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Echoes of Killarney Past this St Patrick’s Day

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A nostalgic reflection on Killarney’s proud past, including its rich history, folklore and legends, will be the focus of this year’s gala St Patrick’s Day parade in the town.

Echoes of Killarney Past is the theme chosen for the annual celebration of the national feast day with the spotlight falling, in particular, on three historical features in the town: 

Inisfallen Island and the tales of the monks who significantly shaped Killarney’s history;

Ross Castle, a wonderful landmark, which showcases a real symbol of Killarney’s resilience;

Queen Victoria’s visit in 1861 with a focus on capturing the pomp and grandeur of the occasion.

The theme for the Killarney parade will evolve over the coming years to celebrate Killarney's present and future but, in 2024, the focus will be very much on the town’s historical past.

“This year our goal is to elevate the Killarney event to become the premier regional parade outside of Dublin and we are counting on the support of the public and the adoption of the theme to achieve this,” said St Patrick’s Festival Chairperson, Jason Clifford.

A fun zone and live music will add to the magical atmosphere on the streets of Killarney on St Patrick’s Day and, to ensure full inclusivity, plans are at an advanced stage to provide an enhanced area at the Anam Centre on East Avenue Road where the focus will be on accessibility, autism-friendly and providing a quiet space.

The bumper festival, as always, is being organised by a team of volunteers guided by Killarney Chamber of Tourism and Commerce in partnership with Kerry County Council and with support from Fáilte Ireland.

Several major events have been planned for the festival including a star-studded concert in St Mary’s Church of the Sloes, on Saturday, March 16th, featuring renowned pianist Frank McNamara who will elevate many Irish classics to new heights.

Joining him on the night will be celebrated soprano Megan Ruby Walsh, accomplished RTÉ Concert Orchestra violinist Anne Phelan and lead dancer with Riverdance Tomás Ó Sé who will astonish the audience with his rhythmic footwork and dynamic movements, showcasing the unparalleled beauty of Irish dance.

Later that evening, as the sun sets and the stars emerge on the eve of St Patrick’s Day, Frank McNamara will perform Chopin by Candlelight which will be meticulously crafted to showcase the breadth of Chopin's genius and it promises an immersive experience that will linger in the memory long after the final notes have faded.

The concerts are being organised in conjunction with the Dunloe Hotel and Gardens and the Europe Hotel and Resort.

On the Monday after the St Patrick’s parade, at 12 noon, there will be a real feast of fun in store at the Great Duck Dash on the River Deenagh at Knockreer with proceeds going to the St Francis Special School in Beaufort.

At 2.30pm that day seanchaí Ray O’Sullivan will present Myths & Legends for Families at the Anam Centre on East Avenue Road and at 5.00pm he will reflect on Echoes of Killarney Past at the same venue.

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Black Valley broadband installation gets underway

Works are under way to install a high-speed fibre broadband network in the remote Black Valley area of Kerry. The Black Valley was one of the last areas of Ireland […]

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Works are under way to install a high-speed fibre broadband network in the remote Black Valley area of Kerry.

The Black Valley was one of the last areas of Ireland to be electrified but broadband in the region is expected to be live in the second half of the year with residents already able to pre-order their connection. 
“It is well known that Black Valley was one of the last locations to get electricity due to its remoteness and challenging terrain, so we are extremely pleased to be commencing the rollout of our high-speed fibre network now with a view to connections being available later this year,” said National Broadband Ireland Deployment CEO, TJ Malone.
  
“We are determined to ensure the rollout is as fast as possible and connection is made easy for Black Valley residents, and we have a plan in place to work around the location’s all-important tourist season.

“Black Valley is a symbol of NBI’s mission that no area will be left behind no matter how rural or remote and we are delighted that this beautiful location moves one step closer to high-speed fibre today, with all the opportunities that will unlock for the local community.” 

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Players of the year don’t duck a challenge

They never duck when faced with a big challenge on the field so it was safe to assume that GAA players of the year David Clifford and Louise Ní Mhuircheartaigh […]

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They never duck when faced with a big challenge on the field so it was safe to assume that GAA players of the year David Clifford and Louise Ní Mhuircheartaigh weren’t going to shy away from the latest task on their home patch.

The two top footballers in the country teamed up to launch a charity duck race which will form part of this year’s St Patrick’s Festival in Killarney, where they both live.

When the working day was done, busy secondary school teachers David and Louise had some great quack and they got caught up in the spirit of the occasion along the scenic River Deenagh in Killarney National Park.

The reigning Player of the Year and Ladies Player of the Year award winner demonstrated their competitive streak when they expressed confidence that their own ducks will win The Deenagh Duck Dash on the same river at noon on Monday, March 18.

But, luckily, festival chairman Jason Clifford was there to keep the peace and he even threatened to cry fowl and brandish a card at the star players – with duck yellow deemed the most appropriate colour.

Considered by many to be the greatest players of all time in their respective codes, between them, Fossa hotshot David and Corca Dhuibhne star Louise have an incredible nine All-Star awards.

But they might be tempted to swap one if their duck wins the fun-filled race on the day after St Patrick’s Day.

All proceeds from the event will go to St Francis Special School in Beaufort, Killarney which provides specialist education for young people with learning disabilities.
Festival chairman Jason remarked: “This isn’t just a race – it’s great fun for the whole family.
“Picture the scene with a flotilla of vibrant rubber ducks racing down a winding river, their owners cheering them on and all in the name of a fantastic cause”.
Super prizes await the winners, the cost of a rubber duck to participate in the race is just €5 and they can be bought online at https://stpatricksfestivalkillarney.ie/.

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