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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



Valuable role of Kerry cancer support charity recognised nationally



Cancer support charity Recovery Haven Kerry has been recognised for its vital role in supporting cancer patients and their families at a national ceremony in Dublin.

The renowned cancer support house was one of 16 such centres across Ireland that were presented with plaques to acknowledge their full membership of the National Cancer Control Programme (NCCP) Alliance – a group made up of voluntary and charity organisations delivering support services directly to cancer patients and their families. An additional 10 associate member charities were also honoured, including Kerry Cancer Support Group.

The Alliance advocates for, and supports, the development of integrated pathways between the cancer centres, acute hospitals, community cancer support services and primary care services. All members’ development is in line with the values of Sláintecare, seeking to provide assurance to healthcare professionals that these organisations are working to an agreed standard as set out in Best Practice Guidance published by the NCCP. 

Speaking after the ceremony, which was held at Dublin’s Farmleigh Estate, Recovery Haven Kerry Chairman, Tim McSwiney, explained that being compliant with the Best Practice Guidance for Community Cancer Support Centres is a true mark of quality. 

“It offers us a yardstick to measure what we are doing against the standards required. As a result, healthcare professionals have more confidence in referring people to our services. We are very proud to be a member of the Alliance,” he said.

Recovery Haven Kerry was represented at the event by centre manager, Gemma Fort and Client Services Co-Ordinator, Siobhan MacSweeney and were presented with their plaque by NCCP Lead for Cancer Survivorship, Louise Mullen, Clinical Lead for Psycho-Oncology Dr Helen Greally, and Minister of State at the Department of Health, Colm Burke. 

The event was also used as an opportunity to announce funding of €3m for the NCCP’s Alliance of Community Cancer Support Centres and Services through Budget 2024. The NCCP is currently in the process of distributing these funds which will directly and positively impact the delivery of services for patients and families nationally.

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‘More Precious Than Gold’ book launch



At the official book launch of ‘More Precious Than Gold: My enduring connection with John McShain – the man who built Washington’ by Alice O’Neill-McLoughlin at Killarney House, was Minister of State for Nature, Heritage and Electoral Reform, Malcolm Noonan, T.D.

Alice was born the eldest of eleven children into an Irish farming family in Rosbercon, New Ross, County Wexford. In 1978, she was awarded a scholarship from John McShain- the iconic builder, philanthropist, devout Catholic with Derry ancestry, responsible for many famous American landmarks, including the Jefferson Memorial and the Pentagon.

Her book records the lifelong personal correspondence Alice exchanged with ‘The Man Who Built Washington.’ His philanthropy extended to the Irish people in the bequeathing to the State of Killarney House and the surrounding thousands of acres incorporating the Lakes, Ross Castle, and Innisfallen Island. In 2019, Alice had the honour of inducting John McShain into the Irish America Hall of Fame in her home town of New Ross in the presence of his relatives from Philadelphia and Derry. This is a tale of altruism, of gratitude, of faith and of a life lived in the pursuit of excellence.

Alice also donated her treasured correspondence of letters from John McShain for the archive at Killarney House. Also in attendance were Members of the Ignatius A. O’Shaughnessy family, who was founder of The Globe Oil and Refining Company – and part of a consortium of wealthy American businessmen who were going to purchase the lakes of Killarney as a Country Club in the 1950’s.

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