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Fassbender pays tribute to friend and mentor Donie Courtney



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.”


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."



Top 10 Essential tips for Leaving Cert Students in lead up to June 5

The final weekend leading up to the Leaving Cert exams can be very tough, as you try to balance last minute revision with much needed rest after a long, exhausting […]




The final weekend leading up to the Leaving Cert exams can be very tough, as you try to balance last minute revision with much needed rest after a long, exhausting year.

The natural anxiety felt by students is often heightened by the annual media hype around the state exams and it is really important that you do your best to manage that stress effectively, so that you are ready to perform to the best of your ability once the exams start. The following tips may help to keep you focused and a little calmer in the lead up to June 5.

1. Review, don’t cram – Focus on summary notes, flashcards, or mind maps. This reinforces what you’ve already studied. Prioritise areas where you feel less confident, but don’t try to learn new material.

2. Practise past papers – Review marking schemes and time allocation for each question you will need to answer on each paper. Practise a sample of questions against the clock. This will maximise your scoring potential.

3. Organise your materials – Check the exam timetable and highlight your own exams. Prepare the stationary that you need, gather pens, pencils, calculators, and so on. Pack your bag the night before to avoid last-minute stress.

4. Maintain a healthy balance – Aim for 8 hours of sleep each night. Proper rest is crucial for memory, concentration and stamina. Eat well, include proteins, healthy fats, and complex carbs in your meals to maintain energy levels. Drink plenty of water, hydration is essential.

5. Try to manage stress – Schedule short breaks during study sessions and do something enjoyable and relaxing, like a short walk, playing or listening to music. Get fresh air and some light exercise. Use relaxation techniques like breathing exercise, mindfulness and meditation.

6. Focus on a positive mindset – Focus on your strengths and remind yourself of your preparation. Concentrate on what you know and not on what you think you don’t! Try to avoid negative self-talk and steer clear of discussions that heighten anxiety, such as comparing how much you’ve studied with friends.

7. Plan your weekend – Create a realistic timetable for the weekend, balancing study sessions with breaks and relaxation and don’t overdo the study. You need plenty of energy for the exams.

8. Stay connected – Talk to friends and family, if you are feeling overwhelmed reach out and get support from loved ones. If it’s helpful, have a short, focused study session with friends to clarify doubts.

9. Keep things in perspective – The Leaving Cert is important but won’t define you and regardless of what happens you have several options open to you. Try to reframe the media hype as the whole country getting behind you, for what they know to be a tough time for you.

10. Get Set for exam day – Double-check the venue, seating arrangements, and required materials for the day of the exam. On the evening before the exam, do a light review of key concepts but avoid heavy studying. Ensure you know how to get to the exam venue and plan to arrive early (at least 30 mins on the first day). Decide what you’ll wear to avoid rushing in the morning and have your water and snacks ready to go.

Above all else, give the exams your best shot! Once they are over you have a lovely ‘study-free’ summer and bright future to look forward to. Go n-éirí libh ar fad, the very best of luck to each and every one of you!


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Disability toilets for Killarney Library

Works to build new toilet facilities for people with disabilities should commence later this year. Cllr Marie Moloney tabled a motion at a recent Kerry County Council meeting. She said: […]




Works to build new toilet facilities for people with disabilities should commence later this year.

Cllr Marie Moloney tabled a motion at a recent Kerry County Council meeting.
She said: “Application has been made for funding to the Department. As soon as the funding is approved, work will commence on the provision of Disabled Toilet Facilities.
“While ramps are installed for accessibility, it is unacceptable that any public building be without disabled toilet facilities in this day and age.
“I am aware of several people with a disability who constantly use the services of the Library and are very happy with the staff and the services that Killarney Library offers but are disappointed at the lack of disabled toilets.”
“I will be keeping the pressure on to have these facilities provided as soon as possible.”

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