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Fleadh Cheoil Chiarraí to celebrate mid-Kerry’s ancient heritage

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Aerial drone pictures capture Kerry's oldest place of burial

A unique cultural celebration of the Summer Solstice at the iconic 6,000 year-old Killaclohane Portal Tomb near Milltown promises to be a special highlight of this year’s Kerry Fleadh Cheoil which takes place in the mid-Kerry town this week. The organisers are holding an open-air celebration at the portal tomb on 21st June, the longest day of the year, against the majestic backdrop of Dingle Bay and the Sliabh Mish Mountains. This occasion is the centre-piece of the five-day, family-friendly festival with a fantastic program of entertainment. New research by County Archaeologist Michael Connolly has revealed the ancient burial place to be the oldest known man made structure in Kerry and perhaps in Ireland. "Having a monument of such historical and cultural significance in the locality has inspired our theme for the 2018 Fleadh, which is 'Reconnecting with the Past', drawing inspiration from the deep-rooted traditions we share. This idea is at the heart of the Comhaltas organisation", explained event Chairman Owen O'Shea

With a range of music from across the centuries, dramatic percussion, poetry, song, a Solstice bonfire and a druidic ceremony, the event at Killaclohane invokes the spiritual connections with the Neolithic Age and draws on the theme of 'Reconnecting with the Past.’ Featuring some of Kerry’s best musicians and performers, the event at the portal tomb will seek to connect with the cultural heritage of the area over the millennia.

The event will open with a recitation and harp music from father and daughter, Chris and Aoibhe Horan and will feature a blessing ceremony with the Dingle Druid, Juli Ní Mhaoileoin as well as the lighting of a Solstice Bonfire with percussive rhythms from Drum Dance Ireland. Uileann piper Barry Lynch and harpist Reidun Schlesinger will perform some of the ancient music of Ireland and a group of local musicians will play the tunes they listened and danced to in mid-Kerry a century ago. Sliabh Luachra poet, Eileen Sheehan will recite some of her work and singer, Joan Greene will celebrate the different international Solstice traditions from around the world.

‘The tomb is set against one of the most spectacular backdrops in Kerry – Caherconree Promontory Fort, the mouth of the River Maine and the Dingle Peninsula. It has to be seen to be believed. The event will be suitable for all ages and we will keep everyone well fed with a pig on a spit. We’ll finish with a grand finale involving all the performers as the sun sets over the historic site,’ added Owen.

The event begins at 8pm on 21st June and there is a €10 admission fee for over-16s. As there is no parking on site, those attending will be transported from the Mid-Kerry Mart car park to the site on a free shuttle bus. Attendees are advised to arrive and park up early from 7pm. Toilet facilities and limited seating will be available and everyone should be dressed appropriately for the prevailing weather conditions. Enquiries to fleadh2018@hotmail.com

Fleadh Cheoil Chiarraí, hosted by Milltown-Listry Comhaltas Branch takes place in Milltown from 20th to 24th June and will feature free open-air performances from Stockton’s Wing, All-Ireland champions, the Shandrum Céilí Band, a Sunday céilí with Uí Bhriain, family fun and frolics, Spin City Funfair, competitions, sessions, a street entertainment competition and lots more. Follow @MilltownCCE and @Kerrycomhaltas for more information.

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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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Teens theory is a national winner

Watch out Dallas as three local students are ready to take their science theory and blow the competition out of the water. Liam Waldron, Rachel Griffin and Luke O’Sullivan, Sixth […]

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Watch out Dallas as three local students are ready to take their science theory and blow the competition out of the water.

Liam Waldron, Rachel Griffin and Luke O’Sullivan, Sixth Year students from Killarney Community College, were named SciFest STEM Champions 2022 for their Group Theoretic Approach to Pythagoras’ Theorem.

The national finals of SciFest Ireland were held at the Marino Conference Centre in Dublin last Friday and they were attended by finalists from across Ireland.

The amazing trio will now go on to represent Ireland at the Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair (Regeneron ISEF) which will be held in Dallas, Texas in May 2023.

The students secured their place at the national final after they won the overall prize at the SciFest regional competition at MTU Kerry in May this year.

Their project takes possibly one of the most well-known theorems that everyone remembers from school, Pythagoras’ Theorem. It provides an alternate proof of it, while also highlighting how right-angled triangles naturally provide a link between two coordinate systems and how this special case can naturally recreate the Pythagorean Theorem.

Supported by Intel Ireland and Boston Scientific, SciFest was set up 17 years ago by Sheila Porter and her husband George.

It is the largest, most inclusive STEM fair programme for second-level students in Ireland.

“The aim of SciFest has always been to develop a love of STEM and of inquiry-based learning and every year it is refreshing to see how the students of today continue to love and enjoy immersing themselves in science, technology, engineering and maths,” Sheila Porter, SciFest CEO, said.

“As SciFest grows each year, we grow more excited to see what new experiments and technologies are thought of and created. This year, students have shown incredible innovation in how STEM can make a positive impact on society, with initiatives in farming, space exploration and healthcare.”

Each year SciFest awards a ‘Teacher of Excellence’ and this year Máire Spillane was the recipient for her work with Luke, Rachel and Liam. She accompanied them to both finals and could not be prouder of this huge achievement at national level.

Killarney Community College held a whole school assembly to congratulate the SciFest champions in school and the SciFest STEM Champions 2022 were met with rapturous applause from all students and staff.

Ms Spillane spoke about the importance of STEM subjects and acknowledged the fact that Killarney Community College offers all students the opportunity to study all four of the disciplines, Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths and how our students are encouraged to submit projects every year into SciFest. It may be a competition run by science teachers, but in KCC cross-curricular co-operation by teachers of all subjects, is practiced on a daily basis.

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