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Ballyhar singer/songwriter to launch new album

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This week journalist with the Killarney Advertiser Sean Moriarty is 'In Conversation' with Killarney singer-songwriter Karrie O’Sullivan who will release her new album ‘Home Thoughts’ this week.

Killarney singer-songwriter Karrie O’Sullivan will release her new album ‘Home Thoughts’ this week after being inspired by the success of her social media gigs during lockdown.

At that time she worked with her producer and guitarist Jimmy Smyth on a series of covers by stars like Rod Stewart and Elton John which were broadcast on her social media channels. The online experiment was so successful that they reached over 250,000 people, so they decided to go all out and record an album.

“[The social media] performance alleviated people from their boredom during lockdown,” Karrie told the Killarney Advertiser. “I am forever grateful to those who tuned in, shared and liked as they provided the inspiration to release the album. From that point it has already been a success.”

However, recording an album in these socially challenging times is not easy with safely guidelines to follow as two artists go into a small recording studio to work together.

Each song was recorded remotely, with Karrie recording on her iPhone in Ballyhar and Jimmy with his guitar and banjo in his studio in Dublin.

“The iPhone is known for its quality microphone,” she said. “The sound engineer was able to tell me the make and model of my phone.”

'Home Thoughts', which will be on released this Friday (August 28), will feature new versions of classic songs such as David Bowie’s ‘Life on Mars’ and James Taylor’s ‘Carolina in My Mind’.

“The Facebook music helped people all over the world when they were at home bored,” she added. "'Life on Mars’ had over 120k views, and one lady contacted me from New York. It was played at her friend’s funeral after her friend specifically asked for my cover.”

In the past Karrie has had three top five singles in Ireland, she has toured with the likes of Declan O'Rourke, Mick Flannery, Mary Coughlan and Rumer.

Indeed Flannery is her nephew, the son of her late sister Elaine.

Coughlan recorded one of Karrie’s self-penned songs ‘Elbow Deep’, while fellow musician Sharon Shannon has called her the Irish Joni Mitchell.

“That was a great compliment from Sharon. You would have to ask her why she said that," Karrie added. “I am a huge Joni Mitchell fan and Sharon asked me to sing one her songs one night and that is where that came from.”

She is also working with the Irish Chamber Orchestra. They liked her version of ‘Life on Mars’ and that is set to be released as a single in the coming weeks.

“There are talks of a potential show too,” she added. “But everything is loop-the-loop still.”

She also trains horses.

“I break horses,” she explained. “I have competed in showjumping and still break racehorses on our family farms in Ballyhar and Castleisland.”

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Better late than never Christmas present for St Francis Special School

By Sean Moriarty St Francis Special School received a very late Christmas present this week – a specially adapted bike for the pupils to use. Husband and wife team Ciaran […]

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By Sean Moriarty

St Francis Special School received a very late Christmas present this week – a specially adapted bike for the pupils to use.

Husband and wife team Ciaran and Karen Dwyer, directors of Guerin Engineering and Pumps Ltd in Kilcummin, presented the special adapted bicycle to the staff and pupils at the Beaufort school on Tuesday.

After seeing an online request last December that the school needed the bike, they decided to gift one.

They contacted Glencar Medical, a Dublin-based firm that specialises in the supply of equipment to schools like St Francis, and ordered the bicycle.

However, nothing is straightforward in the current climate, Brexit, COVID and war all contributed to a delay in getting the bike to Ireland. Once it was in Dublin there were further delays in sourcing the special straps that St Francis’ children need to ride the bike safely.

It all came to a happy ending this week when the Dwyers were finally able to present their Christmas present to the school.

“We saw this request and we contacted the school and said we wanted to buy one, they told us where to get one, and we ordered it,” Karen told the Killarney Advertiser.

“We had it paid for by the end of the year but then it took three months to get it into the country. It took more time to import the specialist parts. The costs were increasing but we did not mind at all.”

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Jordan Lee to tell his story to the county’s schools

Paralympian Jordan Lee will share his experiences with schools all over Kerry. The Killarney man has embarked on a countywide tour ‘Jordan’s Drive’ in association with Kelliher’s Garage, a series […]

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Paralympian Jordan Lee will share his experiences with schools all over Kerry.

The Killarney man has embarked on a countywide tour ‘Jordan’s Drive’ in association with Kelliher’s Garage, a series of informal talks on his achievements and how he overcame his disability to reach the top of his chosen sport.

The 21-year-old was born with a foreshortened left arm known as amniotic band syndrome but has enjoyed a successful sports career which included representing Ireland at the Tokyo Olympics last summer.

Now he wants to share his story and inspire other students to follow their dreams.

His tour started last week at Colaiste na Sceilge in Cahersiveen and over the next few weeks, depending on his training schedule, will visit schools in Firies, Milltown, and Killarney.

“Don’t be afraid of people with disabilities or different backgrounds,” he said. “A few years ago there was only typical people in classrooms – you never came across people with disabilities or from various different countries. It is a lot more mixed now. I want to inspire people to treat everyone on the same level.”

‘Jordan’s Drive’ is made possible thanks to his role as a brand ambassador for Kelliher’s Garage, dealer principal, Tim Kelliher explained to the Killarney Advertiser.

“Having got to know Jordan so well over the last couple of years we have come to realise how much of an inspiration he is so we decided to ask him to hop into his Toyota CHR Hybrid and bring his story out into the highways and byways of the Kingdom,” he said.

“Headlined ‘Jordans Drive’ and organised by my marketing team headed by Yvonne McMahon they have travelled to many of the schools around Kerry from Cahersiveen to Beaufort, Killorglin and with other dates planned for Firies and Milltown to name but a few. He has spoken his many words of wisdom to the children who have been in awe of the journey and his achievements, and we at Kelliher’s Garage are delighted and proud to have him as our brand ambassador.”

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