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Celtic Steps spark a show of solidarity for Ukraine

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World champion Irish musicians and dancers put on quite a show at the weekend with a spectacular line-up of high energy jigs and reels for the people of Ukraine.

SHOWTIME: Enjoying the Celtic Steps The Show on Friday night were: David Rea (Celtic Steps The Show) Jennifer Rea Natalya Krasnenkova George Saary Sean Murphy (Celtic Steps The Show) Aine O’Donoghue (Director of Killarney Racecourse) and Gerard Coughlan (Chairman of Killarney Racecourse). Photos: Dylan Clifford

On Friday, Celtic Steps The Show welcomed over one hundred Ukrainian guests to their Irish music and dance show at Killarney Racecourse where they were introduced to the magic of Irish music and culture.

“For many months, we’ve all watched what’s been unfolding in the Ukraine with great sadness," Sean Murphy, co-producer of Celtic Steps, said.

"A couple of weeks ago, I met a Ukrainian woman and her child at the Innisfallen Hotel and it felt like the right time to extend the hand of hospitality. I invited them and the wider group to the show in the hope that the music might help raise their spirits.”

The Ukrainian group were collected from their place of residency at the Innisfallen Hotel courtesy of Flynn Coaches and transported to the racecourse, where they were welcomed by a sea of blue and yellow balloons at the entrance to the theatre. The highlight of the night was the performance of the Ukrainian National Anthem by the Celtic Steps musicians, who had taken the time earlier in the day to learn the piece.

“Celtic Steps The Show, thank you so much for the Ukrainian Anthem, we appreciate it a lot, we were in tears, Slava Ukraine!” Natalya Krasnenkova remarked.

David Rea, co-producer and narrator of the show, said on the night that they "are privileged to have some guests here tonight, who through no fault of their own ended up coming to Ireland".

"We are delighted to have you and we hope you have a nice time in Kerry for as long as you are here…this is a small tribute to you.”

George Saary who works at the Innisfallen Hotel in Killarney and who helped coordinate the event added “On behalf of the Ukrainian people, we want to thank you for your great welcome. Some of the group said they barely slept after experiencing the energy and excitement of the show and they all appreciated the love and care that was shown to them on the night.”

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Roger and Brendan really into the SWING of things

A Killarney man who has been living in the US for over 30 years has maintained a very strong connection with his hometown through a novel golfing tournament which involves […]

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A Killarney man who has been living in the US for over 30 years has maintained a very strong connection with his hometown through a novel golfing tournament which involves a regular challenge against local players.

Roger O’Sullivan, originally from Loreto Road and a member of the Rainier Golf and Country Club in Seattle, has linked up with another Killarney man, Brendan Keogh of SWING Golf, on several occasions to bring a group of golfers from the Seattle club to play a number of Kerry and Irish courses.

They compete for the Cider Cup which is their own unique take on the Ryder Cup.

In 2010 Roger led a group of 18 golfers from the US to play in Ireland and they repeated the journey and the adventure again in 2012, 2014 and 2017.

They had another trip planned in 2020 but that was cancelled due to Covid but they returned again in 2022 and a group of 44 golfers were back in Killarney in recent weeks to test their skills on the Kerry courses and against local players.

“Since we first started doing this in 2010 we have had 102 different golfers travel from Seattle,” Roger explained.
“I met Brendan Keogh on one of my visits home and he travelled to Seattle, at my request, and organised sponsorship at my golf club.

“Since then our trips have been expertly organised by SWING Golf who book us preferential tee-times, set up the schedule and coordinate our bus drivers. We have never had an issue or anything to worry about. Being friendly with Maurice O’Donoghue, we have always stayed at Scott’s Hotel,” he added.

The US visitors take on local players when in Killarney and this year there was 100 golfers playing on the Killeen course on the first day of their visit.

“The support of the locals has been incredible and I wouldn’t do this without them,” said Roger.
“There have been numerous friendships made over the last 14 years. We have supported a local charity on every trip and for the last two it has been the palliative care unit at University Hospital Kerry. This year we raised €5,100,” he said.

A former student at St Brendan’s College, Roger’s parents were Tony and Juliette O’Sullivan and his father was the head chef in the Gleneagle Hotel for over 20 years before the family purchased Danesfort Lodge at Woodlawn Cross on the Muckross Road.

Roger has been married for 20 years to Amy from Tampa, Florida and they have one daughter, Gracie.
Brendan Keogh joined SWING in the early days of its operation as financial operations manager, working alongside the late Paddy O’Looney.

A member of Killarney Golf and Fishing Club for 40 years, he is the current CEO and he will have served 33 years next September.

SWING, the brainchild of former Kerry Group chief, Denis Brosnan, markets and promotes the premier golf clubs in the south west and also runs an incoming golf agency.

Records show that the company has booked over 350,000 rounds of golf in the south west alone but it also facilitates golfers wanting to play elsewhere in the country.

The company’s senior team of Brendan, Eileen O’Sullivan and Tommy Pierce have 60 years of experience bringing golfers to these shores.

Killarney has been a huge beneficiary as it is a base for most visiting golfers while on the Kerry part of their trip. The locals like seeing the high spending golfers arrive in April for a season than runs until mid October.
2024 is busy and it is also looking positive for 2025.

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Killarney Toastmasters Celebrates 20 Years

Killarney Toastmasters Celebrates 20 Years

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Over 30 members, past and present, gathered last Tuesday in The Dromhall Hotel to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the founding of Killarney Toastmasters club.

Several founder members were present including Frank O’Sullivan and Bernadette Noonan, who are still current members of the club.
Members embrace the core values of Toastmasters International which are “respect, integrity, service and excellence”.
This year Killarney Toastmasters welcomed eight new members of various nationalities, who have brought many talents with them to this international club.
Outgoing president Anthony Walsh said: “I am heartened by the progress of new members and, following the success of the current year, I am looking forward to a bright future for the club.”
Anthony passed the chain of office on to incoming President Ann Hannan, who is very excited about leading the club in the year that Toastmasters International celebrates its 100th Anniversary.

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