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Bearded man highlights battle for suicide prevention

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AFTER losing his father to suicide in 2015, Gary O’Dowd is determined to turn his grief into something positive,.

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AFTER losing his father to suicide in 2015, Gary O’Dowd is determined to turn his grief into something positive, with the hope that it may help others. The Bearded Man’s Battle for Suicide Prevention campaign was born when Gary started growing his beard to honour his father, who always sported some form of facial hair.

The charity fundraiser event set for July 16, in Jack Duggan’s Bar, Castlemaine, at 8pm, is a “shave or grow” event. It was launched with the help of Kerry TD Michael Healy-Rae last Friday.

The public will decide whether Gary should shave his beard off, or keep it for another year. Should they vote to keep the beard, Gary will shave his hair off instead. With local music, DJ, spot prizes and the chance for you to nominate your friends to get waxed, it’s sure to be a great night.

The Bearded Man campaign has raised over €500 so far online and the Facebook page has reached over a thousand likes in just one month. Through JustGiving, a fundraising website, supporters can donate any amount which goes directly to the charities involved. Link: https://www.justgiving.com/teams/thebeardedman.

A text campaign was also recently launched with Deputy Michael Healy-Rae coming on board to show his support. Supporters can Text SWCC to 50300 to donate €4. (*Text costs €4. SouthWest Counselling Centre will receive a minimum of €3.25) All money raised will be divided amongst Console and Kerry LifeLine.
Just one year after the death of Gary’s dad, Maurice O’Dowd, the Bearded Man campaign was established.
With a goal of raising awareness and as much money possible, Gary decided to raise money for two charities which helped him and his family greatly after Maurice’s tragic death. Console and Kerry LifeLine/SouthWest Counselling Centre, Killarney, both offered a huge amount of support to the O’Dowd family and Gary wanted to show his appreciation to them by creating this event to raise some much-needed money and awareness of suicide prevention, support and for those also bereaved of affected by suicide in some way.

Gary has used social media to get his message across for far. On Facebook, Gary has uploaded multiple diary-entry style posts where he goes in to detail about the campaign, his father, and how losing his father as affected his life.

He also filmed a vlog where he explained his grief and what he hopes to get from the campaign. Gary’s overall motto is that he wants to help both charities as much as he can, so that they can continue helping others.
Just Giving: https://www.justgiving.com/teams/thebeardedman
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/garythebeardedman/
Text: SWCC to 50300 to Donate €4.  


 
Deputy Michael Healy-Rae helps Gary O’Dowd launch the Bearded Man text campaign.

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Lee Strand awarded Gold in Sustainability Programme

Lee Strand was recognised once again for their exceptional performance and commitment to sustainability with Gold Membership at the Origin Green 2022 awards. Origin Green is Ireland’s food and drink […]

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Lee Strand was recognised once again for their exceptional performance and commitment to sustainability with Gold Membership at the Origin Green 2022 awards.

Origin Green is Ireland’s food and drink sustainability programme led by Bord Bia – The Irish Food Board. Gold Membership is awarded to companies who demonstrate an exceptional annual performance on their sustainability targets.

“We are delighted Lee Strand is recognised once again with the prestigious Origin Green Gold Membership for our commitment to sustainability,” Gearoid Linnane, CEO said.

“In Lee Strand environmental management and sustainability are key elements of our business model, from launching 100% renewable cartons, to reducing water usage and energy efficiency. This is a great achievement by our sustainability team who are continually striving for higher levels of environmental excellence. We would also like to thank Veronica Kennelly from the Munster Technological University who assisted Lee Strand in the development of our Origin Green plan.”

Origin Green continues to evolve to ensure Bord Bia is helping Irish food and drink companies to remain up to date with the evolving needs of trade customers and their consumers, globally. With the introduction of the Origin Green credits system in early 2022, it is now easier to identify members who are performing at a high level or excelling in their sustainability performance.

To retain ongoing membership of Origin Green, companies must subsequently submit an annual review to demonstrate clear progress against the established targets and initiatives set. This annual review is subject to an independent third-party review by their verification authority Mabbett. This ensures minimum programme requirements are consistently met and maintained. Companies receive credits for their performance in areas such as raw material sourcing; water and energy efficiency; waste reduction; packaging; and social sustainability. Origin Green has established five different membership tiers based on company size and turnover, so that a real diversity of industry is reflected in the overall Gold Membership.

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Shock at the death of “wonderful community activist”

There was a great sense of shock over the weekend when new of the death of Yvonne Quill, a Tidy Towns champion and wonderful community activist, became known. Yvonne, from […]

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There was a great sense of shock over the weekend when new of the death of Yvonne Quill, a Tidy Towns champion and wonderful community activist, became known.

Yvonne, from Barleymount and formerly of the Cafe, College Street, passed away following a short illness on Friday. Requiem Mass takes place this morning (Monday) at 11am in The Prince of Peace Church, Fossa, followed by burial in Aghadoe Lawn Cemetery.

Killarney Chamber of Tourism and Commerce President Niall Kelleher said she will be very fondly remembered as an incredibly dedicated woman, a strong personality who led by example and spearheaded the town’s Tidy Towns committee with such passion for over 25 years.

He recalled that her proudest day was when, as chairperson of the Killarney Looking Good Committee, she inspired Killarney to the prestigious overall national award in 2011 which had proved so elusive prior to that.

“Yvonne led by example and she never asked anyone to do something she wouldn’t do herself. You would seldom see her without the yellow bib, playing her part and showing us all what needed to be done to give Killarney the edge,” Mr Kelleher said.

“While winning the overall prize was something special, Killarney has never been far from the top and it has won a gold medal almost every year which is testament to Yvonne’s great ability to organise, her steely determination and her unrivalled ability to rally the troops,” he added.

The Chamber President also remembered her as a great businesswoman, a master baker and confectioner whose café on College Street was a must-visit for a whole generation of Killarney people and visitors.

“Yvonne Quill has left a great legacy in her home town. We thank her for what she has done, we’ll remember her incredible work ethic and we’ll ensure her name will live on in Killarney by continuing the commitment to the Tidy Towns initiative.”

Johnny McGuire, a member of the executive of Killarney Chamber of Tourism and Commerce, who worked alongside Yvonne at the helm of the Tidy Towns committee, said she was a born leader who inspired the whole community and always led by example.

“Killarney would never have won the All-Ireland Tidy Towns award without her. She was the inspirational captain of the winning team. Yvonne worked night and day and, when it came to Tidy Towns, there was no downtime for her,” Mr McGuire said.

“Her commitment to the cause brought her into every school and every housing estate in Killarney. Working closely with the late Fr Michael Murphy, her great friend, Kathleen Foley, and others, they really put Killarney in contention for the top awards every year. The name Yvonne Quill was known and respected in Tidy Towns circles throughout the entire country – she really was a legend and everything she turned her hand to,
she succeeded. Killarney will miss her,” he added.

She will be deeply missed by her husband John, children Peter, Sandra and Sean, her son-in-law Peter, daughter-in-law Mairéad, grandchildren Anna, Jake, Ted, Abby and Luke, sister Angela Mulvey, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, and extended family, friends, neighbours and the community.

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