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“I’ve never seen as much demand”

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Volunteers under pressure as they help over 200 local families

By Michelle Crean

Increasing energy costs and sharp hikes in rent has driven more and more people into the poverty trap this year than ever before according to a local charity - who are appealing for public support.

Lone parents - even those who are working - are making up the bulk of those seeking help as they struggle to pay for rising electricity and heating bills - before they can purchase toys or put food on the table this Christmas.

Breda Dwyer, Area President of the Killarney St Vincent de Paul Conference, says she is shocked with the increase this year.

Currently volunteers with the service are putting together food boxes, and are giving vouchers for toys and fuel, with over 200 local families and vulnerable people being looked after so far this Christmas.

"It's shocking and we're very concerned for them," Breda told the Killarney Advertiser.
"We find this year lone mothers or parents - even those who are working - are struggling because everything has increased. Rents are from €800 a month, even people living on their own pay up to €1,000. It's busier with COVID, people are finding it harder with the extra costs of coal, electricity and oil. Some people in older apartments with poor insulation are using electric heaters. They are pleading with us to come up to them so that they can buy toys. I'm in my 11th year [with SVdP Killarney] and I've never seen as much demand as this year."

Breda and her team of volunteers are busy buying and packing the food as well as vouchers to give to those most in need. However, they are appealing to the community to drop in what they can so that no one goes without.

"We'd be grateful for any help," Breda said.

Tonight (Friday) The Late Late Show will also highlight the remarkable work of the St Vincent de Paul Annual Appeal, as the charity prepares to help thousands of families across Ireland to have a brighter Christmas.

Anyone who needs assistance over the coming days or weeks can drop in to the St Vincent de Paul shop on Beech Road or call 064 66 22668.

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30 years of Innisfallen Island MassThe annual special concelebrated Mass on Innisfallen Island takes place next week.

Next Friday (June 21), members of the public are invited to attend the Mass taking place at 6.30pm. Now in its 30th year, the Mass was originally an idea by […]

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Next Friday (June 21), members of the public are invited to attend the Mass taking place at 6.30pm.

Now in its 30th year, the Mass was originally an idea by Geoffrey O’Donoghue who sadly died four years after it began.

“There was an Augustinian Monastery on Innisfallen Island and the people, including priests and monks and they say Brian Boro, went out there to study. The lake, Lough Lein is called ‘The Lake of Learning’,” said his wife Mary who carries on the tradition in his memory.

“My husband Geoffrey was a descendent of the O’Donoghues and he wanted to have Mass on the island. The O’Donoghues built Ross Castle and owned the lands and the lake surrounding it which was later donated by John McShane to the people of Killarney. He [Geoffrey] asked one of the friars and one day he got a call from the OPW that there would be a plaque unveiled to John McShane and they asked if the Mass could coincide with it. It was attended by Sr Pauline, John McShane’s daughter.”

She added that all the public are welcome to attend. Boats, which will have a nominal fee to cover their costs, will be carrying passengers out from 4pm onwards.

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Photo of “hidden gem” wins Camera Club’s latest competition

A photograph of one of Killarney’s hidden beauty spots was deemed the winner of Killarney Camera Club’s most recent competition. Th standard was high throughout all categories but in the […]

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A photograph of one of Killarney’s hidden beauty spots was deemed the winner of Killarney Camera Club’s most recent competition.

Th standard was high throughout all categories but in the Novice category, Iryna Halaieva’s photograph of O’Sullivan’s Cascade was deemed the winner.

“A waterfall is my favourite waterbody and long exposure is my favourite photographic technique,” she said. “I do my best to have as many waterfalls as possible in my photo collection. I heard a lot about O’Sullivan’s Cascade and wanted to visit that hidden gem of Kerry. So, shortly before our club competition I went with a friend to Tomies Wood to photograph it. It was a dream come true for me.”

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