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Beaufort teen completes one hundred Carrauntoohil climbs

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By Michelle Crean

She may be only 14-years-old but Orlaith Kelly from Beaufort has accomplished an amazing feat by climbing Carrauntoohil one hundred times.

SNOW FUN: Orlaith Kelly pictured with her dad Piaras on Carrauntoohil which she has climbed 100 times in the last five years.

ACHIEVEMENT: Orlaith Kelly (14) this week scaled Carrauntoohil for the one hundredth time.

Orlaith pictured with her dad Piaras Kelly and mom Catherine Kelly.

On Monday, Orlaith once again scaled Ireland's tallest mountain - but this time it was extra special for her and her family as it was the teen's centenary climb.

Orlaith has a special connection to the mountains as her parents Catherine and Piaras Kelly run Kerry Climbing - and live right beside the MacGillicuddy Reeks.

"She has always been into hiking and the outdoors," Catherine told the Killarney Advertiser.

"She climbed Torc when she was four and that would have been her first peak. She's been doing it since she was knee high to a grasshopper. We're lucky to have the MacGillicuddy Reeks so close."

Around the age of seven Orlaith began to get a little bit more ambitious after watching her parents regularly take groups on the Carrauntoohil climb. She then began asking if she could accompany them.

However it wasn't until the age of nine, and after years of climbing, that her parents felt that she had enough experience to accomplish it safely with them as they are trained professionals who could help guide her.

On her 10th birthday she also climbed Coomloughra Horseshoe which is one of Ireland's classic ridge walks on the MacGillycuddy Reeks.

The youngster has also climbed the four highest peaks in Ireland - two in one day!

She's climbed Carrauntoohil which is 1,038.6 metres high and Mweelraa at 814 metres.

However, one of other biggest challenges was heading to Belfast with her dad where the next day she not only climbed Slieve Donard which is 850 metres high - but travelled to Wicklow the same day and climbed Lugnaquilla which is 925 metres and then made the journey home to Beaufort.

"That's her sport, she's not into team sports," said Catherine.

"She has done all the peaks on Carrauntoohil in all different weathers. The main thing we're so proud of is the experience she's gained. She does talks on geology when out on corporate climbs and she has done her Mountain Skills 1 and 2 which are starting courses to become a mountain leader."

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Trilogy of comedy on offer by Dóchas Drama

By Sean Moriarty Dóchas Drama Group will present a series of three short comedy plays next week. All three plays are written and produced by Dóchas and will be acted […]

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By Sean Moriarty

Dóchas Drama Group will present a series of three short comedy plays next week.

All three plays are written and produced by Dóchas and will be acted out by the group’s members.

The opening act, ‘Flossing Around’ is written by Ger Madden and directed by Brian Bowler.

“A woman has an innate fear of the dentist. We go on the journey with her as she faces her fears, with hilarious consequences,” explained the group’s Liz Ryan.

This will be followed by ‘Faraway Hills’ which is written by Mary Quirke and directed by Michael Mills.
It is a tongue in cheek look at family life.

“A son wants to get away from small town life. His mother wants to keep him at home but his father can’t wait to see the back of him,” added Liz, who plays the mother in this short play.

Brain Bowler wrote the third instalment called ‘A Little Visitor’ which is directed by Ryan Jones.

“There are lots of misunderstandings when a hypochondriac visits a group of doctors who have other things on the their minds,” added Liz.

The run, which will feature all three performances each night, starts Wednesday next week and continues Thursday and Friday (February 8 to 10) at the Killarney Avenue Hotel. Tickets are €10 and are available at the door.

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Killarney secures three gold medals in national business awards

Three hotels in Killarney have won gold medals at the Virgin Media Business Gold Medal Awards. Now in its 33rd year, the awards the best of the best in the […]

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Three hotels in Killarney have won gold medals at the Virgin Media Business Gold Medal Awards.

Now in its 33rd year, the awards the best of the best in the hotel and catering sectors across the country.

This year, judges received over 460 entries from 150 hotels, guest houses, country houses, restaurants, cafés, bars and catering companies from around Ireland.

“An important factor in the Gold Medal Awards is the credibility and impartial nature of the judging process. Every property that undergoes this process is subject to benchmarking against a strict set of criteria and a blind site inspection conducted by the judging panel,” said an event organiser.

“This panel comprises respected industry experts from across the hospitality, culinary and catering sectors.”

Three Killarney hotels took top awards in different categories at the awards ceremony held at the Galmont Hotel and Spa in Galway on Tuesday night.

The Great Southern Hotel was named as the best Business and Conference Hotel in Ireland.

“To be recognised among the greatest hotels in Ireland is a marvellous achievement for Great Southern. It is fantastic news and has provided all our staff with a little morale boost. Our Business & Conference partners and customers are extremely important to us with some relationships in place annually for over 30 years. Receiving this recognition for the service we provide is a fantastic achievement and testament to the incredible work of our outstanding staff,” said Michael Jacobi Managing Director said.

The best front of house team award went the staff at the Aghadoe Heights Hotel and Spa.

In the Hotel Casual Dining Experience category the Dunloe Hotel and Gardens came out on top.

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