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Final send off is bittersweet for Proinsias

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By Michelle Crean

Friday was a day of very mixed emotions for retiring school principal Proinsias Mac Curtain as the school community said a fond farewell.

A fond farewell at Gaelscoil Faithleann for Principal Proinsias Mac Curtain who is presented with a cake from new Principal Lisa Ní Iarlaithe and pupils at the school on Friday as he steps down as principal after 33 years. Photo: Marie Carroll-O'Sullivan

Present principals unite at Gaelscoil Faithleann to celebrate with Principal Proinsias Mac Curtain on his retirement on Friday. Back row l-r: Colm Ó Súilleabháin (St Oliver’s NS) Paul Horan (Holy Family NS Rathmore) Mary Brosnan (The Mon) Brian O'Sullivan (Scoil Bhride Loreto) Alison Coffey (Loughquittane NS) Maria Breen (Tiernaboul NS) and Conor Gleeson (Lissivigeen NS). Front row l-r: Proinsias Mac Curtain (Gaelscoil Faithleann) and Lisa Ni Iarlaithe (Gaelscoil Faithleann). Photo: Marie Carroll-O'Sullivan

Three cheers from all 245 pupils at Gaelscoil Faithleann for Principal Proinsias Mac Curtain (centre) as he retires from the school after 33 years. Photo: Marie Carroll-O'Sullivan

Sam Maguire makes a special appearance at the Great Southern Killarney where staff from Gaelscoil Faithleann gathered for the retirement of principal Proinsias Mac Curtain after 33 years’ service. Photo: Marie Carroll-O'Sullivan

A musical departure at Gaelscoil Faithleann as Principal Proinsias Mac Curtain (right) retires after 33 years. Photo: Marie Carroll-O'Sullivan

Past and present pupil mother and daughter Aisling (left) and Alanna Collins (right) pictured with Principal Proinsias Mac Curtain at Gaelscoil Faithleann on Friday for his retirement celebrations at the school. Photo: Marie Carroll-O'Sullivan

Pictured with his family Principal Proinsias Mac Curtain (centre) retires from Gaelscoil Faithleann after 33 years. From l-r were: Cormac Meadhbh Karen and Ruadhán. Photo: Marie Carroll-O'Sullivan

A musical affair as Principal Proinsias Mac Curtain (seated centre) retires from Gaelscoil Faithleann after 33 years. Photo: Marie Carroll-O'Sullivan

He got a wonderful send off in Gaelscoil Faithleann on Friday morning last with cake, music, speeches and some tears.

All the children sat in the hall and sang some traditional Irish songs inspired by the John Spillane collection. His wife Karen and children Ruadhán, Meadhbh, and Cormac, were guests of honour.

Local principals including Colm Ó Súilleabháin from St Oliver’s NS, Paul Horan from Holy Family NS Rathmore, Mary Brosnan from The Mon, Brian O'Sullivan from Scoil Bhride Loreto, Alison Coffey of Loughquittane NS, Maria Breen, Tiernaboul NS, and Conor Gleeson from Lissivigeen NS, attended to say farewell to a great friend.

"Local musicians who play with Proinsias on a regular basis turned up and this was a surprise," his colleague Lisa Ní Iarlaithe told the Killarney Advertiser.

"The school staff and Seán Ó Luanaigh, the Chair of the Board of Management, were all in attendance too."

Every child in the school drew a portrait of their príomhoide and they were all hung in the hall as well as some photos of Proinsias from when he was a small school boy right up to the present day.

"He really enjoyed looking at these surprises on the day. The children presented him with a beautiful piece of slate with a poem close to his heart, a huge card signed by all the children and staff and a cake with the school crest and a feadóg mhór and music notes."

Later that evening the Board of Management treated Proinsias to an evening in the Great Southern Killarney.

"It was a bittersweet occasion," Lisa, who is taking over as principal of the school, added.

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Roger and Brendan really into the SWING of things

A Killarney man who has been living in the US for over 30 years has maintained a very strong connection with his hometown through a novel golfing tournament which involves […]

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A Killarney man who has been living in the US for over 30 years has maintained a very strong connection with his hometown through a novel golfing tournament which involves a regular challenge against local players.

Roger O’Sullivan, originally from Loreto Road and a member of the Rainier Golf and Country Club in Seattle, has linked up with another Killarney man, Brendan Keogh of SWING Golf, on several occasions to bring a group of golfers from the Seattle club to play a number of Kerry and Irish courses.

They compete for the Cider Cup which is their own unique take on the Ryder Cup.

In 2010 Roger led a group of 18 golfers from the US to play in Ireland and they repeated the journey and the adventure again in 2012, 2014 and 2017.

They had another trip planned in 2020 but that was cancelled due to Covid but they returned again in 2022 and a group of 44 golfers were back in Killarney in recent weeks to test their skills on the Kerry courses and against local players.

“Since we first started doing this in 2010 we have had 102 different golfers travel from Seattle,” Roger explained.
“I met Brendan Keogh on one of my visits home and he travelled to Seattle, at my request, and organised sponsorship at my golf club.

“Since then our trips have been expertly organised by SWING Golf who book us preferential tee-times, set up the schedule and coordinate our bus drivers. We have never had an issue or anything to worry about. Being friendly with Maurice O’Donoghue, we have always stayed at Scott’s Hotel,” he added.

The US visitors take on local players when in Killarney and this year there was 100 golfers playing on the Killeen course on the first day of their visit.

“The support of the locals has been incredible and I wouldn’t do this without them,” said Roger.
“There have been numerous friendships made over the last 14 years. We have supported a local charity on every trip and for the last two it has been the palliative care unit at University Hospital Kerry. This year we raised €5,100,” he said.

A former student at St Brendan’s College, Roger’s parents were Tony and Juliette O’Sullivan and his father was the head chef in the Gleneagle Hotel for over 20 years before the family purchased Danesfort Lodge at Woodlawn Cross on the Muckross Road.

Roger has been married for 20 years to Amy from Tampa, Florida and they have one daughter, Gracie.
Brendan Keogh joined SWING in the early days of its operation as financial operations manager, working alongside the late Paddy O’Looney.

A member of Killarney Golf and Fishing Club for 40 years, he is the current CEO and he will have served 33 years next September.

SWING, the brainchild of former Kerry Group chief, Denis Brosnan, markets and promotes the premier golf clubs in the south west and also runs an incoming golf agency.

Records show that the company has booked over 350,000 rounds of golf in the south west alone but it also facilitates golfers wanting to play elsewhere in the country.

The company’s senior team of Brendan, Eileen O’Sullivan and Tommy Pierce have 60 years of experience bringing golfers to these shores.

Killarney has been a huge beneficiary as it is a base for most visiting golfers while on the Kerry part of their trip. The locals like seeing the high spending golfers arrive in April for a season than runs until mid October.
2024 is busy and it is also looking positive for 2025.

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Killarney Toastmasters Celebrates 20 Years

Killarney Toastmasters Celebrates 20 Years

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Over 30 members, past and present, gathered last Tuesday in The Dromhall Hotel to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the founding of Killarney Toastmasters club.

Several founder members were present including Frank O’Sullivan and Bernadette Noonan, who are still current members of the club.
Members embrace the core values of Toastmasters International which are “respect, integrity, service and excellence”.
This year Killarney Toastmasters welcomed eight new members of various nationalities, who have brought many talents with them to this international club.
Outgoing president Anthony Walsh said: “I am heartened by the progress of new members and, following the success of the current year, I am looking forward to a bright future for the club.”
Anthony passed the chain of office on to incoming President Ann Hannan, who is very excited about leading the club in the year that Toastmasters International celebrates its 100th Anniversary.

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