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Ian helps launch Puck Fair 2018

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With just over a month to go before Ireland’s oldest festival kicks off for another year, the Puck Fair committee officially launched the 2018 programme during an exciting event that was held at Sheahan’s Bar last Saturday at 8pm. This year’s event was particularly special not only for the Killorglin community but also for the county as a whole, as a well-known and inspirational young Kerry man was on hand to officially launch the age-old event.

Fresh from a recent appearance on The Late Late Show during which he spoke with admirable positivity about his continuing recovery following last year’s cycling tragedy that left him paralysed from the neck down, Ian O’Connell from Killarney took time from his schedule to launch Puck Fair 2018, beginning the celebrations with the enthusiasm he is known for. His inspiring motto, “If you can’t stand up, stand out,” even attracted the attention of his idol Conor McGregor, who paid tribute to the determined teen on Instagram.

Another VIP in attendance on the night was none other than King Puck himself, who this year made an early appearance in a very unique form. Looking bigger and brighter than ever (in spite of his 400+ years), King Puck now reigns permanently over the town of Killorglin thanks to the creativity and vision of artist Dan Leo, who painted a mural of the famous folklore figure on the wall of the CYMS Hall in the town centre.

Speaking ahead of the event, Declan Mangan, President of the Puck Fair committee, said: “It’s an exciting time to host the launch of Puck Fair, with the fabulous mural adding new vibrancy to the town. We’re also delighted to welcome Ian O’Connell this year as our special guest. This inspirational young man represents exactly what Puck Fair is all about; individuality, a strong sense of identity and most importantly, resilience. We may be another year older, but Puck Fair continues to keep us young at heart!”

While King Puck is currently the focus of attention in the town centre, his spotlight will soon be stolen by another very famous figure, who is gearing up to take to the stage as the eagerly-awaited headline act of Puck Fair 2018. Singer Jake Carter, the reigning champion of RTÉ’s Dancing with the Stars and brother of the equally famous Nathan Carter, will perform on the main festival stage on Sunday, August 12, bringing the festival to a stylish and energetic close.

This year’s festival will also feature live music from The Swing Cats (Friday, August 10) and The Cosmic Funk Band (Saturday, August 11), as well as acrobatics from Wobbly Circus Street Show; puppet shows by Kidspartyclub Kerry; children’s entertainment provided by Kingdom Party Pals; Fancy Dress and Bonny Baby Competitions; performances by Afro Trad Ireland and much more. The opening day of Puck Fair on Friday, August 10 will be marked with the annual Coronation Parade and Ceremony, while the Dethronement festivities and subsequent fireworks on the final day of the festival (Sunday, August 12) will provide the perfect ending to Ireland’s most famous yearly event.

For pictures and live updates, check out facebook.com/puckfair or twitter @puck_fair and visit YouTube to view puckfairofficial videos.

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Muckross Rowing Club members on Irish teams for two major regattas

  Six members of Muckross Rowing Club will compete for Ireland in two upcoming international events. Rowing Ireland this week announced the Irish squads for the Coupe de la Jeunesse […]

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Six members of Muckross Rowing Club will compete for Ireland in two upcoming international events.

Rowing Ireland this week announced the Irish squads for the Coupe de la Jeunesse Regatta.

Daniel Fleming and Ian Coffey have both been selected for the Under 19 Irish squad to race at the Coupe de la Jeunesse Regatta for European junior rowers. The Coupe de la Jeunesse Regatta, involving 16 European countries, will be held over from over three days, August 9-11 in Racice, Czechia.

Four Under 23 university rowers from the Muckross club have also been selected as part of the Senior Irish squad for the Home International Regatta this month.

Niamh Coffey (University of Limerick), Patrick Buckley (University of Limerick), Finn O’Sullivan (University of Limerick) and Ethan O’Neill (University College Cork Rowing Club) will take on the ‘Triple Crown’ event of rowing, competing for Ireland against crews from England, Scotland and Wales.

The Home International Regatta will be held on Saturday, July 27 in Strathclyde, Scotland.

All six Muckross rowers have earned their green jerseys following a lengthy and testing trial series on land and water which began in Autumn 2023 and culminated in final water trials at the end of June.

“Muckross Rowing Club sends its best wishes to the very talented Muckross oarsmen and women and all their crewmates as they fly the flag for Ireland this summer. The talented group build on a successful record in the sport,” said club PRO Tim O’Shea.

Niamh Coffey is a multiple Irish and University Championship winner and has previously represented Ireland in the Under 23 European Championships.

In 2022, O’Neill rowed at Junior level at the Home International event and won a gold medal as part of the Irish quadruple scull crew in the 500m sprint event.

Both Buckley and O’Sullivan continue to compete at the highest level nationally with the University of Limerick Rowing Club,  and join the Irish squad for the first time this year.

The international selections come at an exciting time before the Olympic Regatta in Paris, where Zoe Hyde (Tralee Rowing Club) will be among the largest Irish rowing contingent of 16 rowers to contest an Olympic Games.

Killorglin native Zoe has previously rowed for both Killorglin and Muckross rowing clubs and will race the Women’s Double event for Ireland with Alison Bergin (Fermoy Rowing Club) in Paris.

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Valuable role of Kerry cancer support charity recognised nationally

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Cancer support charity Recovery Haven Kerry has been recognised for its vital role in supporting cancer patients and their families at a national ceremony in Dublin.

The renowned cancer support house was one of 16 such centres across Ireland that were presented with plaques to acknowledge their full membership of the National Cancer Control Programme (NCCP) Alliance – a group made up of voluntary and charity organisations delivering support services directly to cancer patients and their families. An additional 10 associate member charities were also honoured, including Kerry Cancer Support Group.

The Alliance advocates for, and supports, the development of integrated pathways between the cancer centres, acute hospitals, community cancer support services and primary care services. All members’ development is in line with the values of Sláintecare, seeking to provide assurance to healthcare professionals that these organisations are working to an agreed standard as set out in Best Practice Guidance published by the NCCP. 

Speaking after the ceremony, which was held at Dublin’s Farmleigh Estate, Recovery Haven Kerry Chairman, Tim McSwiney, explained that being compliant with the Best Practice Guidance for Community Cancer Support Centres is a true mark of quality. 

“It offers us a yardstick to measure what we are doing against the standards required. As a result, healthcare professionals have more confidence in referring people to our services. We are very proud to be a member of the Alliance,” he said.

Recovery Haven Kerry was represented at the event by centre manager, Gemma Fort and Client Services Co-Ordinator, Siobhan MacSweeney and were presented with their plaque by NCCP Lead for Cancer Survivorship, Louise Mullen, Clinical Lead for Psycho-Oncology Dr Helen Greally, and Minister of State at the Department of Health, Colm Burke. 

The event was also used as an opportunity to announce funding of €3m for the NCCP’s Alliance of Community Cancer Support Centres and Services through Budget 2024. The NCCP is currently in the process of distributing these funds which will directly and positively impact the delivery of services for patients and families nationally.

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