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NEW MEMBERS WELCOME: Debby Looney from Killarney Toastmasters says new members are welcome to the group which is currently using Zoom due to the restrictions. Photo: Michelle Crean

By Michelle Crean

COVID restrictions doesn't mean you can't take on a new hobby or learn a new skill - as one local club is proving - now that they've taken their classes online.

The local Killarney Toastmasters group is still very active - although now it's online - but they're seeking new members to join them and what a better way to meet new people and socialise.

Yes, they are a public speaking club, and as restrictions mean they cannot meet in person for now, they took to virtual meet ups and it's all very easy.

Now they're looking for new members and are inviting the public to come along as a guest via Zoom to give it a go.

"At Toastmasters we are certainly feeling this challenge, but are doing our best to rise to it," Debby Looney, a member of the club, told the Killarney Advertiser.

"For many of us, the thought of standing before a room full of people, be they a class of eager students, work colleagues, church attendees or friends and family at a function, is daunting at best, terrifying at worst. Toastmasters is an international organisation, which has helped members for almost one hundred years to overcome their nerves when speaking in public. A large part of this is also gaining the confidence to take on leadership roles. It is relevant to so many parts of life, at home, in the workplace and at other clubs and associations," she said.

"I personally joined Toastmasters following the funeral of a dear family member. I just could not face my family to say a few words about her, and this haunted me for a long time. I still regret having had such a fear, but am glad to have joined Toastmasters and conquered it. So, speaking from experience, Toastmasters works.
However, a large part of the experience of this club, and much of the enjoyment of going, is meeting new people from all walks of life, who give speeches on the most diverse topics – from hillwalking, travelling and sports to personal stories, life experiences and technical talks. You come away from each meeting knowing something new!"


"Our club now uses Zoom to conduct virtual meetings. There are downsides to this, of course. The personal contact is certainly something I miss. The thing is, there are many upsides also. There is a skill in presenting a speech to people via a computer, a skill which many people now need as they are working from home. When presenting via a computer, it is not just speaking; there is lighting, sound, background and even make-up to consider! Where better to practice than in the safe, positive environment of a club where everyone has your best interest at heart? Zoom meetings also cut out the travelling – you can now enjoy the club from the comfort of your armchair, which is very nice as the winter closes in. Members who live in remote parts of the county, as well as vulnerable members, can now continue to enjoy the social aspect of the club meeting," Debby said.

"Despite the new format our meetings have taken, we continue to offer the benefits Toastmasters offers, albeit in different ways. We continue to welcome new members, and encourage ‘guests’ to join our meetings, much like we always have. In fact, people who have long wondered what it’s all about have now joined a virtual meeting, and I would encourage anyone to do so!"

The group meet every second and fourth Tuesday of the month. Their online meetings run from 7.30pm to 9pm. Have a look at their Facebook page, email, or phone Debby, on 086 6088156 if you are considering becoming a member or would like to join as a guest.

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Gaelscoil pupils compete in Fleadh for the first time

By Michelle Crean It was their first time entering Fleadh Cheoil Chiarraí but Gaelscoil Faithleann pupils proved they’ve got talent as they made it to the next stage of the […]




By Michelle Crean

It was their first time entering Fleadh Cheoil Chiarraí but Gaelscoil Faithleann pupils proved they’ve got talent as they made it to the next stage of the competition.

Muinteoir Treasa Uí Scannláin and Muinteoir Lisa Ni Iarlaithe prepared the children over the last two months on Thursday evenings after school.

For the competition 22 kids were entered in the Under 11 and 13 categories in the Comhra Gaeilge competition in Tralee.

Three of the Under 11s and three of the school’s Under 13s are now going forward to represent Chiarraí the Fleadh Cheoil na Mumhan in Newcastle West on July 15.

“The standard was very high and it was our first time entering this competition. All of the children were representing Cill Airne Comhaltas,” Lisa said.

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Kilcummin has strong representation in Fleadh Cheoil Chiarraí

Fleadh Cheoil Chiarraí may have been absent in the live sense over the previous two years, however it returned over the last two weekends and it delivered with aplomb! The […]




Fleadh Cheoil Chiarraí may have been absent in the live sense over the previous two years, however it returned over the last two weekends and it delivered with aplomb!

The home of Kerry Comhaltas, the Dúchas Centre on the MTU campus in Tralee, was the host venue on the first weekend of the Fleadh, which accommodated the dancing competitions.

“We were spoiled with the spectacle of live dancing of the highest calibre accompanied by live music from accomplished musicians … food for the soul!” Derek O’Leary, Kilcummin CCE PRO, said.

“Much credit and thanks goes to the Moriarty School of Dancing, Mary, John and Adrian who represented Kilcummin CCE and prepared our teams to compete at the highest level.

“We also had such a great weekend in the singing and music competitions over the second weekend of Fleadh Cheoil Charraí, held in the Dúchas Centre and other areas of the MTU campus. All of our competitors performed to the highest standard in robust competition. Well done to all who competed and congratulations to all who go forward to represent Chiarraí the Fleadh Cheoil na Mumhan, in Newcastle West, Co. Limerick from July 10 to 16.”

Kilcummin had strong representation throughout the dancing competition during the first weekend of Fleadh Cheoil Chiarraí.

U12 Ladies 1st place and County Champions.

“Well done to our second U12 Ladies set who weren’t placed but danced beautifully.”

U12 Mixed 1st place & County Champions.
U12 mixed 2nd place.
15-18 Mixed 2nd place.
15-18 Ladies & Mixed Half set 3rd place
U12-15 Ladies 3rd place
Senior mixed half set 1st place and County Champions
Over 35’s 1st Place & County Champions

Kilcummin also excelled in the music and singing competitions of the second weekend of the Fleadh.

Eoin Foley – Accordion 1st place
Eoin Foley – Melodeon 2nd place
Aisling O’Connor – 1st place – Ladies O18 English Singing
Liam Kerrisk – 1st place – 15-18 Melodeon
Michael Healy – Button accordion (12-15) 1st place
Michael Healy – Melodeon (12-15) 1st place
Sean Butler – Button Accordion (12-15) 2nd place
Colleen Anland and Michael Healy – Duets (12-15) 1st place
Seán Fleming – Kerry Comhaltas U15 History Project 1st place


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