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Fassbender pays tribute to friend and mentor Donie Courtney

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Michael Fassbender has paid tribute to his friend Donie Courtney who passed away at the weekend.

Donie, a respected actor and playwright, introduced the now Hollywood A-lister to acting. Only last year the pair founded the West End House School of Arts in Killarney.

“I met Donie when I was 17 years old. The encounter was something that would change my life immeasurably. We remained firm friends ever since," Michael Fassbender said.

“The first thing that struck me about Donie was how he engaged with me as a peer and not a teenager. He had a positivity to him that was absolutely infectious and an endless generosity both as a performer and human being. His talent was as much a force of nature as it was eminent. His sense of human nature was uncanny.

“He would make himself the butt of the joke so everyone around him could gain confidence from it. He understood people’s insecurities very well because he wore his own on his sleeve. Showing personal vulnerabilities so you could feel safe revealing yours. He was kind, just and honest, with a wicked sense of humour.

“He is remembered by his family first and foremost, which for him was where his inspiration, joy and heart belonged. The rest of us will feel blessed and lucky for whatever time we’ve been able to share in his company.

“West End House School of Arts is Donie’s legacy and we will do our very best to honour him through our work in this unique place that he created.

“For me he will always be my mentor. I will call on him in times of hardship and crisis and celebrate moments of joy with him. He stays with me always.”

PROUD KILLARNEY MAN

Mayor of Killarney, Cllr Marie Moloney, added that it "was with deep shock and profound sadness" that she learned of the passing, at such a young age, of Donie Courtney.

"He was a wonderfully gifted actor and drama coach and a very proud and accomplished Killarney man.
Donie’s one-man play on the life and times of Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty was a true work of art and it really highlighted his extraordinary talent as a writer and actor.

"As chairperson of the Board of Management at Killarney Community College, I have been very aware of the great work Donie did with students, including some aspiring actors, through the classes he hosted in his position as director of the West End School of Drama.

"His passion, commitment and dedication to his craft was so evident as he worked so enthusiastically alongside the young students and they learned so much from him.

"The Courtney family, of course, is steeped in local politics in Killarney with Donie’s late father, Michael, and his brothers, Hugh and Paddy, all serving on the former Killarney Town Council with distinction," she said.

"To the extended Courtney family, I extend my sincere sympathies and those of the people of Killarney. Donie will be a great loss. May he rest in peace."

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​​Bursaries presented to schools at Lions Club open night

By Michelle Crean Three Killarney schools have been awarded bursaries from a local group. Killarney Lions Club made the presentations to Killarney Community College, St Brigid’s Presentation School and St […]

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By Michelle Crean

Three Killarney schools have been awarded bursaries from a local group.

Killarney Lions Club made the presentations to Killarney Community College, St Brigid’s Presentation School and St Brendan’s College to help support students in need.

It took place at their open night recently in the KDYS Youth Centre.

The night featured different exhibitions about Killarney Lions Club activities such as the Annual Christmas Food Appeal and the Kerry Clubs Fair.

“It was great that people made the effort to come and find out more what Killarney Lions Club does, despite the weather on the night. We are a voluntary group so community support is vital for activities such as our Christmas Food Appeal which will kick off very soon.”

The Killarney Lions Club, through its members, assists various groups and individuals in and around the community. Lions do this through voluntary activities, fundraising and by holding various types of events in support of a great many local causes.

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Staff celebrated for their long service

Stalwarts of the tourism industry in Killarney were delighted to celebrate their long term team members with a gourmet dinner in Great Southern recently. The event was held for all […]

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Stalwarts of the tourism industry in Killarney were delighted to celebrate their long term team members with a gourmet dinner in Great Southern recently.

The event was held for all team members of the Great Southern and Killarney Royal who have over 10 years of service, and was hosted by Michael Jacobi, Managing Director, Hayfield Family Collection and Mark Scally, Financial Controller, Hayfield Family Collection.

32 employees celebrated on the night, with the Great Southern represented by John Fitzgerald with 53 years of service, Martina O’Leary with 44 years of service and Kathleen Bhuiyan with 31 years of service. From Killarney Royal Joseph Hurley celebrated 37 years of service with John Harrington celebrating 32 years and Nuala Doolan celebrating 30 years.

“It is an absolute pleasure for us to celebrate our long term staff members,” event host and Hayfield Family Collection Managing Director, Michael Jacobi, said.

“They have played such an integral part in achieving the high standards we are known to provide and are such familiar welcoming faces for our guests.”

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