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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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Street Orienteering added to Wander Wild programme

By Sean Moriarty A new event has been added to the extensive Wander Wild Festival next weekend. Kerry Orienteers will run a family-friendly Urban Orienteering event as part of the […]

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By Sean Moriarty

A new event has been added to the extensive Wander Wild Festival next weekend.

Kerry Orienteers will run a family-friendly Urban Orienteering event as part of the festival on March 25.

Participants can start at the Killarney Plaza Hotel Basecamp anytime from 2-4pm on Saturday.

Orienteering is an exciting outdoor adventure sport which involves walking or running whilst navigating around a course using a detailed map and sometimes a compass. And the Wander Wild Street Orienteering will have courses suitable for all ages and abilities.

“The aim is to navigate in sequence between a set of control points and decide the best route to complete the course in the quickest time. It does not matter how young, old or fit you are, as you can run, walk or jog the course and progress at your own pace. If you need any help or tips members of Kerry Orienteering Club will be available to assist during the day,” said organiser Brendan O’Brien.

Two routes are available: ‘Wander’ – 2km (easy, wheelchair and buggy accessible) and Wild – 4km (moderate), and bookings can be made via: https://t.ly/jHm2R.

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Quiz helps to fund Easter pilgrimage

A popular annual table quiz, which raises funds to send Kerry children and young adults with special needs to Lourdes, will be held in Killarney next week. The Tim Moore […]

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A popular annual table quiz, which raises funds to send Kerry children and young adults with special needs to Lourdes, will be held in Killarney next week.

The Tim Moore Memorial Table Quiz will be held in the Gleneagle Hotel at 7.30pm on Wednesday, March 29.

The entry fee for tables of four is €40 and it is €20 for teams of four schoolchildren with great prizes up for grabs on the night.

All proceeds will go to the Irish Pilgrimage Trust which organises trips to Lourdes every Easter for children and young adults with additional needs.

They will be brought on the pilgrimage on Easter Sunday and all the volunteer helpers and medical staff that will accompany them will cover for their own travel costs.

The annual quiz, which is running for close on 30 years, is dedicated to the memory of the late Killarney accountant Tim Moore who was a tireless campaigner for the Irish Pilgrimage Trust. He passed away, suddenly, in 2002 and his friends have continued the quiz as a tribute to his legacy and to ensure the charity continues to be supported.

It hasn’t been held for the past two years due to the pandemic but all involved are thrilled that it is back for 2023.

Kieran Coffey, the retired principal of Fossa National School, is one of those who spearhead the Kerry pilgrimage to Lourdes and he has appealed to the public to support the very important fundraiser which helps offset some of the costs involved.

“We are delighted to be in a position to continue Tim’s great work and to dedicate the quiz to him. The event is always so well supported by the people of the greater Killarney area and we greatly appreciate that generosity,” said Kieran.

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