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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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Kathleen honoured as new boat is launched

It was a very special and momentous day for Muckross Rowing Club on Sunday – as not only did they launch a new boat – but did so to honour a life-long supporter. Members and supporters gathered at the club’s boathouse as the club’s newest racing boat, a Janousek coxed four, was officially launched in […]

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It was a very special and momentous day for Muckross Rowing Club on Sunday – as not only did they launch a new boat – but did so to honour a life-long supporter.

Members and supporters gathered at the club’s boathouse as the club’s newest racing boat, a Janousek coxed four, was officially launched in honour of Kathleen Murphy. The event was made all the more special as it had been so long awaited by the club. While the boat was purchased prior to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, a launch event at the club was not possible until the recent easing of public health restrictions.

Among the crowd gathered were members of the extended Murphy and Kenny families as well as many of Kathleen’s neighbours and friends from Mangerton Road and beyond.

Kathleen (nee Kenny) was born and raised in Muckross and has enjoyed close family ties with the rowing club from childhood to the present day. The Kennys of Muckross and their extended family have long played a central role in the club extending to over a century, reflected in the names of boats named and launched before in honour of other family members including Micheal Kenny and Jack O’Shea. Kathleen has long been among the most prominent and recognised club’s supporters at the annual Killarney Regatta, proudly sporting the club’s yellow colours while cheering on crews at all levels from Juvenile to Senior and Veteran. Together with her late husband Jerry, Kathleen has also played a central role in fundraising for the club with countless tickets sold weekly for the local Muckross Lottery since its launch in early 1990s. Both Kathleen and Jerry were previously recognised for their contribution to the club and both named as Vice Presidents. Kathleen and Jerry’s children and grandchildren continue the family tradition both on the lake and onshore, contributing to the club’s success and development as active rowers, coaches and committee members.

Presiding over the launch was Club Chairman Sean Daly and the blessing of the boat was carried out by Fr Kieran O’Brien.

The club was also delighted to welcome Emer Corridan, General Manager of the Cahernane House Hotel – whose sponsorship of the club supported the boat’s purchase.

The ceremonial popping of the champagne cork was carried out by Kathleen’s granddaughter Áine, and after a sprinkling of the bow, the boat was formally launched on the water by five of Kathleen’s grandchildren – Áine and Shona O’Sullivan, Daniel, Jack and Katie Murphy. The special launch event was an emotional day for the family and club with many memories of Kathleen’s late husband Jerry, whose anniversary was recently observed, in addition to family members gone before. Speaking on behalf of Kathleen, her son Kieran spoke of the great honour for Kathleen and her family to have one of the club’s racing boats named in her honour. Kieran expressed the family’s gratitude to the club, its committee and Chairman Sean Daly, President Maurice Coffey and Vice Presidents and to all the members, supporters and friends in attendance. The ceremonial proceedings were followed by refreshments outside the club’s new boathouse.

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Stylish Miriam wows at the races

When it comes to the style stakes, one local lady proved she’s got it after winning the female Most Stylish Racegoer this week. Miriam Prendergast from Killarney was selected by fashion blogger and judge Emily O’Donoghue aka @fashionablyfortyish on Sunday, the opening day of the Listowel Harvest Racing Festival. Benny O’Keeffe from County Meath was […]

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When it comes to the style stakes, one local lady proved she’s got it after winning the female Most Stylish Racegoer this week.

Miriam Prendergast from Killarney was selected by fashion blogger and judge Emily O’Donoghue aka @fashionablyfortyish on Sunday, the opening day of the Listowel Harvest Racing Festival.

Benny O’Keeffe from County Meath was also selected for his style and both winners each received a €400 cash prize, sponsored by McElligotts Tralee and Honda Ireland.

Miriam wore a black bustier wide legged jumpsuit with belt, styled with a very feminine one sleeve off white blouse with ruched details. She both designed and made the outfit herself and paired it with a headpiece she borrowed from a friend who got it in MacBees Killarney. She finished her look with a pretty vintage bag.

Benny wore a sky blue suit he purchased in Burtons, paired with a merl grey waistcoat, set off with a soft pink shirt cleverly coordinated with a pink and grey check tie. He purchased his very dapper hat in the Ukraine.

The runners-up in the ladies category each received a generous hamper from McElligotts Tralee with special thanks to McGuires Pharmacy Listowel. The runners-up in the gents category received tickets to the Sunday of the June Bank Holiday race meeting in Listowel in 2022.

Of course, there is more to come in the style stakes with one of Ireland’s most prestigious best dressed events – the McElligotts Honda Ladies Day – making a most welcome return this year to the racecourse today (Friday), judged by style icon Celia Holman Lee, it has an overall cash prize fund of €1,000 and the winner will also receive the most amazing beauty hamper sponsored by McGuire’s Pharmacy.

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