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Donie’s niece follows in his talented footsteps




By Michelle Crean

The wonderful talent of the late Donal Courtney lives on through his beloved niece who has had her short film accepted for its US debut this October.

FILM: Niece of Killarney actor Donie Courtney, Jessica Courtney Leen, has had her film 'Not My Sister' accepted in the Newport Beach Film Festival in LA. Photo: Celeste Burdon

Jessica Courtney Leen's second short film 'Not My Sister' will feature at the prestigious Newport Beach Film Festival in California.

The film, shot on location in Cork, sheds a light on the burden of societal expectations and the pressure they have historically put on women. With a nod to the lasting trauma of mother and baby homes in Ireland and the taboo of sex in Irish society in culture, ‘Not My Sister’ captures the story of three women entangled in a web of societal shame and secretive survival.

"Donie was much more than an uncle to me," Jessica, who trained at The Gaiety School of Acting in Dublin, told the Killarney Advertiser.

"He was my teacher and my connection to the arts, my continued professional mentor who taught me everything I know and practice, and a friend who called me every day just to check in. My work will always be because of him."

She added that as an emerging female writer and director she is very passionate about championing stories about women.

"‘Not My Sister’ captures the family triangle of two mothers and two daughters all suppressing their deepest wants and needs," Jessica, daughter of Kathryn and Colm Leen, said.

And actress Gemma Doorly, who played Sarah O'Leary in Fair City for many years, is an incredible actor whose work she says she admired for years.

"I'm lucky to work with her in many capacities, - we're both head drama tutors at the West End School of Arts [on New Street], where we have recently been appointed co-creative directors. We work really well together. She's a very inspiring and creative woman."

And the one woman show Jessica created under Donie's tutoring and mentorship 'Waiting for WiFi' will be playing for three nights this month at the Cork Arts Theatre on September 15, 16 and 17.

"He was a huge fan of the show, it will be a really bittersweet performance."



Ring of Beara Cycle launches school programme

The Ring of Beara Cycle is for kids too! As part of its commitment to make a positive impact on the local community, the Ring of Beara Cycle are proud […]




The Ring of Beara Cycle is for kids too! As part of its commitment to make a positive impact on the local community, the Ring of Beara Cycle are proud to continue to with two great initiatives: its Kids’ Cycle and its sponsorship of the School Cycle Safety Programme.

The Ring of Beara Cycle will take place on May 25 with over 4,000 cyclists taking part. The event starts and finishes in Kenmare town, Co Kerry to complete either a 110km or 140km route encompassing the magnificent mountains, valleys and the rugged coastline of the Beara Peninsula.

Kids’ Cycle
Adults are not the only ones getting on their bikes on May 25 for the Ring of Beara Cycle. The event also has its very own cycle for children around the town of Kenmare. Not only does this give kids a chance to join in the days’ activities with their parents, but it’s free and a great way for kids to get outdoors and exercise in a fun and safe environment.
Open to any child in national school between third and fifth class and following a 2km route around Kenmare and a slightly shorter route for tinier ones, registration is from 9.15am in Kenmare town square. Parents and guardians are welcome to cycle with their children. All participants should bring and wear a safety helmet for the cycle.
School Cycle Safety Programme
Another community initiative from the Ring of Beara Cycle is the Cycle Right Programme, working with local schools to get kids’ up to speed on road safety and cycle best practices.
The Ring of Beara Cycle is working with Cycle Sense and Wheely Good Cycling Academy to deliver this 4-week programme to local schools in and around Kenmare and the Beara Peninsula.
Some 250 students across 8 schools are participating in this initiative, and the schools involved are: St John’s National School, Realt Na Mara National School , Lauragh National School and Tulloha National School in Kenmare, and on the Beara Peninsula: Scoil Chaitigheirn in Eyeries, Oir Cheann iNational School in Eyeries, Cahermore National School in Allihies, Scoil An Croi Ro Naofa in Castletownbere, Mhichil Naofa in Castletownbere, Adrigole N S in Bantry, and Trafrask Mixed N S in Ardrigole.
This initiative is normally paid for by the schools themselves but is now free for all the children taking part thanks to a generous donation by the Ring of Beara Cycle Committee that covers the cost of delivering the programme to these schools.
Cycle Right is the National Standard for Cycle Training and provides practical cycle safety and skills training through Department of Transport, the Road Safety Authority and Cycling Ireland. The aim of the programme is to promote cycle confidence on the road in increasingly complex scenarios delivered by qualified, registered trainers.
No stranger to giving back to the local community, not only does the Ring of Beara Cycle make a significant, positive impact on the local economy, it also encourages kids to enjoy themselves on their bikes and to do this safely with confidence.

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Browne’s Agri Open Day is a must-attend event

Browne’s Agri Open Day is always one that was marked in  Agri calendars as a ‘must-attend event’. This year’s event is taking place on Wednesday May 22 on their site […]




Browne’s Agri Open Day is always one that was marked in  Agri calendars as a ‘must-attend event’.

This year’s event is taking place on Wednesday May 22 on their site in Castleisland.

The event was always renowned for getting great advice on the Agri topics of the day as well as a window into modern developments taking place in all aspect of Agriculture and country living.

The extending of the yard area will allow more space to be given over to even more exhibitors, ensuring all areas of agriculture, and rural life will be showcased on the 22.

There will be experts on hand to advise on Calf Rearing, Grassland management, Weed control, Drainage, Fencing , Shed and Yard Layouts as well as bee keeping, and helpful health advice.

“As well as the great advice, you will be ensured of great deals, great food, great craic and free entry to the many spot prizes that will be available on the day,” said general manager Denis O’Connor.

“All that is asked is your attendance and if at all possible, to make a small contribution to our chosen charity Pieta House.”


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