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Former Sem student among 3,000 new Irish citizens

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BY ADAM MOYNIHAN

 

A former St Brendan’s College student who fled war-torn Somalia as a teenager was among the 3,000 people to be conferred with Irish citizenship at a ceremony in the INEC this week.

 

Nasir Yasin, who arrived in Ireland in 2005, was just one of 3,000 people from 120 countries who became Irish citizens in Killarney on Monday. 586 of the candidates were originally from Poland, while 312 came from the UK. Romania, India and Nigeria completed the top five.

 

When he arrived in Ireland, Nasir was housed in Park Lodge, Killarney, while the government processed his application for asylum. During his time in the town, Nasir attended the Sem where he credits teacher Eoin O’Cara and Guidance Counsellor Tim Gleeson with helping him to learn English. He subsequently completed his Leaving Cert in 2007.

 

However, because he was an asylum seeker, Nasir was not allowed to advance to third level education. His classmates at St Brendan’s wrote a letter to the Department of Justice pleading for Nasir to be granted refugee status but to no avail. He spent five more years in direct provision in Wicklow and Dundalk before eventually being told in 2012 that he could remain in the country on humanitarian grounds.

 

The following year, Nasir signed up for what he describes as his “dream course”, Civil Engineering in DIT. He graduated in 2017 and is now fully qualified and seeking employment.

 

Nasir returned to Killarney this week with his wife Samsam and children Mawaahib and Mohamed, and he officially became an Irish citizen at the ceremony.

 

“Before the ceremony, I visited St Brendan’s College where I met my old principal, Ed O'Neill,” Nasir said. “He recognised me well and welcomed me. He was very proud of me and he was telling everyone that I was former student here.

 

“Most of my teachers were retired but they still remain in my heart.”

 

As an Irish citizen Nasir is now hopeful that he will be able to bring his mother and siblings to Ireland.

 

“I have a contact with my family at the moment and I know where they are now, but at any time they might have to leave their homes due to disease, hunger and drought,” he said. “The Islamist armed group Al-Shabaab has threatened and abducted civilians, which has also forced many people to flee.”

 

The Irish Refugee Protection Programme Humanitarian Admission Programme 2 (IHAP) provides an opportunity to Irish citizens who have immediate eligible family members from the top 10 major source countries of refugees, to propose to the Minister for these family members to join them in Ireland. Somalia is one of these top 10 source countries.

 

[caption id="attachment_23877" align="aligncenter" width="1200"] Nasir Yasin with his wife Samsam and children Mawaahib and Mohamed. Nasir attended St Brendan's College as a teenager.[/caption]

 

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Local author’s debut book makes Late Late Toy Show

Killarney art psychotherapist Katie O’Donoghue was delighted to spot her first children’s book on last Friday’s Late Late Toy Show! ‘The Little Squirrel Who Worried’ was written and illustrated by Katie, and published by Gill Books in July. With almost every eye in Ireland on the Toy Show every year, children’s authors, illustrators and publishers […]

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Killarney art psychotherapist Katie O’Donoghue was delighted to spot her first children’s book on last Friday’s Late Late Toy Show!

‘The Little Squirrel Who Worried’ was written and illustrated by Katie, and published by Gill Books in July.

With almost every eye in Ireland on the Toy Show every year, children’s authors, illustrators and publishers compete for a much-coveted spot on the set. Aware that her book had been sent to Ryan, but not having heard anything from RTÉ, Katie was thrilled to see it in a prominent position. It was a wonderful surprise to discover ‘The Little Squirrel Who Worried’ had been placed in the front row of the book corner. There, it had a little chair of its own and was even embraced by a cuddly toy.

It was visible many times over the course of the evening, particularly during the book discussion, an incredibly proud moment for first-time author Katie.

“I have to admit, when I saw ‘The Little Squirrel Who Worried’ cradled in the teddy’s arms, I may have jumped up and down with excitement,” Katie told the Killarney Advertiser.

What began as a lockdown project while Katie was living in London and missing her family in Kerry, is providing comfort to children around the world.

Using a gentle story with gorgeous illustrations, Little Squirrel and his forest friends teach young people a variety of simple coping techniques.

“These skills will benefit children their entire lives and the book is even helpful for adults who are prone to worrying and overthinking,” she added.

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No 2021 return for Killarney on Ice

By Michelle Crean Fans of the ice will be disappointed to hear that Killarney on Ice will not return for a second year. Following its huge popularity year on year since returning to Killarney in 2015, the promoters of Killarney on Ice are disappointed to confirm that they are unable to operate again this year. […]

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By Michelle Crean

Fans of the ice will be disappointed to hear that Killarney on Ice will not return for a second year.

Following its huge popularity year on year since returning to Killarney in 2015, the promoters of Killarney on Ice are disappointed to confirm that they are unable to operate again this year.

Rising case numbers, uncertain COVID-19 restrictions, and insurance challenges have been the main drivers behind the decision not to open, according to the company.

As Kerry’s only festive ice rink, the facility has brought much fun and life to the town over the years, attracting thousands of people from all over the county, and indeed the whole country, with many families coming to stay overnight in Killarney and enjoying all that this great town has to offer.

As well as friends and families coming to skate, schools, youth clubs, sports teams and employees of local companies use the group booking discount rate to plan sessions on the ice, and Killarney on Ice would like to thank them all for their continuing loyalty.

“We sincerely hope to be back better and stronger in 2022, and we look forward to welcoming all of our valued customers,” Tim O’Donoghue, the promoter of the rink, told the Killarney Advertiser.

“In the meantime, we wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year.”

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