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Celtic Steps Reels In The Years With Sensational Celebration Event




This year marks ten years of Celtic Steps The Show and the Irish Music and Dance Show kicked off their season in style with a sensational Launch Party on Friday last at their home of the Killarney Racecourse.

Cathaoirleach Killarney Municipal District Cllr Niall Kelleher David Rea Director Celtic Steps Brenda Doyle and Toddy Doyle Muckross Traditional Farms at Celtic Steps the Show at a special launch to celebrate their 10th anniversary and opening of their opening season 2023 at Killarney Racecourse on Friday night. Photo: Valerie O'Sullivan

Members of Celtic Steps the Show celebrating their 10th anniversary at a special launch of their opening season 2023 at Killarney Racecourse on Friday night. Included are Shannon Flanagan Holly Duffy Erin Grace Cooke Sean Slemon David Pyke and Peig O'Connor. Photo: Valerie O'Sullivan

Terrence Mulcahy Director Killarney Racecourse Ailish Mulcahy Bridie Brosnan Niall Brosnan at Celtic Steps the Show at a special launch to celebrate their 10th anniversary and opening of their opening season 2023 at Killarney Racecourse on Friday night. Photo: Valerie O'Sullivan

The event was attended by a variety of local businesspeople and politicians as well as media and some of Kerry’s most popular personalities.
Their Guests were treated to a lively trad set by the Celtic Steps Band while mingling and enjoying some drinks and canapes.
The Pre-Show Celebration was concluded with a heartfelt speech from David Rea & Sean Murphy, Co-Directors who took a walk down memory lane and talked about the Show’s humble beginnings and inspiring journey.
Sean Murphy remembered how Celtic Steps commenced in the summer of 2012, in the Mangerton Suite of The Gleneagle Hotel “in more hope than certainty that there was space for another Irish Dance and Music Show”. What transpired was a show that combined the best of Kerry’s culture and folklore through song and embodied a strong belief in displaying all styles of Irish dance, not just the more commonly accepted examples in many shows
It quickly became apparent that both locals and tourists were engaged by the natural, raw and live synergy that the dancers and musicians brought to the stage.
With its core ethos firmly honed on employing local talent, currently numbering 40-50 employees, Celtic Steps exploded through its first few very successful seasons in its new home at the INEC, Gleneagle.
As tourism grew even bigger up to 2019, the Show kept up its side of the bargain and
partnering with some of the world’s biggest inbound operators continued to trend upwards in audience numbers to where it regularly plays to four hundred people nightly in the high season, in a state-of-the-art theatre at Killarney Racecourse which has been home since 2017.
In 2019, the Show opened a second nightly performance at the Brandon Hotel Conference Centre, where now Celtic Steps runs both during the period from May to October, doubling staff numbers and offering visitors to Kerry, an experience unsurpassed in visitor attractions.
Post pandemic, the Show has now re-positioned itself as one of the top visitor and local night-time entertainment options throughout a long season performing just under three hundred concerts in County Kerry and now travelling internationally, back to Holland for a full month of Christmas shows in December 2023 on the back of a hugely successful 2022 tour.
Throughout the 21 shows in The Netherlands this year, they will personally sell to over 15,000 Dutch attendees nightly, playing in twenty-one different venues across the country.
“It has been an amazing journey to do something that you love nightly, however it would have been impossible without the local support of businesses in Kerry and special mention at this juncture to The Gleneagle Group (our home still for Killarney Race days!).

The Killarney Oaks, The Great Southern Hotel and The Board of Directors and Staff at our current home, The beautiful Killarney Racecourse in what is now The Celtic Steps Theatre” said David Rea.



Fossa School says ‘bonjour’ to French classes



Fossa National School is giving its pupils a headstart in learning a new language.

The school signed up to Language Sampler scheme as part of the ‘Say Yes to Languages’ initiative in primary schools organised by Post Primary languages Ireland in 2021. This is the school’s third year running the module.

Hélène Olivier-Courtney, the school’s French teacher and director of French For All Killarney School of French, covers ten schools in Kerry over the three terms.

The success of the initiative relies on an all-school approach and the active involvement of class teachers and management.

“The whole staff in Fossa certainly helped make this new journey a special and enjoyable experience for the children as we learnt French through art, songs, games and food tasting! This year, we also organised a catwalk on our last day. Our sixth-class students will have such a head start before secondary school and most importantly will have develop curiosity interest and love for the language,” said Hélène.


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Opinion: Silent majority needs to stand up and call out far-right hate



By Chris Davies

Last Friday’s Dublin Riots should not have come as a surprise to anyone. It has been bubbling under the surface of Irish society for a good number of years now. The actions of a small minority last week was a culmination of years of racism, hatred and misinformation shared online by far-right groups.

Late on Friday night a disturbing WhatsApp voice note was doing the rounds on social media where a far-right actor could clearly be heard encouraging violence on the streets of Dublin. 

“’Seven o’clock, be in town. Everyone bally up, tool up…Any foreigner, just kill them”

Watching the Riots unfold on social media brought me back to when I was working in Dublin a number of years back. My morning commute from Skerries to the city centre involved a dart to Connolly Station followed by a short trip on the Luas to the Jervis. Every week, without fail, I would witness at least one racial slur or attack on someone who didn’t fit the narrow minded view of what an Irish person should look, dress or talk like. I don’t know if it is the eerie silence of public transport that seems to amplify the situation, but that’s where I found it to be most common. The abuse was usually perpetrated by a group of youths or someone who was clearly under the influence of drink or drugs. The victims were always of colour, often dressed smartly enough to presume they were on their way, or coming from work. A far cry from the perpetrators who you could tell were roaming aimlessly around the city looking for trouble.

While shameful to admit, I would often look on and watch the abuse unfold, only to spend the rest of my work day thinking about the poor person who was told to “F*&K off back to your own country”. I would sit at my desk questioning why I didn’t step in and say something. There were one or two occasions where I did step in and call it out, but not nearly often enough.  

This disgusting behaviour is much more visible in our cities. Since moving back to Killarney I wouldn’t witness as much direct abuse on the streets but working with the Killarney Advertiser I would be tuned in to local news and some of the comments I read on our social platforms are far worse than anything I witnessed during my time in Dublin.  

There is a significant group of people in Ireland that I would call the ‘silent majority’. We are not as outspoken on issues we care about. We tend to observe and consume the news quietly, and only speak of our support or disgust on certain issues in close circles, too afraid we might offend someone. The problem with this is that we are leaving these far-right groups unchallenged, to become louder, more aggressive and more hostile as seen last week. 

The past week Sinn Fein and the Social Democrats have been busy in the media expressing no confidence in Justice Minister Helen McEntee and Garda Commissioner Drew Harris but I would suggest that there is a large percentage of the Irish population that bears some of the responsibility. We witness racism in our communities and online every day and we need to start speaking up and calling it out. 

On the issue of immigration in Killarney, there is no doubt resources are being stretched and our tourism industry is suffering as a result of an influx of immigration. Locals have also raised concerns in relation to the placement of so many male international protection applicants in one setting and we only have to look back on the incident in Hotel Killarney last year where a number of men were involved in a harrowing stabbing incident to see how that played out.  

However, being concerned around immigration is not the same as anti-immigration. It is important to raise these issues with local representatives and Kerry TD’s but also to separate ourselves from far-right groups who are only interested in encouraging violence.  

The anarchy we witnessed last week should never be the answer and research shows it is completely unnecessary. Harvard University have looked at hundreds of protests over the last century, and found that non-violent campaigns are twice as likely to achieve their goals as violent campaigns and that it only takes around 3.5% of the population actively participating in the protests to ensure serious political change.

Let’s continue to protest peacefully for issues we believe in, but stand up and speak out against people and movements in our community that incite hate and violence. 

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