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Culture Night brings people together again

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The hunger for arts and culture was evident at Culture Night right across Kerry as eager culture vultures flocked to live events, theatre, music, exhibitions and tuned in online for a wide variety of events.

Mary O'Carroll and Irene McDonnell who attended John Spillane's concert in Muckross Traditional Farms as part of the return of Ireland's Culture Night 2021. Photo: Valerie O'Sullivan

Stephen and Elaine Moore who attended the concert in Muckross Traditional Farms as part of the return of Ireland's Culture Night 2021. Photo: Valerie O'Sullivan

Singer and songwriter John Spillane who performed at Muckross Traditional Farms as part of the return of Ireland's Culture Night 2021. Photo: Valerie O'Sullivan

Colm Ó Súilleabhain (left) and Danny and Lynn O'Keeffe who attended the concert in Muckross Traditional Farms. Photo: Valerie O'Sullivan

Singer and songwriter John Spillane meeting the staff at Muckross Traditional Farms as part of the return of Ireland's Culture Night 2021. From left: Mike O'Connor Majella Mangan Joan O'Connor and Tom Doyle. Photo: Valerie O'Sullivan

John and Eileen O'Mahony who attended John Spillane's concert as part of the return of Ireland's Culture Night 2021 on Friday night. Photo: Valerie O'Sullivan

Marie and Joan Cronin pictured at the concert in Muckross Traditional Farms as part of the return of Ireland's Culture Night 2021. Photo: Valerie O'Sullivan

Singer and songwriter John Spillane who performed at Muckross Traditional Farms as part of the return of Ireland's Culture Night 2021 on Friday night pictured with John Brosnan Connie O'Connor and Noreen Brosnan. Photo: Valerie O'Sullivan

Singer and songwriter John Spillane who performed at Muckross Traditional Farms as part of the return of Ireland's Culture Night 2021. Photo: Valerie O'Sullivan

Eamonn and Maura Fitzgerald with Nora Galvin and Anne O'Donoghue pictured at John Spillane's concert as part of Culture Night on Friday night. Photo: Valerie O'Sullivan

Sheila O'Connor and Val Doughty also attended the concert in Muckross Traditional Farms as part of Culture Night 2021. Photo: Valerie O'Sullivan

On a hugely successful night for all involved, artists, arts organisations and arts centres offered up a diverse selection of free events late into the night, with many events sold out in advance. For many, Culture Night marked the return to good cultural times after a devastating 18 months for the live events industry. The evening was funded by The Arts Council, Kerry County Council, Department of TCAGMS and supported by Creative Ireland Kerry and the Local Live Performance Scheme.

Key events in Tralee, Killarney, Listowel and Dingle saw grateful audiences return to their beloved theatres, museums and arts centres, while the towns and villages of Kenmare, Waterville, Killorglin, Caherdaniel, Castlemaine, Ballybunion, Scartaglin and Tureencahill treated their communities to an eclectic range of events.

Siamsa Tire kicked off events in Tralee with ‘Tunes, Taps and Surprises’, while the wonderful people at St John of God Kerry Services opened their Wah-na-Be! exhibition in the County Museum. Catherine Young Dance created a ‘Homecoming’ film that was launched to a national audience online, while Kerry Film Festival hosted their film event at St John’s Church. People took their pick of events around the town, covering drama, visual art, crafts, literature and film.

Meanwhile in Killarney, the Fanzinis, who sold out weeks in advance, treated families to a hilarious circus performance. With Sharon Langston on board, the waterbus at Ross Castle was full to capacity for two sailings, while John Spillane was another sell out at Muckross Traditional Farms.

St John’s Theatre, Listowel and Kerry Writers’ Museum had several events showcasing the best of theatre, storytelling, poetry, music and literature that Kerry has to offer. In Dingle, a full night of culture from book launches to dancing and exhibitions to slam poetry, culminating in a Super Céilí concluded celebrations.

“We had over 40 events across Kerry, and we want to thank all the artists, event organisers, and audiences for making Culture Night the very special occasion that is was this year,” Kate Kennelly, Kerry County Arts Officer, said.

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Jobs to keep gardeners busy

The weather is glorious at the moment, so I thought I would put together some jobs to keep every gardener busy! Winter bedding is now available – so plant up containers and pots to keep everything cheerful this winter! Conifers such as Goldcrest and Elwoodiis are an excellent choice for a centrepiece, as are Cordylines, […]

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The weather is glorious at the moment, so I thought I would put together some jobs to keep every gardener busy!

Winter bedding is now available – so plant up containers and pots to keep everything cheerful this winter! Conifers such as Goldcrest and Elwoodiis are an excellent choice for a centrepiece, as are Cordylines, Phormiums and topiary plants such as Buxus and Bay laurels. Heathers give colour all winter, as do ornamental cabbages. Winter pansies, violas and Batchelor’s buttons are all in stock now, and will provide colour for months, Cyclamen are beautiful – but beware! They do not like getting too wet, so ideally use them in pots and window boxes which do not get too much rain.

Bulbs provide a welcome splash of colour in the early spring, at a time when things are looking grey and grim. Choose from an extensive range – tulips, daffs, crocus, snowdrops – to name but a few. Planting mixtures of different varieties can lead to stunning displays in a pot, for example, plant in layers: tulips at the bottom, then daffs, hyacinth, crocus and anenomes for a long lasting pot of colour. In the garden plant bulbs in informal clusters of uneven numbers to give a natural looking display. Alliums are particularly trendy at the moment, these ornamental onions are available in pinks, white and yellow.

PRUNING

Pruning is one of those jobs which can give immense satisfaction. All old flower heads, the straggly growth of herbaceous plants and branches of unkempt shrubs can go into the compost heap. Pruning equipment can be confusing for the new gardener, so here are a few guidelines: there are two types of secateurs, bypass and anvil. The anvil secateurs is used for dead wood, but the bypass secateurs can be used for live as well as dead wood. The hedge shears are used to prune large shrubs or hedges, but is best for soft or thin growth. Loppers are used to prune trees and thicker branches and have long handles. These also come as anvil or bypass. Some of these are geared, these take the strain and strength needed out of the job, an excellent invention!

As the days get shorter and wetter, moss will start to grow again. Treat paths before they get slippy, with a product such as MossOff. Try to keep fallen leaves off lawns as they contribute to poor growth of grass and strong moss growth. A leafblower makes the job easy – especially a cordless one!

Lawns benefit from a final treatment in the autumn with a product such as an Autumn Lawn Feed and Weed or Viano Recovery from the producers of MO Bacter. These products both treat the roots of the grass, making the plant itself stronger for the winter. They do not cause excessive growth.

Finally, if there are empty beds in your vegetable garden, consider sowing a green manure such as winter rye or red clover. These will prevent weeds from taking over as well as enriching the soil with nitrogen. In the spring they can be cut down and dug into the soil, providing essential organic matter.

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Take the stress out of a career change

By Niamh Dwyer, Chairperson of the Kerry Branch of Guidance Counsellors People change career for a variety of reasons. For some people the desire to change comes from feeling unfulfilled or stressed in a current role or the need for more flexibility and autonomy as circumstances in your personal life evolve. Other people are prompted […]

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By Niamh Dwyer, Chairperson of the Kerry Branch of Guidance Counsellors

People change career for a variety of reasons. For some people the desire to change comes from feeling unfulfilled or stressed in a current role or the need for more flexibility and autonomy as circumstances in your personal life evolve.

Other people are prompted to change because of ambition to develop professionally, the desire for more meaning or purpose, job security or to earn more money.

Whether career change is forced upon you through organisational restructuring or is an active choice you are making, it can bring a mix of emotions. Among them is the fear and a lack of confidence on how to navigate the change effectively and the feeling of overwhelm associated with not knowing where to start. Conversely, it can be a time of great excitement about the possibility of taking on a new (and maybe very different) role or opportunity. Either way, drawing up a career action plan that breaks down the process into manageable tasks will help to ease any stress associated with career change and save you time and energy in the long run.

UNLOCKING YOUR POTENTIAL

Start by thinking about where you are now and where you would like to be – what are your priorities and non-negotiables and what are the practicalities you need to consider? To dig deeper do a self-assessment audit of your transferable skills and competencies, your career values and character strengths. Journal your career change journey by recording anything interesting you find out about yourself or career areas you are interested in. Some people like the idea of drawing up a career vision board as part of the process. Set clear goals and a specific timeline for yourself. As you gain more clarity, write out what your ideal job specification might look like, this will guide your job search. Explore options to up-skill or retrain if you feel this is helpful or necessary. Do a spring clean of your CV so that it reflects you accurately and favourably. Reach out to people in your network who may be able to assist you as you navigate this transition. Think about possible side projects you could work on to explore different areas before taking a big leap. Set up or update your LinkedIn profile, it is an important part of career development. Practice interview skills, you want to be able to perform confidently when they come around. Think about this process as unlocking the potential of your ‘career brand’ so that you and prospective employers have a strong sense of who you are professionally, what you value and what you bring to the workplace. Doing this work will enable you to approach your job search and career change with renewed confidence. It will take some time but it will be worth it!

Niamh Dwyer is a Guidance Counsellor in Scoil Phobail Sliabh Luachra, Rathmore, and Chairperson of the Kerry Branch of Guidance Counsellors. She is also a Careers Advisor – For details see www.mycareerplan.ie or follow @mycareerplan on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.

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