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€22k works as St Oliver’s prepares to reopen

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By Michelle Crean

Works to the tune of €22,000 including colour coded areas for children, over 80 hand sanitiser units, a marquee for dropping off children and new electronic doors are all part of the changes at St Oliver's National School.

Principal Rory Darcy this week said that with 714 pupils and between 28 and 30 pupils per class, there's a lot of work going on in the background to ensure social distancing can be met as per the Department's guidelines for when the school reopens next month.

They also have a pre-school with 103 children in attendance.

And although children from Third Class up are advised to socially distance one metre away from each other, he says it's going to be their biggest challenge.

"With the one metre issue, it's very difficult to work. You can't stay one metre away. One metre apart is not going to be possible, that's a worry and a concern. We will have to look at face visors and masks," Rory told the Killarney Advertiser this week.

A big school, reworking the space to try and allow the recommended distance is underway.
"Every available space will be used. Our hall is now a classroom with partition walls going up. This hall was used seven days a week for the gym, speech and drama and choir, that's all gone now."

The expected return date is August 31 and when children return parents are advised to drop them off at the marquee at the courtyard where teachers and SNAs will greet them and bring the pupils in through their various colour coded areas.

"The school is divided up into six pods all colour coded. For instance Junior Infants will be colour coded red and Senior Infants blue. They will follow the coloured line into the school. We've installed four sets of double doors with fob key entry. Each class is like a family and that class then only have a teacher, SNA and support teacher where possible. There'll be three different break times and they will only play with their own class."

He added that they'll be sending out a video explaining the new procedures before they return.

"The children might be nervous in the days before they return so we'll send them a video message to welcome them back."

The Killarney area has a panel of substitute teachers ready for any absences, he added.

Cleaning will also be a priority, including everyone pulling together to keep the school as sanitised as possible. Door handles have been changed costing €4,000. Contract cleaners will now come daily as opposed to every second day and doors to classrooms will be locked each evening.

Aside from the funds to get the school ready for reopening, €55,000 has been spent on new secutiy measures which were already planned for, he added.

"We don't have all the answers, we're doing the best we can. Everyone will need to be patient."

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Killarney centre stage for Pride Festival

The award-winning Kingdom Pride in Kerry festival is back next week and Killarney will take centre stage. Kingdom Pride will be celebrated in towns all across the county from July […]

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The award-winning Kingdom Pride in Kerry festival is back next week and Killarney will take centre stage.

Kingdom Pride will be celebrated in towns all across the county from July 17 to 21.

The organisation’s flagship Party in the Park event will be held again in Killarney House and Gardens, following the Pride march in the town centre on July 20.

This year, in solidarity with the people of Palestine, Kingdom Pride in Kerry is inviting the people of Kerry to come to show their unity by bringing Palestinian flags and kites to the march, and to the Party in the Park.

“Pride is a protest for human rights all over the world. Here in the Kingdom, we have been so lucky to receive tremendous community support from our allies and supporters, and we see the struggle for liberation of all peoples as a united cause,” said Daniel Quirke, chairperson of the organising committee.

“Our events have always welcomed everyone, regardless of gender, orientation, religion, or nationality. We truly believe that together we can create positive change through caring for and loving one another. This year is no exception, and we look forward to helping to highlight the Palestinian cause, and to bringing people together to keep generating positive change for all people.”

Events will take place in Cahersiveen, Listowel, Killorglin, Tralee and Dingle, and include an Irish comedy night with Áine Gallagher, an Irish-language movie screening, yoga, sea swimming, poetry and storytelling, bowling, pitch and putt, a lively drag night at the INEC, and plenty more for people of all ages.

“We do our best to keep tickets as low-cost as possible, and we have lots of events that are totally free to attend. It is important to us that people can share Pride with us, regardless of income. Especially with the rise of the cost of living putting a strain on people’s pockets.” added the chairperson.

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A weekend of Live Music, Fun and Entertainment, at FleskFest 2024

The organisers of the annual FleskFest have “a tremendous line-up, with a weekend full of entertainment to suit all” for the July 18 to 20 event. “It promises to be […]

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The organisers of the annual FleskFest have “a tremendous line-up, with a weekend full of entertainment to suit all” for the July 18 to 20 event.

“It promises to be the festival weekend of the summer, an event you don’t want to miss out on. Last year’s Festival was a fantastic memorable experience for our community, a time to get together and celebrate,” said festival PRO Seán Daly.

Organised by Glenflesk GAA, FleskFest 24 will take place at the Barraduff Community Field next week.
There will be a fully licensed bar in the Fest Marquee, some amazing live music on The Big Stage, food trucks and much more.
Glenflesk GAA club’s biggest fundraiser of the year includes a new-for-2024 Texas Holdem Poker Tournament on Thursday night.
Weekend highlights include old-time waltzing, jiving and polka sets with Paudie McAuliffe and Paudie Coffey Band on Friday,
On Saturday, the new Well Flesk event will take place.
“A morning of self-care and wellness at Flesk Fest featuring masterclasses in yoga, pilates, mindfulness, spinning, fitness sessions, workouts, firewood sauna and ice pods with a range of experienced and qualified instructors,” added Daly.
Leading local musician Johnny Courtney and Friends, Sam and Ina, The O’Donoghue Sisters, Reigning All Ireland Champions Glenflesk Ballad Group, and The Border Boys will take to the Big Stage over the weekend.
Sunday is Family Fun Day with children’s entertainment and disco and the All-Ireland Hurling Final Live on the Big screen followed by music with Thingamajig.
The festival will finish with a Sunday evening session with the Meadhbh Walsh Band.

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