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Kerry Macra hosts successful national Capers Semi-Final

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Last week at the Preforming Arts Theatre in the Killarney Racecourse, Kerry Macra na Feirme hosted the National FBD Capers Semi-Final.
Teams from Killarney, Causeway, Kinsale, Fermoy and Clonakilty Macra Clubs competed for two spots at this year’s national finals, on Saturday (January 12) which will be held on Saturday, February 2, in Waterford.
The audience of about 350 people were treated to an array of talent from start to finish, with each team pushing the bar higher as they performed their show.
“The talent from everyone who performed on the night was extraordinary,” Ed McSweeney, Kerry Macra PRO, said.
“The audience were entertained with energetic dance routines, hilarious comedy, beautiful singing and some very original shows.”
He added that the judges on the night had a very tough job deciding who to give the awards of ‘Best Male Performance’, ‘Best Female Performance’, ‘Best Act’ and ‘Best Producer’ to.
In both the Best Male and Best Female categories, there were three nominations in each, with John Martin Carroll from Causeway Macra getting one of the three nominations in the Best Male, and Brid O’Shea from Killarney Macra getting one of the three nominations in the Best Female category.
Both Pa Lucid from Causeway Macra and Emma Cronin from Killarney Macra received nominations in the Best Producer category. Unfortunately there wasn’t any luck in winning any of these categories.
Then it was down to the main business of announcing the two teams going forward to the National FBD Capers final in Waterford.
“With each team having a great chance of going forward, the results were announced,” he said.
“As Causeway Macra and Clonakilty Macra’s names were called out the cheers and roars of excitement and delight from both teams and the crowd lifted the roof and the celebrations began.”

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Valuable role of Kerry cancer support charity recognised nationally

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Cancer support charity Recovery Haven Kerry has been recognised for its vital role in supporting cancer patients and their families at a national ceremony in Dublin.

The renowned cancer support house was one of 16 such centres across Ireland that were presented with plaques to acknowledge their full membership of the National Cancer Control Programme (NCCP) Alliance – a group made up of voluntary and charity organisations delivering support services directly to cancer patients and their families. An additional 10 associate member charities were also honoured, including Kerry Cancer Support Group.

The Alliance advocates for, and supports, the development of integrated pathways between the cancer centres, acute hospitals, community cancer support services and primary care services. All members’ development is in line with the values of Sláintecare, seeking to provide assurance to healthcare professionals that these organisations are working to an agreed standard as set out in Best Practice Guidance published by the NCCP. 

Speaking after the ceremony, which was held at Dublin’s Farmleigh Estate, Recovery Haven Kerry Chairman, Tim McSwiney, explained that being compliant with the Best Practice Guidance for Community Cancer Support Centres is a true mark of quality. 

“It offers us a yardstick to measure what we are doing against the standards required. As a result, healthcare professionals have more confidence in referring people to our services. We are very proud to be a member of the Alliance,” he said.

Recovery Haven Kerry was represented at the event by centre manager, Gemma Fort and Client Services Co-Ordinator, Siobhan MacSweeney and were presented with their plaque by NCCP Lead for Cancer Survivorship, Louise Mullen, Clinical Lead for Psycho-Oncology Dr Helen Greally, and Minister of State at the Department of Health, Colm Burke. 

The event was also used as an opportunity to announce funding of €3m for the NCCP’s Alliance of Community Cancer Support Centres and Services through Budget 2024. The NCCP is currently in the process of distributing these funds which will directly and positively impact the delivery of services for patients and families nationally.

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‘More Precious Than Gold’ book launch

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At the official book launch of ‘More Precious Than Gold: My enduring connection with John McShain – the man who built Washington’ by Alice O’Neill-McLoughlin at Killarney House, was Minister of State for Nature, Heritage and Electoral Reform, Malcolm Noonan, T.D.

Alice was born the eldest of eleven children into an Irish farming family in Rosbercon, New Ross, County Wexford. In 1978, she was awarded a scholarship from John McShain- the iconic builder, philanthropist, devout Catholic with Derry ancestry, responsible for many famous American landmarks, including the Jefferson Memorial and the Pentagon.

Her book records the lifelong personal correspondence Alice exchanged with ‘The Man Who Built Washington.’ His philanthropy extended to the Irish people in the bequeathing to the State of Killarney House and the surrounding thousands of acres incorporating the Lakes, Ross Castle, and Innisfallen Island. In 2019, Alice had the honour of inducting John McShain into the Irish America Hall of Fame in her home town of New Ross in the presence of his relatives from Philadelphia and Derry. This is a tale of altruism, of gratitude, of faith and of a life lived in the pursuit of excellence.

Alice also donated her treasured correspondence of letters from John McShain for the archive at Killarney House. Also in attendance were Members of the Ignatius A. O’Shaughnessy family, who was founder of The Globe Oil and Refining Company – and part of a consortium of wealthy American businessmen who were going to purchase the lakes of Killarney as a Country Club in the 1950’s.

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