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Stunning “Hollywood” style home makes RTÉ final

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By Michelle Crean

A couple who brought “Hollywood Hills to Kerry” were thrilled when their stunning new home made the final of an RTÉ show on Tuesday night.

The house, which has a traditional exterior but a very modern and contemporary feel inside with a large open plan throughout includes an “American vibe with the carport and big garage”, a cinema room, a basketball area outside, and a gym in the garage, impressed the judges on Home of the Year.

Judges, architect Hugh Wallace, award winning architect Amanda Bone, and new judge, award winning interior designer Sara Cosgrove, who seek out creativity and clever design, loved it so much that they marked it 26 out of 30 beating two other competing homes in the first episode of the new series.

Hugh said there was an “American vibe with the carport and big garage”. And given that the owners Tony McManus, his wife Imogen and their son Kai, moved from LA back to Kerry, he was spot on.

Tony, originally from Ballyduff, emigrated to LA 20 years ago but “home was always where the heart is” and during a six month stay in Kerry to spend quality time with relatives, they decided to pack up their beach life to settle in Killarney.

And Tony is no stranger to town. His grandparents Dan and Josephine Foley, and mom Marie came from High Street and he himself was a boarder for five years in The Sem finishing school in the early ‘90s.

“We’re back to where we wanted to be,” Tony told the Killarney Advertiser this week. “We moved in January 2019 for six months for my son to spend time with his grandparents. Then my son and wife came to me and said they didn’t want to go back. We were looking for a while to buy a house and my wife wanted to be near Killarney National Park.”

The couple purchased a site on Ross Road and hired the services of Denis O’Sullivan of Crossmount Construction who managed to bring their vision to life. The build began in November 2020 and was completed in December 2021 with a three month shut down due to the pandemic restrictions.

“He was fantastic to work with,” Tony said.

“It turned out better than we hoped. We had nothing but the best of experiences with contractors and talented tradespeople. Without them we wouldn’t have our beautiful home. We love it, we’re so fortunate.”

The new series of Home of the Year airs on RTÉ One at 8.30pm on Tuesday nights for the next seven weeks, and will be available on-demand on RTÉ Player each week after broadcast.

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Valuable role of Kerry cancer support charity recognised nationally

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Cancer support charity Recovery Haven Kerry has been recognised for its vital role in supporting cancer patients and their families at a national ceremony in Dublin.

The renowned cancer support house was one of 16 such centres across Ireland that were presented with plaques to acknowledge their full membership of the National Cancer Control Programme (NCCP) Alliance – a group made up of voluntary and charity organisations delivering support services directly to cancer patients and their families. An additional 10 associate member charities were also honoured, including Kerry Cancer Support Group.

The Alliance advocates for, and supports, the development of integrated pathways between the cancer centres, acute hospitals, community cancer support services and primary care services. All members’ development is in line with the values of Sláintecare, seeking to provide assurance to healthcare professionals that these organisations are working to an agreed standard as set out in Best Practice Guidance published by the NCCP. 

Speaking after the ceremony, which was held at Dublin’s Farmleigh Estate, Recovery Haven Kerry Chairman, Tim McSwiney, explained that being compliant with the Best Practice Guidance for Community Cancer Support Centres is a true mark of quality. 

“It offers us a yardstick to measure what we are doing against the standards required. As a result, healthcare professionals have more confidence in referring people to our services. We are very proud to be a member of the Alliance,” he said.

Recovery Haven Kerry was represented at the event by centre manager, Gemma Fort and Client Services Co-Ordinator, Siobhan MacSweeney and were presented with their plaque by NCCP Lead for Cancer Survivorship, Louise Mullen, Clinical Lead for Psycho-Oncology Dr Helen Greally, and Minister of State at the Department of Health, Colm Burke. 

The event was also used as an opportunity to announce funding of €3m for the NCCP’s Alliance of Community Cancer Support Centres and Services through Budget 2024. The NCCP is currently in the process of distributing these funds which will directly and positively impact the delivery of services for patients and families nationally.

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‘More Precious Than Gold’ book launch

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At the official book launch of ‘More Precious Than Gold: My enduring connection with John McShain – the man who built Washington’ by Alice O’Neill-McLoughlin at Killarney House, was Minister of State for Nature, Heritage and Electoral Reform, Malcolm Noonan, T.D.

Alice was born the eldest of eleven children into an Irish farming family in Rosbercon, New Ross, County Wexford. In 1978, she was awarded a scholarship from John McShain- the iconic builder, philanthropist, devout Catholic with Derry ancestry, responsible for many famous American landmarks, including the Jefferson Memorial and the Pentagon.

Her book records the lifelong personal correspondence Alice exchanged with ‘The Man Who Built Washington.’ His philanthropy extended to the Irish people in the bequeathing to the State of Killarney House and the surrounding thousands of acres incorporating the Lakes, Ross Castle, and Innisfallen Island. In 2019, Alice had the honour of inducting John McShain into the Irish America Hall of Fame in her home town of New Ross in the presence of his relatives from Philadelphia and Derry. This is a tale of altruism, of gratitude, of faith and of a life lived in the pursuit of excellence.

Alice also donated her treasured correspondence of letters from John McShain for the archive at Killarney House. Also in attendance were Members of the Ignatius A. O’Shaughnessy family, who was founder of The Globe Oil and Refining Company – and part of a consortium of wealthy American businessmen who were going to purchase the lakes of Killarney as a Country Club in the 1950’s.

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