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Competition continues to spread Donal’s message

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Entries are now open for the sixth annual Live Life Film Competition in memory of Donal Walsh.
The national competition, which was officially launched on Thursday last at the Kerry College of Further Education, is open to groups and individuals of all ages and abilities who are invited to submit a two minute film clip on a theme linked to positive thinking/living. This year's theme is ‘It All Works Out!’
The competition aims to continue to spread Donal's positive message as he began an anti-suicide conversation before he lost his cancer battle in 2013.
The fully-sponsored competition culminates in the highly acclaimed annual awards ceremony attended by over 800 people with celebrity guests and bands. This year only the primary school awards will be presented at the Live Life Awards Ceremony. A new element is being introduced for the secondary school and adult entries as the shortlisted and winning entries will be screened on the big cinema screens at a separate award ceremony.
The competition is fully sponsored and supported by local businesses and organisations, and the event manager for the competition, Mary Lucey, Principal of Kerry College of Further Education (KCFE) stated that without this ongoing sponsorship and support, the competition would not continue and could not have grown from strength to strength as it has.
This year will also see the assistance from Kerry College of Further Education (KCFE) teachers and student groups in the organisation and management of the competition.
Well known film and creative experts will judge the competition including Maurice Galway, Director of Dingle International Film Festival and Dingle Animation, award winning producer Lisa Fingleton, award winning creative designer Paul Ruane; TV producer Brian Hurley; award winning author and screenwriter Ailbhe Keogan; actress, writer and producer Maeve McGrath, and more.
As many people as possible are encouraged to submit an entry with a phone, a camera, an iPad - whatever can be used that that will work.
“What this film competition is about is capturing life and living life,” Mary Lucey said.
“What is important is that people have a great time making the films and realise live is for living, which was always Donal's message.
Films must be two minutes only and can be uploaded to YouTube/Vimeo and emailed to livelifefilm2019@gmail.com. Closing date for entries is March 17.

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Valuable role of Kerry cancer support charity recognised nationally

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Cancer support charity Recovery Haven Kerry has been recognised for its vital role in supporting cancer patients and their families at a national ceremony in Dublin.

The renowned cancer support house was one of 16 such centres across Ireland that were presented with plaques to acknowledge their full membership of the National Cancer Control Programme (NCCP) Alliance – a group made up of voluntary and charity organisations delivering support services directly to cancer patients and their families. An additional 10 associate member charities were also honoured, including Kerry Cancer Support Group.

The Alliance advocates for, and supports, the development of integrated pathways between the cancer centres, acute hospitals, community cancer support services and primary care services. All members’ development is in line with the values of Sláintecare, seeking to provide assurance to healthcare professionals that these organisations are working to an agreed standard as set out in Best Practice Guidance published by the NCCP. 

Speaking after the ceremony, which was held at Dublin’s Farmleigh Estate, Recovery Haven Kerry Chairman, Tim McSwiney, explained that being compliant with the Best Practice Guidance for Community Cancer Support Centres is a true mark of quality. 

“It offers us a yardstick to measure what we are doing against the standards required. As a result, healthcare professionals have more confidence in referring people to our services. We are very proud to be a member of the Alliance,” he said.

Recovery Haven Kerry was represented at the event by centre manager, Gemma Fort and Client Services Co-Ordinator, Siobhan MacSweeney and were presented with their plaque by NCCP Lead for Cancer Survivorship, Louise Mullen, Clinical Lead for Psycho-Oncology Dr Helen Greally, and Minister of State at the Department of Health, Colm Burke. 

The event was also used as an opportunity to announce funding of €3m for the NCCP’s Alliance of Community Cancer Support Centres and Services through Budget 2024. The NCCP is currently in the process of distributing these funds which will directly and positively impact the delivery of services for patients and families nationally.

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‘More Precious Than Gold’ book launch

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At the official book launch of ‘More Precious Than Gold: My enduring connection with John McShain – the man who built Washington’ by Alice O’Neill-McLoughlin at Killarney House, was Minister of State for Nature, Heritage and Electoral Reform, Malcolm Noonan, T.D.

Alice was born the eldest of eleven children into an Irish farming family in Rosbercon, New Ross, County Wexford. In 1978, she was awarded a scholarship from John McShain- the iconic builder, philanthropist, devout Catholic with Derry ancestry, responsible for many famous American landmarks, including the Jefferson Memorial and the Pentagon.

Her book records the lifelong personal correspondence Alice exchanged with ‘The Man Who Built Washington.’ His philanthropy extended to the Irish people in the bequeathing to the State of Killarney House and the surrounding thousands of acres incorporating the Lakes, Ross Castle, and Innisfallen Island. In 2019, Alice had the honour of inducting John McShain into the Irish America Hall of Fame in her home town of New Ross in the presence of his relatives from Philadelphia and Derry. This is a tale of altruism, of gratitude, of faith and of a life lived in the pursuit of excellence.

Alice also donated her treasured correspondence of letters from John McShain for the archive at Killarney House. Also in attendance were Members of the Ignatius A. O’Shaughnessy family, who was founder of The Globe Oil and Refining Company – and part of a consortium of wealthy American businessmen who were going to purchase the lakes of Killarney as a Country Club in the 1950’s.

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