By Niamh Dwyer, Chairperson of the Kerry Branch of Guidance Counsellors
Have you or someone you support faced significant challenges which have impacted on your experience to access education and training opportunities?
If so, I highly recommend that you check out the services offered by the National Learning Network (NLN) centres nationwide? NLN provides education, training and specialist support to students and adults with extra support needs.
Over the years I have seen students who have faced big challenges personally, educationally and socially go on to develop their skills and self-confidence by completing courses which are suited to their interests at a pace which suits their learning needs. NLN offer courses which are designed to help build student’s confidence, knowledge, assertiveness, and to give them independent living skills. Most students progress onto further education or employment.
Who are these courses for?
NLN provides training and specialist support to young people and adults who, for a variety of reasons, may find it difficult to gain employment or need extra support before progressing in education. This includes young people who may not want to, or be equipped to, access traditional post-school pathways. Regardless of circumstances, be it long-term unemployment, physical or mental illness, disability or extra support needs, the NLN offers a welcoming and supportive environment for students from the age of 16 to 65.
NLN has 50 centres across Ireland which offer courses in a welcoming environment for participants. There are 70 programmes available at a mix of levels and are accredited by QQI, City and Guilds and other recognised awarding bodies. The courses vary from centre to centre but cover multiple options such as business, catering, computers, horticulture, art and design, wellness, employability skills and much more.
There really is something for everyone! The courses provide relevant practical experience gained in meaningful work placement and classroom-based learning.
You can check out the full list on - https://rehab.ie/national-learning-network/find-a-course/our-courses/.
Key aspects of the NLN education and training programmes include:
* Continuous enrolment (students can start any time)
* Small class sizes
* Personalised learning
* Free courses – all courses are funded by the HSE or the local ETB
* Students keep any social welfare payments they are entitled to
* Person-centred approach where every course is tailored to the student’s needs and delivered at their pace
* On-site psychologist to support student’s well-being and learning goals
* Course sampling – many students try a course out before committing
* Job-seeking skills – CV writing and interview techniques
NLN are running a national Open Day this Wednesday (August 24) from 11am to 1pm. Potential students, adults and parents are invited to drop into any of the their centres nationwide to chat to staff and see the wide range of diverse courses available. For more details on your local NLN centre and on how to apply check out www.nln.ie, email firstname.lastname@example.org and follow on @NLNireland on social media platforms. It will be the start of an exciting journey. National Learning Network Kerry are based in Clash Industrial Estate, Tralee and can be contacted on email@example.com or 066 712 2533.
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 Career Consultant - See www.mycareerplan.ie or follow @mycareerplan on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.
Jim awarded for life-long service to the community
By Michelle Crean Listry local Jim O’Shea was honoured last week as members of the community council presented him with an award for his life-long service to the community. Jim […]
By Michelle Crean
Listry local Jim O’Shea was honoured last week as members of the community council presented him with an award for his life-long service to the community.
Jim received the O’Shea Award for 2022 at a meeting of Directors of Listry Community Council held on September 21.
Jim has been involved in Athletics from a very early age both as a competitor and administrator.
He was very much involved with Community Games in Milltown/Listry as organiser and coach. He was also involved with the Farranfore Maine Valley Athletic Club since its foundation.
Over the years Jim has competed in athletic events, mainly high jump and long jump, both in Ireland and abroad.
Recently he travelled to Derby in the UK in the British Masters Championship and won Gold in the 100 metres and Long Jump and finished second in the High Jump.
Jim, who is a very modest man, was actively involved with Listry Community Council as a volunteer driver for Meals on Wheels and for his commitment to keeping our community litter free by organising a number of litter picking days each year.
Always interested in fitness, Jim often came along to the Listry Seniors Social day and led the group in gentle exercises.
“Jim is a very worthy recipient of the O’Shea Award 2022 and we thank him for a lifetime of service to others,” Tony Darmody, Chairman, said.
New book recounts stories from the Irish Civil War
The killing of 17-year-old Bertie Murphy in Killarney in September 1922 Historian and author, Owen O’Shea recounts one of the most shocking murders of the Civil War which occurred in […]
The killing of 17-year-old Bertie Murphy in Killarney in September 1922
Historian and author, Owen O’Shea recounts one of the most shocking murders of the Civil War which occurred in Killarney a century ago this week.
There were many tragic episodes and incidents during the Civil War in Kerry. One of the dreadful features of the conflict was the young age at which many on both sides of the conflict were killed in 1922 and 1923.
In Killarney in August 1922, for example, two young Free State army medics were shot dead by a sniper as they stepped off a boat onto the shore of Inisfallen Island. 18-year-old Cecil Fitzgerald and 20-year-old John O’Meara, both from Galway, had joined the army just a few months previously and were enjoying a boat trip on the lake during a day’s leave when they were killed.
The following month, one of the most shocking deaths to occur in Killarney in this period was the murder of a 17-year-old boy from Castleisland.
Bertie Murphy, a member of Fianna Éireann, the youth wing of the IRA, was just 17-years-old when he was taken into custody by Free State soldiers while walking near his home in September 1922. His mother saw him being taken in away in a truck to the Great Southern Hotel where the army had established its headquarters in the town.
The improvised barracks had a number of prison cells in the basement where anti-Treaty IRA members were detained. The prison would become renowned as a place where beatings and torture took place: a young man whose brother was an IRA captain was taken there and ‘mercilessly beaten to get him to reveal information’. He was then ‘thrown down a coal chute and left as dead’.
On Wednesday, September 27, a Free State army convoy was ambushed by the IRA at Brennan’s Glen on the Tralee road and two officers, Daniel Hannon and John Martin, were killed. Bertie Murphy had been in one of the army vehicles – he was being used by the army as a hostage in an attempt to prevent attacks by anti-Treaty forces. It was common for Free State convoys to carry a prisoner as a deterrent to IRA ambushes and attacks.
When the convoy returned to the hotel, they were met by Colonel David Neligan, one of the most ruthless members of the Kerry Command of the Free State army. Neligan had been a member of Michael Collins’ ‘Squad’ during the War of Independence and was an experienced and battle-hardened soldier.
Neligan demanded to know why the soldiers had not taken any prisoners during the ambush at Brennan’s Glen, in which two of his officers had died. The soldiers, in a frenzy following the ambush, threw Bertie Murphy down the steps of the hotel. In the presence of other soldiers, Neligan began to beat up Murphy at the bottom of the steps and then shot the prisoner. In her book, ‘Tragedies of Kerry’, Dorothy Macardle says that Murphy lived ‘until the priest came’, but died shortly after.
Another prisoner was in custody in the hotel at the time. Con O’Leary from Glenflesk was brought down from his cell to identify the dead man. But so extensive were Murphy’s facial injuries that O’Leary was unable to identify his fellow prisoner.
Newspaper reports wrongly reported that Murphy had been wounded during the engagement at Brennan’s Glen and had ‘succumbed to his injuries’ on returning to Killarney.
At Murphy’s inquest which was held a fortnight later, General Paddy O’Daly, the head of the Kerry Command, sympathised with Murphy’s family but insisted that Murphy had died in the ambush at Brennan’s Glen. He said his soldiers had done ‘everything humanly possible for the man’.
He reminded those present that deaths like Murphy’s were the fault of reckless IRA leaders who refused to accept the authority of the people. ‘It is the women and children’, he said, ‘that are suffering, and for all the suffering that is being endured those leaders are to blame’.
It would not be the last time that O’Daly and senior army officers in Kerry would cover up the actions of their soldiers in the county. Nor, sadly, would it be the last time that young men, on both sides of the divide, joined the long list of victims of the Civil War in the county.
Owen O’Shea’s new book, ‘No Middle Path: The Civil War in Kerry’ will be published by Merrion Press in mid-October and can be pre-ordered now on Amazon and at www.owenoshea.ie.
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