore power to those affected, where safe to do so, but unfortunately, some customers will remain without electricity overnight.

Since early morning and despite challenging conditions, ESB Networks have continued to restore power to customers across the country.
With the storm still crossing the country, more damage and interruptions to supply can be expected. ESB Networks reminds the public that if you come across fallen wires or damaged electricity network, never, ever touch or approach these as they may be LIVE and extremely dangerous.

All internal resources and contractors remain on alert and are responding to electricity outages once it is safe to do so. With a Red weather warning in the Southwest in effect until 9 pm tonight, and Co Clare until 1 am on Wednesday morning, some of our crews may not be mobilised on the ground until the worst of the severe weather passes.

We are advising all those impacted by outages that they should prepare to be without electricity overnight and into tomorrow, with some customers potentially without power beyond that. It is very important that any customers who use electrically powered medical devices should contact their healthcare professional to make alternative arrangements if necessary.

In addition to safety procedures associated with power restoration, crews continue to work under all national Covid-19 protocols with respect to hygiene, social distancing and PPE.

Customers without power can check for updates on when their fault is expected to be repaired at www.powercheck.ie

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