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Gleneagle Band to play for charity




The Gleneagle Hotel will be the venue for a massed band concert on Sunday March 25 at 7.30pm as part of the Gleneagle Concert Band Annual Charity Concert.

The Cobh Confraternity band will be guest artists this year. Each band will perform a selection of pieces individually before coming together at the end of the concert for an amazing massed band performance featuring over 100 musicians on stage. All proceeds from this concert will be allocated to South Kerry MS Association, Kerry Cancer Support Group, Enable Ireland Kerry Children Services and the Band Music Education Youth Programme.

Band conductor Vincent Condon says: “We are really pleased to be collaborating with the South Kerry MS Association, Kerry Cancer Support Group and Enable Ireland Kerry Children Services at this year’s charity concert. We hope the public will come out in great numbers to support this worthwhile fundraising venture.

“The band musically is in excellent form and the concert will also provide an opportunity to showcase the tremendous work being done through our Music Education Youth Programme, which has benefited so many young people throughout the county for the past 38 years. I extend an open invitation to everybody who has been involved with the band in the past as well as our supporters and music enthusiasts to come and join us for what will be an evening of great entertainment.”

The band, which performed superbly for President Michael D. Higgins on his visit to Killarney in 2012, embarked on a concert tour to Lisbon in 2013 and performed two concerts in the Portuguese capital. The band was again a very proud ambassador for Killarney and Kerry on foreign soil in August 2017 when the they travelled to Monaco and Cannes and performed two concerts in the south of France under the baton of band conductor Vincent Condon. This was the band’s seventh foreign tour after visits to Germany, Holland, Sweden, Austria, Portugal and Paris over the past four decades.

Band manager Ciaran Lynch says: “These are very exciting times for the band which would not be possible without the encouragement and support we receive from the political and business sector and general public in Killarney. This concert will be a highlight and a celebration of the voluntary work, community service and musical excellence that exists here in Killarney. Rehearsals are going very well and there will be a massed band of over 100 players on stage for what will be a musical spectacle in Killarney not to be missed.”

Tickets are priced at €12 for adults and €9 for children/OAPs and are available from the INEC ticket office, band members, the South Kerry MS Association, Kerry Cancer Support Group, Enable Ireland Kerry Children Services and on the door of the night of the concert. The concert will cater for all musical tastes and will include military marches, classical music, jazz numbers, film music, and vocal hits.

Any person interested in joining the Gleneagle Concert Band (including past members and adults with previous musical experience) or enrolling in music lessons in the Gleneagle School of Music should contact the band at 087 2229513.



Fossa School says ‘bonjour’ to French classes



Fossa National School is giving its pupils a headstart in learning a new language.

The school signed up to Language Sampler scheme as part of the ‘Say Yes to Languages’ initiative in primary schools organised by Post Primary languages Ireland in 2021. This is the school’s third year running the module.

Hélène Olivier-Courtney, the school’s French teacher and director of French For All Killarney School of French, covers ten schools in Kerry over the three terms.

The success of the initiative relies on an all-school approach and the active involvement of class teachers and management.

“The whole staff in Fossa certainly helped make this new journey a special and enjoyable experience for the children as we learnt French through art, songs, games and food tasting! This year, we also organised a catwalk on our last day. Our sixth-class students will have such a head start before secondary school and most importantly will have develop curiosity interest and love for the language,” said Hélène.


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Opinion: Silent majority needs to stand up and call out far-right hate



By Chris Davies

Last Friday’s Dublin Riots should not have come as a surprise to anyone. It has been bubbling under the surface of Irish society for a good number of years now. The actions of a small minority last week was a culmination of years of racism, hatred and misinformation shared online by far-right groups.

Late on Friday night a disturbing WhatsApp voice note was doing the rounds on social media where a far-right actor could clearly be heard encouraging violence on the streets of Dublin. 

“’Seven o’clock, be in town. Everyone bally up, tool up…Any foreigner, just kill them”

Watching the Riots unfold on social media brought me back to when I was working in Dublin a number of years back. My morning commute from Skerries to the city centre involved a dart to Connolly Station followed by a short trip on the Luas to the Jervis. Every week, without fail, I would witness at least one racial slur or attack on someone who didn’t fit the narrow minded view of what an Irish person should look, dress or talk like. I don’t know if it is the eerie silence of public transport that seems to amplify the situation, but that’s where I found it to be most common. The abuse was usually perpetrated by a group of youths or someone who was clearly under the influence of drink or drugs. The victims were always of colour, often dressed smartly enough to presume they were on their way, or coming from work. A far cry from the perpetrators who you could tell were roaming aimlessly around the city looking for trouble.

While shameful to admit, I would often look on and watch the abuse unfold, only to spend the rest of my work day thinking about the poor person who was told to “F*&K off back to your own country”. I would sit at my desk questioning why I didn’t step in and say something. There were one or two occasions where I did step in and call it out, but not nearly often enough.  

This disgusting behaviour is much more visible in our cities. Since moving back to Killarney I wouldn’t witness as much direct abuse on the streets but working with the Killarney Advertiser I would be tuned in to local news and some of the comments I read on our social platforms are far worse than anything I witnessed during my time in Dublin.  

There is a significant group of people in Ireland that I would call the ‘silent majority’. We are not as outspoken on issues we care about. We tend to observe and consume the news quietly, and only speak of our support or disgust on certain issues in close circles, too afraid we might offend someone. The problem with this is that we are leaving these far-right groups unchallenged, to become louder, more aggressive and more hostile as seen last week. 

The past week Sinn Fein and the Social Democrats have been busy in the media expressing no confidence in Justice Minister Helen McEntee and Garda Commissioner Drew Harris but I would suggest that there is a large percentage of the Irish population that bears some of the responsibility. We witness racism in our communities and online every day and we need to start speaking up and calling it out. 

On the issue of immigration in Killarney, there is no doubt resources are being stretched and our tourism industry is suffering as a result of an influx of immigration. Locals have also raised concerns in relation to the placement of so many male international protection applicants in one setting and we only have to look back on the incident in Hotel Killarney last year where a number of men were involved in a harrowing stabbing incident to see how that played out.  

However, being concerned around immigration is not the same as anti-immigration. It is important to raise these issues with local representatives and Kerry TD’s but also to separate ourselves from far-right groups who are only interested in encouraging violence.  

The anarchy we witnessed last week should never be the answer and research shows it is completely unnecessary. Harvard University have looked at hundreds of protests over the last century, and found that non-violent campaigns are twice as likely to achieve their goals as violent campaigns and that it only takes around 3.5% of the population actively participating in the protests to ensure serious political change.

Let’s continue to protest peacefully for issues we believe in, but stand up and speak out against people and movements in our community that incite hate and violence. 

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