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Adventure Awaits at Killarney’s Wander Wild Festival This Weekend!

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Kick off Your Easter Break at the Ultimate Adventure and Wellness Weekend at Wander Wild Festival in Killarney.

Killarney is on a high this weekend with the much-anticipated Wander Wild Festival, which is packed with unforgettable experiences for outdoor, adventure, and wellness enthusiasts, along with a full kids programme!

The UNESCO Killarney National Park will be buzzing with lots of outdoor activities from Stand Up Paddleboarding and Sunrise Dips, to Hikes, Forest Bathing, Samhradh’s Sauna at Dundag, a Mindfulness Hike, and Rock Climbing in the Gap of Dunloe, showcasing our treasured natural amenities at their best for locals and visitors alike to experience and enjoy. It’s such a great opportunity to try something new!

The Festival kicked off this morning with the Nature Valley Hike with Roz Purcell and over the three days there are over 120 events both in the National Park and in town so there is something for everyone! Over 2,500 are expected to take part in events over the three days. More than 40 of the events are already sold out but tickets are still available for many activities.

The expanded evening programme includes seanchaí story-telling fireside chats with well-known adventurers, and an intimate concert with Bressie and Special Guests in St Mary’s Church of Ireland.

The festival offers events to revitalise the body, mind, and soul of every adventurer and outdoor lover. The Wellness Hub based in the Anam Cultural Arts Centre promises to bring calm to all who attend one of the many well-being events, whether you’re interested in herbal medicine, mindset, energy health, breathwork and more. There’s also a Vision Boarding Workshop with fashion designer and influencer Aoife McNamara and Killarney’s own KellyKali Yoga as well as a host of yoga activities.

Basecamp at Kenmare Place (pedestrianised during the day on Saturday and Sunday) will be buzzing all weekend with street food vendors, performances and people coming and going to activities. There’ll be musical performances and fun activities including Cyclextric!

There are also plenty of family-friendly events, ensuring a fun-filled weekend for all. For the kids, there are Gruffalo hunts, digital treasure hunts, musical master classes, family yoga and more.

Pat Chawke, Chairperson of Wander Wild Festival, said, "We are very excited for this weekend's festival. We have expanded the programme to cater to a wide range of interests. We encourage everyone to explore their home town in a new way by participating in one of the 100 events we have on offer. Basecamp will be the heart of the action over the weekend, so be sure to come along and enjoy some street entertainment. We’d like to thank all of our volunteers who have put so much into organising this weekend and all the local activity providers and businesses who have supported us in showcasing Killarney as the Outdoor capital of Ireland. This is a fantastic opportunity for our town."

Wander Wild Festival is sponsored by Nature Valley and supported by 53 Degrees North, Fáilte Ireland, Kerry County Council, Killarney Chamber of Tourism & Commerce and the National Park and Wildlife Service.

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Valuable role of Kerry cancer support charity recognised nationally

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Cancer support charity Recovery Haven Kerry has been recognised for its vital role in supporting cancer patients and their families at a national ceremony in Dublin.

The renowned cancer support house was one of 16 such centres across Ireland that were presented with plaques to acknowledge their full membership of the National Cancer Control Programme (NCCP) Alliance – a group made up of voluntary and charity organisations delivering support services directly to cancer patients and their families. An additional 10 associate member charities were also honoured, including Kerry Cancer Support Group.

The Alliance advocates for, and supports, the development of integrated pathways between the cancer centres, acute hospitals, community cancer support services and primary care services. All members’ development is in line with the values of Sláintecare, seeking to provide assurance to healthcare professionals that these organisations are working to an agreed standard as set out in Best Practice Guidance published by the NCCP. 

Speaking after the ceremony, which was held at Dublin’s Farmleigh Estate, Recovery Haven Kerry Chairman, Tim McSwiney, explained that being compliant with the Best Practice Guidance for Community Cancer Support Centres is a true mark of quality. 

“It offers us a yardstick to measure what we are doing against the standards required. As a result, healthcare professionals have more confidence in referring people to our services. We are very proud to be a member of the Alliance,” he said.

Recovery Haven Kerry was represented at the event by centre manager, Gemma Fort and Client Services Co-Ordinator, Siobhan MacSweeney and were presented with their plaque by NCCP Lead for Cancer Survivorship, Louise Mullen, Clinical Lead for Psycho-Oncology Dr Helen Greally, and Minister of State at the Department of Health, Colm Burke. 

The event was also used as an opportunity to announce funding of €3m for the NCCP’s Alliance of Community Cancer Support Centres and Services through Budget 2024. The NCCP is currently in the process of distributing these funds which will directly and positively impact the delivery of services for patients and families nationally.

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‘More Precious Than Gold’ book launch

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At the official book launch of ‘More Precious Than Gold: My enduring connection with John McShain – the man who built Washington’ by Alice O’Neill-McLoughlin at Killarney House, was Minister of State for Nature, Heritage and Electoral Reform, Malcolm Noonan, T.D.

Alice was born the eldest of eleven children into an Irish farming family in Rosbercon, New Ross, County Wexford. In 1978, she was awarded a scholarship from John McShain- the iconic builder, philanthropist, devout Catholic with Derry ancestry, responsible for many famous American landmarks, including the Jefferson Memorial and the Pentagon.

Her book records the lifelong personal correspondence Alice exchanged with ‘The Man Who Built Washington.’ His philanthropy extended to the Irish people in the bequeathing to the State of Killarney House and the surrounding thousands of acres incorporating the Lakes, Ross Castle, and Innisfallen Island. In 2019, Alice had the honour of inducting John McShain into the Irish America Hall of Fame in her home town of New Ross in the presence of his relatives from Philadelphia and Derry. This is a tale of altruism, of gratitude, of faith and of a life lived in the pursuit of excellence.

Alice also donated her treasured correspondence of letters from John McShain for the archive at Killarney House. Also in attendance were Members of the Ignatius A. O’Shaughnessy family, who was founder of The Globe Oil and Refining Company – and part of a consortium of wealthy American businessmen who were going to purchase the lakes of Killarney as a Country Club in the 1950’s.

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