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Fashion and fun to get free rein in Killarney for July racing festival




STYLISH ladies take note – Thursday, July 20, is set to be one of the most eagerly anticipated of the year as it’s Dawn Milk Ladies Day at Killarney Races. Champion dancer and Kerry GAA hero Aidan O’Mahony will join top Irish model and fellow Dancing With The Stars contestant Thalia Heffernan as the celebrity adjudicators and the judging process will commence at 2pm sharp.

The Queen of Fashion winner will receive a trip for two to Paris while the best-dressed gent will win a trip for two to Milan.

Chic ladies, dapper gents and a beautiful bouquet of Roses will be mingling with hugely popular Kerry GAA legends at Killarney’s July Racing Festival which is unquestionably one of the sporting and social highlights of the year.

The four-day festival will commence on Monday, July 17, with a family evening which will feature a very special celebration to pay tribute to Kerry football great Colm Cooper who will be the guest of honour.

Punters and supporters can enjoy what promises to be a very memorable occasion with hospitality tickets available for the event as Killarney Race Company pays tribute to the holder of five All-Ireland medals, one All-Ireland Club title and an incredible eight All-Star awards.

The racing highlight on the Monday will be the Cairn Rouge Stakes – a listed race – worth €55,000.

Another evening of great racing will follow on Tuesday, July 18, with locals and visitors from all around the globe expected to flock to the Ross Road track where the atmosphere is matched only by the spectacular views at Ireland’s most scenic racecourse. Tuesday’s highlight out on the course will be the Richard and Mary Butler Memorial Handicap Steeplechase (Grade B) worth €50,000.

There will be added glamour on Wednesday, July 19 – another evening meeting – when several of this year’s Rose of Tralee finalists will mingle with the racegoers, posing for selfies and signing autographs as a little bit of festival fever transfers from Tralee to Killarney.

Admission prices are €20 for the evening meetings on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday and €25 on ladies day on Thursday. Concessions are available for students and OAPs and children under the age of 12 will be admitted free of charge if accompanied by an adult.

To ensure an even more wonderful experience at the races, special hospitality packages are available so that guests can enjoy fine food, fine wines and a great atmosphere while viewing the action from the VIP grandstands. For restaurant and barbecue packages call 064-6631125.

Above: Agne Krememskiene from Killarney was the winner of the Dawn Milk Queen of Fashion last year. PICTURE: DOMNICK WALSH



Carols by Candlelight

    St. Mary’s Cathedral, will be filled with music and glowing candles, as choirs from all over Killarney Parish gather for a community of voices together to celebrate Christmas […]






St. Mary’s Cathedral, will be filled with music and glowing candles, as choirs from all over Killarney Parish gather for a community of voices together to celebrate Christmas 2023, December17, at 7.00pm. Admission is free.

Ten Choirs from Killarney parish will join together and sing some of the world’s most beloved Christmas carols.
The carol service is directed by accomplished Musician and Choral Director, Paula Gleeson. Originally from Cork, her family have been involved in all aspects of choral and church music for 50 years.

“This is the best experience as director, working with Fr. Kieran O’Brien, and St. Mary’s Cathedral Choir, I get to work with so many talented people in Killarney. The commitment of Teachers, Principals, and the hundreds of students from the Primary and Secondary Schools is inspiring. The generosity of our sponsors, who were so willing to contribute has helped to make this night a reality. We are all so truly grateful,” she said.

Choirs include:
St. Mary’s Cathedral Parish Choir, organist Anita Lakner
Holy Cross Mercy School Choir
St. Oliver’s Primary School Choir
St. Brigid’s Secondary School Choir
St. Brendan’s Secondary School Choir
Killarney Harmonisers
Killarney Community College School Choir
Lissivigeen National School Choir
Gaelscoil Faithleann School Choir
Presentation Monastery School Choir

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The same but different – A tribute to three great Irish musicians



Driving home from work last Friday, tributes for Shane McGowan were pouring out across the radio stations and while listening in, I got a strong sense of déjà vu.

It was only a few months earlier that we got the sad news that the talented Aslan front man Christy Dingham had passed away, and a short few weeks after that – Sinéad O’Connor.  The loss of three iconic Irish musicians that left music fans across the country reeling.

When I think about each artist individually, their personalities couldn’t be more different. Yet, for days after the passing of the Pogues frontman, I found myself wondering why I was so drawn to all three.

And then, over the weekend I stumbled across a completely unrelated article which led with a headline:

“In a year dominated by artificial intelligence, deepfakes, and disingenuity, “authentic” has somehow emerged as Merriam-Webster’s word for 2023.”

And there was my answer. The one characteristic that embodied all three of these great Irish musicians.

It was my mother that first introduced me to Aslan’s music. She grew up during their peak and loved all sorts of rock music. I regularly watch their Vicar Street performances back on YouTube and still get mesmerised by Christy’s intense stage presence. Using elaborate hand gestures to evoke a greater meaning behind the words, he always looked like he was away in his own world. Off stage, and particularly later in his career, I admired him for his honesty when talking about his struggles with addiction and mental health. He was talking openly about these issues long before it was the norm.

Sinéad O’Connor was another original soul who, because of her talent, was catapulted into a music industry consumed by artificiality; she was almost too pure for it all. I always admired her unwavering commitment to her beliefs. Her authenticity was evident in every aspect of her artistry. The way she unapologetically embraced her shaved head and boy-ish style, she challenged conventional opinions around beauty. Her music reflected her personal struggles and she never shied away from addressing issues of social injustice, religion, and gender equality. Her stances often drew criticism and controversy, but she always remained true to herself.

Shane MacGowan will always be remembered for his unfiltered nature, and while the lyrics of many songs were dark and gritty, there was also an element of empathy and compassion in what he wrote. Like Christy, he too struggled with addiction and mental health issues throughout his career. While his demons sometimes spilled over into the public eye, his honesty and vulnerability just endeared him even more to us Irish.

So isn’t it apt in a year we lost three great musicians, the word of 2023 happens to be the one undeniable trait that they all shared. Thank you Christy, Sinead and Shane for showing us that authenticity is not just about being different to everyone else; but also about possessing the courage to challenge the established, to question the norms, and to keep going, even when the going gets tough.


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