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Killarney opens arms to welcome Ukrainians in

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By Sean Moriarty

Up to 650 Ukrainians - who had no option but to flee their war torn country - are to be re-homed in Kerry including two Killarney hotels, some by the end of the long weekend.

READY TO DONATE: Some of the donations for Ukraine were held back to be given to Ukrainian refugees expected to arrive in to Killarney over the weekend. Photo: Gosia Miczek

The refugees are also to be housed in hotels in Tralee and Cahersiveen. Some have already arrived at the Earl of Desmond Hotel just outside Tralee.

The Killarney Advertiser understands that two local hotels are being prepared to welcome refugees as early as this weekend.

A new interagency group was established in Kerry yesterday (Wednesday).

The group is to coordinate the response to the arrival of Ukrainian refugees in the county.

It includes a wide range of statutory, community, and voluntary agencies as well as representatives of the HSE and the Department of Social Protection.

The Mayor of Killarney Marie Moloney has praised the people behind the 'Kerry for Ukraine' charity.

They have already shipped close to 200 pallets of goods to the Polish border and one local truck load is said to have made it all the way to Kyiv, the under-attack Ukrainian capital.

The charity is being led by well-known Killarney photographer Konrad Paprocki and he and his team have held back several pallets of vital equipment in anticipation of the arrival of refugees.

“I want to praise their wisdom in retaining a number of pallets,” Mayor Moloney told the Killarney Advertiser.

Retained donations include nappies, toothbrushes and other essential hygiene products.

Mr Paprocki is awaiting confirmation from the Saint Vincent de Paul Society on what products he and his team need to set aside in Killarney, but they will continue to collect goods and essential products.

Shipments to Poland will continue alongside localised distribution once the 650 refugees are re-housed in Kerry.

Mayor Moloney added that there is dire need for interpreters in the county in the coming weeks and called on Ukrainian-English speakers to make contact with her.

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Roger and Brendan really into the SWING of things

A Killarney man who has been living in the US for over 30 years has maintained a very strong connection with his hometown through a novel golfing tournament which involves […]

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A Killarney man who has been living in the US for over 30 years has maintained a very strong connection with his hometown through a novel golfing tournament which involves a regular challenge against local players.

Roger O’Sullivan, originally from Loreto Road and a member of the Rainier Golf and Country Club in Seattle, has linked up with another Killarney man, Brendan Keogh of SWING Golf, on several occasions to bring a group of golfers from the Seattle club to play a number of Kerry and Irish courses.

They compete for the Cider Cup which is their own unique take on the Ryder Cup.

In 2010 Roger led a group of 18 golfers from the US to play in Ireland and they repeated the journey and the adventure again in 2012, 2014 and 2017.

They had another trip planned in 2020 but that was cancelled due to Covid but they returned again in 2022 and a group of 44 golfers were back in Killarney in recent weeks to test their skills on the Kerry courses and against local players.

“Since we first started doing this in 2010 we have had 102 different golfers travel from Seattle,” Roger explained.
“I met Brendan Keogh on one of my visits home and he travelled to Seattle, at my request, and organised sponsorship at my golf club.

“Since then our trips have been expertly organised by SWING Golf who book us preferential tee-times, set up the schedule and coordinate our bus drivers. We have never had an issue or anything to worry about. Being friendly with Maurice O’Donoghue, we have always stayed at Scott’s Hotel,” he added.

The US visitors take on local players when in Killarney and this year there was 100 golfers playing on the Killeen course on the first day of their visit.

“The support of the locals has been incredible and I wouldn’t do this without them,” said Roger.
“There have been numerous friendships made over the last 14 years. We have supported a local charity on every trip and for the last two it has been the palliative care unit at University Hospital Kerry. This year we raised €5,100,” he said.

A former student at St Brendan’s College, Roger’s parents were Tony and Juliette O’Sullivan and his father was the head chef in the Gleneagle Hotel for over 20 years before the family purchased Danesfort Lodge at Woodlawn Cross on the Muckross Road.

Roger has been married for 20 years to Amy from Tampa, Florida and they have one daughter, Gracie.
Brendan Keogh joined SWING in the early days of its operation as financial operations manager, working alongside the late Paddy O’Looney.

A member of Killarney Golf and Fishing Club for 40 years, he is the current CEO and he will have served 33 years next September.

SWING, the brainchild of former Kerry Group chief, Denis Brosnan, markets and promotes the premier golf clubs in the south west and also runs an incoming golf agency.

Records show that the company has booked over 350,000 rounds of golf in the south west alone but it also facilitates golfers wanting to play elsewhere in the country.

The company’s senior team of Brendan, Eileen O’Sullivan and Tommy Pierce have 60 years of experience bringing golfers to these shores.

Killarney has been a huge beneficiary as it is a base for most visiting golfers while on the Kerry part of their trip. The locals like seeing the high spending golfers arrive in April for a season than runs until mid October.
2024 is busy and it is also looking positive for 2025.

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Killarney Toastmasters Celebrates 20 Years

Killarney Toastmasters Celebrates 20 Years

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Over 30 members, past and present, gathered last Tuesday in The Dromhall Hotel to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the founding of Killarney Toastmasters club.

Several founder members were present including Frank O’Sullivan and Bernadette Noonan, who are still current members of the club.
Members embrace the core values of Toastmasters International which are “respect, integrity, service and excellence”.
This year Killarney Toastmasters welcomed eight new members of various nationalities, who have brought many talents with them to this international club.
Outgoing president Anthony Walsh said: “I am heartened by the progress of new members and, following the success of the current year, I am looking forward to a bright future for the club.”
Anthony passed the chain of office on to incoming President Ann Hannan, who is very excited about leading the club in the year that Toastmasters International celebrates its 100th Anniversary.

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