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Irish UN veterans receive humanitarian award

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UN VETERANS HONOURED: Minister for Defence Paul Kehoe pictured after accepting the Mons Hugh O'Flaherty Humanitarian Award 2019 on behalf of the Defence Forces in St Mary's Church of Ireland, Killarney on Tuesday evening last. Also in photo are Cllr Niall Kelleher, Jim Casey (Chairman IUNVA), Major General Kieran Brennan, Deputy Chief of Staff, Brigadier General Patrick Flynn and UN Veteran John O'Mahony, Hugh O'Flaherty, Pearl Dineen, Jerry O'Grady and invited guests. Photo: Don MacMonagle

 

Scartaglin native and Irish UN Veteran John O’Mahony, who served as a peacekeeper in Lebanon, was one of the guests of honour at Tuesday night’s annual Hugh O’Flaherty Humanitarian Award presentation.

This year, the Hugh O’Flaherty Memorial Society presented the International Humanitarian Medal to members of the Irish Army who served as peacekeepers in some of the most volatile areas in the world.

The ceremony took place in St Mary’s Church of Ireland in Killarney, and was attended by  foreign ambassadors, diplomats and UN Veterans.

CouncillorNiall Kelleher presented the Hugh O’Flaherty Humanitarian Award Scroll to Minister for Defence Paul Kehoe and Irish UN Veterans Chairman, Jim Casey.

“Just like the incredible humanitarian work carried out by Monsignor O’Flaherty over 75 years ago, the Irish Defence Forces have also brought great honour to Ireland through their participation in peacekeeping operations over the last 60 years,”Minister Paul Kehoe said.

“One of the elements that I am often struck by as Minister is the deep respect and admiration for the Irish Defence Forces right around the world.”

Cllr Kelleher added that from Lebanon to Cyprus and from El Salvador to Kosovo, Irish UN Peacekeepers have always served with diligence and distinction. “Irish Defence Forces in particular have always been warmly welcomed wherever they have served.”

Representing the Hugh O’Flaherty Family and Memorial Society, Judge Hugh O’Flaherty and Pearl Dineen, presented the International Humanitarian Medal to Deputy Chief of Staff Major General Kieran Brennan and Brigadier General Patrick Flynn.

“Heroes are often defined as those who give of themselves, often putting their own lives at risk for the greater good of others,” Jerry O’Grady, Society Chairman, said.

“By this measure, without seeking fame or fortune, the brave men and women of the Irish Defence Forces wearing the iconic blue beret, are truly heroes, deserving of our unbridled admiration and support.”

The award ceremony was preceded by the powerful one-man play ‘God Has No Country’by Donal Courtney, who received a standing ovation from all present.

The final element of the award ceremony was the presentation of a generous bursary to the Veterans Association by Donal Hickey, Vice Chair of the Muckross House Trustees Board.

Included in the audience were four members of the Raaijmakers family from the Netherlands. Their uncle Anton Musters (Fr Anselmus) was an Augustinian Priest in Rome and an active member of the Rome Escape Line. One month before the Liberation of Rome, he was captured by the Gestapo, interrogated and tortured, but refused to reveal any information on the Rome organisation. He was being transported to a prison camp in Germany when he escaped during a stopover in Florence and returned to Rome on the day of Liberation. If Fr Anselmus had given up the Rome Organisation during torture, it is probable the Msgr Hugh and many others would not have survived the war. His bravery saved the lives of many of the Escape Line organisers.

Earlier in the day, to mark the 75th anniversary of the Liberation of Rome, two symbolic trees were planted in the graveyard of the O’Connell Memorial Church in Cahersiveen, the burial place of Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty.

 

[caption id="attachment_26588" align="aligncenter" width="3696"] VISITORS: Bishop Ray Browne, Archbishop Jude Thaddeus Okolo, Apostolic Nuncio to Ireland, and Senator Paul Coghlan pictured at the Mons Hugh O'Flaherty Humanitarian Award 2019. Photo: Don MacMonagle[/caption]

 

[caption id="attachment_26587" align="aligncenter" width="3696"] ONE MAN SHOW: Donie Courtney performs his one man show on the life of Killarney man Hugh O'Flaherty at the Mons Hugh O'Flaherty Humanitarian Award 2019 in St Mary's Church of Ireland, Killarney on Tuesday evening. Photo: Don MacMonagle[/caption]

 

[caption id="attachment_26586" align="aligncenter" width="3696"] IRISH UN VETERANS HONOURED IN KILLARNEY:
Major General Kieran Brennan, Deputy Chief of Staff, accepts the Mons Hugh O'Flaherty Humanitarian Award 2019 on behalf of the Defence Forces from Hugh O'Flaherty and Pearl Dineen in St Mary's Church of Ireland, Killarney on Tuesday evening. Also in photo is Brigadier General Patrick Flynn. Photo: Don MacMonagle[/caption]

 

[caption id="attachment_26585" align="aligncenter" width="2000"] UN VETERANS HONOURED: Minister for Defence Paul Kehoe pictured after accepting the Mons Hugh O'Flaherty Humanitarian Award 2019 on behalf of the Defence Forces in St Mary's Church of Ireland, Killarney on Tuesday evening. Also in photo are Niall Kelleher, Jim Casey (Chairman IUNVA), Major General Kieran Brennan, Deputy Chief of Staff, Brigadier General Patrick Flynn and UN Veteran John O'Mahony, Hugh O'Flaherty, Pearl Dineen, Jerry O'Grady and invited guests. Photo: Don MacMonagle[/caption]

 

[caption id="attachment_26584" align="aligncenter" width="3696"] UN VETERANS: Minister for Defence Paul Kehoe pictured after accepting the Mons Hugh O'Flaherty Humanitarian Award 2019 on behalf of the Defence Forces with UN Veterans in St Mary's Church of Ireland, Killarney on Tuesday evening. Also in photo are: Jim Casey (Chairman IUNVA), Major General Kieran Brennan, Deputy Chief of Staff, Brigadier General Patrick Flynn and UN Veteran John O'Mahony, Hugh O'Flaherty, Pearl Dineen and Jerry O'Grady. Photo: Don MacMonagle[/caption]

 

[caption id="attachment_26583" align="aligncenter" width="3696"] VETERANS HONOURED: Minister for Defence Paul Kehoe pictured after accepting the Mons Hugh O'Flaherty Humanitarian Award 2019 on behalf of the Defence Forces with UN Veterans in St Mary's Church of Ireland, Killarney on Tuesday evening. Also in photo are Jim Casey (Chairman IUNVA), Major General Kieran Brennan, Deputy Chief of Staff and Brigadier General Patrick Flynn. Photo: Don MacMonagle[/caption]

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Local author’s debut book makes Late Late Toy Show

Killarney art psychotherapist Katie O’Donoghue was delighted to spot her first children’s book on last Friday’s Late Late Toy Show! ‘The Little Squirrel Who Worried’ was written and illustrated by Katie, and published by Gill Books in July. With almost every eye in Ireland on the Toy Show every year, children’s authors, illustrators and publishers […]

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Killarney art psychotherapist Katie O’Donoghue was delighted to spot her first children’s book on last Friday’s Late Late Toy Show!

‘The Little Squirrel Who Worried’ was written and illustrated by Katie, and published by Gill Books in July.

With almost every eye in Ireland on the Toy Show every year, children’s authors, illustrators and publishers compete for a much-coveted spot on the set. Aware that her book had been sent to Ryan, but not having heard anything from RTÉ, Katie was thrilled to see it in a prominent position. It was a wonderful surprise to discover ‘The Little Squirrel Who Worried’ had been placed in the front row of the book corner. There, it had a little chair of its own and was even embraced by a cuddly toy.

It was visible many times over the course of the evening, particularly during the book discussion, an incredibly proud moment for first-time author Katie.

“I have to admit, when I saw ‘The Little Squirrel Who Worried’ cradled in the teddy’s arms, I may have jumped up and down with excitement,” Katie told the Killarney Advertiser.

What began as a lockdown project while Katie was living in London and missing her family in Kerry, is providing comfort to children around the world.

Using a gentle story with gorgeous illustrations, Little Squirrel and his forest friends teach young people a variety of simple coping techniques.

“These skills will benefit children their entire lives and the book is even helpful for adults who are prone to worrying and overthinking,” she added.

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No 2021 return for Killarney on Ice

By Michelle Crean Fans of the ice will be disappointed to hear that Killarney on Ice will not return for a second year. Following its huge popularity year on year since returning to Killarney in 2015, the promoters of Killarney on Ice are disappointed to confirm that they are unable to operate again this year. […]

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By Michelle Crean

Fans of the ice will be disappointed to hear that Killarney on Ice will not return for a second year.

Following its huge popularity year on year since returning to Killarney in 2015, the promoters of Killarney on Ice are disappointed to confirm that they are unable to operate again this year.

Rising case numbers, uncertain COVID-19 restrictions, and insurance challenges have been the main drivers behind the decision not to open, according to the company.

As Kerry’s only festive ice rink, the facility has brought much fun and life to the town over the years, attracting thousands of people from all over the county, and indeed the whole country, with many families coming to stay overnight in Killarney and enjoying all that this great town has to offer.

As well as friends and families coming to skate, schools, youth clubs, sports teams and employees of local companies use the group booking discount rate to plan sessions on the ice, and Killarney on Ice would like to thank them all for their continuing loyalty.

“We sincerely hope to be back better and stronger in 2022, and we look forward to welcoming all of our valued customers,” Tim O’Donoghue, the promoter of the rink, told the Killarney Advertiser.

“In the meantime, we wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year.”

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