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Kerry cancer support charity celebrates St Brigid’s Day with empowering fashion event




A stunning fashion event led by two of Kerry’s most renowned fashion designers is set to kick off St Brigid’s Day celebrations in the Kingdom on February 1.

Being billed as the fashion highlight of 2024 in Kerry, Don O’Neill and Colin Horgan will take centre stage at Killarney’s INEC Arena for Recovery Haven Kerry’s Designer Fashion Showcase, which will incorporate the spirit of this extraordinary Irish saint on her 1500th anniversary.

Colin Horgan will be the star attraction of the event, showcasing a number of pieces from his expansive collection, while beloved Ballyheigue designer Don O’Neill - the charity’s newly appointed Patron - will showcase a select few pieces from his fashion archive.

Don explained that hosting the event taking on the auspicious 1500th anniversary of St Brigid’s Day is a wonderful way to celebrate this extraordinary saint and all she achieved during her remarkable lifetime.

“Brigid is a role model for the ages, inspiring us with her compassion, her hospitality, her generosity, her skills as a healer and a teacher, her wisdom, her respect for our life giving planet and living in harmony with mother nature - a peacemaker and diplomat, a model of equality recognising and treating women and men as equals, as she inspired generations to emulate her and follow in her footsteps,” Don said.

“It is with this spirit of empowerment and community we will endeavour to empower each other at the INEC on February 1st, as we celebrate St. Brigid with inspiring song, fashion and conversation, as we raise much need funds for Recovery Haven Kerry. Colin and I have dedicated our careers to empowering women through our designs and are thrilled to be part of this event.”

The event will be MC’d by legendary RTE broadcaster, Mary Kennedy, who will also facilitate an exclusive Q&A session with both designers, while event producer, Norma O’Donoghue, has also secured some of the country’s top designers and local boutiques to feature, including Catriona Hanley, Marion Murphy Cooney, Tina Griffin, Frances Fogarty, Cathy Troth, Carol Kennelly, MacBees, Scarlet, the Strand House and Jasmine.

Kicking off with a Prosecco and wine reception at 7pm, other highlights will include special guest entertainment from the stunning O’Neill sisters; a bumper raffle and an after-party at the Gleneagle’s Backstage Bar.

Tickets are priced at €30 and are available now from Recovery Haven, the INEC Box Office.



Kerry rowing clubs flock to Killarney for the start of the coastal season

There was a fantastic spectacle of colour and rowing on Lough Leane last Sunday (June 16th) with the coastal rowing clubs of Kerry participating in the first ‘Head of the […]




There was a fantastic spectacle of colour and rowing on Lough Leane last Sunday (June 16th) with the coastal rowing clubs of Kerry participating in the first ‘Head of the Lake’ time-trial for coastal one-design boats.

The event, hosted by the local Flesk Valley Rowing Club, signalled the start of the summer season for clubs rowing the coastal ‘one-design’ boats.

It was fitting that on the weekend that the Killarney National Park celebrated the 60th anniversary of the opening of Muckross House to the public, that hundreds of people also flocked to the Flesk Valley shore to appreciate and enjoy the splendour of the park.

Speaking after the event, Flesk Valley chairman, John Fleming thanked all the Kerry clubs who supported this new event and congratulated all the first-time rowers taking to the water in a competitive event for the first time.
“We were delighted to welcome our neighbouring clubs Workmens’ and Fossa, and look forward to renewing rivalries with them again at the Killarney Regatta at the end of this month,” he said.

“We would also like to thank Mary B. Teahan, Andrew Wharton, Johanna King and the Kerry Coastal Rowing Association for all their support and encouragement, and Denis O’Leary for coordinating safety on the water.”
Flesk Valley would also like to thank the Killarney National Park, Leanes Tool Hire, Hegartys Shop and Muckross Rowing Club for their support.

“This was a great start to the coastal rowing season, and augurs well for the months ahead as clubs build towards the All-Ireland Coastal Rowing Championships to be held in Dingle at the end of August,” added the chairman.

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NPWS announces nature scholarships to mark ‘Muckross 60’

Director General of the National Parks and Wildlife Service, Niall O’ Donnchú, this week announced the inaugural ‘Muckross 60’ nature scholarships to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the opening of […]




Director General of the National Parks and Wildlife Service, Niall O’ Donnchú, this week announced the inaugural ‘Muckross 60’ nature scholarships to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the opening of Muckross House and Gardens to the public. The scholarships will be funded and managed by the National Parks and Wildlife Service.

Niall O Donnchú said, “Killarney and Muckross have a very special place in Ireland’s heritage legacy, and  such beautiful gems need constant care, nurturing and indeed protecting by future generations. In supporting these third level scholarships, the NPWS is building the knowledge base of the future to assist those generations in continuing to realise the full beauty and nature value of the very unique Muckross House and Gardens and Killarney National Park.”

Mr O Donnchú added: “Killarney has a long history of scholarship, research and frontier work on nature and that continues to this day in the management of Killarney National Park and Muckross House and Gardens. The endowment of these annual scholarships is a very clear attestation that this crucial work continues to be undertaken across our national park system and especially here in Killarney and Muckross. This work has been pioneering in respect of wildlife and nature research and indeed the reintroduction of endangered species and the discovery, even this year, of more.”

Minister for Education and Kerry T.D. Norma Foley also welcomed new scholarships to mark the 60th anniversary of Muckross House.

“Muckross House is one of the jewels in the crown of Kerry tourism and received almost one million visitors last year. These scholarships will further add to our understanding of this outstanding part of our national heritage,” she said.

Muckross House was built by the Herbert family, who were local landlords. They became very wealthy during the 18th century due to the working of the copper mines on the Muckross Peninsula. They commenced the building of the present Muckross House in 1839. It was completed in 1843 at cost of £30,000, just two years prior to the Great Irish Famine. The Herbert family hosted the visit of Queen Victoria to Muckross House in 1861 but later got into financial difficulties and lost the house in 1897.

It was then bought by Lord Ardilaun, a member of the Guinness family. He in turn sold it in 1911 to William Bowers Bourn, a wealthy Californian gold miner. Bowers Bourn gave it to his daughter Maud as a wedding gift when she married Arthur Rose Vincent, an Irish barrister who later became a Senator.

After Maude died from pneumonia in 1929, Arthur Rose Vincent decided to donate Muckross house to the Irish nation as a memorial to his wife. Muckross House was transferred to the state in 1932 with its 11,000 acre estate and became Ireland’s first National Park in 1933.

The park and gardens were opened to the public but the house remained closed until 1964 when it was reopened as a folk museum on June 14, 1964 following a campaign by people in Killarney.

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