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Christmas miracle as kind stranger comes to stranded women’s aid

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By Sean Moriarty

When a relatively straightforward rail journey from Galway to Killarney turned to a nightmare, three strangers experienced a Christmas miracle and got home in time for the holidays.

Cara Ní Chofaigh, a NUI Galway student and an employee of a Galway-based citizens support agency, urgently needed to get home to Kells this week as she is back working over the weekend.

She left Céannt Station Galway on Tuesday, and expected to arrive in Killarney at 10.15pm later that evening where her mother was waiting to bring her on the final leg of her journey.

She made it to Colbert Limerick Station a little later than planned due to signalling issues.

That meant she missed her connecting train to Limerick Junction and onward connection to Killarney via Mallow.

At this point Irish Rail staff advised her not to travel to Limerick Junction as she would have been stranded there.

Two more young women, strangers to Cara, found themselves in the same predicament on a lonely platform in Limerick.

Cara admitted that she knew one of the women to see but did not know her personally, and that the third woman was a Limerick-based tourist on the way to Killarney to visit friends.

Irish Rail staff were trying desperately to find solutions, the three women were offered a bus to Tralee and an onward connection to Killarney by taxi but that would mean they would not arrive at their final destination until well after 1am.

“A man called Tony stepped up and said he would drive us to Killarney, it was all very surreal,” Cara told the Killarney Advertiser.

“He went out of his way. He was supposed to collect his son from the cinema at 11.30pm but, instead he was driving us to Killarney, it was just amazing.”

The three women eventually arrived in Killarney at 11pm, 45 minutes later than planned. In an ironic twist, they met their Mallow train in Farranfore after that was also delayed due to the same signalling issues.

“All in all we were about 15 minutes late,” added Cara. “I was able to tell my mother the whole story on the drive down to Kells, she was laughing and kept saying ‘only something like this could happen to you’.”

Cara is only home for Christmas for a few days. She is due back in Galway tomorrow (Friday) as she is scheduled to work for the citizens support agency over the weekend.

“At one point I really thought I would not get home for Christmas,” she said. “It is a lot easier to get connections back to Galway late at night and I was considering going back up.”

Instead, thanks to the Irish Rail employee, she was able to spend Wednesday and Thursday with family in South Kerry.

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Trilogy of comedy on offer by Dóchas Drama

By Sean Moriarty Dóchas Drama Group will present a series of three short comedy plays next week. All three plays are written and produced by Dóchas and will be acted […]

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By Sean Moriarty

Dóchas Drama Group will present a series of three short comedy plays next week.

All three plays are written and produced by Dóchas and will be acted out by the group’s members.

The opening act, ‘Flossing Around’ is written by Ger Madden and directed by Brian Bowler.

“A woman has an innate fear of the dentist. We go on the journey with her as she faces her fears, with hilarious consequences,” explained the group’s Liz Ryan.

This will be followed by ‘Faraway Hills’ which is written by Mary Quirke and directed by Michael Mills.
It is a tongue in cheek look at family life.

“A son wants to get away from small town life. His mother wants to keep him at home but his father can’t wait to see the back of him,” added Liz, who plays the mother in this short play.

Brain Bowler wrote the third instalment called ‘A Little Visitor’ which is directed by Ryan Jones.

“There are lots of misunderstandings when a hypochondriac visits a group of doctors who have other things on the their minds,” added Liz.

The run, which will feature all three performances each night, starts Wednesday next week and continues Thursday and Friday (February 8 to 10) at the Killarney Avenue Hotel. Tickets are €10 and are available at the door.

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Killarney secures three gold medals in national business awards

Three hotels in Killarney have won gold medals at the Virgin Media Business Gold Medal Awards. Now in its 33rd year, the awards the best of the best in the […]

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Three hotels in Killarney have won gold medals at the Virgin Media Business Gold Medal Awards.

Now in its 33rd year, the awards the best of the best in the hotel and catering sectors across the country.

This year, judges received over 460 entries from 150 hotels, guest houses, country houses, restaurants, cafés, bars and catering companies from around Ireland.

“An important factor in the Gold Medal Awards is the credibility and impartial nature of the judging process. Every property that undergoes this process is subject to benchmarking against a strict set of criteria and a blind site inspection conducted by the judging panel,” said an event organiser.

“This panel comprises respected industry experts from across the hospitality, culinary and catering sectors.”

Three Killarney hotels took top awards in different categories at the awards ceremony held at the Galmont Hotel and Spa in Galway on Tuesday night.

The Great Southern Hotel was named as the best Business and Conference Hotel in Ireland.

“To be recognised among the greatest hotels in Ireland is a marvellous achievement for Great Southern. It is fantastic news and has provided all our staff with a little morale boost. Our Business & Conference partners and customers are extremely important to us with some relationships in place annually for over 30 years. Receiving this recognition for the service we provide is a fantastic achievement and testament to the incredible work of our outstanding staff,” said Michael Jacobi Managing Director said.

The best front of house team award went the staff at the Aghadoe Heights Hotel and Spa.

In the Hotel Casual Dining Experience category the Dunloe Hotel and Gardens came out on top.

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