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Grab your sword and head back to medieval times

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Tralee 800 takes place in June.

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TIME travel is on the horizon in Tralee in June as it voyages back through the centuries to the medieval era. An action-packed programme of free entertainment for all the family has been launched this week for the forthcoming Tralee 800 Weekend which is being held to mark the 800th anniversary of the founding of Tralee.

Medieval re-enactments, pageants, a history village, a ‘Battle for Tralee’ and ‘Ye Olde Banquet’ all form part of a programme of dozens of free events which run from Friday, June 17, to Sunday, June 19.

Tralee was founded by John FitzThomas Fitzgerald in 1216 and the Tralee 800 Weekend will be the highlight of a year-long celebration of the anniversary. Kerry County Council has been working with local groups to arrange a large number of free and public events aimed at highlighting the town’s history and heritage and the weekend will feature music, re-enactments, exhibitions, walks and presentations.

The Tralee 800 Programme incorporates the annual Féile na mBláth Garden Festival and the Heroes’ Week Gathering of Emergency Services which is part of the Kerry 1916 Centenary Programme. Local emergency services will be joined by visiting services from other parts of Ireland, London and Massachusetts, USA. The highlight will be the Heroes’ Parade with Massed Bands marching from The Square to Denny Street and Town Park at 3.30pm on Sunday, June 19.

As part of Tralee 800, Rock band, Delorentos will perform on the stage in The Square on Friday 17th June, there will be a 35-strong re-enactments by Déise Medieval on Saturday 18th and a Food and Craft Village on the Park Plaza all weekend. Copies of the programme are now available from local outlets, from Kerry County Council and from the Tralee Chamber Alliance and online at www.tralee.ie.

The cathaoirleach of Kerry County Council and Chairman of Tralee 800, Cllr Pat McCarthy, said: “Tralee has a long and proud history from the very foundation of the town in the 13th century to the present day. We are looking forward to sharing and celebrating the town’s history and traditions with locals and visitors alike during this exciting weekend.

“We are inviting people of all ages to engage with the history of the town through a series of exciting and interactive events where young and old can learn more about what life was like in our county town 800 years ago. The vast majority of the events are free and suitable for all ages. And when incorporated with Féile na mBláth and Heroes’ Week, it promises to be a fantastic occasion,” he said.

Tralee 800 is supported by Kerry County Council, Tralee Chamber Alliance, Kerry Group, Fáilte Ireland, Tralee Credit Union, Lee Strand and the Kerry Archaeological and Historical Society.
 


 
Above, members of Déise Medieval who will perform at Tralee 800.

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Killarney co-drivers to the fore at this weekend

Two Killarney-based co-drivers will contest this weekend’s Trackrod Rally Yorkshire, the fourth rounds of the British Rally Championship. The two-day event gets underway tonight (Friday) with one stage set to be run under the cover of darkness. On the startline will be Muckross man Noel O’Sullivan and Aghadoe’s Mikie Galvin. O’Sullivan, co-driver to Welshman Osian […]

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Two Killarney-based co-drivers will contest this weekend’s Trackrod Rally Yorkshire, the fourth rounds of the British Rally Championship.

The two-day event gets underway tonight (Friday) with one stage set to be run under the cover of darkness.
On the startline will be Muckross man Noel O’Sullivan and Aghadoe’s Mikie Galvin.

O’Sullivan, co-driver to Welshman Osian Pryce, is the current leader of the series while Galvin, who reads pacenotes for fellow Killarney and District Motor Club member, West Cork’s Keith Cronin, is eighth after missing the opening round.

“The element of darkness certainly brings an additional challenge to all the crews, especially since most of us will not have done any night stages for some time, the most recent I did was in 2017 on the Ulster Rally,” Cronin noted.

The route layout reads like an extract from the itinerary of the World Championship counting RAC Rally of the 1980s, featuring familiar locations such as Dalby, Gale Rigg and Langdale, and it will be the Dalby Forest test that opens the competition shortly after 8pm tonight.

Meanwhile, Irish rallying returned last Sunday after the pandemic-enforced lay-off with the ‘Munster Car Club’s Cork 20’.

London-based Listry co-driver Shane Buckley was the best of the local entrants, guiding Daniel Cronin, Keith’s brother, to fifth overall.

Ger Conway and his driver Stephen Wright were just two places and 8.9 seconds behind in another Ford Fiesta RC2. It was Conway’s first taste of a RC2 car since he and Rob Duggan finished second overall on the 2018 Donegal International Rally.

“There is a taste of more after this,” said Ger after a trouble-free day.
Damien Fleming came close to making it four local co-drivers in the top 10. He and his driver Stephen McCann were 11th, just 16.6 off the leader board. They said it took a while to get used to the bumpy Irish tar after a recent trip to the Tour of Flanders in Belgium.

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Education Minister officially opens The Mon’s new classrooms

A town primary school – which has a deep connection to Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty – has a whole new look which was officially opened today (Friday) by the Minister for Education. Norma Foley TD officially opened the newly constructed wing to the Presentation Monastery Primary School on New Road which will house two special needs classrooms, a multi-sensory room […]

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A town primary school – which has a deep connection to Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty – has a whole new look which was officially opened today (Friday) by the Minister for Education.

Norma Foley TD officially opened the newly constructed wing to the Presentation Monastery Primary School on New Road which will house two special needs classrooms, a multi-sensory room and a general-purpose hall.

The project, which was funded by Department of Education along with money raised by the school as part of their ‘THE MON-ster Fundraiser’, was just one of three officially opened new additions to the school along with a special dedication of the school’s hall in honour of Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty, a past pupil of the school from 1909-1914.

Also, The Most Rev. Ray Browne, Bishop of Kerry, officially opened a three-classroom extension at the school’s present site which was opened in 1958 having moved from its College Street location which was opened in 1838 by the Presentation Brothers.

Former Supreme Court Judge Hugh O’Flaherty and Mrs Pearl Dineen the nephew and niece of Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty officiated over the dedicating of the school’s new hall to past pupil, Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty, in recognition of his heroic deeds during WWII.

O’Flaherty, who also taught at the school later, became better known for the role he played in World War II while at the Vatican leading over 6,500 prisoners of war, partisans and Jews to freedom to earn him the title of the ‘Vatican Pimpernel’, leading to the 1983 film ‘The Scarlet and the Black’ with Gregory Peck portraying the role of O’Flaherty.

OUTDOOR CLASSROOM

A special outdoor classroom ‘Dotts Garden’, dedicated to the memory of Dorothy (Dott) Hennggler the 2011 Washington DC Rose who died at the family home in Baltimore from a brain tumour, was officially opened by Anne O’Shea (aunt of the late Dorothy), and Àine McMahon (cousin of the late Dorothy and BOM member). The outdoor classroom was beautifully decorated over the summer by artist Katríona Lynch.

Due to COVID restrictions, the main event took place outdoors with staff joined by a small group of pupils selected from each of the classes representing the student body along with members of the school’s Board of Management.

“Your achievements have been remarkable over the last number of months,” Minister of Education, Norma Foley, said today at the official opening.

“It is my wish going forward that the next year in education will be less complicated, less trying and less difficult one. I think school staff are deserving of that. We can put the COVID atmosphere behind us and we are moving positively along. We hope that in a few months we will talk about living in a post-COVID time. The story of Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty speaks of the calibre of students produced here, but it also speaks of the courage and bravery and vision that Kerry people can have in the most difficult and trying of times.”

School principal Colm Ó Suilleabháin, who is shortly moving on to St Oliver’s NS in Ballycasheen, was delighted to be in attendance to see the building come to fruition.

“It’s a fantastic culmination of hard work by the staff and the Board of Management, and we are delighted to see the school is fully equipped and resourced for the next generation of pupils from Killarney and beyond,” he said.

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