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Marie Meets: Colm says farewell to The Mon as he begins new role




The Presentation Monastery Primary School was an exciting place to be last week as Minister for Education, Norma Foley officially opened the brand new extension at the school complete with multi-sensory room, two new special needs rooms, a vibrant spacious hall and an outdoor classroom dedicated to the memory of the very popular and much loved Dott Henggeler, who represented Washington in 2011 at the Rose of Tralee.

I thought to myself as I walked through the vibrant, revamped building what a wonderful achievement and a fantastic note to go out on for Principal Colm Ó Súilleabháin, who was completing his last week at The Mon before taking up his new role as Principal at St Oliver's NS in Ballycasheen. It really is a work of art, so bright and spacious.

“Minister Foley’s visit was a great high for us here at The Mon. She was a very impressive lady, speaking without the aid of notes and she was extremely knowledgeable of the school and its history. It was an honour to have her officially open the new building,” Colm said.

“I am Principal at The Mon for 13 years now Marie and I loved every day of it. I was working at Tralee CBS under Denis Coleman and thought to apply for the position to gain interview experience. I was absolutely thrilled to get the position, I really was. We are young staff, a close knit family who have grown up together here at The Mon. We have celebrated many events together down through the years. Sure enough the Principal is the person you think to go to as the higher point of contact but I have been blessed with a fantastic team behind me from the pupils to the parents, the Board of Management, the teachers and all the staff. It was the togetherness and drive of all of these people that made the extension at The Mon possible. In some ways the pandemic helped. Our community fundraiser ‘The MONster Raffle’ gave focus and we worked together as a unit to make it happen. And together we did it, to the tune of €40,000. It really is amazing. Every donation counted, from the local businesses, to past pupils, pensioners, including generous donations from abroad would you believe? We are very grateful to everyone who donated to the raffle.”


“So tell me about the big move Colm. Are you excited about it?” I asked. “I am hugely excited Marie. When the position at St Oliver’s arose, I didn’t give it a great amount of thought but after a friend suggested I go for it I let the notion sit with me and a few days later submitted my application,” Colm explained. Nothing like a fresh pair of eyes and the encouragement and good intentions of a close friend to get the ball rolling I thought. Everyone should have one of those.

“I was absolutely thrilled to get the job and the community have been so kind to me. I am very grateful to Principal Rory D’Arcy and Vice Principal Tim Horgan at St Oliver's NS for all their time, support and advice. Many within the community have stopped me in the street to wish me well, so much so that my daughter asked if I now had celebrity status,” Colm laughed. At this point I realised I didn’t know too much about Colm and his family. “My wife is Breda and I have two boys and two girls all attending Gaelscoil Faithleann Marie - Aodhagán (11), Orlaith (9), Muireann (7) and Colm Óg (5).

“We have great history at The Mon and I have learned so much through the Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty Memorial Society. In 2013 it was the 175th anniversary of the Presentation Brothers of Education and we conducted a fancy dress parade in full costume through the town of Killarney finishing up at the Arbutus Hotel where the first Monastery Primary School was established in the upstairs building. There is so much history attached to this school, and now with the new building there is a bright and wonderful future for all attending and for future generations of The Mon,” Colm concluded.

And an equally great future for Mr Ó Súilleabháin at St Oliver’s I thought. On my way out I noticed the corridors had also been painted to tie in with the new ‘good vibe’ theme that I got at The Presentation Monastery Primary School.

Thank you for having me Principal Colm Ó Súilleabháin and the very best of luck for your new position as Principal at St Oliver’s NS next week.

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How to have the best skincare routine at home

By Jill O’Donoghue from Killarney Toning and Beauty Studio Home care is essential for glowing, youthful skin. It’s like brushing your teeth, it must be done twice a day. Step […]




By Jill O’Donoghue from Killarney Toning and Beauty Studio

Home care is essential for glowing, youthful skin. It’s like brushing your teeth, it must be done twice a day.

Step one: Cleanse to remove sweat, oil, dirt and other pollutants that your skin naturally collects throughout the day and night. It’s the first step in your skincare routine and shouldn’t be rushed.

How to do it; Cleanse your skin in the morning and in the evening to keep your pores clear and your face fresh. Your cleanser may vary based on skin type, but with all cleansers, the general consensus is to apply them using an upward, circular motion so as to prevent wrinkles from forming. Make sure your hands are clean in order to prevent excess dirt from entering your pores.

Step two: There is a lot of confusion around toner, and when you’re first establishing a daily skincare routine, it may even seem unnecessary. But most experts agree that toning is an important addition to your skin care routine with beneficial effects for your skin. After you cleanse your skin of impurities, toner removes any residue left behind by the cleanser as well as any make-up or oils your cleanser might have missed. The added cleansing effects help prepare your skin to absorb moisturiser and minimise the appearance of pores. Some toners may have PH balancing and antiseptic effects as well. Apply toner right after you have cleansed your skin while it is still damp. The best way to apply it is with a cotton pad or cotton ball, simply soaking cotton pad with toner and wiping upward and out, starting at your neck.

Step 3: Exfoliate. Our skin is constantly shedding millions of skin cells every day, but sometimes those cells can build up on the surface of our skin and need some extra help to be removed. Exfoliating removes these dead skin cells that have accumulated in our pores. If you struggle with blackheads, acne or breakouts, you’re not going to want to miss this step.

It’s best to exfoliate after toning and before moisturising. You should exfoliate one to three times a week, but this depends on your skin type and how it reacts to exfoliation. Experiment and find what works best for you. There are chemical exfoliators and granule exfoliators such as your traditional sugar or salt scrub. Both can be effective tools for removing dead skin cells, but chemical exfoliating ingredients like AHA and BHA are often more effective in getting deep into your pores and removing buildup.

Properly cleansed skin will allow your next steps e.g. serums and moisturisers get to the right layers of the skin where they will be most effective.

For a skincare consultation or more advice just ask Jill on 064 6632966.

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Annual Christmas motorbike charity road run launched

The Kerry Bikers are hosting their annual Christmas Bike Run on December 18. The event will raise funds for St Francis’ Special School at St Mary of the Angels in […]




The Kerry Bikers are hosting their annual Christmas Bike Run on December 18.

The event will raise funds for St Francis’ Special School at St Mary of the Angels in Beaufort and Eagle Lodge in Tralee.

Now in its sixth year, the run, which is organised by an amalgamation of several Kerry motorcycle clubs under the banner of Kerry Bikers, will visit Killarney.

The run gets underway at 10.30am from Tralee. The first stop off is in Sheahan’s Centra on the Muckross Road where the Tralee group will be joined by local motorcyclists before setting off on a yet to be decided route.

“We will announce the route in Killarney. Last year we went to Killorglin, Farranfore and Castleisland. This year Abbeyfeale and Listowel may be in reach and if so we will make donations to Nano Nagle Special School too,” organiser Dave Foley said.

Over one hundred motorcycles are expected to take part in the run. Last year the full convoy measured 1.6km from start to finish.

“We hope to exceed that this year,” added Foley


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