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Teen Theory headed State Side for their next ‘Rodeo’!

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Liam Waldron, Rachel Griffin and Luke O’Sullivan, Sixth Year students from Killarney Community College, were named SciFest STEM Champions in December 2022 in Dublin, for their Group Theoretic Approach to Pythagoras’ Theorem. This amazing trio are now heading for Dallas Texas in to representing Ireland at the Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair (Regeneron ISEF).

Their project takes possibly one of the most well-known theorems that everyone remembers from school, Pythagoras’ Theorem. It provides an alternate proof of it, while also highlighting how right-angled triangles naturally provide a link between two coordinate systems and how this special case can naturally recreate the Pythagorean Theorem.

Given these three were heading to Dallas, I decided to meet at Rob's Ranch House, Plukett Street, where we were treated to spicy wings, ribs and a gluten free burger for Liam with thanks to hostess Nikki Taddei.

Howdy y'all!! Wow, what a massive achievement Liam, Rachel & Luke. Congratulations!!!
"We're thrilled" Rachel replied. "Our school supports and enhances every talent so we couldn't have done it without Ms Dineen, Mr Lynch, Ms Spillane & Kerry ETB. Supported by Intel Ireland and Boston Scientific, SciFest was set up 17 years ago by Sheila Porter who put us in touch with our mentor Jim Cooke. " Rachel continued.
"The contents of the project are not in the curriculum. It is abstract algebra which is a different kind of geometry. It's a huge amount of work on top of the Leaving Cert but it's worth it" Liam said.
"Going to Texas with the people that I began this project with is a chance of a life time. Of course, it's lots of extra stress and effort but it's also a lifetime achievement that I am so excited to explore" Rachel said.

Tell me what lies ahead in Dallas for you three?
"We fly out on Saturday 13th May we will make a 16 round trip from Kerry to Dublin to Dallas Texas with our teachers Ms Spillane (Chemistry) & Ms Hughes (Music). The competition will run for the entire week but Wednesday is the day of judgement. Globally there are 120 countries taking place and we are one of three Irish teams representing Kerry and indeed Munster. Mathematics is the smallest category within the competition which makes it the most exclusive so we are really hoping we are in with a good chance" Luke explained.

What kind of prize have you fixed your eyes on in Dallas?
"Before talking brass tax, committing to this project could well have the opportunity to apply for a Naughton Scholarship (a scheme of scholarships to promote the study of engineering, science and technology at third level by students in Ireland). And state side you just never know who might be there scouting" Rachel replied.
"The money can vary from €5,000 within category to an overall prize of €75,000! I can't imagine what opportunities that would open state side not to mind what I would do with the money" Luke replied.

Given the success of the project, I'm assuming a mathematics or science based future is looming for you three?
"I am hoping to study Theatre and Performing Arts in Cork or to be a teacher. That's the dream!" Rachel replied.
"I am going to study physiotherapy next year" Luke said.
"Yes, I would love to study something in the lines of Mathematics, Physics & Science so as you can imagine, I am really enjoying this journey with Scifest".

Have any of you ever been to Dallas before?
"Never! We will have 6 days in Dallas so we will be in attendance daily for a few hours but after that we will get to enjoy the OMNI Hotel and we hope to get to visit John F Kennedy Memorial on Commerce street, on land donated by Dallas County. It is an open tomb structure that symbolises the freedom of President Kennedy's spirit" Liam replied.

I said goodbye to all three and thanked Nikki for allowing us her and Rob's time before wishing the trio all the best. Not their first 'rodeo' but truly hope it's their best!!

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Retiring Garda Sergeant began career in Killarney

Antoinette Cunningham who retired last week from An Garda Síochána and the Association of Garda Sergeant’s and Inspector’s as their General Secretary started her career 33 years ago in Killarney. […]

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Antoinette Cunningham who retired last week from An Garda Síochána and the Association of Garda Sergeant’s and Inspector’s as their General Secretary started her career 33 years ago in Killarney.

Sergeant In charge at Killarney Garda Station Dermot O’Connell paid tribute to her achievements and her unrelenting commitment to improving the policing environment.

As a former Chairman, Secretary and delegate of the Kerry Branch, Sergeant Dermot O’Connell worked closely with Antoinette in AGSI for many years.

“Her support for members of the Association was second to none. Antoinette always pursued what was right and just. Her ability, knowledge and professionalism was acknowledged both internally and externally by other representative bodies and also professional bodies,” he said.

“When Antoinette arrived here at her first station, the late Jack McGrath was the Sergeant In Charge.”
“As many know Sergeant Jack McGrath frequently walked the beat. During this time Jack shared much of his experience with Antoinette who proved her ability as a competent Garda to Sergeant Jack McGrath. “
“Jack was very impressed by her ability even at that early stage, he always spoke highly of Antoinette and followed her career path with great interest.”

Antoinette subsequently transferred to Limerick (Roxboro Road and Mayorstone Garda Stations). As a Sergeant she moved to the Garda College and completed a Master’s Degree in Adult Learning and a BA in Training and Education.
In 2021 Antoinette was honoured by University Galway with an Alumni Award for her significant contribution in the field of policing.

She became the first female member to serve with the Association of Sergeants and Inspectors at Branch level, National Executive level, President, Deputy General Secretary and finally General Secretary.

“On behalf of the Kerry Branch of AGSI I wish Antoinette the very best in whatever the future holds for her and her family,” added Sergeant O’Connell.

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‘The Bumblebee1000’ Supercar event arriving in Killarney on Saturday

The ‘Bumblebee1000’ supercar run will arrive in Killarney around 5pm on Saturday. Around 40 supercars will leave Barberstown Castle in County Kildare on Saturday morning.After stops at Portlaoise Plaza (11am) […]

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The ‘Bumblebee1000’ supercar run will arrive in Killarney around 5pm on Saturday.

Around 40 supercars will leave Barberstown Castle in County Kildare on Saturday morning.
After stops at Portlaoise Plaza (11am) and Cashel Palace Hotel (1pm) the convoy will arrive the Europe Hotel and Resort at 5pm.
“’The Bumblebee1000’ is not just about horsepower and adrenaline rushes; it’s about making a difference. As participants roar through the countryside, they’ll also be driving towards a noble cause. This event is dedicated to raising awareness and funds for The Little Blues Heroes charity, supporting the children of the Little Blue Heroes, and making a positive impact on their lives,” said an event spokesperson.
“The Bumblebee1000” is not just a journey; it’s an experience that blends luxury, adventure, and philanthropy in a seamless fusion. Whether behind the wheel of a sleek supercar or a supporter cheering from the sidelines, everyone is invited to be part of this remarkable event.
The cars will depart the Europe Hotel and Resort at 10am on Sunday and will stop off at a charity cars and coffee event in Tarbert at 11am before finishing in Adare at around 2pm.

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