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Cancer fundraiser set up in memory of popular Killarney man

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FUNDRAISER: Derry O'Leary wanted to thank care staff who looked after him while he fought cancer so a fundraiser was set up in his memory.

By Sean Moriarty

A GoFundMe campaign set up in memory of a popular Killarney man has already raised €8,000 for cancer charities in the county.

Derry (Jeremiah) O'Leary, from Flesk Bridge House, Muckross Road, and formerly of Inch, Kilcummin, passed away on Easter Saturday after a long fight with the disease.

Derry was so thankful for the care he received in the Palliative Day Care and Palliative Care Hospice at University Hospital Kerry and the support from the Irish Cancer Society Daffodil Nurses that it was one of his last wishes a fundraiser for these charities should be set up in his name after he passed.

He was well-known around Killarney having worked in a variety of roles with companies including Transmould, Dawn Dairies and finally Stryker Medical in Macroom.

An avid Liverpool fan he had travelled many times to Anfield to see his beloved Reds play. Derry also travelled to many race meetings across the country and abroad with Cheltenham being one of his favourites.

Indeed, it was at the Killarney Races where he first met his wife Helen Mannix, and later ended up proposing at the Galway Festival which became a yearly celebration for them.

Helen said she was thrilled with the response to the fundraiser.

“This is what he wanted, and I wanted to do it sooner rather than later," she told the Killarney Advertiser.

"He was very grateful to the staff at the three charities and would even look forward to his trip to University Hospital Kerry every Wednesday as his day out – they were so good."

Derry was an accomplished sportsman too and played for the Kilcummin GAA side that won the 1997 Intermediate Football Championship with his father Jerry as selector. He was also a keen soccer player with Anabla FC and Mastergeeha, and was a member of the 1994 St Brendan’s College team that won the Corn Uí Mhuirí.

His cousin Sean O’Leary also played for Kilcummin in 1997.

“Derry was a major part in us winning," he said.

"Derry got bad news over two years ago and faced his illness like every battle he faced on the field with determination and courage. May the sod lay lightly on Derry, my old teammate, cousin and loyal friend.”

To donate, go to GoFundMe: Derry O Leary Memorial Fund.

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Students awarded for their contribution to school life

By Michelle Crean Students were honoured for their contribution to school life this week during a special end of year awards ceremony. Held in the school gym on Wednesday afternoon, […]

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By Michelle Crean

Students were honoured for their contribution to school life this week during a special end of year awards ceremony.

Held in the school gym on Wednesday afternoon, the students from St Brigid’s Presentation were presented with a variety of awards from sport to science, music and visual art while Sixth Year student Saoirse Coffey received the Orla Benson Award.

“During this school year, our students have showcased their brilliance and extensive talents,” teacher Adrienne Brosnan, said.

“We are all so proud of these outstanding achievements across all aspects of school life. Awards day is a truly special occasion for all members of the St Brigid’s community and one which we relish the opportunity to celebrate. It is a time of anticipation, a time of excitement and a time of great joy. The awards that are presented are a testament to that dedication and we also acknowledge all the great work that is done by the teachers here in St Brigid’s.”

Sixth Year students also said their final goodbyes ahead of their State exams next month.

“We wish them the best of luck as they spread their wings and leave the shelter of St Brigid’s for the beginning of a new adventure.”

AWARD WINNERS

Other awards winners were:

Anna Dunlea received the Contribution to Graphics award while Leah Vinluan got the Design and Communication Graphics award.

Clodagh O’Connor and Sarah O’Sullivan both received the Contribution to Visual Art award.

Abbie Finan was awarded Soccer: Player of the Year, Chloe Hue Senior Football: Player of the Year, Emily Buckley 1st Year Football: Player of the Year, Abbey Cronin 2nd Year Football: Player of the Year, and Andrea Murphy Junior Football; Player of the Year, Senior Basketball: Most Valued Player went to Tara Donnellan, the Minor Basketball: Most Valued Player was given to Ciara O’Sullivan and the Cadette Basketball: Most Valued Player went to Leah McMahon.

Kara Huggard earned herself the LCA Student of the Year, Sarah McGrath received the CEIST Award, Excellence in Science was awarded to Emma Myers and Jennie O’Mahony, while Rita Akhter received the Overall Contribution to STEM.

Bríd O’Connor who wrote the book Spark presented Saoirse O’Sullivan with the Outstanding Achievements in Music award.

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Businesses face closure due to staff shortages

Hospitality sector businesses might have to close a few days a week to off-set staff shortages. Fáilte Ireland last week launched a recruitment drive to attract part-time workers into hospitality […]

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Hospitality sector businesses might have to close a few days a week to off-set staff shortages.

Fáilte Ireland last week launched a recruitment drive to attract part-time workers into hospitality and tourism roles, where it is estimated that there is as much as a 40,000 shortage in such roles for the peak summer season.

Damien McCarthy of HR Consultancy firm HR Buddy, founded in Killarney but now based in the RDI Hub in Killorglin, said that workers are losing out due to a more cashless society.

“Hospitality businesses may have to consider shutting their doors or decreasing their operational hours during the peak summer season as many businesses such as bars, restaurants, cafes, B&Bs and hotels are struggling to find staff for the demand. The industry is suffering over these few current weeks in particular as many part-time student workers are not available due to college and Leaving Cert exams. This shows how dependant the industry has become on young student workers,” he said.

“Many service industry workers choose part-time or casual work in hospitality roles because of the tip bonus, but this has even been impacted negatively now as most tips are taxed because they are coming in electronically. The worker is losing out and this key attraction tool that existed when we were a more cash orientated society in pre-pandemic times, is now gone.”

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