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Book shares stories of international people who have made Kerry their home

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Mary Carroll, Susan McElligott and Sinead Kelleher. PICTURE: DOMNICK WALSH

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THE remarkable and inspiring true-life stories of 15 international people who have made Kerry their home have been told in a new book, Behind the Face.

The publication, which will be launched this Friday, December 2, in Siamsa Tire, Tralee at 6pm, makes a unique and impactful statement about the diversity of the new Kerry and helps us to go behind what we see, and look into the lives of the people we pass on the street, and challenge any possible stereotypes we may have.

Behind the Face, which was supported by Kerry County Council’s Community Support Fund and NEWKD through SICAP funds, tells the stories of people like Ahmed Lulu who came here from Palestine to escape Hamas and a life of war and terror.

Eddie Ong came from Malaysia to follow his dream of cooking and learning about new foods; Galina Cotter came to Kerry for love and now has two children and runs a business with her husband, and Hashim Al Hadeedy came to escape fear and terror from Isis in his home county of Iraq.

All these stories and more are contained in Behind the Face which is hoped will help the public understand that Kerry’s new residents all have their own reasons for coming to the county.

For whatever reason and, regardless of where they are from, wherever they come, they all share the fact that they have been uprooted and planted in a new place, with new cultures, customs and systems to adjust to.

Their stories are of love and loss, bravery and hope but most importantly they tell us the story ‘behind the face’ – the stories of Kerry’s newest residents.

The book was compiled by Mary Carroll, Sinead Kelleher and Susan McElligott. Mary is the co-ordinator of Tralee International Resource which helps support Kerry’s new international community. Sinead Kelleher is a journalist and believes that Kerry should open its arms to its new residents. “We want this book to tell the story of people who have made Kerry their home,” said Sinead.

Susan McElligott is a counsellor who works with international people on a daily basis. She is a US citizen who now lives in Ireland. She is one of 15 people who shares her story in the new book. “People’s stories are their identities and we want to share them so that past and future generations will understand where they came from,” said Susan.

Speaking about the Book, Mary said, “We all are different and yet the same. Some may be like us and others may be vastly different. We hope this book will allow you to think twice when you pass someone on the street and wonder what that person’s life has been like. We hope this book will help to connect the people of Kerry.”

Behind the Face will be launched this Friday, December 2, at Siamsa Tire at 6pm by Tralee’s Ultan Dillane. The Irish Rugby International was originally born in Paris to an Irish mother and a father from the Ivory Coast, but grew up in Tralee.
MC for the event is Radio Kerry’s Deirdre Walsh and author and columnist Billy Keane, who penned the foreword, for the book will also be in attendance.

The book is available from TIRC – 066-7127918 – and costs €10 with all proceeds going to support the work TIRC do on promoting integration. Watch the Facebook page www.facebook.com/InternationalpeopleinKerry/ for more information.
 


 
Above: Mary Carroll, Susan McElligott and Sinead Kelleher. PICTURE: DOMNICK WALSH

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Jordan’s new role with St Paul’s

By Sean Moriarty Killarney’s Paralympic hero Jordan Lee is to take on a new role with Scott’s Lakers St Paul’s Killarney Basketball Club. Jordan began his sporting career with the local basketball club where he created history by becoming the first amputee athlete to represent their country at international level. The High Jumper then switched […]

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By Sean Moriarty

Killarney’s Paralympic hero Jordan Lee is to take on a new role with Scott’s Lakers St Paul’s Killarney Basketball Club.

Jordan began his sporting career with the local basketball club where he created history by becoming the first amputee athlete to represent their country at international level.

The High Jumper then switched to track and field and qualified for the Tokyo Paralympics where he made history by becoming the first Kerry athlete to act as a flag bearer for an opening ceremony and lead an Irish team into an Olympic Stadium.

Now back home and preparing for the next Olympics in Paris, he has returned to his first love and will join the backroom staff at the local Division One basketball club ahead of their National League campaign which begins next month.

His father Jarlath Lee is head coach with St Paul’s.

“Jordan is joining us as our strength and conditioning coach,” Jarlath told the Killarney Advertiser.

INTERNATIONALS

Meanwhile, Scott’s Lakers St Paul’s Killarney Basketball Club National League team will have a distinctive feel to it this year after securing the services of three overseas players it for the season ahead.

The club’s biggest signing is Canadian professional Ben Miller. It was originally hoped that the former two-time Manitoba Player of the Year would play for the local side last season but the pandemic got in the way and the National League was never played. However, he did play two training games this time last year before returning to Canada until travel restrictions lifted.

“He is a good guy, very approachable and very good with the young members,” Jarlath said.

The club has also signed Bulgarian International Emilian Grudov.

The 20-year-old has already represented his home country at U16, 18 and 20 level.

“He is young, athletic and very good offensively,” added Lee.

The returning Lithuanian Dianius Varanaukus completes the club international line up for the 2020/21 season.

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Soccer coach licensed to one of the highest levels in Ireland

By Sean Moriarty A Killarney soccer coach has been praised by the FAI for her contribution to soccer in the county and on the occasion of her being granted a UEFA B Licence this week. Ramona Keogh of Mastergeeha FC has qualified for one of highest-ranking coach licences in Europe.The UEFA B Licence is a […]

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By Sean Moriarty

A Killarney soccer coach has been praised by the FAI for her contribution to soccer in the county and on the occasion of her being granted a UEFA B Licence this week.

Ramona Keogh of Mastergeeha FC has qualified for one of highest-ranking coach licences in Europe.
The UEFA B Licence is a coaching licence mandated by UEFA, the official governing body of European football. The licence is one level below the UEFA A Licence and allows holders to be head coaches of amateur clubs, youths up to age 16, and assistant coaches for professional clubs.

Ramona started her training in November 2019 and continued, when restrictions allowed, on several block weekends taking place in FAI Headquarters Dublin, Foto Island in Cork, and final assessments in NUIG in Galway.

“Ramona played a significant role in the course group, supporting the younger coaches and challenging those more experienced, ensuring that the group was dynamic, engaging, interactive and a real positive learning environment,” said the FAI’s Head of Coach Education FAI Niall O’Regan.

“Ramona has been a significant role model for not only female coaches but also males coaches in the Kerry region and has done phenomenal work in her previous club Killarney Celtic and more recently with Mastergeeha. It is so important to have such role models and the motivation Ramona has shown is infectious and many coaches will continue in the same vein.”

For Ramona, this week’s award was the culmination of months of hard work, seminars and study.

“It was really tough at the time, final assessments had been submitted, everything had then switched to Zoom and we were so eager to get it finished. Luckily enough I got to finish off a lot of the course content online and then had individual assessments with my tutor Richie Holland current Cork City Men’s Assistant Manager,” she told the Killarney Advertiser. “Then when we returned to outdoor sports in July we got our practical assessments finished with Galway Utd in NUIG.”

ASSESSMENT

The final assessment took place at Mastergeeha FC pitch – the first time ever that a UEFA coaching assessment took place in Kerry.

“I was coaching in Mastergeeha FC in Killarney pre covid and based on logistics and other coaches’ locations in Munster on my UEFA B I was delighted to coordinate a UEFA B assessment with the FAI to be held in the Mastergeeha with the help of the committee,” she added.

“Tom O’Connor FAI Coach Educator and former Interim Republic of Ireland’s Head Coach was really impressed with the setup, the standard of really good footballers and the fantastic committee that ran it so smoothly.”

It was the first time UEFA B assessments were ever held in Kerry and the facilities, committee and the Mastergeeha U16 Boys team were outstanding that day.

She received mentoring and support from some of the biggest names in Irish soccer.

“I was delighted and honoured to receive my UEFA B Diploma Licence,” she said. “Throughout the diploma I’ve had some great tutors, mentors and some great guest speakers from Robbie Keane, Vera Pauw, Stephen Rice and Ruud Dokter FAI High Performance.

“There was a great core group of us on the course from Irish Senior International Players like Katie McCabe, Megan Campbell, Louise Quinn, Niamh Fahy and I’ve made some amazing friendships with all the ladies on the course. From the start it was a group of huge experience, drive and determination was something we all had in common and it’s great to see us all complete it together.”

LOCAL HELP

She could not have done it without the help of her home club.

“On a personal note, I just want to thank Mastergeeha FC for all their help and support, with special mention to all the management committee, teams and coaches. Must give a mention to Allan Moynihan, Brendan Buckley, Paul Lenihan and Ulick O’Sullivan also. I’m really looking forward to getting back to Academy training in the next two weeks,” she added.

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