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Experience Ukrainian culture at this year’s K-FEST Festival





By Natalya Krasnenkova

This year a Ukrainian programme will be presented at the Killorglin K-FEST arts and music festival, which will take place from June 3 to 6.


From food to art, films to music, there'll be a special area known as 'Little Ukraine' where visitors can sample what the country has to offer.

The festival will be the first to show a mural by artist Aches with the image of the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky, which the organisers brought from Dublin.

Ukrainian hip-hop star and songwriter Alyona Alyona, was booked to play in Killorglin and in the full knowledge that she won't be able to fulfil the gig, the organisers will still forward the fee to her.

Considered the top new rap star of Ukraine, in an article titled ‘15 European pop acts who matter right now’ the New York Times likened Alyona Alyona to gifted American rapper Azealia Banks.

Festival Chairman Tim Clifford said K-FEST would reach out to help Ukrainian artists by booking and paying the star but not expecting her to honour the gig.

"We would encourage other festivals all over Europe who are in the business of booking artists to do likewise and support Ukrainian artists," he said.

K-FEST has also engaged with the Kerry Ukrainian community for this year’s festival. Musicians and artists who were among those to flee to Ireland to avoid conflict are invited to perform and fully participate alongside local visual and performing artists and musicians.

The Ukrainian community living in Killarney is preparing several more activities for the festival.

'Little Ukraine' will begin on Saturday June 4 from 11am to 4pm.

“When Tim Clifford and Dave Ryan offered to take part in K-FEST, we tried to impose on them as many ways as possible to represent our country. Dave and Tim couldn't resist our onslaught, so we invite you to get to know our country through this kind of art,” the Ukrainian curators said.

Amateur concert

You will be able to listen to Ukrainian composers performed by a young flutist, live folk and modern music and singing. And most importantly, guests will see a multimedia presentation about Ukraine. Ukrainians are specially editing the video for the festival. Festival goers can not only have fun, but also learn more about the war and Ukraine. The concert starts on June 4 at 12pm at the 'Little Ukraine' area at the KDYS off Lower Bridge Street.


Killorglin will become a town where modern Ukrainian cinema will be shown. It is joining the 'Cinema Aid' -Ukraine World Cinema Marathon, a charity film marathon that is taking place around the world right now. More than 13 film marathons have taken place from Canada and America to Bulgaria and Germany. Its purpose is to show modern Ukrainian cinema around the world, to tell about the war that the Ukrainian people are going through and to gather help for our army and people.

The events of the film marathon have become a powerful international platform for supporting Ukraine for the public and politicians who express sincere words of support.
Ukraine abroad at each event of the film marathon brings the truth about the war and the needs of Ukraine, and famous Ukrainian cinematographers call in video appeals to increase pressure on the aggressor and words of gratitude for the comprehensive support of Ukraine in difficult times.

The film marathon is held with the full support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine and funds raised are transferred to help Ukraine.

The Ukrainian movies will come to K-FEST audience on June 4, from 11am to 2pm and from 4pm to 7pm in The Goat, Langford Street Killorglin.


Modern artist Angela Kushchyk began to paint her emotions in the form of graphic drawings in the Kyiv bomb shelter where she spent two weeks with her son. Painting for her became healing from the horrible events that she faced. Later, Kateryna Onul offered to publish these works. Currently, 18 posters adorn the exterior of the Ukrainian embassies in Warsaw and Hamburg. K-FEST guests will also see these works.
The exhibition will open on June 4 in the 'Little Ukraine' area and will be in a gallery from June 5.

Ukrainian cuisine

There will be plenty of traditional Ukrainian dishes for the Irish audience to try out. Ukrainians promise to add as many potatoes as they can to please Irish guests. The cuisine will open on June 4 at 11am at the 'Little Ukraine' area in Marsh Lane next to the KDYS.

“We invite you to the Ukrainian part of K-FEST and thank you very much to the organisers for such a connection to share with you the most valuable that we have – culture.”



Fossa School says ‘bonjour’ to French classes



Fossa National School is giving its pupils a headstart in learning a new language.

The school signed up to Language Sampler scheme as part of the ‘Say Yes to Languages’ initiative in primary schools organised by Post Primary languages Ireland in 2021. This is the school’s third year running the module.

Hélène Olivier-Courtney, the school’s French teacher and director of French For All Killarney School of French, covers ten schools in Kerry over the three terms.

The success of the initiative relies on an all-school approach and the active involvement of class teachers and management.

“The whole staff in Fossa certainly helped make this new journey a special and enjoyable experience for the children as we learnt French through art, songs, games and food tasting! This year, we also organised a catwalk on our last day. Our sixth-class students will have such a head start before secondary school and most importantly will have develop curiosity interest and love for the language,” said Hélène.


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Opinion: Silent majority needs to stand up and call out far-right hate



By Chris Davies

Last Friday’s Dublin Riots should not have come as a surprise to anyone. It has been bubbling under the surface of Irish society for a good number of years now. The actions of a small minority last week was a culmination of years of racism, hatred and misinformation shared online by far-right groups.

Late on Friday night a disturbing WhatsApp voice note was doing the rounds on social media where a far-right actor could clearly be heard encouraging violence on the streets of Dublin. 

“’Seven o’clock, be in town. Everyone bally up, tool up…Any foreigner, just kill them”

Watching the Riots unfold on social media brought me back to when I was working in Dublin a number of years back. My morning commute from Skerries to the city centre involved a dart to Connolly Station followed by a short trip on the Luas to the Jervis. Every week, without fail, I would witness at least one racial slur or attack on someone who didn’t fit the narrow minded view of what an Irish person should look, dress or talk like. I don’t know if it is the eerie silence of public transport that seems to amplify the situation, but that’s where I found it to be most common. The abuse was usually perpetrated by a group of youths or someone who was clearly under the influence of drink or drugs. The victims were always of colour, often dressed smartly enough to presume they were on their way, or coming from work. A far cry from the perpetrators who you could tell were roaming aimlessly around the city looking for trouble.

While shameful to admit, I would often look on and watch the abuse unfold, only to spend the rest of my work day thinking about the poor person who was told to “F*&K off back to your own country”. I would sit at my desk questioning why I didn’t step in and say something. There were one or two occasions where I did step in and call it out, but not nearly often enough.  

This disgusting behaviour is much more visible in our cities. Since moving back to Killarney I wouldn’t witness as much direct abuse on the streets but working with the Killarney Advertiser I would be tuned in to local news and some of the comments I read on our social platforms are far worse than anything I witnessed during my time in Dublin.  

There is a significant group of people in Ireland that I would call the ‘silent majority’. We are not as outspoken on issues we care about. We tend to observe and consume the news quietly, and only speak of our support or disgust on certain issues in close circles, too afraid we might offend someone. The problem with this is that we are leaving these far-right groups unchallenged, to become louder, more aggressive and more hostile as seen last week. 

The past week Sinn Fein and the Social Democrats have been busy in the media expressing no confidence in Justice Minister Helen McEntee and Garda Commissioner Drew Harris but I would suggest that there is a large percentage of the Irish population that bears some of the responsibility. We witness racism in our communities and online every day and we need to start speaking up and calling it out. 

On the issue of immigration in Killarney, there is no doubt resources are being stretched and our tourism industry is suffering as a result of an influx of immigration. Locals have also raised concerns in relation to the placement of so many male international protection applicants in one setting and we only have to look back on the incident in Hotel Killarney last year where a number of men were involved in a harrowing stabbing incident to see how that played out.  

However, being concerned around immigration is not the same as anti-immigration. It is important to raise these issues with local representatives and Kerry TD’s but also to separate ourselves from far-right groups who are only interested in encouraging violence.  

The anarchy we witnessed last week should never be the answer and research shows it is completely unnecessary. Harvard University have looked at hundreds of protests over the last century, and found that non-violent campaigns are twice as likely to achieve their goals as violent campaigns and that it only takes around 3.5% of the population actively participating in the protests to ensure serious political change.

Let’s continue to protest peacefully for issues we believe in, but stand up and speak out against people and movements in our community that incite hate and violence. 

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