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Creativity conquered during countywide Culture Night

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By Michelle Crean  

There was plenty of magical moments during Friday's Culture Night across the county including some special performances in Killarney.

Cormac Begley master concertina player playing music during Culture Night. Photo: Valerie O'Sullivan

The Hickey family Ray Mary Jack and Hollie pictured at Muckross School House for Culture Night on Friday night. Photo: Valerie O'Sullivan

Nora Hallissey (left) and Mary Jo Curran pictured at Muckross School House for Culture Night on Friday night. Photo: Valerie O'Sullivan

Liam Ó Maonlaí multi-instrumentalist and vocalist of Hothouse Flowers fame in action during Culture Night. Photo: Valerie O'Sullivan

Cormac Begley master concertina player from West Kerry combined with Liam Ó Maonlaí multi-instrumentalist and vocalist of Hothouse Flowers fame pictured with staff of Muckross School House and Traditional Farms Joan O'Connor Ann Fleming and Aoife O'Sullivan. Photo: Valerie O'Sullivan

Cormac Begley master concertina player from West Kerry combined with Liam Ó Maonlaí multi-instrumentalist and vocalist of Hothouse Flowers fame came together for an evening of Irish culture at Muckross School House pictured with Brendan Kelliher and Fiona O'Donoghue. Photo: Valerie O'Sullivan

Cormac Begley master concertina player combined with Liam Ó Maonlaí multi-instrumentalist and vocalist of Hothouse Flowers fame at Muckross School House chatting with fellow musician Colm Ó Súilleabháin at the Culture Night. Photo: Valerie O'Sullivan

Sean De Buitlear and Alex Pott at Muckross School House celebrating the 17th Culture Night on Friday night. Photo: Valerie O'Sullivan

Toddy Doyle (Manager Muckross Traditional Farms) pictured at Muckross School House with Cormac Begley and Liam Ó Maonlaí (Hothouse Flowers) for an evening of Irish culture at Culture Night. Photo: Valerie O'Sullivan

Liam Ó Maonlaí multi-instrumentalist and vocalist of Hothouse Flowers fame in action during Culture Night. Photo: Valerie O'Sullivan

It was music to their ears in Muckross School House as Liam Ó Maonlaí, multi-instrumentalist and vocalist of Hothouse Flowers fame, came together for a sell-out performance with West Kerry's master concertina player Cormac Begley.

Children and their parents had some fun as Guido Fanzini’s 'Impossible Circus' entertained the crowd at Killarney House and Gardens. ANAM Cultural Centre hosted an evening of painting, music and dance while​​​​​​AfroTrad played in St Mary’s Church of Ireland.

There was a wonderful evening of poetry hosted by poets Eileen Sheehan and John W Sexton at Government Buildings on New Road Killarney.

Meanwhile in Tureencahill and Listry communities came together for an evening of film, storytelling, heritage, song, and dance.

In total there were over 45 free events countywide including a new national focus on ‘Culture Night Late’ in Tralee, the very best of cinema with the Kerry International Film Festival, Tralee’s own Fanzinis brought us ‘Paradise Cabaret’ at the Greyhound Bar as well as ‘Firestorm’ at the Island of Geese.

Síamsa Tíre ran an eclectic programme of music, song and dance that enthralled.

Killorglin paid tribute to the late Pauline Bewick with a beautiful talk hosted by her daughter Poppy Melia, with exhibition tours by Helena Golden.

Killorglin District Pipe band travelled to Killarney to perform along Main Street for ‘Pipes on the Street’.

Dingle, Caherdaniel and Cahersiveen provided fabulous events as Gaeilge, with poetry, music, well-being and song.

Highlights included ‘A Dead Man’s Bell’, outdoor theatre and of course the Wren Boys in the Square, who ensured maximum atmosphere.

Kerry County Council’s Arts Office, supported by the Arts Council and the Local Live Performance Scheme 4, and Creative Ireland, helped to co-ordinate the events, which were very well attended.

"Kerry has so much to offer in terms of culture and creativity, another reason we are lucky to live here," Cathaoirleach of Kerry County Council, Cllr John Flynn, said.

Audiences were delighted to see so many in-person events and all ages came out to support and enjoy the evening.

"Culture Night reflects our lives and the creativity across our beautiful county," Arts Officer, Kate Kennelly, added.

"We want to thank all the artists, organisers and creative people who put on such wonderful events this year, these people are part of the soul of the county."

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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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