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Global Irish Festival series 2021 funding announced for Kerry

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The Global Irish Festival Series, a Fáilte Ireland and Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade initiative, aims to harness diaspora links for the benefit of local and community tourism.

Looking ahead to 2021, Minister of State for Tourism and Sport, Brendan Griffin and Minister of State for the Diaspora and International Development, Ciaran Cannon have announced funding of up to €100k for Kerry County Council through the Global Irish Festival Series, a joint initiative between Fáilte Ireland and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade to provide funding and support, through relevant local authorities, for events that tap into international diaspora networks to help attract overseas visitors.

The festival series is part of the National Tourism Development Authority’s recovery strategy for the tourism industry which will feed into the work of the Tourism Recovery Taskforce recently established by Ministers Shane Ross and Brendan Griffin.

Kerry County Council will receive funding to develop events to encourage Ireland’s diaspora to visit Ireland once the COVID-19 public health emergency passes.

“This is a hugely difficult and anxious time for the tourism industry, but it is important that we look ahead," Minister of State for Tourism and Sport, Brendan Griffin, said. "The Global Irish Festival Series will enable the local community in Kerry to build on their diaspora networks and deepen connections around the world that will help to generate tourism activity next year.”

The Global Irish Festival Series will support Kerry County Council’s An Turas Mór – The Journey Home festival, with up to €100k in funding. The festival will include a month-long heritage programme of special thematic events designed in collaboration with existing festivals in Kerry, including a series of participative GAA events throughout October 2021.

Minister of State for the Diaspora and International Development, Ciaran Cannon, added:
“In the face of the global challenge posed by COVID-19, it is important for us to re-affirm our sense of solidarity and common identity. The Global Irish Festival Series is an important part of reinforcing the connections between Ireland and our diaspora. We will work with our partners in Fáilte Ireland and the local community in Kerry to strengthen their deep connection with the diaspora.”

Speaking about the importance of festival series, Fáilte Ireland’s Head of Festivals, Ciara Sugrue, said that they are delighted to work with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade once again on the Global Irish Festival Series as they look at rebuilding the tourism industry and the vital contributions it makes to Irish society.

"The festivals and events supported through the series will help drive tourism to specific locations, including regional areas outside of current hotspots, creating new economic benefits for local communities and this will be hugely important as we move into the recovery phase of the COVID-19 crisis.”

Welcoming the announcement, Moira Murrell, Chief Executive of Kerry County Council said Kerry is pleased to be part of the Global Irish Festival Series and will work with the Rose of Tralee network, the GAA and other groups to attract members of the Kerry diaspora back to the county for a showcase festival in October 2021.

"The fostering of linkages with the extended Kerry family overseas is a key goal of the Council and it will help drive tourism and economic growth in these challenging times.”

The Global Irish Festival Series will take place in 2021 on the Wild Atlantic Way in the new locations of Kerry and Mayo, alongside Limerick and Donegal where the festival series has taken place since it was launched as a pilot initiative in 2018.

The Global Irish Festival Series is funded by Fáilte Ireland and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

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Therapy dog begins first day of school

By Michelle Crean A four-month-old puppy is the latest addition to school life at one local secondary school and his homework is to help students and staff. On Wednesday, there was great excitement as therapy dog Zoomer joined the school community at St Brigid’s on New Road – the second post primary school in the county […]

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By Michelle Crean

A four-month-old puppy is the latest addition to school life at one local secondary school and his homework is to help students and staff.

On Wednesday, there was great excitement as therapy dog Zoomer joined the school community at St Brigid’s on New Road – the second post primary school in the county to welcome such a dog.

It’s part of the My Canine Companion (MCC) charity which has a number of therapy dogs in schools across the country.

Deirdre Horgan from MCC paid a visit to schools looking for families for the charity’s socialisation programme. ​​​​​​

Zoomer is a mix of a sheepdog and a poodle and Deirdre’s dog Fifi is his mother.

In May Fifi had 10 puppies all named with the letter ‘z’. Just recently Fossa National School welcomed Zoomer’s sister Zazu to their classrooms, and puppy Zoro went to the CBS in Tralee.

The dogs not only provide comfort and support to pupils and students with Autism but to all in the school.

“There is an increasing body of research to support the benefit of a dog in school,” Ber O’Connor, a teacher in St Brigid’s, said.

Zoomer will be under the guidance of Ms O’Connor and some Transition Year students who will undertake a specific training programme for the therapy dog.

“The dog will be based in different rooms around the school but will have a timetable of interactions. We hope Zoomer settles in well and brings joy to many of our students lives. You can follow all the updates of Zoomer’s life on Instagram by following @zoomersbk or his TikTok account ‘zoomerthepuppy’.

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Brian James secures much sought after award

A local business is celebrating receiving a very special accolade – beating off stiff competition from UK and Irish retailers – by taking home the title of ‘Menswear Independent of the Year 2021’. Brian James, whose business is located on Main Street, secured the award at the internationally acclaimed Drapers Independents Awards in London last […]

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A local business is celebrating receiving a very special accolade – beating off stiff competition from UK and Irish retailers – by taking home the title of ‘Menswear Independent of the Year 2021’.

Brian James, whose business is located on Main Street, secured the award at the internationally acclaimed Drapers Independents Awards in London last week.

The highly respected and sought after Drapers Awards celebrate the very best of independent fashion retail and Brian James saw off exceptionally tough competition from other menswear stores to bring home this much coveted award.

Brian James were announced the winners at a celebratory luncheon in The Hilton London Bankside amongst fashion industry leaders and were presented with the iconic Drapers mannequin bust to much applause.

Commenting that Brian James has been a destination for fashion-conscious shoppers for more than 15 years, the judges praised Brian James’ strong “roster of brands” and said that it “offers an aspirational experience in Killarney”.

“Killarney is an incredible town to trade in – it is a brand in itself, offers the best of everything to those that are lucky to live here and an unbeatable experience for those that visit,” Brian O’Shea, who founded and runs Brian James for the last 15 years, said. “This award recognises Brian James and Killarney as a superior shopping destination town. Brian James and the other superb retailers in Killarney are an important piece of the jigsaw – the Park, the lakes and mountains, the hotels, restaurants and bars… it is the whole picture which guarantees the experience is first class.”

He added that his team are a key element of the experience at Brian James.

“My sincere thanks go to each of the team as without them we could not provide the customer experience and service we aim to ensure each and every time. Brian James’ success is also down to the partnerships we have developed over time with key international brands. On the store itself, of course we have relocated to our new super store on Main Street and more than doubled our floor space. Although it has been great to be able to design and create this stunning space to enhance the customer experience, it also allowed us to add more brands to our menswear mix. This year we will have added Hugo Boss and Eden Park to our familiar brands such as Tommy Hilfiger, Calvin Klein, Gant, Barbour, Bugatti and Farah. The new space also plays host to ladies collections from Tommy Jeans, Calvin Klein, Diesel and Superdry and this is an exciting new element we are really enjoying too!”

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