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Féile Lughnasadh Milltown back and bigger!

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By Sean Moriarty

Organisers of this year's Féile Lughnasadh are in talks with a number of international acts ahead of its annual festival in August.

The Milltown festival, which takes place from August 3 to 6 this year, is renowned for bringing big names to the mid-Kerry town.

In the past the festival has hosted the likes of The Chieftains and last year the headline act was accordionist Sharon Shannon.

"We were very proud to host a performer of the calibre of Sharon Shannon in Milltown," said organiser Owen O'Shea.

"Milltown has hosted some major acts from The Chieftains to Kila to Michael O Suilleabhán over recent years, and this year we intend to maintain this high standard with another programme of globally-renowned acts."

The festival will open with a parade and launch on Thursday night (August 3) and this will be followed by the ever-popular 'Singing Club'.

"This will be a brilliant occasion for music lovers, and will be 100% free to all,” said organiser Vincent Prendergast.

Friday, Saturday and Sunday will feature open air concerts in the town square, while Sunday afternoon will feature the open-air céilí and fun events for families.

"This will be the best event in the country this August weekend, it's the place to be," added Turlough O'Brien, the chair of the local Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann branch.

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Fassbender ready for second Le Mans appearance

Local Hollywood A-lister Michael Fassbender is in the final preparation stages for his second appearance at the legendary 24 Hours of Le Mans. The iconic endurance race is celebrating its […]

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Local Hollywood A-lister Michael Fassbender is in the final preparation stages for his second appearance at the legendary 24 Hours of Le Mans.

The iconic endurance race is celebrating its 100th edition next weekend.

The Fossa star has already arrived in the famous French twon where he is involved in a week-long series of engagements including drivers’ parades, autograph sessions and more serious appointments like car safety checks, practice and qualifying.

Like last year, when he finished 16th in the LMGTE Am class, Fassbender has been entered in to the event by the German Proton Competition team with Estonian Martin Rump and the Austrian Richard Lietz.

Fassbender dreams of following the trajectory of fellow Hollywood actors Patrick Dempsey who was second in LMGTE Am class in 2016 and Paul Newman who finished second overall in 1979.

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Ireland’s oldest citizen has Killarney connections

Ireland’s oldest woman met with President Michael D. Higgins at Áras an Uachtaráin this week. Máirín Hughes, who turned 109 on May 22 has strong Killarney connections. The previous record […]

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Ireland’s oldest woman met with President Michael D. Higgins at Áras an Uachtaráin this week.

Máirín Hughes, who turned 109 on May 22 has strong Killarney connections.

The previous record was held by 107-year-old Nancy Stewart who died on September 10 2021.

Although born in Belfast, Máirín went to school in the Mercy Convent. Her father was a customs and excise officer and the family moved around a lot eventually coming to Killarney after spells in County Down and Dublin.

Her mother came from the Rathmore area and her father was from Newmarket in County Cork.

She attended the Mercy Convent and has, in previous interviews, recalled growing up on the shores of Lough Lein.

“Neighbours who had three children were given the job of taking me to school,” she said. “They were annoyed because the children were going to school for two or three years but I was put in to the same class as them – my mother had taught me.”

In 2021 she featured in the book ‘Independence Memories: A People’s Portrait of the Early Days of the Irish Nation’, sharing stories of being kept in school in Killarney during an attack on the RIC barracks down the road.

In 1924 she started a degree in science and a diploma in education at University College Cork, before working in the pathology lab in University College Cork’s Department of Medicine for 16 years.

last year she recalled her story on the podcast: ‘Living History – Irish Life and Lore’.

During the broadcast she talked about her parents’ membership of the Gaelic League in 1910; the Spanish Flu in Ireland in 1918; The Black and Tans in Killarney in 1921; the early days of the new Free State; Eucharistic Congress in Dublin in 1932, visiting the Basket Islands in 1929; and working in the UCC medical laboratory from 1932 until 1948.

This week President Michael D. Higgins hosted an afternoon tea event to celebrate the important role that a variety of people have and can play in different communities and Máirín was among the guests of honour.

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