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Aghadoe woman awarded the Freedom of the City of London

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By Sean Moriarty

Well-known Killarney woman Tara Cronin has been granted the freedom of the City of London.

PRESENTATION: Lord Mayor of the City Dublin native Vincent Keaveny presents Tara Cronin with her Freedom of the City of London award.

The Freedom of the City of London started around 1237 and developed into freedom or right to trade.

In 1835 eligibility for the freedom of the city was extended to anyone who lived in, worked in or had a strong connection to London.

These days it is largely ceremonial and bestowed upon people in recognition for their personal achievements and charitable work.

London-based Aghadoe native Tara, is the Events and Fundraising Manager with ICAP, an Irish Mental Health charity in London. She was the founder of the London-version of the Darkness into Light charity walk and is the former long-serving secretary of the Kerry Association.

She received the Freedom of the City of London from Lord Mayor Vincent Keaveny who is head of the City of London Corporation and the first Irish Lord Mayor of the city in 850 years.

She is also a board member of the Irish Women’s Network.

Tara Cronin was presented with the award in the Mansion House in the City of London.

She will be amongst the first recipients to have King Charles III on her award.

She was joined on the day by her parents Jerry and Margaret and brother Eoghan and a group of close friends that made the trip from Killarney.

“I feel extremely proud to have been awarded the Freedom of the City of London by the Lord Mayor of City of London in such a historic building. It is a special day and so privileged to be able to share with my parents Margaret and Jerry and my brother Eoghan family and friends,” she told the Killarney Advertiser.

The celebration continued in the nearby Rising Sun, a renowned Kerry pub in the heart of the city and the following day at Corrigan’s Mayfair where Tara previously worked under Michelin star Chef Richard Corrigan.

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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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