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Killarney honours Loreto missionary with humanitarian award

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THE 2017 Hugh O’Flaherty International Humanitarian Award was presented to Sr Orla Treacy of the Loreto order by the Mayor of Killarney Cllr Niall Kelleher at a ceremony in Killarney on Saturday evening.

This is the tenth year of this award, established to commemorate the humanitarian work of Killarney native Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty, in Nazi-occupied Rome during World War Two.

Sr Orla is the principal of a Loreto education and medical mission in Rumbek, South Sudan. In 2004, the Loreto Sisters in Ireland and worldwide started a new movement called “Courage to Move”. It was an invitation for all Loreto Sisters in different countries to start a new mission, to re-engage with missionary spirit that was reflected in the early foundations, and to try to start a new mission in new countries. Shortly after she was professed as a Loreto Sister, Sr Orla responded to this call and in 2006 travelled to Sudan. In the face of abject poverty, civil war and the absolute oppression of women and in particular young girls, they succeeded in establishing schools and a basic medical centre in the area of Rumbek in central South Sudan.

In 2011, South Sudan gained independence and it was hoped that matters would improve, Sr Orla told the large audience in Killarney. “Following a brief period of relative peace, conditions in South Sudan have returned to those applying pre-Independence and the Loreto Sisters continue to struggle to provide education and minimal medical care for those in their care,” said the award winner.

She went on to describe the terrible circumstances facing young girls in South Sudan, with forced marriages while still in their teens, high mortality in childbirth and almost non-existent education, even at primary level.

Concluding on a positive note, she added, “The Loreto sisters are committed to staying the course and with the help of supporters in South Sudan and at home in Ireland, we will continue to do everything in our power to ensure that the young people of South Sudan will receive an education thus enabling them to climb out of poverty and oppression.”

The chair of the Hugh O’Flaherty Memorial Society Jerry O’Grady reminded the audience of the words of Nelson Mandela, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”

Presenting the humanitarian award to Sr Orla, Killarney Mayor Cllr Niall Kelleher spoke of the uncertain future for South Sudan and appealed to all to support the work of the Loreto Sisters there.

In a welcome addition to the O’Flaherty award ceremony, students from all the schools in the Killarney Parish presented a bursary to Sr Orla.
 


 
Above: Sister Orla Treacy. Pic: Don MacMonagle

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Black Valley broadband installation gets underway

Works are under way to install a high-speed fibre broadband network in the remote Black Valley area of Kerry. The Black Valley was one of the last areas of Ireland […]

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Works are under way to install a high-speed fibre broadband network in the remote Black Valley area of Kerry.

The Black Valley was one of the last areas of Ireland to be electrified but broadband in the region is expected to be live in the second half of the year with residents already able to pre-order their connection. 
“It is well known that Black Valley was one of the last locations to get electricity due to its remoteness and challenging terrain, so we are extremely pleased to be commencing the rollout of our high-speed fibre network now with a view to connections being available later this year,” said National Broadband Ireland Deployment CEO, TJ Malone.
  
“We are determined to ensure the rollout is as fast as possible and connection is made easy for Black Valley residents, and we have a plan in place to work around the location’s all-important tourist season.

“Black Valley is a symbol of NBI’s mission that no area will be left behind no matter how rural or remote and we are delighted that this beautiful location moves one step closer to high-speed fibre today, with all the opportunities that will unlock for the local community.” 

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Players of the year don’t duck a challenge

They never duck when faced with a big challenge on the field so it was safe to assume that GAA players of the year David Clifford and Louise Ní Mhuircheartaigh […]

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They never duck when faced with a big challenge on the field so it was safe to assume that GAA players of the year David Clifford and Louise Ní Mhuircheartaigh weren’t going to shy away from the latest task on their home patch.

The two top footballers in the country teamed up to launch a charity duck race which will form part of this year’s St Patrick’s Festival in Killarney, where they both live.

When the working day was done, busy secondary school teachers David and Louise had some great quack and they got caught up in the spirit of the occasion along the scenic River Deenagh in Killarney National Park.

The reigning Player of the Year and Ladies Player of the Year award winner demonstrated their competitive streak when they expressed confidence that their own ducks will win The Deenagh Duck Dash on the same river at noon on Monday, March 18.

But, luckily, festival chairman Jason Clifford was there to keep the peace and he even threatened to cry fowl and brandish a card at the star players – with duck yellow deemed the most appropriate colour.

Considered by many to be the greatest players of all time in their respective codes, between them, Fossa hotshot David and Corca Dhuibhne star Louise have an incredible nine All-Star awards.

But they might be tempted to swap one if their duck wins the fun-filled race on the day after St Patrick’s Day.

All proceeds from the event will go to St Francis Special School in Beaufort, Killarney which provides specialist education for young people with learning disabilities.
Festival chairman Jason remarked: “This isn’t just a race – it’s great fun for the whole family.
“Picture the scene with a flotilla of vibrant rubber ducks racing down a winding river, their owners cheering them on and all in the name of a fantastic cause”.
Super prizes await the winners, the cost of a rubber duck to participate in the race is just €5 and they can be bought online at https://stpatricksfestivalkillarney.ie/.

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