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Brave Orlaith to take to the catwalk for cancer charity

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COURAGE: Orlaith Monks from Ross Road, who now lives in Beaufort, will take part in the Models for Recovery fundraiser for the very first time next Wednesday night. Photo: Michelle Crean

 

By Michelle Crean

It’ll be an emotional night for Killarney lady Orlaith Monks, who, after overcoming breast cancer, plans to bravely take to the catwalk next Wednesday night.

The 51-year-old, who is originally from Ross Road and now lives in Beaufort, now hopes to help raise funds and awareness for the sixth annual ‘Models in Recovery Fashion Show’.

Orlaith, who courageously had a double mastectomy, will be amongst approximately 20 others who have fought cancer, in the INEC on Wednesday next for the Killarney branch of the Kerry Hospice Foundation.

And, although Orlaith says she’s used to the stage following shows with Killarney Musical Society, she admitted it will be an emotional rollercoaster on the night.

“It will be very emotional for me, I never in a million years thought I’d be on the stage as a cancer survivor,” Orlaith told the Killarney Advertiser.

“I’m not nervous. I’m doing it for those who can’t do it.”

Feeling off for many years Orlaith decided to visit her doctor to discuss HRT treatment for the menopause. However, in order to take the prescription she was advised to get a mammogram, but was called back a week later as the result wasn’t clear.

Not worried about anything sinister, Orlaigh, a mother of three, went back and was told that she had a lump and that it was HER2 Negative breast cancer.

After many tests and biopsies, Orlaith took the brave step and decided to have both breasts removed and was relieved to hear that she didn’t need any chemotherapy treatment afterwards.

“I felt liberated,” she said. “They don’t define me, I’m still the same person I was two years ago. It doesn’t bother me in the slightest. I wasn’t doing it for myself, I did it for my family. I feel very lucky that I dodged a bullet. I wasn’t one for checking myself but I’d say to anyone to check yourself.”

 

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Staff and students highlight important message

By Michelle Crean Local students went to great efforts on Friday last to highlight a very important message about inclusion. Staff and students in Killarney Community College came together for ‘Stand Up Awareness Week’ as part of a national campaign where second-level schools take a stand against homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying. All staff wore […]

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By Michelle Crean

Local students went to great efforts on Friday last to highlight a very important message about inclusion.

Staff and students in Killarney Community College came together for ‘Stand Up Awareness Week’ as part of a national campaign where second-level schools take a stand against homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying.

All staff wore a rainbow colour and students wore rainbow coloured accessories to show their support for the campaign as Killarney Community College is a diverse, inclusive, accepting, and welcoming safe space for everyone.

The majority of students made a particularly great effort in terms of wearing rainbow coloured accessories were awarded house points.

During the week, the LGBTI+ flag was hanging proudly in the school canteen. Transition Years decorated the General Purpose area with informative posters, and in SPHE classes, students learned about LGBTI+ terminology and history.

“It’s important that school is a safe and inclusive place for anyone attending regardless of their race, sex, religion or sexuality,” Principal, Stella Loughnane, said.

“I’m delighted that our school community marked the occasion and brought great colour while highlighting a very important message. One of the key words of our mission statement is inclusion making this awareness day a very apt one.”

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Donation to be made in memory of Johnny Batt

By Sean Moriarty Spa GAA remembered one of their most loyal members this week when his beloved club donated to a Kerry charity. Club stalwart Johnny Batt Cronin, who was steeped in Spa GAA club history, passed away in September 2019 after a battle with cancer. An outstanding footballer, he won seven O’Donoghue Cup medals […]

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By Sean Moriarty

Spa GAA remembered one of their most loyal members this week when his beloved club donated to a Kerry charity.

Club stalwart Johnny Batt Cronin, who was steeped in Spa GAA club history, passed away in September 2019 after a battle with cancer.

An outstanding footballer, he won seven O’Donoghue Cup medals with Spa as well as a county Intermediate Championship medal in 1974 and a County League Division One title two years later.

He was also a member of the star-studded East Kerry divisional side that won the inaugural All-Ireland Club Championship in 1971.

When he hung up his boots, Johnny trained and coached many underage teams and was honoured with a hugely deserved lifetime achievement award by his beloved Spa GAA Club in 2015.

He was also a champion card player, winning the Spa Championship of Kerry 31 Card Drive on two occasions.

After his passing, Spa GAA wanted to run a 31 Card Drive in his memory and to raise funds for the Oncology Department in University Hospital Kerry.

The Card Drive was postponed on several occasions due to the pandemic – and while some of the earlier rounds were completed by early 2020 – it was not possible to complete the competition that has now been cancelled completely due to ongoing crowd gathering concerns.

“A number of teams had entered this Card Drive competition (two people per team) and it started in early 2020 and most but not all of the early rounds did get played,” club PRO, Deirdre O’Sullivan Darcy, said.

“When COVID-19 hit they delayed the next stages of the competition.”

Nevertheless, teams had paid entry fees and it was decided to handover the funds raised to the Comfort for Chemo charity at the Oncology Department in University Hospital Kerry.

Members of the organising team met this week to reveal the winners of spot prizes had the event gone ahead. The money will be handed over next week to the charity when the final amount is totalled.

“They kept delaying and postponing but at this point have decided to cancel it completely and make the donation for the money that was collected at the time,” added Deirdre.

WINNERS

The prize-winning teams are:

€100 voucher for the Great Southern Killarney: John Kerins and Tim McCarthy
€100 voucher for the Great Southern Killarney: Con Lynch and Alan Cronin
€100 voucher for the Great Southern Killarney: Finbarr Godfrey and Tim Regan
€50 voucher (each) for Killarney Carpet & Furniture Centre: Seanie Kelliher and Connie Doolan
Bottle of whiskey and bottle of wine: Peter Cahill and Barry Duggan

The club also thanked event sponsors: Skellig Hotel Dingle, Kennelly’s Pharmacy, Hegarty’s Spar Muckross Road, Daly’s SuperValu, Killarney Oil, O’Leary’s Electrical, Paul Herlihy Contractor, Liam Chute, Killarney Oaks Hotel and Bowler’s Centra.

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