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Event to recognise volunteers’ dedication throughout pandemic





A special event to thank volunteers for their dedication and work throughout the pandemic will be held virtually this Thursday.

Taking place at 7pm, Cathaoirleach of Kerry County Council, Cllr Patrick Connor Scarteen, will host the event for the Community Response Forum who provided non-emergency supports, and advice and guidance to communities around the county.

The online event, which will be available on the Kerry County Council homepage,, Council Facebook page and Kerry County Council YouTube Channel, aims to recognise the efforts of everybody involved in the Community Forum since it began in March 2020.

The Kerry Community Response Forum is a multi-agency group of statutory and voluntary organisations which has been coordinating the community response to the COVID-19 pandemic since March 2020. It includes representatives of Kerry County Council, the HSE, An Garda Síochána, local development companies, Kerry Volunteer Centre, Kerry GAA, Local Link Kerry, Kerry Public Participation Network, Kerry Age Friendly Network, Citizens Information, St Vincent de Paul, Alone, Irish Red Cross, Kerry Civil Defence and other local voluntary groups.

“The Kerry Community Response Forum was one of the first to be established in the country, in recognition of the need to support vulnerable individuals and households in the county,” Cllr Patrick Connor Scarteen said.

“It provided a single point of contact for vulnerable people and those in need of assistance, and through the Community Response Forum, they were put in touch with local community groups and organisations to help them out.

“We are now seeing restrictions ease and society reopen, and hopefully matters will continue to improve over the coming months. This is why we feel it is the right time to recognise the huge level of effort by the organisers, the groups and those staffing the phones.”

The virtual appreciation night will outline the work of the various groups, with the Municipal District Cathaoirligh and other guests highlighting what went on behind the scenes to ensure that every call was answered and that nobody was left behind.

“The work that our voluntary and community groups do around the county is amazing, and the Forum was a way to ensure that there was a formal structure behind it,” Director of Community Development with Kerry County Council, Michael Scannell, explained. “This ensured the governance and support for all groups was in place.

“For years we have been highlighting the work of the various groups around the county and when the pandemic came, it was clear that they would continue doing the positive work within their communities. Our role was to provide support and back-up and now we want to thank them for their efforts."

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Proinsias says farewell to Gaelscoil after 33 years

By Michelle Crean For over three decades one face has been constant at Gaelscoil Faithleann but today (Friday) it all changes as the school’s first and only Principal to date […]



By Michelle Crean

For over three decades one face has been constant at Gaelscoil Faithleann but today (Friday) it all changes as the school’s first and only Principal to date says a fond farewell.

It’s a day full of mixed emotions for Proinsias Mac Curtain who was appointed the school’s Principal on September 1, 1989.

Today, the school’s 245 children and staff will host a number of events at the school for him which are sure to stir a few emotions.

It follows a special Mass on Innisfallen Island on Saturday morning as 150 children, staff members, parents council and Board of Management members boarded a boat for the occasion. And the location was apt as the school is called after the island, Proinsias explained to the Killarney Advertiser.

“It was lovely, it was meaningful as the school is called after Innisfallen Island. I’ve been blessed with the school community down through the years. It was a pleasure to work with school staff and parents, Boards of Management – but the most important is the children. I’m proud of them and their achievements. They are great children and I’ll miss them.”

He said the school will be in great hands as Lisa Ni Iarlaithe, who has been at the school since 1991, takes over as Principal.

He also praised the hardworking staff.

“I’ll miss it but I’m comfortable to step back as the school is in excellent hands.”

Proinsias is originally from Tournafulla Co Limerick. He began his career as a teacher in Scoil Iognáid in the centre of Galway city, the largest Gaelscoil in the country at the time.

Shortly before he died his father Jerry, who loved to holiday for a few days a year in Killarney, had heard of a new school opening here and phoned Proinsias to tell him. The rest they say is history.

He says his love of Irish language was inspired by Tournafulla Primary School Principal Liam O Loineacháin and in St Ita’s College Abbeyfeale by Jim Tierney and the late Johnny Nelligan.

And although three decades is a long time, Proinsias says it flew by and that he has seen many changes over the years. The first is seeing the children of former pupils coming to school. The second is the advancement of technology – some good and some not so good!

“The biggest change was the growth of technology, the changeover to the whiteboard and the use of devices which makes it challenging for parents. It’s wonderful you can access so much, but there are advantages and disadvantages.”

He added a huge thanks to his wife Karen who supported him down through the years when he was out late at meetings, adding that she was “very patient”.

He also thanked Sean O Luanaigh.

“He has been my chairperson since the start and has been such a tremendous support, help and guidance down through the years.”

In retirement he plans to spend more time with his family including his three children Ruadhán, Meadhbh and Cormac.

He also plans to get more involved in Beaufort Tidy Towns as well as the Annals of Innisfallen project.

“It’s always been an interest of mine. I also plan to relax for a few weeks, make more time for family, and I look forward to playing more trad music, bee keeping, gardening and travel.”


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Start clocking up those ‘Kingdom Kilometres’

With an increase in daylight hours there’s no better time to clock up the ‘Kingdom Kilometres’ on foot or by cycling along the county’s two new Greenways. The recently opened […]




With an increase in daylight hours there’s no better time to clock up the ‘Kingdom Kilometres’ on foot or by cycling along the county’s two new Greenways.

The recently opened Kingdom of Kerry Greenways between Tralee and Fenit and between Listowel and Abbeyfeale are already proving hugely popular with locals and visitors to Kerry.

Representatives of the tourism Industry, local public representatives, travel writers and influencers gathered in Kerry on Monday to experience the exciting new tourist attractions and welcome the arrival of the longer daylight hours as the clocks changed over to summertime.

Sarah Hanrahan, a social media influencer who posts about Irish travel and has more than 100,000 Instagram followers, described the experience.

“Ireland has some of the most amazing outdoor spaces. For a lot of my followers and other people, connecting with green spaces has become much more important to their overall sense of well-being as well as their health and fitness. It’s been really gorgeous to experience the Tralee to Fenit, and Listowel to Limerick Kingdom of Kerry Greenways; a fantastic trip sampling the warm hospitality of Kerry and a great reminder of the active holiday options that are right on our doorstep.”

The new purpose-built trails provide an accessible and inclusive experience for visitors of all abilities.

Mayor of Tralee, Cllr Mikey Sheehy and the Mayor of Listowel, Cllr Aoife Thornton, said that the greenways offer an exceptional recreational amenity for everyone to enjoy.

“The greenways are situated in some of Kerry’s most scenic landscapes and offer spectacular and safe off-road facilities for people of all ages to enjoy as the landscape comes into bloom. They also offer warm hospitality at the trail head towns of each route.”

Visit to find out more.


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