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Dawn chorus to be livestreamed from Muckross Abbey

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The beautiful sounds of nature's finest song birds will be broadcast for all to hear on Saturday morning beginning at 5am.

The location of Muckross Abbey - The Franciscan Friary of Irrelagh was carefully chosen established under the patronage of Donal MacCarthy and around 1440 it is believed Donal’s great-grandfather Cormac MacCarthy had a vision that an Abbey be found at Carraig na Chiuil - The Rock of Music. As they passed Irrelagh they heard beautiful music coming from a rock and it was here that Cormac founded the Abbey The site of an earlier monastery built by Saint Fionán. The Conservation Rangers will also speak about the beautifully preserved cloisters and the iconic 500-year-old yew tree. Buried in the Abbey are the internationally renowned Four Kerry Poets from the 17th and 18th centuries Seafraidh Ó Donnchadha Aodhagán Ó Rathaille Eoghan Rua Ó Súilleabháin and Piaras Feiritéar. Photo: Valerie O'Sullivan

The National Parks and Wildlife Services (NPWS) team based in Killarney National Park will livestream the 'Dawn Chorus' through the Park’s Facebook page: www.facebook.com/killarneynationalpark from 5 - 6am.

Against the beautiful backdrop of Muckross Abbey in Killarney National Park, listeners will be treated to a live performance alongside expert commentary from the National Park and Wildlife Services (NPWS) Conservation Rangers.

Listeners can expect to hear birdsong from Killarney National Park’s birdlife, including robins, blackbirds, song thrushes, wood pigeons, wrens, warblers, sparrows, and finches. The livestream will coincide with the annual ‘Darkness into Light’ event and provide an ideal companion to those participating in the walk as well as listeners based at home who are interested in engaging with nature and the heritage of Killarney National Park.

NPWS staff led by Danny O’Keeffe, will guide and identify the various birdsong. The event also brings together the history and heritage of Killarney National Park and its surrounds. Conservation Rangers will speak about the beautifully preserved cloisters and the iconic 500-year-old yew tree. Buried in the Abbey are the internationally renowned Four Kerry Poets from the 17th and 18th centuries, Seafraidh Ó Donnchadha, Aodhagán Ó Rathaille, and Eoghan Rua Ó Súilleabháin and Piaras Feiritéar.

A number of local experts and musicians will also participate in the event, including Sean Forde who will speak about the mythology surrounding the Abbey, Padruig ‘Brac’ O’Sullivan, who will speak about his 40 years’ service as a Park Ranger and music related to summer and the nearby Sliabh Luachra will be played by local musicians Niamh Ní Charra, Bryan O’Leary and Sharon Lyons.

The NPWS team is thankful for the support of INEC Killarney whose expert technicians, Kieran Somers and Denis Lovett will be supplying the audio and live-streaming services.

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Ireland’s oldest citizen has Killarney connections

Ireland’s oldest woman met with President Michael D. Higgins at Áras an Uachtaráin this week. Máirín Hughes, who turned 109 on May 22 has strong Killarney connections. The previous record […]

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Ireland’s oldest woman met with President Michael D. Higgins at Áras an Uachtaráin this week.

Máirín Hughes, who turned 109 on May 22 has strong Killarney connections.

The previous record was held by 107-year-old Nancy Stewart who died on September 10 2021.

Although born in Belfast, Máirín went to school in the Mercy Convent. Her father was a customs and excise officer and the family moved around a lot eventually coming to Killarney after spells in County Down and Dublin.

Her mother came from the Rathmore area and her father was from Newmarket in County Cork.

She attended the Mercy Convent and has, in previous interviews, recalled growing up on the shores of Lough Lein.

“Neighbours who had three children were given the job of taking me to school,” she said. “They were annoyed because the children were going to school for two or three years but I was put in to the same class as them – my mother had taught me.”

In 2021 she featured in the book ‘Independence Memories: A People’s Portrait of the Early Days of the Irish Nation’, sharing stories of being kept in school in Killarney during an attack on the RIC barracks down the road.

In 1924 she started a degree in science and a diploma in education at University College Cork, before working in the pathology lab in University College Cork’s Department of Medicine for 16 years.

last year she recalled her story on the podcast: ‘Living History – Irish Life and Lore’.

During the broadcast she talked about her parents’ membership of the Gaelic League in 1910; the Spanish Flu in Ireland in 1918; The Black and Tans in Killarney in 1921; the early days of the new Free State; Eucharistic Congress in Dublin in 1932, visiting the Basket Islands in 1929; and working in the UCC medical laboratory from 1932 until 1948.

This week President Michael D. Higgins hosted an afternoon tea event to celebrate the important role that a variety of people have and can play in different communities and Máirín was among the guests of honour.

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Philip is running over 100kms for Cancer charity

Local runner and charity fundraiser Philip Kissane is set for the biggest challenge of his career as he lines up for the Cork City Marathon on Sunday. Phillip has already […]

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Local runner and charity fundraiser Philip Kissane is set for the biggest challenge of his career as he lines up for the Cork City Marathon on Sunday.

Phillip has already completed four half marathons at various locations around Killarney – all in aid of Kerry Cancer Support Group – or the Cancer Bus as it popularly called.

This is the second time that Phillip has run four half marathon and an official race for the charity.

Back in 2021 he finished with 5km Run Killarney event but his finishing race this time around is over eight times the distance at 42kms.

“We are delighted with Philip’s continued fundraising support but also with his awareness raising for the charity,” Breda Dyland, Service Manager Kerry Cancer Support Trust.

“We are getting busier all the time and still get no statutory funding so are dependent on fundraisers like Philip’s to keep us on the road. We have just put our new wheelchair accessible bus on the Cork route so Philip’s funding will be going towards the operation of this vehicle.”

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