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International Rose Festival cancelled for second year

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Organisers of the Rose of Tralee International Festival have just announced that this year's Festival will not be able to go ahead.

It's the second year the festival has been cancelled due to COVID-19 - last year being the first time in its history that it was called off. 

Rose Of Tralee International Festival CEO Anthony O'Gara explained that since last year’s postponement, they have been working on how best they could safely deliver some, or all, of the 2021 Rose of Tralee International Festival events at home and abroad. 

"It has been a long and difficult 15 months for so many as a result of COVID-19, and its impact continues to be felt worldwide," he said.

"The development and the rollout of vaccines has brought much needed hope that a return to normal is in sight. Sadly, the timeframe envisaged to safely steer our communities out of this pandemic, and our responsibility to positively support those efforts, mean that we will not be able to have a Festival again this year, which is immensely disappointing for all of us involved."

He said that it "is difficult for everyone involved" and "for supporters that look forward to celebrating our global Irish community each August," but that they are confident it is the right decision to keep "each other safe and well".

The Festival operates on a yearlong basis, in Irish communities worldwide; and they will continue to harness the goodwill of their extended Rose family in supporting communities and charitable efforts over the next 12 months, he added.

"Similarly, we will each have a role to play in restoring our community and local economy following this pandemic, and we look forward to coming together in celebration in August 2022. In the meantime, we salute the leadership and the selfless efforts of frontline and support staff everywhere; and among them the efforts by many of our Rose family." 

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The Mayor of Tralee, Cllr Terry O’Brien has expressed sadness that the Rose of Tralee International Festival will not be taking place this year. 

“It is clear that every effort had been made by the hard-working committee behind the festival to do everything possible to host the event in 2021 but for very understandable reasons, this is not possible,” Cllr O’Brien said. 

“I know that those involved will redouble their efforts to stage the Rose of Tralee International Festival in 2022 and everyone in Tralee will be supporting them in that effort. At Municipal District level, we will be doing all we can to hold smaller events over the summer period in compliance with the public health guidelines. While these will not be a substitute for the Rose of Tralee, we hope we can make the most of the summer ahead to enjoy smaller family-type events as the pandemic situation improves,” he said.

The Cathaoirleach of Kerry County Council, Cllr Patrick Connor Scarteen also expressed disappointment at the announcement today, saying:

“Kerry County Council and the Tralee Municipal District has been a proud supporter of the Rose of Tralee International Festival for many years. Sadly, again this year, because of the need to protect everyone from the Coronavirus large public events like this simply aren’t possible, particularly those which involve international travel.

“I know that all the people of Kerry will look forward, as I do, to the 2022 festival,” he said.

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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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