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Celtic Steps back after long-running planning row

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By Sean Moriarty

Celtic Steps will celebrate a new lease of life by performing for the first time in 14 months tomorrow night (Saturday).

The Irish dance and music spectacular will record a behind-closed-doors show at the INEC which will be broadcast on a yet to be announced date.

It is the Killarney team’s first show after a long-running planning permission row came to an end this week.

The show, popular with locals and visitors alike, was based at Killarney Racecourse for the last number of years but faced challenges over late night noise and crowds.

However, the team behind Celtic Steps and Killarney Racecourse Company worked behind the scenes to overcome the issues.

“Each and every remedial action required to comply with all the planning requirements was met along with the substantial financial cost. The result is a stunning theatre for our show – fully sound-proofed, fully air conditioned with large bus and car parking facilities,” said a Celtic Steps statement issued this week. “The show, without doubt, would not be still running in Killarney without the foresight of Killarney Race Company. We appreciate the huge support from all our local residents, businesses and tourism interests.”

Celtic Steps is already preparing for next season and Saturday’s INEC concert is a part of their 2021 plans.

“Our main ethos has always been the nurturing and promotion of Irish traditional music, song and dance, we believe that our benefit to the economy, the creation of 55 jobs and our determination to promote both Killarney and County Kerry has only increased our resolve. Now is the time for us all to promote, produce and protect our amazing jewel, Killarney."

Celtic Steps thanked The INEC Arena team and the Department of Tourism, Culture, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media for their efforts in getting Saturday night’s performance off the ground.

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Black Valley broadband installation gets underway

Works are under way to install a high-speed fibre broadband network in the remote Black Valley area of Kerry. The Black Valley was one of the last areas of Ireland […]

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Works are under way to install a high-speed fibre broadband network in the remote Black Valley area of Kerry.

The Black Valley was one of the last areas of Ireland to be electrified but broadband in the region is expected to be live in the second half of the year with residents already able to pre-order their connection. 
“It is well known that Black Valley was one of the last locations to get electricity due to its remoteness and challenging terrain, so we are extremely pleased to be commencing the rollout of our high-speed fibre network now with a view to connections being available later this year,” said National Broadband Ireland Deployment CEO, TJ Malone.
  
“We are determined to ensure the rollout is as fast as possible and connection is made easy for Black Valley residents, and we have a plan in place to work around the location’s all-important tourist season.

“Black Valley is a symbol of NBI’s mission that no area will be left behind no matter how rural or remote and we are delighted that this beautiful location moves one step closer to high-speed fibre today, with all the opportunities that will unlock for the local community.” 

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Players of the year don’t duck a challenge

They never duck when faced with a big challenge on the field so it was safe to assume that GAA players of the year David Clifford and Louise Ní Mhuircheartaigh […]

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They never duck when faced with a big challenge on the field so it was safe to assume that GAA players of the year David Clifford and Louise Ní Mhuircheartaigh weren’t going to shy away from the latest task on their home patch.

The two top footballers in the country teamed up to launch a charity duck race which will form part of this year’s St Patrick’s Festival in Killarney, where they both live.

When the working day was done, busy secondary school teachers David and Louise had some great quack and they got caught up in the spirit of the occasion along the scenic River Deenagh in Killarney National Park.

The reigning Player of the Year and Ladies Player of the Year award winner demonstrated their competitive streak when they expressed confidence that their own ducks will win The Deenagh Duck Dash on the same river at noon on Monday, March 18.

But, luckily, festival chairman Jason Clifford was there to keep the peace and he even threatened to cry fowl and brandish a card at the star players – with duck yellow deemed the most appropriate colour.

Considered by many to be the greatest players of all time in their respective codes, between them, Fossa hotshot David and Corca Dhuibhne star Louise have an incredible nine All-Star awards.

But they might be tempted to swap one if their duck wins the fun-filled race on the day after St Patrick’s Day.

All proceeds from the event will go to St Francis Special School in Beaufort, Killarney which provides specialist education for young people with learning disabilities.
Festival chairman Jason remarked: “This isn’t just a race – it’s great fun for the whole family.
“Picture the scene with a flotilla of vibrant rubber ducks racing down a winding river, their owners cheering them on and all in the name of a fantastic cause”.
Super prizes await the winners, the cost of a rubber duck to participate in the race is just €5 and they can be bought online at https://stpatricksfestivalkillarney.ie/.

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