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Killarney to host chief fire officers’ annual conference

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Kerry Fire and Rescue Service will host the 2016 Chief Fire Officers Association (CFOA) Conference at The Malton Hotel, Killarney, on May 4-5.

THE Kerry Fire and Rescue Service will host the 2016 Chief Fire Officers Association (CFOA) Conference at The Malton Hotel, Killarney, on May 4-5.
The annual showcase event for Ireland’s Fire Services sector will host expert speakers from the emergency services sector, academia, government, local government and the fire technology industry from Ireland and overseas.
Topics being covered during the two-day event will include decision-making by Fire Service incident commanders, stress management and operational discretion for Fire Service leaders.
Conference speakers will include Mr Sean Hogan, national director for Fire & Emergency Management (NDFEM), Brian Sweeney, international advisor to the board of the NDFEM, Dr Sabrina Cohen-Hatton, London Fire Brigade and Prof Hugh McCauley of Trinity College Dublin.
Conference secretary and chief fire officer for Kerry, Michael Hession said the 2016 conference “will be a memorable occasion for the Fire Services in Kerry. We welcome several speakers of the highest calibre, both Irish and International who bring a very rich heritage of service and leading academic views on the interesting topics we will address”.
“A unique aspect to the conference this year will be our focus on the rich Irish heritage in fire services in the United States and further afield,” added Mr Hession. “We are very pleased to welcome chiefs from the state of Massachusetts who with their families represent the wonderful contribution of the Irish over generations.”
The CFOA comprises the chief fire officers of all fire authorities in Ireland. The association is also a member of the Federation of European Fire Officers’ Associations and attends their twice-yearly meetings.
Visit www.cfoaconference2016.ie for more information on the conference.

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Chance to win a house in Killarney and support Kerry GAA

The Kerry GAA County Board has launched a ‘Win A House draw’ for a new house in Killarney . Funds raised by the draw will go towards the running expenses of the various Kerry football and hurling teams. The three-bed house is located in the Ceide Spris development just off the Park Road is built […]

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The Kerry GAA County Board has launched a ‘Win A House draw’ for a new house in Killarney

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Funds raised by the draw will go towards the running expenses of the various Kerry football and hurling teams.
The three-bed house is located in the Ceide Spris development just off the Park Road is built to modern energy standards, it represents a fantastic opportunity for people to get involved at a cost of €100 which will go a long way to supporting Kerry GAA.
“As a volunteer-based organisation, we have always had to fundraise to support our teams and clubs. We are delighted to be in a position to have a dream house available for a lucky winner,” Kerry GAA PRO Leona Twiss.
“While only one person can win the house, there will be plenty of cash prizes and match tickets to be won along the way. The sooner you purchase your ticket, the better chance you will have at winning those additional prizes.”

To enter the draw visit: https://www.kerrygaa.ie/winahouseinkerry/

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More great choices for large shrubbery

  Following last week’s article on large shrubs, I received many comments, suggestions and questions, leading me to believe that there were quite a few people unsure of what to plant in a large space. I felt at the end of the article there were definitely more plants for that list so here are some […]

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Following last week’s article on large shrubs, I received many comments, suggestions and questions, leading me to believe that there were quite a few people unsure of what to plant in a large space.

I felt at the end of the article there were definitely more plants for that list so here are some more great choices for the large shrubbery.

The bottlebrush, or Callistemon, is named appropriately for the shape of its flowers which are bottle-brush like spikes of many small flowers with long stamens, giving it that brush like appearance. Usually red, they are also available in yellow and pink. They flower in summer and into autumn adding a lovely splash of colour. Their leaves are hard and spiky with arching branches. Cut them back immediately after flowering or they will not flower the following year. If they do grow out of hand, they will tolerate a hard cut back.

Ceanothus, or the Californian lilac, is an often evergreen shrub bearing dark blue flowers. There are several sizes from the low creeping C. repens, to the tree like proportions of C. thyrsiflorus. An ideal candidate for the large border is C. ‘Gloire de Versailles’, which has large blue flowers from July to the end of autumn, (deciduous), or C. ‘Southmead’ which has dark blue flowers in early spring (semi-evergreen), or C. ‘Blue Mound’ which has deep blue flowers (evergreen). I find with all ceanothus that their flowering times seem to be very weather dependant!

Forsythia is a large common shrub which flowers early in spring before the leaves appear. I mention it as it seems to have gone out of fashion completely, though it adds such a fantastic yellow brightness in those dark February days.People often complain that it either grows out of all proportions or that it does not flower. If pruning, do so immediately after flowering. ‘Golden Nugget’ is possibly one of the smaller varieties at a natural five foot.

An unusual, but well worth finding plant is the Sorbus reducta. It is a low 1-1.5m type of mountain ash, with all the great features of its larger tree relatives! It forms a thicket – yes, it does sucker, but does not take over, has white flowers followed by dark red berries which fade to a creamy colour. Like most mountain ashes, its autumn colour is blazing!

Butterfly bushes, buddleja, are a much maligned plant as it can self seed and become a bit of a nuisance. However, it does not really self seed much in gardens where the conditions are not ideal, (ideal conditions – derelict, dry, stony waste land). Most cultivated varieties are sterile, so there is no reason to avoid them! B. colvilei is a very unusual variety, being semi-evergreen with large panicles of tubular dark pink flowers – these clusters can reach up to 20cm. B. davidii is the common butterfly bush and is available in a range of colours such as ‘Black Knight’, deep, deep purple, ‘Empire Blue’, blue flowers with orange centre, ‘Royal Red’, deep pink/maroon. One of my favourites is ‘Harlequin’ which has variegated leaves. There is a range of smaller butterfly bush available too; the ‘buzz’ series.

These remain compact, up to 1m, however their flowers are not quite as impressive! To remedy that, plant breeders have come up with a new variety – the ‘Rocketstar’ series. I have only just planted one, but it promises a diminutive 80cm with the same large flowers as large varieties have. If this plant does what its creators claim, it will certainly be a hit in my garden!

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Checklist for CAO Change of Mind

  Many of you are still working your way through the Leaving Cert exams but with the CAO Change of Mind deadline approaching on July 1, it is really important that you take some time to look at the details of your CAO application, particularly your course choices. This is the last opportunity for you […]

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Many of you are still working your way through the Leaving Cert exams but with the CAO Change of Mind deadline approaching on July 1, it is really important that you take some time to look at the details of your CAO application, particularly your course choices.

This is the last opportunity for you to make changes before the final deadline at 5.15pm on tha day. It has been a challenging two years, with lots of uncertainty and so much has been out of your control. What is within your control now is how you finalise your CAO choices to ensure that you give yourself the best chance of securing a place on a course you want in September. Leaving Cert results will be issued on September 3 with CAO Round 1 Offers out on September 7. To use the Change of Mind facility you simply log on to www.cao.ie, click on ‘My Application’ and log in with your CAO number, date of birth and account password.

​​​​​​​CHECKLIST

As you review your CAO choices in the coming weeks, use the following checklist as a guide:

* Have you checked your Statement of Application email from CAO and verified that all your details are correct including personal, educational and exemption details?

* Have you included courses on both sides of the CAO (Level 8 and Level 7/6). This gives you the best chance of getting two offers when the Round 1 Offers come out – the top choice that you qualify for on each list. You will then have to choose which one you prefer.

* Have you filled in as many of the 20 choices as you can? You have the option to fill up 10 on both sides, giving you 20 possible options for college in the new academic year. By filling all 20 choices you give yourself 20 chances of getting a college place.

* Have you checked the Alert Lists on www.cao.ie? Lots of new courses have been added in several colleges since the CAO Handbook was published last September, some very recently. You can add these courses in by checking the course code on the Alert List.

* Have you taken out courses that you are no longer interested in? Lots of students rush the application ahead of the February 1 deadline with the intention of coming back to look at the course choices more closely. It is not unusual for students to completely change their minds between February and July 1.

* Have you researched the detail of any course that you are including on your CAO application – take particular note of entry requirements and modules. By doing so you are giving yourself the best chance of choosing courses that you are able for, that suit you and that you are interested in.

* Have you listed your courses in Order of Preference? This is the golden rule of CAO. No one knows what the points will be for 2021 until the day the Round 1 offers come out and equally you won’t know your results of exams and/or accredited grades until September 3. My advice is don’t try to second guess either of them and before 5.15pm on July 1, make sure that your course choices are listed in Order of Preference!

* Have you applied the HEAR and/or DARE schemes or completed the HPAT exam? If so you will know the outcome of your applications on June 29 and the result of the HPAT exam is expected around the same time. This may influence your decisions around your choices.

You have had a challenging senior cycle, all the more reason to look ahead to a brighter future. Take time to review your CAO course choices, research your options outside of CAO and make an informed decision about the best next step after the Leaving Cert!

In next week’s column I will be answering your questions about CAO Change of Mind and offer stage so please send them to info@mycareerplan.ie or DM me on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook on @mycareerplan1.

Niamh Dwyer is a Guidance Counsellor in Scoil Phobail Sliabh Luachra, Rathmore, Chairperson of the Kerry Branch of Guidance Counsellors and Careers Advisor at www.mycareerplan.ie.

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