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Compassionate COVID carer set for Killarney treat




By Michelle Crean

So moved by the gripping RTE Investigates 'Inside Ireland's COVID Battle' that one local guesthouse owner has offered one of the carers a three night stay next weekend.

Ciara Roche who runs Killaran House on Park Road was so heartbroken as she watched Lisa Connolly's compassion towards a patient named Patrick when the programme aired in June, that she contacted her personally and invited her and her family to come to Killarney for a weekend away.

And Ciara hasn't stopped there either as she reached out on Facebook asking local businesses to offer their services over the weekend also.

So far, Lisa and her three sisters will enjoy a helicopter ride courtesy of Dermot Healy, a Jarvey ride with John Kearney to Ross Castle, free taxi service for the weekend from Killarney Hackney Cabs, hair and shellac nails by L&S Hair and Beauty, dinner for four on Friday night in Rozzers Restaurant, and carvery lunch in town on Sunday.

However, Ciara is now hoping that more businesses will come on board and offer a few more treats for the compassionate carer.

"I was so moved by Lisa Connolly's compassion towards Patrick, that I contacted her and invited herself and her family to join us for a weekend away," Ciara told the Killarney Advertiser.

"My mom passed away shortly before lockdown and my heart was breaking watching the programme. Also at the beginning of lockdown I joined a group on Facebook supporting nurses and there were nurses sleeping in their cars. I always wanted to do something for someone and felt this was it. Now herself and her three sisters are staying with us from August 14 for three nights. I put up a post on Facebook asking if any other businesses would like to offer them something and have received a good response but I feel a lot more businesses would probably like to get involved and perhaps didn’t see the post. My main concern is meals for them. I'm hoping a few might offer lunch or dinner and also if there's any company who'd like to offer their services to showcase Killarney to them."

Anyone who'd like to help can contact Ciara on 086 8121548 or



Carols by Candlelight

    St. Mary’s Cathedral, will be filled with music and glowing candles, as choirs from all over Killarney Parish gather for a community of voices together to celebrate Christmas […]






St. Mary’s Cathedral, will be filled with music and glowing candles, as choirs from all over Killarney Parish gather for a community of voices together to celebrate Christmas 2023, December17, at 7.00pm. Admission is free.

Ten Choirs from Killarney parish will join together and sing some of the world’s most beloved Christmas carols.
The carol service is directed by accomplished Musician and Choral Director, Paula Gleeson. Originally from Cork, her family have been involved in all aspects of choral and church music for 50 years.

“This is the best experience as director, working with Fr. Kieran O’Brien, and St. Mary’s Cathedral Choir, I get to work with so many talented people in Killarney. The commitment of Teachers, Principals, and the hundreds of students from the Primary and Secondary Schools is inspiring. The generosity of our sponsors, who were so willing to contribute has helped to make this night a reality. We are all so truly grateful,” she said.

Choirs include:
St. Mary’s Cathedral Parish Choir, organist Anita Lakner
Holy Cross Mercy School Choir
St. Oliver’s Primary School Choir
St. Brigid’s Secondary School Choir
St. Brendan’s Secondary School Choir
Killarney Harmonisers
Killarney Community College School Choir
Lissivigeen National School Choir
Gaelscoil Faithleann School Choir
Presentation Monastery School Choir

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The same but different – A tribute to three great Irish musicians



Driving home from work last Friday, tributes for Shane McGowan were pouring out across the radio stations and while listening in, I got a strong sense of déjà vu.

It was only a few months earlier that we got the sad news that the talented Aslan front man Christy Dingham had passed away, and a short few weeks after that – Sinéad O’Connor.  The loss of three iconic Irish musicians that left music fans across the country reeling.

When I think about each artist individually, their personalities couldn’t be more different. Yet, for days after the passing of the Pogues frontman, I found myself wondering why I was so drawn to all three.

And then, over the weekend I stumbled across a completely unrelated article which led with a headline:

“In a year dominated by artificial intelligence, deepfakes, and disingenuity, “authentic” has somehow emerged as Merriam-Webster’s word for 2023.”

And there was my answer. The one characteristic that embodied all three of these great Irish musicians.

It was my mother that first introduced me to Aslan’s music. She grew up during their peak and loved all sorts of rock music. I regularly watch their Vicar Street performances back on YouTube and still get mesmerised by Christy’s intense stage presence. Using elaborate hand gestures to evoke a greater meaning behind the words, he always looked like he was away in his own world. Off stage, and particularly later in his career, I admired him for his honesty when talking about his struggles with addiction and mental health. He was talking openly about these issues long before it was the norm.

Sinéad O’Connor was another original soul who, because of her talent, was catapulted into a music industry consumed by artificiality; she was almost too pure for it all. I always admired her unwavering commitment to her beliefs. Her authenticity was evident in every aspect of her artistry. The way she unapologetically embraced her shaved head and boy-ish style, she challenged conventional opinions around beauty. Her music reflected her personal struggles and she never shied away from addressing issues of social injustice, religion, and gender equality. Her stances often drew criticism and controversy, but she always remained true to herself.

Shane MacGowan will always be remembered for his unfiltered nature, and while the lyrics of many songs were dark and gritty, there was also an element of empathy and compassion in what he wrote. Like Christy, he too struggled with addiction and mental health issues throughout his career. While his demons sometimes spilled over into the public eye, his honesty and vulnerability just endeared him even more to us Irish.

So isn’t it apt in a year we lost three great musicians, the word of 2023 happens to be the one undeniable trait that they all shared. Thank you Christy, Sinead and Shane for showing us that authenticity is not just about being different to everyone else; but also about possessing the courage to challenge the established, to question the norms, and to keep going, even when the going gets tough.


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