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End of an era as principal and deputy principal prepare to retire

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By Sean Moriarty

Between them they have dedicated a staggering 85 years of education service but that's all set to change at the end of the month.

Liam Twomey and Kathleen Cronin are calling time on their teaching careers St Francis’ Special School in Beaufort as both the principal and deputy principal are set to retire.

Principal Mr Twomey has spent the last 20 years in charge of the Beaufort facility. Prior to that the Knocknagree native spent four years as head teacher at a national school near Kanturk after beginning his career in Dublin.

His retirement will mark the end of a 44-year and eight-month career in education.

In his time at St Francis Special School which began in 2002, he has seen many changes.

He oversaw the official transfer of St Francis from the Franciscan Sisters of the Divine Motherhood to the order of St John of God in 2005.

In September 2015 the school opened four new classrooms thanks to Department of Education funding.

Older classrooms were converted into specialised physiotherapy, speech and language and occupational therapy facilities. The cost of these additional facilities was covered by fundraising efforts during the annual Ring of Kerry Charity Cycle in 2015 and 2016.

The Ring of Kerry also provided funding for a fleet of new mini-buses which went on the road last year.

He is determined to see out his career by making sure the final phase of a special sensory garden and playground is completed. The garden opened last year but further improvements, to make it fully accessible and useable by wheelchair users, is expected to be completed in the next two weeks.

“I want that playground built before I go,” he told the Killarney Advertiser. It is on target to be finished in two weeks. We ordered two new buses last year and a new bike shed was built last summer.”

Outside of the school Liam has a keen interest in outdoor pursuits and he is going to devote more time to cycling, hiking and swimming.
 

40 years service

Muckross native Kathleen Cronin has spent nearly 40 years at St Francis Special school. She began her career in September 1982 and has been the school’s deputy principal for the last five years.

“I am certainly going to miss it,” she said. “I will remember the brilliant parents who were tireless in everything they did for their children and went about their business with such dignity in very difficult circumstances. Our client base has changed thanks to the difference in mainstay education.”

Kathleen is going to devote her time to being a full-time grandmother in her retirement.

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Country Queen Cliona Hagan to play Sneem Hotel

Get ready for a glamorous evening of country music as bombshell Cliona Hagan, one of Ireland’s most beloved country music stars, takes the stage at Sneem Hotel on Saturday, May […]

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Get ready for a glamorous evening of country music as bombshell Cliona Hagan, one of Ireland’s most beloved country music stars, takes the stage at Sneem Hotel on Saturday, May 11, 9:00 PM.

Known for her powerful vocals, captivating stage presence, and chart-topping hits, Cliona Hagan promises to deliver a memorable performance that will have the audience on their feet and singing along all night long.
The concert, set against the stunning backdrop of Golden’s Cove at the Sneem Hotel, promises to be an unforgettable experience for country music fans of all ages. From heartfelt ballads to lively toe-tappers, Cliona Hagan’s versatile repertoire ensures there’s something for everyone to enjoy.
Tickets for the concert are priced at €25 and can be purchased at the door on the night of the event. Don’t miss your chance to see Cliona Hagan live in concert at Sneem Hotel on May 11th. Overnight hotel stay packages including dinner and concert tickets, bed and breakfast are also available!
For more information, please visit www.sneemhotel.com or contact 064 667 5100.

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Coffee morning for Kerry Cancer Support Group at the Royal

Killarney Royal is hosting a Charity Coffee Morning on April 19, in aid of the Kerry Cancer Support Group. Join the team at Killarney Royal from 10.30am-12pm where fresh coffee, […]

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Killarney Royal is hosting a Charity Coffee Morning on April 19, in aid of the Kerry Cancer Support Group.

Join the team at Killarney Royal from 10.30am-12pm where fresh coffee, delicious homemade scones, pastries and treats await in the newly refurbished lobby and bar.

All guests attending will also have the chance to be entered into a raffle with a number of wonderful prizes on offer throughout the morning. Volunteers will also be on hand to accept donations, with all proceeds going to the Kerry Cancer Support Group.

“The Kerry Cancer Support Group work hard each day to provide an excellent service and are devoted to maintaining a warm, welcoming environment while ensuring that service users have immediate access to free programmes and resources. Killarney Royal are delighted to support this incredibly worthy charity,” said Brand Sales and Marketing Executive Aoibheann O’Leary.

All are welcome on the morning, with no pre-booking needed.

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