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2pm start for bumper Killarney parade




Close on 60 entries have already been received for this year’s St Patrick’s Day parade in Killarney which promises to be one of the biggest and most enjoyable March 17 spectacles in many years.

The parade, organised by Killarney Chamber of Tourism and Commerce in partnership with Fáilte Ireland and Kerry County Council, will start at 2pm so spectators are advised to get there early to secure the best vantage points.

Spectacular floats, marching bands, sports clubs – including All-Ireland Junior Champions Fossa – community groups, companies, local industries, Disney characters, live music, song and dance, arts groups and theatrical performances will all form part of the special day with a real party atmosphere throughout the town before, during and after the parade.

Grand marshal Cathal Walshe – a retired member of An Garda Síochána who is a wonderful community volunteer – will lead the parade with Mayor of Killarney Cllr Niall Kelleher and the review platform will, as usual, be located on Main Street with MCs Brendan Fuller, Kieran Healy and Mike Fuller in charge of the roaming microphones and they will meet and greet many of those in attendance.

There will be no shortage of high quality music to keep toes tapping with special guests, the Glen Ridge High School Marching Band from New Jersey, joining the Gleneagle Concert Band, Millstreet Pipe Band and Craicean Drum Band.

The theme for this year’s St Patrick’s Day parade is Killarney: Experience More to highlight the new Killarney branding in celebration of what the town has to offer.

The parade will commence on Mission Road at 2pm sharp and the route will take in East Avenue Road, Fair Hill, College Street, Plunkett Street, Main Street, New Street, Beech Road where a collection point for children participating in the parade will be located.

There will be a children’s family fun zone at the lower Beech Road car park from 12 noon to 7pm on St Patrick’s Day with fairground rides, magic shows, balloon modelling, face painting, interactive children’s games and a children’s disco and the fairground rides only will remain at that location from 12 noon to 7pm on Saturday and Sunday.

There will be a Paddy’s Party with the Killarney School of Music on the grandstand from 12.45pm to 1.30pm and a Comhaltas Irish dance and trad performance at the ANAM Cultural Centre on East Avenue Road from 12 noon on St Patrick’s Day.

The Beech Road car park will remain closed for the duration of the parade but free parking will be available from 1pm to 4.30pm at Penney’s car park and the grounds of St Brendan’s College.

Local businesses, clubs, community groups and individuals will paint the town green for the festivities this year to help inform everybody of the positive direction Killarney is taking and to promote the new Experience More branding to the world.



Fossa School says ‘bonjour’ to French classes



Fossa National School is giving its pupils a headstart in learning a new language.

The school signed up to Language Sampler scheme as part of the ‘Say Yes to Languages’ initiative in primary schools organised by Post Primary languages Ireland in 2021. This is the school’s third year running the module.

Hélène Olivier-Courtney, the school’s French teacher and director of French For All Killarney School of French, covers ten schools in Kerry over the three terms.

The success of the initiative relies on an all-school approach and the active involvement of class teachers and management.

“The whole staff in Fossa certainly helped make this new journey a special and enjoyable experience for the children as we learnt French through art, songs, games and food tasting! This year, we also organised a catwalk on our last day. Our sixth-class students will have such a head start before secondary school and most importantly will have develop curiosity interest and love for the language,” said Hélène.


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Opinion: Silent majority needs to stand up and call out far-right hate



By Chris Davies

Last Friday’s Dublin Riots should not have come as a surprise to anyone. It has been bubbling under the surface of Irish society for a good number of years now. The actions of a small minority last week was a culmination of years of racism, hatred and misinformation shared online by far-right groups.

Late on Friday night a disturbing WhatsApp voice note was doing the rounds on social media where a far-right actor could clearly be heard encouraging violence on the streets of Dublin. 

“’Seven o’clock, be in town. Everyone bally up, tool up…Any foreigner, just kill them”

Watching the Riots unfold on social media brought me back to when I was working in Dublin a number of years back. My morning commute from Skerries to the city centre involved a dart to Connolly Station followed by a short trip on the Luas to the Jervis. Every week, without fail, I would witness at least one racial slur or attack on someone who didn’t fit the narrow minded view of what an Irish person should look, dress or talk like. I don’t know if it is the eerie silence of public transport that seems to amplify the situation, but that’s where I found it to be most common. The abuse was usually perpetrated by a group of youths or someone who was clearly under the influence of drink or drugs. The victims were always of colour, often dressed smartly enough to presume they were on their way, or coming from work. A far cry from the perpetrators who you could tell were roaming aimlessly around the city looking for trouble.

While shameful to admit, I would often look on and watch the abuse unfold, only to spend the rest of my work day thinking about the poor person who was told to “F*&K off back to your own country”. I would sit at my desk questioning why I didn’t step in and say something. There were one or two occasions where I did step in and call it out, but not nearly often enough.  

This disgusting behaviour is much more visible in our cities. Since moving back to Killarney I wouldn’t witness as much direct abuse on the streets but working with the Killarney Advertiser I would be tuned in to local news and some of the comments I read on our social platforms are far worse than anything I witnessed during my time in Dublin.  

There is a significant group of people in Ireland that I would call the ‘silent majority’. We are not as outspoken on issues we care about. We tend to observe and consume the news quietly, and only speak of our support or disgust on certain issues in close circles, too afraid we might offend someone. The problem with this is that we are leaving these far-right groups unchallenged, to become louder, more aggressive and more hostile as seen last week. 

The past week Sinn Fein and the Social Democrats have been busy in the media expressing no confidence in Justice Minister Helen McEntee and Garda Commissioner Drew Harris but I would suggest that there is a large percentage of the Irish population that bears some of the responsibility. We witness racism in our communities and online every day and we need to start speaking up and calling it out. 

On the issue of immigration in Killarney, there is no doubt resources are being stretched and our tourism industry is suffering as a result of an influx of immigration. Locals have also raised concerns in relation to the placement of so many male international protection applicants in one setting and we only have to look back on the incident in Hotel Killarney last year where a number of men were involved in a harrowing stabbing incident to see how that played out.  

However, being concerned around immigration is not the same as anti-immigration. It is important to raise these issues with local representatives and Kerry TD’s but also to separate ourselves from far-right groups who are only interested in encouraging violence.  

The anarchy we witnessed last week should never be the answer and research shows it is completely unnecessary. Harvard University have looked at hundreds of protests over the last century, and found that non-violent campaigns are twice as likely to achieve their goals as violent campaigns and that it only takes around 3.5% of the population actively participating in the protests to ensure serious political change.

Let’s continue to protest peacefully for issues we believe in, but stand up and speak out against people and movements in our community that incite hate and violence. 

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