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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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Wine, art and lots of catching up at popular fundraiser

By Michelle Crean Spirits were high and the atmosphere electric at this year’s Wine & Art Night which had a huge attendance on Wednesday night. Over 50 exhibitors gathered in […]

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By Michelle Crean

Spirits were high and the atmosphere electric at this year’s Wine & Art Night which had a huge attendance on Wednesday night.

Over 50 exhibitors gathered in the Great Southern Killarney as the Killarney Rotary Club’s fundraising event – which is one of the biggest in the town each year – was back after a COVID break.

During the afternoon the artists and crafters, many who travelled from all over Kerry, Clare, Cork and even Waterford this year, organised their display for the event. Later that evening there were a lot of familiar faces but also some new people who absolutely loved the evening.

There were many wines available to taste as well as cheese and breads at the event which is run in conjunction with Daly’s SuperValu, Killarney and Killarney Brewing Company.

“There was a huge attendance and everybody was in good spirits to be back to normal,” President of Rotary, Rayla Tadjimatova, said.

“Many of the patrons were buying some art as Christmas presents and the members of Rotary were delighted to be kept busy packing these. A portion of all art sales goes to the fundraiser. One local young man, who is only 16, exhibited his beautiful photographs of local scenic areas. There was an auction of donated works of art and a Kerry Jersey. All one hundred percent of the proceeds from this auction goes to the fundraiser.”

Mike Neeson entertained the crowd on arrival and right until the end of the night.

“Mike is a great supporter of our events and we would like to thank him for keeping everybody entertained.”

The Irish Pilgrimage Trust ran the raffle and they had some wonderful hampers and gifts to be won.

Beneficiaries from this year’s event are: Coolick NS, Gaelscoil Faithleann NS, Knockanes NS, Holy Cross Mercy NS, St Francis Special School, Kerry Stars, Killarney Athletic AFC, and Killarney Cougars Basketball Club.

She thanked everybody for attending and everyone for their help organising the event.

Some, she added, had never been before and said they did not know what exactly the night involved but will definitely be back again next time as it was “so enjoyable”.

“We hope the money raised will help the beneficiaries to proceed with projects,” she said.

“We are delighted for Rotary to be able to help these charities, community groups and schools through our fundraising event.”

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Comedy drama ready for the stage

By Michelle Crean Get out your diary and book in these December dates as Dochas Drama Group is ready to take to the stage. What does a hypochondriac, a grumpy […]

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By Michelle Crean

Get out your diary and book in these December dates as Dochas Drama Group is ready to take to the stage.

What does a hypochondriac, a grumpy father and a confused visitor to the dentist, all have in common? You’ll have to come along to the Killarney Avenue Hotel on Monday, December 12, Tuesday 13 and Wednesday 14 at 8pm to find out.

The popular drama group will present their three new comedies featuring the work of playwrights Brian Bowler, Ger Madden and Mary Quirke.Come along for a night filled with fun and laughter. Just the right beginning to the festive season. Doors open at 7.15pm and tickets are available at the door. All tickets; adults, seniors, students and children are €10. Don’t miss a great night out.

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