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Valentina is teaching free English courses to retirees




Valentina Tupchiy is 63-years-old. She arrived in Killarney from Kyiv in late March. She retired in Kyiv a few years ago, but she also taught English to older Ukrainian on a volunteer basis.

Her course was called 'Learning English with Valentina Tupcha'.

“I continue to study the language myself, I am not a professional teacher. But I really want to share my knowledge with those who are just starting to learn English. For many adults, this is difficult, so when they see their peers as a mentor, they realise that they can learn a foreign language just like me,” she said.

Valentina adds that she is ready to become a volunteer and support Ukrainians with translation in the INTREO office, because most people, especially the elderly, do not have language skills.
At the same time, she continues to study on her own and walks three times a week from Fossa to Killarney to attend English language courses as a student. Valentina is constantly improving herself. She never stops.

In Kyiv, in her past life, Valentina was not only an English teacher. She trained and became a Nordic walking coach. Several times a week she gathered retirees for training. She is ready to continue training everyone and here in Killarney, she only needs special gear.

Before retiring, she worked all her life in banking and headed various financial institutions. She was the first person to launch Visa and Mastercard payment systems in Ukraine. She helped the National Bank of Ukraine develop all the necessary regulations for launching international payment systems.

"I know everything about bank cards and payment systems," she said.

Full of energy and love for life, in Ireland she overcomes new heights and challenges. Such as improving the Ukrainian language, the course of which she takes online, constant reading of books, studying English and the history of Ireland.

In addition to books, Valentina follows the latest news from Ukraine and Ireland, is aware of all developments and can keep the conversation going not only about the weather, but also about the results of the last elections in Northern Ireland.

"I find a lot in common in the history of Ireland and Ukraine: the annexation of territories, famine, the extermination of the national language - all this combines the centuries-old history of Ireland and Ukraine. I want the Irish and Ukrainians to know more about each other, so I am preparing information that I want to share with both communities. We are closer than we seem,” she added.

When asked how she saw life in Killarney she said she was inspired by the interactions and relationships between people in the local community.

“In big Kyiv, neighbours from an apartment building are often unfamiliar with each other. Instead, Killarney is a very close and warm community, where everyone knows each other and everyone is very open and friendly. Local people are always ready to help each other,” added Valentina.

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Start clocking up those ‘Kingdom Kilometres’

With an increase in daylight hours there’s no better time to clock up the ‘Kingdom Kilometres’ on foot or by cycling along the county’s two new Greenways. The recently opened […]




With an increase in daylight hours there’s no better time to clock up the ‘Kingdom Kilometres’ on foot or by cycling along the county’s two new Greenways.

The recently opened Kingdom of Kerry Greenways between Tralee and Fenit and between Listowel and Abbeyfeale are already proving hugely popular with locals and visitors to Kerry.

Representatives of the tourism Industry, local public representatives, travel writers and influencers gathered in Kerry on Monday to experience the exciting new tourist attractions and welcome the arrival of the longer daylight hours as the clocks changed over to summertime.

Sarah Hanrahan, a social media influencer who posts about Irish travel and has more than 100,000 Instagram followers, described the experience.

“Ireland has some of the most amazing outdoor spaces. For a lot of my followers and other people, connecting with green spaces has become much more important to their overall sense of well-being as well as their health and fitness. It’s been really gorgeous to experience the Tralee to Fenit, and Listowel to Limerick Kingdom of Kerry Greenways; a fantastic trip sampling the warm hospitality of Kerry and a great reminder of the active holiday options that are right on our doorstep.”

The new purpose-built trails provide an accessible and inclusive experience for visitors of all abilities.

Mayor of Tralee, Cllr Mikey Sheehy and the Mayor of Listowel, Cllr Aoife Thornton, said that the greenways offer an exceptional recreational amenity for everyone to enjoy.

“The greenways are situated in some of Kerry’s most scenic landscapes and offer spectacular and safe off-road facilities for people of all ages to enjoy as the landscape comes into bloom. They also offer warm hospitality at the trail head towns of each route.”

Visit to find out more.


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St Patrick’s Day parade winners announced

Killarney Valley Classic and Vintage Club has won the sought-after overall award in recognition of their colourful and action-packed entry to this year’s St Patrick’s Day parade in Killarney. Delighted […]



Killarney Valley Classic and Vintage Club has won the sought-after overall award in recognition of their colourful and action-packed entry to this year’s St Patrick’s Day parade in Killarney.

Delighted club representatives were presented with the Seán O’Keeffe Perpetual Trophy – in memory of the former Mayor of Killarney and parade stalwart – at a gala presentation of prizes in the International Hotel, Killarney on Tuesday night.

The award for the Best Interpretation of the Theme, which was Killarney: Experience More, went to the Wander Wild Festival who received the Michael Courtney Perpetual Trophy which is dedicated to the memory of another former mayor of the town who spearheaded the annual St Patrick’s Day celebrations for many years.

The John ‘Killer’ O’Callaghan Perpetual Trophy for the Best Sporting Entry was won by Killarney Athletic AFC and the Peter Irwin Memorial Trophy for the Best Marching Group and Cultural/Arts Entry went to Millstreet Pipe Band.

The Best Sports Club was Spa GAA, the Best Children’s Group prize was won by Kilcummin Comhaltas and the Best New Entry was Killarney Rugby Football Club.

There was an international flavour to the Best Musical Entry which was scooped by the Glenridge High School Marching Band from New Jersey.

The prize for the Best Voluntary Group went to the Kerry Stars Special Olympics Club, the Best School Award went to the Fiona Crowley Stage School and the Best Activity Group was deemed to be Scorchers Cheerleading Club.

The Most Entertaining Entry went to the Killarney Tidy Towns group, the prize for the Most Original Entry was won by Liebherr Container Cranes and the Most Imaginative Entry in the parade was the Art House, Killarney.

The Most Stylish Entry prize was awarded to the Ukrainian community whose representative said they were delighted to play a part in Ireland’s national holiday and thanked the people of Killarney for the warm welcome they have received.

Other prizes presented on the night included the Best Window Display which went to Christy Healy’s on New Street who were celebrating 100 years in business on St Patrick’s Day, while the Europe Hotel and Resort won the Best Green-Themed Building prize.

The judges for the parade were Br Pat Lynch, Guardian, Franciscan Friary, Pam Brosnan, Killarney Musical Society and Denis McMahon.

The awards were presented by Killarney St Patrick’s Festival Chairman Paul Sherry, Mayor of Killarney Cllr Niall Kelleher, Killarney Chamber of Tourism and Commerce Senior Executive Bridget O’Keeffe, and parade grand marshal Cathal P Walshe.

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