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Killarney recognises one of its most famous daughters

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By Michelle Crean

A Killarney woman responsible for saving countless lives during World War 2 was honoured on Tuesday afternoon during a special ceremony and plaque unveiling on Mission Road.

PLAQUE: The plaque pictured up close in honour of Janie McCarthy. Photo: Michelle crean

HISTORY: Lots of work and research led to the unveiling of a plaque dedicated to Janie McCarthy on Mission Road on Tuesday afternoon. Pictured were: James O'Connor (Killarney Historic Society) Mary G O'Sullivan (researcher) Mayor of Killarney Marie Moloney Angela McAllen (Manager Killarney Municipal District) and Noel Grimes (Historian). Photo: Michelle Crean

HONOUR: Padraig Brosnan Maureen Somers Marie Brosnan Leahy Joe Cotter Mayor of Killarney Marie Moloney Angela McAllen (Manager Killarney Municipal District) and Mary G O'Sullivan pictured in front of the plaque which was unveiled to Janie McCarthy on Mission Road on Tuesday afternoon. Photo: Michelle Crean

Cllr John O'Donoghue Cllr Maura Healy Rae Cllr Donal Grady Mayor of Killarney Marie Moloney Angela McAllen (Manager Killarney Municipal District) and Cllr Niall 'Botty' O'Callaghan pictured at the unveiling of the plaque to Janie McCarthy after it was unveiled on Mission Road on Tuesday afternoon. Photo: Michelle Crean

UNVEILED: Mayor of Killarney Marie Moloney and Mary G O'Sullivan admiring the plaque to Janie McCarthy after it was unveiled on Mission Road on Tuesday afternoon. Photo: Michelle Crean

Janie McCarthy, born in 1885 at Bohereen na Goun, New Street, played a key role in opposing the Nazi occupation of France during World War 2 and her heroic efforts are akin to those by Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty in Rome.

Mayor Marie Moloney had, in the past, called for Janie to be honoured in a similar way to the Monsignor who has a life sized statue erected in his honour on Mission Road.

Cllr John O’Donoghue previously brought a similar motion to a Council meeting following calls from his uncle, former councillor Michael Gleeson who made several attempts to honour the war hero in 2005 but it never came to fruition.

Lots of work and research led to Tuesday's unveiling including a thesis by Mary G O'Sullivan alongside research by James O'Connor from the Killarney Historic Society and historian Noel Grimes.

"I am delighted, as Cathaoirleach of Killarney Municipal District, to be able to unveil this plaque to recognise the contribution of Janie McCarthy and her work for the Resistance during World War II," Marie Moloney said.

"Her contribution to the fight for freedom is the reason why we are here. Following the outbreak of World War 2, Janie McCarthy joined the resistance and saved countless lives while staying in war-torn Paris, helping rescue members of the allied forces and intelligence services and smuggling them through the various escape channels and routes to get them out of Nazi occupied France and to safety. Operating in Paris while it was occupied by Nazi forces from 1940 to 1944 she passed hundreds of American, French and other allies through her hands, losing only one."

As a result of her work Janie was awarded France’s highest award, the Legion d’Honour, the Croix de Guerre and a Croix de la Resistance. The United States of America also honoured the Killarney native with the Medal of Freedom while Britain awarded her the Tedder Certificate for assisting British personnel to escape.

Janie was educated at The Convent of Mercy and went to France in 1910 where she worked as an au pair in Brittany and as a teacher for 15 years in Vannes.

The Germans occupied Paris where she was teaching during World War 2 and she immediately joined La Résistance.

Janie’s family members, the Brosnan family and the Cotter family, were in attendance at the unveiling alongside Manager of Killarney Municipal District Angela McAllen, Killarney Municipal District councillors John O'Donoghue, Maura Healy Rae, Donal Grady, and Niall 'Botty' O'Callaghan.

Janie also featured in a booked called ‘Hidden Kerry’, published in 2014, by local author and journalist Breda Joy.

"We have long honoured the exploits of Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty for his work in saving thousands of allied soldiers and Jews. I find it amazing that two Killarney people would have had so much involvement in the safe escape of allied troops during World War 2, yet it should be no surprise that they were so successful, being from Killarney. I am hugely proud that Killarney now recognises one of its most famous daughters."

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Muckross Rowing Club members on Irish teams for two major regattas

  Six members of Muckross Rowing Club will compete for Ireland in two upcoming international events. Rowing Ireland this week announced the Irish squads for the Coupe de la Jeunesse […]

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Six members of Muckross Rowing Club will compete for Ireland in two upcoming international events.

Rowing Ireland this week announced the Irish squads for the Coupe de la Jeunesse Regatta.

Daniel Fleming and Ian Coffey have both been selected for the Under 19 Irish squad to race at the Coupe de la Jeunesse Regatta for European junior rowers. The Coupe de la Jeunesse Regatta, involving 16 European countries, will be held over from over three days, August 9-11 in Racice, Czechia.

Four Under 23 university rowers from the Muckross club have also been selected as part of the Senior Irish squad for the Home International Regatta this month.

Niamh Coffey (University of Limerick), Patrick Buckley (University of Limerick), Finn O’Sullivan (University of Limerick) and Ethan O’Neill (University College Cork Rowing Club) will take on the ‘Triple Crown’ event of rowing, competing for Ireland against crews from England, Scotland and Wales.

The Home International Regatta will be held on Saturday, July 27 in Strathclyde, Scotland.

All six Muckross rowers have earned their green jerseys following a lengthy and testing trial series on land and water which began in Autumn 2023 and culminated in final water trials at the end of June.

“Muckross Rowing Club sends its best wishes to the very talented Muckross oarsmen and women and all their crewmates as they fly the flag for Ireland this summer. The talented group build on a successful record in the sport,” said club PRO Tim O’Shea.

Niamh Coffey is a multiple Irish and University Championship winner and has previously represented Ireland in the Under 23 European Championships.

In 2022, O’Neill rowed at Junior level at the Home International event and won a gold medal as part of the Irish quadruple scull crew in the 500m sprint event.

Both Buckley and O’Sullivan continue to compete at the highest level nationally with the University of Limerick Rowing Club,  and join the Irish squad for the first time this year.

The international selections come at an exciting time before the Olympic Regatta in Paris, where Zoe Hyde (Tralee Rowing Club) will be among the largest Irish rowing contingent of 16 rowers to contest an Olympic Games.

Killorglin native Zoe has previously rowed for both Killorglin and Muckross rowing clubs and will race the Women’s Double event for Ireland with Alison Bergin (Fermoy Rowing Club) in Paris.

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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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