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Killarney Guide Leaders achieve Guiding’s highest accolade!



WHAT A CHALLENGE: Sarah Canavan (left) and Sarah Kenny (right), who completed the Explorer Belt challenge in Belgium.


“It was really a once-in-a-lifetime experience”

By Michelle Crean

While living on just €3.25 a day and completing a 180km hike and 12 projects in 10 days - two Killarney Guide Leaders reached the pinnacle of Guiding!

Sarah Canavan (23) of Knockasartnett and her team-mate, Sarah Kenny (23) of Firieswere among 12 Irish Girl Guides members to take on the Explorer Belt challenge in Belgium - while carrying all their camping and cooking equipment, clothes, food and water.

The challenge is held every three or four years to test the skills young women have learned through their involvement in Guiding.

The two Sarahs, along with 12 Irish Girl Guides, kept a log book and successfully completed a series of projects during their 10-day survival adventure in the Westhoek region. The projects involved finding out about the local culture, history and geography without using a smartphone and doing a service for the local community. Their route took in many of the Flanders Fields historical battle sites as well as towns and countryside and a day at the seaside.

“Overall, it was a great experience,” Sarah Kenny, who works as a dietitian in St James’s Hospital in Dublin, said. “There were many challenges and long days but the people we met along the way were so lovely and so kind. One of the highlights was our first indoor night when we didn’t have to put up our tent, and our lovely hosts made us dinner. Another was finding the most delicious ice-cream after a long day walking.”

There were many challenges along the way but the two Sarahs never felt like giving up. “Some days were hard but I think we were both a bit too stubborn to give up,” said Sarah Kenny.

The highlights were meeting the local people – “everyone was so welcoming” – and learning about World War 1, she added.

“I genuinely didn’t know anything about World War 1 before taking part in the Belt,” Sarah Canavan, a Commerce student at NUI Galway, said.

There were blisters, sunburn and extreme tiredness at times during the 10 days, but these subsided on the last day when they were collected by the organisers.

“The biggest highlight was definitely getting on the bus at the end and collecting all the other teams and hearing their stories,” said Sarah Kenny. “Receiving the Explorer Belt, following the assessment interviews, was such a great feeling. We were extremely nervous beforehand and had convinced ourselves we weren’t going to get it.”

“There was pain at times but I cannot remember the pain now,” Sarah Canavan said. “It was really a once-in-a-lifetime experience.”





Killarney centre stage for Pride Festival

The award-winning Kingdom Pride in Kerry festival is back next week and Killarney will take centre stage. Kingdom Pride will be celebrated in towns all across the county from July […]




The award-winning Kingdom Pride in Kerry festival is back next week and Killarney will take centre stage.

Kingdom Pride will be celebrated in towns all across the county from July 17 to 21.

The organisation’s flagship Party in the Park event will be held again in Killarney House and Gardens, following the Pride march in the town centre on July 20.

This year, in solidarity with the people of Palestine, Kingdom Pride in Kerry is inviting the people of Kerry to come to show their unity by bringing Palestinian flags and kites to the march, and to the Party in the Park.

“Pride is a protest for human rights all over the world. Here in the Kingdom, we have been so lucky to receive tremendous community support from our allies and supporters, and we see the struggle for liberation of all peoples as a united cause,” said Daniel Quirke, chairperson of the organising committee.

“Our events have always welcomed everyone, regardless of gender, orientation, religion, or nationality. We truly believe that together we can create positive change through caring for and loving one another. This year is no exception, and we look forward to helping to highlight the Palestinian cause, and to bringing people together to keep generating positive change for all people.”

Events will take place in Cahersiveen, Listowel, Killorglin, Tralee and Dingle, and include an Irish comedy night with Áine Gallagher, an Irish-language movie screening, yoga, sea swimming, poetry and storytelling, bowling, pitch and putt, a lively drag night at the INEC, and plenty more for people of all ages.

“We do our best to keep tickets as low-cost as possible, and we have lots of events that are totally free to attend. It is important to us that people can share Pride with us, regardless of income. Especially with the rise of the cost of living putting a strain on people’s pockets.” added the chairperson.


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A weekend of Live Music, Fun and Entertainment, at FleskFest 2024

The organisers of the annual FleskFest have “a tremendous line-up, with a weekend full of entertainment to suit all” for the July 18 to 20 event. “It promises to be […]




The organisers of the annual FleskFest have “a tremendous line-up, with a weekend full of entertainment to suit all” for the July 18 to 20 event.

“It promises to be the festival weekend of the summer, an event you don’t want to miss out on. Last year’s Festival was a fantastic memorable experience for our community, a time to get together and celebrate,” said festival PRO Seán Daly.

Organised by Glenflesk GAA, FleskFest 24 will take place at the Barraduff Community Field next week.
There will be a fully licensed bar in the Fest Marquee, some amazing live music on The Big Stage, food trucks and much more.
Glenflesk GAA club’s biggest fundraiser of the year includes a new-for-2024 Texas Holdem Poker Tournament on Thursday night.
Weekend highlights include old-time waltzing, jiving and polka sets with Paudie McAuliffe and Paudie Coffey Band on Friday,
On Saturday, the new Well Flesk event will take place.
“A morning of self-care and wellness at Flesk Fest featuring masterclasses in yoga, pilates, mindfulness, spinning, fitness sessions, workouts, firewood sauna and ice pods with a range of experienced and qualified instructors,” added Daly.
Leading local musician Johnny Courtney and Friends, Sam and Ina, The O’Donoghue Sisters, Reigning All Ireland Champions Glenflesk Ballad Group, and The Border Boys will take to the Big Stage over the weekend.
Sunday is Family Fun Day with children’s entertainment and disco and the All-Ireland Hurling Final Live on the Big screen followed by music with Thingamajig.
The festival will finish with a Sunday evening session with the Meadhbh Walsh Band.

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