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A year of starts and sudden stops for local singer

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CHRISTMAS EP: Local singer Grace Foley is releasing her full Christmas EP today (Friday). Photo: Michelle Crean

 

It's been "a year of starts and sudden stops" for local singer Grace Foley - and this is the opening line in her brand-new song which is set to be released as part of her full Christmas EP today (Friday).

Grace will launch the EP with a Facebook and Instagram live, today (Friday) at 8pm. There she will be singing the songs from the EP and telling stories behind the songs.

The singer who has been narrowly avoiding lockdowns all year tells us what 2020 has been like for her.

This has been a very mixed year. Like all of her peers in the entertainment industry, the Killarney singer desperately misses performing live in front of an audience. She misses the buzz, the sharing of stories and songs and the interaction with people after her concerts. On the other side of things, 2020 has been a great year in terms of her creativity. Grace recorded three of her singles for the year back in the spring and then her music videos on March 12, the day it was announced that the country was starting to close down due to COVID-19. Since then, Grace has gone on to perform many live online concerts, both on her own social media platforms and on pages across Ireland and America as well as a live concert in St Mary's Cathedral Killarney which was broadcast via the parish webcam. She wrote and released a song called ‘Together Apart’ which she recorded in her wardrobe and the songstress even appeared on RTE television on the 'Today Show' where she sang live from her living room with her little dog Kerri on her lap!

Grace was thrilled when she received the news that she had been awarded Arts Council funding to write and record her own songs which she went on to record at Ventry Recording Studio in Balbriggan, County Dublin. Yet again, Grace couldn’t believe that she had just finished her songs when it was announced that Dublin was facing further restrictions meaning she would not have been able to record had she arrived a day later! Her last near miss with lockdown came in late October when she recorded her last music videos for the year only to finish up for the day and get a notification on her phone that the entire country was moving to Level 5 lockdown.

One of the songs recorded with her Arts Council funding is a Christmas song and, with a nudge from her husband John, Grace decided to throw caution to the wind and release a full Christmas EP! This is released today (Friday), and features four festive favourites, recorded at Little Dylan Studios Killarney, as well as Grace’s own song, ‘Goodbye to Dublin’. The EP titled ‘A Time for Christmas, Vol. 1’ is available on www.gracefoley.ie from November 27 and on all online platforms from December 11.

"Those who buy physical copies of the record will be awarded with a song that is not available on digital platforms," Grace said.

"While the future for performers is still very unsure, I will always look back on 2020 as the year when music became so much more than a career. It became a lifeline for the present, a connection to the past and a ray of hope for the future."

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Do facial treatments hurt?

It can be difficult to book your first facial, as you aren’t sure what your skin needs or what’s involved, but don’t worry, as that’s our job to make it […]

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It can be difficult to book your first facial, as you aren’t sure what your skin needs or what’s involved, but don’t worry, as that’s our job to make it an easy process.

One of the most asked questions I get asked is do facials hurt? The short answer is no, but I have to admit it depends on your skin type and what is required. Squeezing black heads isn’t the most comfortable moment during a facial, but we always have the skin well prepared, exfoliated and softened, and use steam to open the pores. Mostly a facial is super relaxing and comfortable.

Summer weather tends to bring with it oily skin and breakouts, but it’s often less acne prone in the winter. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be getting regular facials throughout the year however. The best way to see the benefits of a facial is to get them consistently. A good facial will have the products tailored to your skin type.

You have nothing to loose but excess oil and dead skin cells. I have a feeling men are more sensitive than women as they always ask about the pain involved first!

Give me a call to book in or if you’ve any other questions ring 064 6632966.

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Plan ahead for College Open Days

Niamh Dwyer is a Guidance Counsellor in Scoil Phobail Sliabh Luachra, Rathmore. For more careers information see www.mycareerplan.ie or follow @mycareerplan on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.

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By Niamh Dwyer, Chairperson of the Kerry Branch of Guidance Counsellors
 

The College Open Day season for 2023 entrants starts in earnest in early October.

From then on, the Higher Education Institutes (HEIs) and Agricultural colleges will showcase what they have to offer to potential students. Further Education Colleges tend to host their open days from January onwards. Thankfully HEIs are back to hosting in-person open days but many are offering more specific information sessions on particular courses and departments virtually. College Open Days give students and parents a great chance to find out lots of interesting and detailed information about courses of interest and the many supports available, as well as giving the opportunity to get a feel for the college by availing of campus tours. You will find a complete list of the open days in the events sections of www.qualifax.ie and on www.careersportal.ie so take some time to make a list of the ones you want to attend.

Prepare and plan 

Do some basic research on the courses on offer. Check the entry requirements for each course of interest as you will need to meet these to be eligible to compete for a place on the course. Check out the modules and whether Erasmus or travel abroad options are available, as well as work placement. Don’t ignore a course or open day because you don’t expect to get enough points. You may do far better than you anticipate.
Have a good look at the college website – register for the open day in advance, download the schedule of talks and make note of the ones you want to attend. Make sure to download a map of the campus so you know exactly where to find the talks and presentations of interest. Jot down any questions you have as you will hopefully get a chance to talk to college staff and/or current students. Plan to arrive in plenty time as there are likely to be very large crowds attending. On the day, try to gather information about accommodation, clubs and societies and student supports. Many HEIs run talks for parents and on grants, HEAR (Higher Education Access Route) and DARE (Disability Access Route to Education) so check them out. Make sure to get contact details for any staff members which may be important later for follow-up questions.

Atmosphere

There is nothing like a College Open Day to give you a sense of what the campus feels like. Soak up the atmosphere and consider if the size of the campus is the best fit for you. Larger campuses can be intimidating for some students while exciting for others. Smaller campuses can feel more comfortable and manageable. You will know what feels right for you. Bear in mind that open days have a festival feel to them and regular college days are not always like that. This may be your only chance to visit the campus before you register there as a student so make the most of your day and enjoy it!

Niamh Dwyer is a Guidance Counsellor in Scoil Phobail Sliabh Luachra, Rathmore. For more careers information see www.mycareerplan.ie or follow @mycareerplan on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.

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