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Valentina is teaching free English courses to retirees

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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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​​Bursaries presented to schools at Lions Club open night

By Michelle Crean Three Killarney schools have been awarded bursaries from a local group. Killarney Lions Club made the presentations to Killarney Community College, St Brigid’s Presentation School and St […]

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By Michelle Crean

Three Killarney schools have been awarded bursaries from a local group.

Killarney Lions Club made the presentations to Killarney Community College, St Brigid’s Presentation School and St Brendan’s College to help support students in need.

It took place at their open night recently in the KDYS Youth Centre.

The night featured different exhibitions about Killarney Lions Club activities such as the Annual Christmas Food Appeal and the Kerry Clubs Fair.

“It was great that people made the effort to come and find out more what Killarney Lions Club does, despite the weather on the night. We are a voluntary group so community support is vital for activities such as our Christmas Food Appeal which will kick off very soon.”

The Killarney Lions Club, through its members, assists various groups and individuals in and around the community. Lions do this through voluntary activities, fundraising and by holding various types of events in support of a great many local causes.

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Staff celebrated for their long service

Stalwarts of the tourism industry in Killarney were delighted to celebrate their long term team members with a gourmet dinner in Great Southern recently. The event was held for all […]

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Stalwarts of the tourism industry in Killarney were delighted to celebrate their long term team members with a gourmet dinner in Great Southern recently.

The event was held for all team members of the Great Southern and Killarney Royal who have over 10 years of service, and was hosted by Michael Jacobi, Managing Director, Hayfield Family Collection and Mark Scally, Financial Controller, Hayfield Family Collection.

32 employees celebrated on the night, with the Great Southern represented by John Fitzgerald with 53 years of service, Martina O’Leary with 44 years of service and Kathleen Bhuiyan with 31 years of service. From Killarney Royal Joseph Hurley celebrated 37 years of service with John Harrington celebrating 32 years and Nuala Doolan celebrating 30 years.

“It is an absolute pleasure for us to celebrate our long term staff members,” event host and Hayfield Family Collection Managing Director, Michael Jacobi, said.

“They have played such an integral part in achieving the high standards we are known to provide and are such familiar welcoming faces for our guests.”

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