FAREWELL: After 38 years service Irene O'Keeffe retired from Coolick National School.
By Michelle Crean
Emotions were high in one Kilcummin school this week as children and staff said farewell to their school principal after 38 years dedicated service.
Irene O'Keeffe, who has taught in Coolick National School for 38 years - 23 of those as principal - has even deeper connections to the parish educational facility as she herself attended as a child, and even watched her children blossom there over the years.
On Thursday, staff, pupils, members of the Board of Management and the Parents Association, gathered outside for a special ceremony, where they made presentations as a thank you.
"Irene is a past pupil of the school where many generations of her own family have attended, including her own children, John, Daniel and Anne," Deputy Principal Tara O'Donoghue told the Killarney Advertiser.
"Irene’s pride in the school was nurtured at a very young age and she has passed this sense of pride onto both staff and pupils over the years. Irene made everyone welcome in Coolick school. She embraced the staff as if they were members of her own family and she loved the children as her own. She believes that “you give children roots so they can grow wings” and she modelled Coolick school accordingly. She lived out the saying “Mol an óige agus tiocfaidh sí”."
The belief that the school is an extension of the home is core to Irene's philosophy and she embodied this in all her daily interactions. She had an excellent rapport with parents over the years.
During her time in Coolick Irene saw many changes in education and she did her very best to embrace every new change and implement it for the benefit of the children.
During her principalship a large extension was built onto the school, and with huge parental involvement an Astro pitch was added in 2014 along with an Aistear playground which promotes learning through play.
Irene added that she had the great privilege of working and living in the community she grew up in.
"I have been blessed with great co-workers whom I refer to as my school family and also with a strong school community. There is an underswell of good will and volunteering of time here that goes unseen. Using a modern analogy in this unprecedented time, I have worked in the idyllic “pod” within the parish "bubble” all of my teaching life. I have been so lucky to see our school and its community become one and the same. The privilege of being the custodian of this lovely school since 1999 has been my reward."
Irene is now looking forward to spending quality time with her family; travelling with her husband Dinny post-COVID, and having time to indulge in her hobbies which includes hillwalking and gardening.
The tax you’re really paying for your health
By Brian Foley from Activate Fitness With the budget just squared away, there’s always an air of “how did I do out of it?” In Ireland, we enjoy a public healthcare system which is touted to become a universal healthcare system. Maybe “enjoy” is the wrong word. We have it, and we use it, and, […]
By Brian Foley from Activate Fitness
With the budget just squared away, there’s always an air of “how did I do out of it?”
In Ireland, we enjoy a public healthcare system which is touted to become a universal healthcare system. Maybe “enjoy” is the wrong word.
We have it, and we use it, and, of course we pay for it. We justify the constant ratcheting-up of our tax burden to pay for rising health-care costs. That tax is on our wallets.
We also pay another type of tax: When we’re unhealthy, we don’t get to do the things we like. When we’re overweight, we don’t always say “YES!” when our kids ask to go to the swimming pool.
When we’re unfit, we don’t take our buddy’s invitation for a weekend hiking and camping trip. We can’t start jogging because our knees hurt; can’t lift weights because our back hurts; can’t cut down calories because we feel we need the energy.
Those things are taxes. Physical taxes, but they’re not the worst taxes we pay.
The worst tax we pay is the mental tax.
When we’re self-conscious about our fitness or health, we don’t want to start exercising. We don’t want to look dumb or fail.
We don’t want to start a new lifestyle because our families will say “good for you”, because they know we need it, or they’ll say “you don’t need that …” and lie. Or they’ll roll their eyes because they know we’ve failed before.
When we’ve been away from the gym for four months, we don’t want to do that first workout because we’re going to be last. It’s going to suck and we might get embarrassed.
SELF IMPOSED TAX
The Government makes us pay financial tax, but the other two – physical and mental – are self-imposed.
No one cares if you’re slow.
No one cares if you finish last.
No one cares if you blow your nutrition this week and have to start all over again.
You’d stop caring about what others thought about you if you realised how rarely they actually do.
Everyone thinks about themselves, mostly. That’s the tax they’re paying – and most of us overpay.
We’re taxed enough. Stop worrying about what you look like and start caring about what makes you feel good.
If you’d like to start taking steps in the right direction with your health and fitness, call in for a free consultation with us at Activate. Visit www.activate.ie/free-intro for more information.
Tractor run raises €500 for charity
By Sean Moriarty Members of Killarney Valley Vintage and Classic Club raised €500 for the Kerry Mental Health Association during their first tractor run since April 2019. 30 tractors took part on Sunday including two rare Ford 3000s from 1974 and an even rarer Zetor Crystal from 1980. Departing from the club’s new ‘Vintage Shed’ […]
By Sean Moriarty
Members of Killarney Valley Vintage and Classic Club raised €500 for the Kerry Mental Health Association during their first tractor run since April 2019.
30 tractors took part on Sunday including two rare Ford 3000s from 1974 and an even rarer Zetor Crystal from 1980.
Departing from the club’s new ‘Vintage Shed’ on Lewis Road, the convoy travelled to the communications mast near Coolick in Kilcummin, where participants enjoyed views of the wider Castleisland district and Killarney Valley.
“Some of the drivers were never up there before and they were amazed with the views across the two valleys,” organiser Tom Leslie told the Killarney Advertiser.
The tax you’re really paying for your health
By Brian Foley from Activate Fitness With the budget just squared away, there’s always an air of “how did I...
Tractor run raises €500 for charity
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