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Kerry hairdressing group to expand with retail offerings




A hairdressing group with its roots firmly in Killorglin and Killarney has launched its first in-house developed and own brand retail range.

The multi-award winning Sean Taaffe Group has just launched Sean Taaffe Professional.

The first product, the ST Moisture Spray Leave-In Conditioner, will be available from May 28 from selected retailers nationwide, in salon and online on Priced at €19.95, the ST Moisture Spray Leave-In Conditioner is a game changer in the management, styling and condition of hair. It is the result of three years of extensive development, testing and research, advanced hair science and also harvesting the knowledge of 35 years practical salon experience.

Sean Taaffe is recognised as one of Ireland’s leading hairdressing professionals and industry entrepreneurs. He also has an international profile teaching worldwide, most recently in India during which time he gave 11 seminars in 11 cities to over 1,100 delegates in 11 days! The Sean Taaffe Professional range will be launched in India this Autumn.

“Over my 35 years hairdressing I’ve seen many products come and go and I’ve always had an interest in the products we use as these can make our job much easier and in turn, make the clients hair much healthier and easy to manage,” said founder Sean Taffe.

“When Covid hit and all our salons were closed I turned my attention to creating products that I felt were either missing in the market or could be better. There was a niche in the market for a really good leave-in conditioner spray, as currently there were many leave-in creams available which can be heavy on hair and very few high quality sprays. I partnered with a leading pharmaceutical development company to work on developing the perfect leave-in conditioning spray. Initially we planned on creating a lightweight conditioning spray that would hydrate amazingly but be suitable for all hair types. However, over the course over extensive testing, we found that one formulation could not be suitable for all hair types, as fine hair and thick coarse hair have such varying needs in terms of quantities of the hydrating agents, so we committed ourselves to developing two products that would meet the needs of different hair types. Over the course of intensive 18 months of ongoing refinements and extensive testing across our entire team of 50, we are proud to introduce the ST Moisture Spray Leave-In Conditioner as the first product in the range and know that hair professionals and clients will see the dramatic difference it makes towards improving the condition, texture and management of hair.”

Sean Taaffe Hair and Beauty was established as a one man operation by Sean Taaffe in his native Killorglin in 1989. Always at the forefront of industry innovation and education, as well as a focus on excellence in customer service, the Company has continued to experience exponential growth and now has locations in Killarney, Tralee and Killorglin, with a team of 50 talented professionals. The Sean Taaffe Group also host international training courses in both their Tralee academy and also in their flagship Killarney salon.



Fossa School says ‘bonjour’ to French classes



Fossa National School is giving its pupils a headstart in learning a new language.

The school signed up to Language Sampler scheme as part of the ‘Say Yes to Languages’ initiative in primary schools organised by Post Primary languages Ireland in 2021. This is the school’s third year running the module.

Hélène Olivier-Courtney, the school’s French teacher and director of French For All Killarney School of French, covers ten schools in Kerry over the three terms.

The success of the initiative relies on an all-school approach and the active involvement of class teachers and management.

“The whole staff in Fossa certainly helped make this new journey a special and enjoyable experience for the children as we learnt French through art, songs, games and food tasting! This year, we also organised a catwalk on our last day. Our sixth-class students will have such a head start before secondary school and most importantly will have develop curiosity interest and love for the language,” said Hélène.


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Opinion: Silent majority needs to stand up and call out far-right hate



By Chris Davies

Last Friday’s Dublin Riots should not have come as a surprise to anyone. It has been bubbling under the surface of Irish society for a good number of years now. The actions of a small minority last week was a culmination of years of racism, hatred and misinformation shared online by far-right groups.

Late on Friday night a disturbing WhatsApp voice note was doing the rounds on social media where a far-right actor could clearly be heard encouraging violence on the streets of Dublin. 

“’Seven o’clock, be in town. Everyone bally up, tool up…Any foreigner, just kill them”

Watching the Riots unfold on social media brought me back to when I was working in Dublin a number of years back. My morning commute from Skerries to the city centre involved a dart to Connolly Station followed by a short trip on the Luas to the Jervis. Every week, without fail, I would witness at least one racial slur or attack on someone who didn’t fit the narrow minded view of what an Irish person should look, dress or talk like. I don’t know if it is the eerie silence of public transport that seems to amplify the situation, but that’s where I found it to be most common. The abuse was usually perpetrated by a group of youths or someone who was clearly under the influence of drink or drugs. The victims were always of colour, often dressed smartly enough to presume they were on their way, or coming from work. A far cry from the perpetrators who you could tell were roaming aimlessly around the city looking for trouble.

While shameful to admit, I would often look on and watch the abuse unfold, only to spend the rest of my work day thinking about the poor person who was told to “F*&K off back to your own country”. I would sit at my desk questioning why I didn’t step in and say something. There were one or two occasions where I did step in and call it out, but not nearly often enough.  

This disgusting behaviour is much more visible in our cities. Since moving back to Killarney I wouldn’t witness as much direct abuse on the streets but working with the Killarney Advertiser I would be tuned in to local news and some of the comments I read on our social platforms are far worse than anything I witnessed during my time in Dublin.  

There is a significant group of people in Ireland that I would call the ‘silent majority’. We are not as outspoken on issues we care about. We tend to observe and consume the news quietly, and only speak of our support or disgust on certain issues in close circles, too afraid we might offend someone. The problem with this is that we are leaving these far-right groups unchallenged, to become louder, more aggressive and more hostile as seen last week. 

The past week Sinn Fein and the Social Democrats have been busy in the media expressing no confidence in Justice Minister Helen McEntee and Garda Commissioner Drew Harris but I would suggest that there is a large percentage of the Irish population that bears some of the responsibility. We witness racism in our communities and online every day and we need to start speaking up and calling it out. 

On the issue of immigration in Killarney, there is no doubt resources are being stretched and our tourism industry is suffering as a result of an influx of immigration. Locals have also raised concerns in relation to the placement of so many male international protection applicants in one setting and we only have to look back on the incident in Hotel Killarney last year where a number of men were involved in a harrowing stabbing incident to see how that played out.  

However, being concerned around immigration is not the same as anti-immigration. It is important to raise these issues with local representatives and Kerry TD’s but also to separate ourselves from far-right groups who are only interested in encouraging violence.  

The anarchy we witnessed last week should never be the answer and research shows it is completely unnecessary. Harvard University have looked at hundreds of protests over the last century, and found that non-violent campaigns are twice as likely to achieve their goals as violent campaigns and that it only takes around 3.5% of the population actively participating in the protests to ensure serious political change.

Let’s continue to protest peacefully for issues we believe in, but stand up and speak out against people and movements in our community that incite hate and violence. 

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