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Killarney students on national motorsport stage

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By Sean Moriarty

Four members of St Brigid’s F1 in Schools team represented Killarney at a national event recently.

Team Vroom, which consisted of Ilona Sheehan, Kayla Byrne, Ella Galvin and Grace Daly, won the 'Women in Engineering' prize in the F1 in Schools competition earlier this year.

They received support from Formula Female, a national initiative set up by hockey star and motorsport engineer Nicci Daly, to encourage more young women to study STEM subjects and take up careers in engineering.

Another part of Formula Female is the All-Ireland Go Girls Karting competition. The final of this competition took place, at Kiltorcan Race Track in Kilkenny, in early December.

A total of 24 students competed at the event, after which they attended a panel discussion on Women in Motorsport which comprised of representatives from Motorsport Ireland, Formula Female, Digital Motorsports, a kart racer and even an Irish Formula 1 engineer.

Team Vroom’s Ilona Sheehan was invited to participate in the panel discussion where she shared the stage with influential female motorsport professionals like Pippa Treacy (engineer at the Mercedes F1 team), Kayleigh Cole (a 17-year-old racing driver) and Laura Hannon (an engineer and author of Daisy’s 1st Race Car book).

“Ilona shared an insight into F1 in Schools and the challenge each member took on having very little knowledge of F1 or the technology and software skills required for designing and developing an F1 in schools car,” explained Nicci Daly. “It was a project they felt educated them on the sport and the various roles within it, including engineering, business, marketing and PR. It was a wonderful experience that encouraged them to consider motorsport careers after school.”

It was the first time that the four Killarney students attended a race track.

“We learned lots as there were many other key speakers besides ourselves. A female representative from the team told us all about her course and how she got involved in extracurriculars related to motorsport. This was particularly interesting as we got to see how her course opens many other doorways as well as providing many experiences that will look great on a CV,” Ilona said.

“We got to watch a number of young women take part in a racing shootout competition. After this, I represented us on the Q&A panel facilitated by Niamh Tallon of hersport.ie. I answered on behalf of our team, mostly offering an insight into the F1 in Schools competition how we got involved and the opportunities arising from this.”

The others were very inclusive and accommodating, she added.

"They were also so very encouraging and seemed to take great interest in our experience in the F1 in Schools competition. They made it known to us that there is many other possibilities in the world of motorsport and encouraged everyone to get involved in motorsport and STEM.”

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Retiring Garda Sergeant began career in Killarney

Antoinette Cunningham who retired last week from An Garda Síochána and the Association of Garda Sergeant’s and Inspector’s as their General Secretary started her career 33 years ago in Killarney. […]

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Antoinette Cunningham who retired last week from An Garda Síochána and the Association of Garda Sergeant’s and Inspector’s as their General Secretary started her career 33 years ago in Killarney.

Sergeant In charge at Killarney Garda Station Dermot O’Connell paid tribute to her achievements and her unrelenting commitment to improving the policing environment.

As a former Chairman, Secretary and delegate of the Kerry Branch, Sergeant Dermot O’Connell worked closely with Antoinette in AGSI for many years.

“Her support for members of the Association was second to none. Antoinette always pursued what was right and just. Her ability, knowledge and professionalism was acknowledged both internally and externally by other representative bodies and also professional bodies,” he said.

“When Antoinette arrived here at her first station, the late Jack McGrath was the Sergeant In Charge.”
“As many know Sergeant Jack McGrath frequently walked the beat. During this time Jack shared much of his experience with Antoinette who proved her ability as a competent Garda to Sergeant Jack McGrath. “
“Jack was very impressed by her ability even at that early stage, he always spoke highly of Antoinette and followed her career path with great interest.”

Antoinette subsequently transferred to Limerick (Roxboro Road and Mayorstone Garda Stations). As a Sergeant she moved to the Garda College and completed a Master’s Degree in Adult Learning and a BA in Training and Education.
In 2021 Antoinette was honoured by University Galway with an Alumni Award for her significant contribution in the field of policing.

She became the first female member to serve with the Association of Sergeants and Inspectors at Branch level, National Executive level, President, Deputy General Secretary and finally General Secretary.

“On behalf of the Kerry Branch of AGSI I wish Antoinette the very best in whatever the future holds for her and her family,” added Sergeant O’Connell.

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‘The Bumblebee1000’ Supercar event arriving in Killarney on Saturday

The ‘Bumblebee1000’ supercar run will arrive in Killarney around 5pm on Saturday. Around 40 supercars will leave Barberstown Castle in County Kildare on Saturday morning.After stops at Portlaoise Plaza (11am) […]

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The ‘Bumblebee1000’ supercar run will arrive in Killarney around 5pm on Saturday.

Around 40 supercars will leave Barberstown Castle in County Kildare on Saturday morning.
After stops at Portlaoise Plaza (11am) and Cashel Palace Hotel (1pm) the convoy will arrive the Europe Hotel and Resort at 5pm.
“’The Bumblebee1000’ is not just about horsepower and adrenaline rushes; it’s about making a difference. As participants roar through the countryside, they’ll also be driving towards a noble cause. This event is dedicated to raising awareness and funds for The Little Blues Heroes charity, supporting the children of the Little Blue Heroes, and making a positive impact on their lives,” said an event spokesperson.
“The Bumblebee1000” is not just a journey; it’s an experience that blends luxury, adventure, and philanthropy in a seamless fusion. Whether behind the wheel of a sleek supercar or a supporter cheering from the sidelines, everyone is invited to be part of this remarkable event.
The cars will depart the Europe Hotel and Resort at 10am on Sunday and will stop off at a charity cars and coffee event in Tarbert at 11am before finishing in Adare at around 2pm.

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