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JulyFest ready to welcome spectators after a two-year absence

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After two editions ‘behind closed doors’ Killarney Racecourse is set to host JulyFest, an exciting five-day summer horse-racing festival from July 11 to 15.

JulyFest is the Killarney Races’ flagship event, a firm favourite with horse racing fans and it is also one of the main society events of summer in Killarney.

“Killarney Races is a boutique festival. It encompasses a wonderful mix of summer horse racing blended with live entertainment on the lawn and indoors, a wide variety of delicious food and beverage offerings, family fun and fashion,” said chairman Chairman Gerard Coughlan.

“The stunning backdrop we race against is without question one of the finest in the world and we’re just a stone’s throw away from the town centre where there will be lots of aprés racing fun and frolics also. The team here simply can’t wait to see crowds back this July, as it really is the people who attend that make this place come alive and a special thank you to our wonderful sponsors who have made all of this possible. Killarney Races is unique, things are a little more special and remarkable here than your typical day out so if you're new to racing come along, all visitors and regular racegoers are so valued and most welcome to join us for a great day at Killarney Races.”

Highlights include the return of the Dawn Milk Ladies Day. Set for Friday, July 15, ladies and gents will arrive in style for the chance to be crowned best dressed lady or gent and take home prizes of a trip for two to Paris and Milan.

This year celebrity judges are TV presenter Anna Daly and Kerry’s own Aidan O’Mahony who will be tasked with choosing the winner!

There will be seven races on each day of the programme and these will be backed up by a full schedule of entertainment.

There will be music on the lawn and in the Jim Culloty Bar after racing each day throughout the festival which will be provided by Tom Cats, SuperCéilí, Jason Fallon, Donal Lucey and Ciaran Wrynn.

“Patrons are advised to come racing early, to nab the best seating areas and enjoy something to eat or drink before racing, gates open two hours before the first race each day. Killarney Racecourse is just a stroll from the town centre with ample on-site free car-parking also. Enhanced facilities are complemented by new hospitality partners and an atmosphere you’ll want to bottle and bring home with you, the only question left is, have you booked yet?” added Mr Coughlan.

Adult admission tickets are available from €20. OAPs and students enjoy a reduced rate admission from €15 per person with appropriate ID and all children under the age of 14 are free of charge when accompanied by an adult.

For further information or to book online visit www.killarneyraces.com.

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Jessie Buckley’s album shortlisted for prestigious award

Killarney superstar Jessie Buckley has been shortlisted for the 2022 Mercury Prize Album of the Year. Her collaboration with Bernard Butler ‘For All Our Days That Tear the Heart’ is […]

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Killarney superstar Jessie Buckley has been shortlisted for the 2022 Mercury Prize Album of the Year.

Her collaboration with Bernard Butler ‘For All Our Days That Tear the Heart’ is one of 12 albums shortlisted for the prestigious award which will be revealed in London on September 8.

“Neither of us really knew each other and it was actually a blessing in disguise because we met each other in the moment and trusted each other, took a leap of faith and in a way come in just the way we were and not because of who we are,” she told a press conference at the awards announcement in London last week.

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Olga Tkachenko: My resilience in life is the ability to see only the good

Olga Tkachenko and I run five kilometres every Saturday with the Killarney House Parkrun. This fragile and smiling woman always runs easily and beats me every time. It seems that […]

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Olga Tkachenko and I run five kilometres every Saturday with the Killarney House Parkrun.

This fragile and smiling woman always runs easily and beats me every time.

It seems that everything in her life is as easy as jogging.

But this is not quite so.

Olga grew up in Donetsk city, Donbass region. Her sister Maryna and parents lived here. A large and friendly family, they owed a holiday home in the region and would gather there for vacations and holidays. This house was a symbol of this family.

In 2014, Russian troops entered Donetsk and drove their military equipment right into the yard of the house.

From here they started shelling the Donetsk airport.

Soon the house was completely destroyed. All that remains of the house are two walls and a few pots. The family nest was devastated. Her sister Maryna tried to save the surviving property and came under fire. Fortunately, she was not injured.

Olga moved her parents to another place, and she went to Kyiv with her husband and children. All they took with them were two laptops and a few warm things. Life had to start from scratch.

Olga’s sister Maryna moved to Dnipro city, where she found a new job.

The sisters went their separate ways, but still maintained a very close relationship, calling and supporting each other every day.

Maryna’s husband and Olga’s husband are brothers and share the same last name – Tkachenko.

They have children two months apart. Olga jokes that she and her sister have a topic to talk about – their common father-in-law and mother-in-law.

Having lost their homes in 2014 due to Russia’s military aggression in Donbas, the sisters built their lives in two different cities – Irpen (near Kyiv) and Dnipro. But when the war broke out in 2022, they found themselves together again.

The sisters managed to board an evacuation train bound for Poland. Again, they only had one bag each and a one-way ticket.

“Fear drove us as far as possible. The main goal was to save the children. We did not know where we were going. We wanted to escape as far as possible from the war and the borders of Russia,” says Olga.

After staying in a refugee camp in Poland for several days, they decided to go to Ireland.
Were they worried about going into the unknown?

But Olga says that when she is together with her sister, it gives both women confidence and stability. Together, it’s not so scary anymore.

Olga says that it is impossible to get used to the fact that you lose your home every time and get used to life. It is impossible to accept that everything has to be started from new.

But she has one secret of resilience – the ability to see the good in the circumstances in which you find yourself.

Here in Killarney Olga focuses on the beautiful nature, she learns a new language, and goes jogging. She never regrets.

Olga’s sister Maryna Tkachenko has already found a job and works in as a designer in Killarney. The sisters help each other a lot and are very worried about their parents and grandmother, who remaine in Ukraine.

“Our parents spent a month under the occupation of Russian troops in a village near Kyiv. My 70-year-old mother, as in 2014, went to negotiate with Russian soldiers and persuaded them not to shoot. We are glad that our parents’ house survived this time. Because in 2014 we already lost one home. Our parents would not have survived this a second time,” adds Olga.

That is why she will soon go back to Ukraine.

She explains her motives: “I want to be where I am most needed. My eldest daughter, parents and grandmother are in Ukraine. My daughter works as a volunteer every week, clearing the rubble of buildings, so I want to help my country as well. After dismantling the ruins, we will see our beautiful country again.”

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