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Faulty Towers meets Love Island in new romantic novel

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By Michelle Crean

The pandemic may have delayed it from hitting the bookshelves sooner - but local author Breda Joy's latest work has now hit the bookshops.

'Under a Skellig Sky' is a combination of Love Island and Fawlty Towers together in this new romantic novel with a bite!

The Skellig islands off the coast of Kerry are the backdrop to the page turner that doles out quick fire laughs as well as confronting issues such as rural crime and depopulation.

Nomadic Carol O’Connell’s return to Glenosheen overlooking the famed craggy Skelligs turns into one more in a series of half-baked decisions that pass for her life.

An experiment with Airbnb in her mother’s old farm guesthouse on the ‘Wet Atlantic Way’, a disastrous re-union with an ex and the rescue of a troubled friend set her tumbling through the year.

Through the sultry heat wave of 2018, she searches for peace to recover from a broken relationship but her sleepy valley homeplace has woken up to Star Wars fever and mass tourism.

But a trip to the stunning Skellig Michael with a mystery guest called Oliver turns the tide in the love stakes for Carol.

“I wrote 'Under a Skellig Sky' during the heat wave of 2018 and set it in that summer, drawing directly from the weather conditions as I wrote,” Breda, who is an award winning author and local journalist said.

“As part of my research, I took a boat trip to the Skellig on a day when the sea was like a billiard table and the sky was a sapphire blue. I had been on the island previously, but it was my first time visiting when the puffins were in residence, and it was wonderful to see them. That idyllic day informed my descriptions of the island and sets the background to the visit of my two main characters there.

“When I planned the novel, I set out to write a romantic comedy to provide readers with an escape chute to an imaginary world – similar to the escapism of Love Island,” she said. “I wanted to write a kind of Kerry-based ‘Fawlty Towers’. Humour is very much at the heart of both my fiction and journalism. When I want to get a serious message across, humour is my lure to reel the reader in.

"Having my novels published is a dream-come-true," Breda said. "It’s such a privilege to be included among the ranks of published Irish writers. Chief among the essential advice I’d give an aspiring writer is not to be isolationist as I have been with the crucial exception of joining a small writing group in Killarney 15 years ago. The support and the constructive criticism of the members advanced me hugely on my writing journey."

‘Under a Skellig Sky' was first launched as an eBook on Amazon during the pandemic but is now available in Eason and O'Connor's Newsagent in Killarney as well as all good book shops.

Breda's previous non-fiction books include 'Hidden Kerry, The Keys to the Kingdom' and 'The Wit & Wisdom of Kerry' with Mercier Press Cork. She published 'Brian Crowley, Against the Odds', a Biography with Brandon Press in 1996. Her second novel was 'Eat the Moon' and she is currently researching her third.

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Wine, art and lots of catching up at popular fundraiser

By Michelle Crean Spirits were high and the atmosphere electric at this year’s Wine & Art Night which had a huge attendance on Wednesday night. Over 50 exhibitors gathered in […]

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By Michelle Crean

Spirits were high and the atmosphere electric at this year’s Wine & Art Night which had a huge attendance on Wednesday night.

Over 50 exhibitors gathered in the Great Southern Killarney as the Killarney Rotary Club’s fundraising event – which is one of the biggest in the town each year – was back after a COVID break.

During the afternoon the artists and crafters, many who travelled from all over Kerry, Clare, Cork and even Waterford this year, organised their display for the event. Later that evening there were a lot of familiar faces but also some new people who absolutely loved the evening.

There were many wines available to taste as well as cheese and breads at the event which is run in conjunction with Daly’s SuperValu, Killarney and Killarney Brewing Company.

“There was a huge attendance and everybody was in good spirits to be back to normal,” President of Rotary, Rayla Tadjimatova, said.

“Many of the patrons were buying some art as Christmas presents and the members of Rotary were delighted to be kept busy packing these. A portion of all art sales goes to the fundraiser. One local young man, who is only 16, exhibited his beautiful photographs of local scenic areas. There was an auction of donated works of art and a Kerry Jersey. All one hundred percent of the proceeds from this auction goes to the fundraiser.”

Mike Neeson entertained the crowd on arrival and right until the end of the night.

“Mike is a great supporter of our events and we would like to thank him for keeping everybody entertained.”

The Irish Pilgrimage Trust ran the raffle and they had some wonderful hampers and gifts to be won.

Beneficiaries from this year’s event are: Coolick NS, Gaelscoil Faithleann NS, Knockanes NS, Holy Cross Mercy NS, St Francis Special School, Kerry Stars, Killarney Athletic AFC, and Killarney Cougars Basketball Club.

She thanked everybody for attending and everyone for their help organising the event.

Some, she added, had never been before and said they did not know what exactly the night involved but will definitely be back again next time as it was “so enjoyable”.

“We hope the money raised will help the beneficiaries to proceed with projects,” she said.

“We are delighted for Rotary to be able to help these charities, community groups and schools through our fundraising event.”

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Comedy drama ready for the stage

By Michelle Crean Get out your diary and book in these December dates as Dochas Drama Group is ready to take to the stage. What does a hypochondriac, a grumpy […]

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By Michelle Crean

Get out your diary and book in these December dates as Dochas Drama Group is ready to take to the stage.

What does a hypochondriac, a grumpy father and a confused visitor to the dentist, all have in common? You’ll have to come along to the Killarney Avenue Hotel on Monday, December 12, Tuesday 13 and Wednesday 14 at 8pm to find out.

The popular drama group will present their three new comedies featuring the work of playwrights Brian Bowler, Ger Madden and Mary Quirke.Come along for a night filled with fun and laughter. Just the right beginning to the festive season. Doors open at 7.15pm and tickets are available at the door. All tickets; adults, seniors, students and children are €10. Don’t miss a great night out.

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