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Abbie reflects on Strasbourg experience

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Fifth Year St Brigid's student Abbie O'Sullivan, winner of the Rotary Youth Leadership Competition, has returned from an exciting trip to Strasbourg.

TRIP: Killarney student Abbie O'Sullivan reflects on her exciting trip to Strasbourg.

This week she shares her thoughts about the experience.

"In February I had the privilege of attending the European Parliament in Strasbourg as a winner of the Rotary Youth Leadership Competition. It was a trip that could not be defined by words. It expanded my knowledge, taught me new things about myself and others, and helped me create life-long bonds with people all over the country and across Europe. I entered this competition through my school and took part in three different interview sessions. I was asked about my own position in leadership, my opinions on topical issues both local and national and got to present myself professionally to the Killarney Rotary Club. My finals took place in Cork city where I was awarded this trip of a lifetime, representing The Rotary Club. I was over the moon wondering what experiences, friends and stories I would take from this trip and now as I reflect on it, the reality was beyond my expectations.

"I arrived in Belfast and met the 23 other winners of the award. Immediately, we became attached at the hip rushing to dinner together and enjoying the first night of this amazing trip by getting to know one another. We spent the following day in Belfast and then Dublin, first visiting city hall and having a private luncheon and conversation with the Lord Mayor of Belfast, Tina Black. She taught us about her position as both a woman in politics and also her position in Northern Ireland. We then visited Stormont. We had a guided tour there and spoke with three MLAs and had the opportunity to ask them questions. The day ended by taking a bus to Dublin and spending the evening laughing and learning together as we prepared for our event in Strasbourg. Our day in Dublin consisted of two major events; firstly, we visited Europe House. Here we learned about all the facilities and opportunities available to us in the European Union and shared our thoughts on current issues. In my opinion, this trip taught us how to work and converse as adults whilst also have as much fun as possible with our peers! We received our official certificates and then went to the Dáil for our second tour of State Governments. The night concluded with a 3am wake up call to board a flight to Frankfurt.

"We drove to Strasbourg from Germany and settled into our hostel, which we shared with over 500 other students attending the Parliament. That night we were given free time to explore so we organised a self-guided walking tour to make the most of our time! The Rotarian leaders must have been exhausted, just as we were, but none of us were going to let this opportunity slip away. The next day was the big event called Euroscola. At this event, Ireland, along with all other EU Member States, sat in the official Parliament hemisphere and debated the EU Zero Pollution Ambition. Having a huge interest in politics, this was the big moment of the trip for me. When I sat down in the parliament and was able to speak and share my opinion, I was overwhelmed with a feeling of accomplishment, and it is something I could never have experienced without the Rotary Club and the Youth Leadership Award.

"The next day was time for us to spend our last day together and experience the city of Strasbourg even more. Our return to Dublin Airport was full of hugs, tears and laughs. Thankfully, the 24 of us have stayed in touch and are hopefully working on another project to promote this very competition. This trip truly was an amazing experience, and I cannot recommend it enough to any young person in Killarney."

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Massive increase in numbers using local bus services

Passenger numbers on local link buses across Kerry have increased by 1727% from 2020 to 2023 according to local Green Party Candidate for Killarney Diarmaid Griffin. This is the highest […]

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Passenger numbers on local link buses across Kerry have increased by 1727% from 2020 to 2023 according to local Green Party Candidate for Killarney Diarmaid Griffin.

This is the highest increase nationally and is due to the investment by the Department of Transport during this government term.

“This service was lacking in former times, especially in rural areas and is a welcome addition to the countryside and villages of Kerry.’ says Green Party Candidate for Killarney,” said Griffin.

“While in the past, a taxi was the only option for those not cycling or driving. Now a service to Killarney is available every Friday morning from my townland of Barleymount. This is just one example of the network of bus routes criss-crossing the county thanks to local link.”

“This project is a notable success as the figures show. Investment in public transport helps alleviate congestion, increases community cohesion and reduces rural isolation. This is all welcome news for the locality,”

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Two weeks to go to Killarney Musical Society’s production of ‘Michael Collins A Musical Drama’There is less than two weeks to show time for the cast of Killarney Musical Society’s production of ‘Michael Collins A Musical Drama’

Killarney Musical Society held its official launch on Sunday where cast members appeared in full costume ahead of the March 5 – 7 performance at the INEC Arena. The launch was […]

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Killarney Musical Society held its official launch on Sunday where cast members appeared in full costume ahead of the March 5 – 7 performance at the INEC Arena.

The launch was followed by a full rehearsal and director Oliver Hurley was also there to lend a hand.

“We were delighted to introduce our lead characters to you. We had Abbey Theatre players Brigid Delia and Michael, who are the narrators throughout the musical drama. Eamonn De Valera , Harry Boland, Joe Emmett, Arthur Griffith, Cathal Brugha, volunteers and of course the beautiful Kitty Kieran were in full costume,” said KMS PRO Linda O’Donoghue.

“Mother Ireland and her five graceful dancers were fabulous. Our director and choreographer Oliver, our musical director Michael Young and the full cast of 64 were there. The singing was powerful. The music in ‘Michael Collins – A Musical Drama’ is distinctly Irish. People will definitely enjoy it.”

TICKETS
Get your tickets in the INEC box office, online at universe.com or at the pop-up ticket office in the Laurel’s Pub, Market Cross from 12 pm to 4 pm between February 29 and March 2.

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