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Killarney sunflower shows solidarity with Ukraine

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A giant creative sunflower – the national flower of Ukraine – has been installed on the steeple of the landmark St Mary’s Church of Ireland in Killarney as a gesture of solidarity with the people of the war-torn country.

BEFORE: The sunflower prior to installation.

The spectacular artistic display can be viewed as Killarney extending a warm hand of welcome to the refugees from Ukraine who are arriving in the town this week.

An initiative of the St Patrick’s Festival Killarney committee, the 15m high sunflower has been designed and created by Kilgarvan-based artists Sophie Lodge and Maitiu Gray who are part of the creative design team for the world famous Notting Hill Carnival.

“This can be considered a gesture of solidarity with the people who are arriving here from Ukraine and their loved ones who have been left behind," St Patrick’s Killarney Festival Chairman, Paul Sherry, said.

“It’s just a very small way of showing them that we are with them, that we are here for them and that we warmly welcome them. Basically, it shows them that we care."

Emerging from the stalk of the decorative sunflower on the church steeple are several shamrocks – the national symbol of Ireland – and creative butterflies in the colours of the national flags of Ukraine and Ireland.

The sunflower in deeply embedded in the culture of Ukraine and the flower can be found in the yards of village houses or woven into the dresses of women during celebrations.

The Killarney sunflower will be illuminated after dark and the festival team has thanked the Venerable Simon Lumby of St Mary’s Church of Ireland for his enthusiasm and cooperation.

The theme of this year’s parade in Killarney is Earth: An Chré and there will be a special focus on butterflies, particularly focusing on the 12 species native to Killarney: The Holly Blue, Painted Lady, Small Tortoiseshell, Peacock, Common White, Silver Washed Fritillary, Admiral, Marsh Fritillary, Brown Hairstreak, Green Hairstreak, Orange Tipped and Clouded Yellow.

Giant creatives of the 12 species, designed and created by Sophie Lodge and worn by the members of the Fiona Crowley Stage School, will be on show at the Killarney parade.

“This year’s celebration will really be something very special and we are delighted to see so many local groups, clubs, organisations and individuals taking part,” Paul said.

The parade, organised by Killarney Chamber of Tourism and Commerce in association with Kerry County Council and Fáilte Ireland, will be the focal point of this year’s festival in the town – the first time it has been held since 2019.

Ciara Sugrue, Head of Festivals at Fáilte Ireland, said: “It is fantastic to see St Patrick’s Festival celebrations return to Killarney this year, supported by Fáilte Ireland.

“Festivals and events play a critical role in delivering brilliant visitor experiences and increasing footfall for local businesses, supporting jobs and revenue generation.

“We want to position Ireland as the place to celebrate St Patrick’s Day and with an amazing line up of entertainment, the Killarney festival will showcase the very best of the town,” she said.

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Leona named PRO of the year

By Sean Moriarty She is best known for promoting the county’s GAA news – and now Leona Twiss has been rewarded for her efforts. The Gaelic Games Writers’ Association named […]

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By Sean Moriarty

She is best known for promoting the county’s GAA news – and now Leona Twiss has been rewarded for her efforts.

The Gaelic Games Writers’ Association named Leona as its Public Relations Officer of the Year at an awards ceremony at Iveagh Gardens in Dublin on Friday night last.

Leona has been the PRO for Kerry GAA for the last five years but will have to step down this year due to County Board rules.

“I was speechless, it was wonderful to get PRO of the Year but I am only as good as the team around me and this success is attributed to the hard work of the entire PR team at Kerry GAA,” she told the Killarney Advertiser.

As well as her busy schedule managing the media affairs for the Kerry County Board, Leona is also principal at Cullina National School in Beaufort.

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Any victory for Ukraine is important!

By Natalya Krasnenkova On the eve of the final of the 2022 Eurovision Song Contest, President Zelensky said “Ukrainians need victory – big and small”. That is why Ukrainians who […]

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By Natalya Krasnenkova

On the eve of the final of the 2022 Eurovision Song Contest, President Zelensky said “Ukrainians need victory – big and small”.

That is why Ukrainians who gathered around the world on Saturday night were waiting for Ukraine’s win in the song contest, just like the victory in the war.

The Ukrainians from the Innisfallen Hotel were waiting for that too and the overall winner, Ukrainian band Kalush Orchestra, caused a real emotional storm in the hall!

“After my country’s victory at Eurovision, I felt proud, cried, laughed and couldn’t believe it. I am also grateful to everyone who voted for us, because this victory shows how much most European countries support us,” Iryna Melnychuk said.

“Voting around the world for Ukraine gives us hope for support from the world community not only in the Eurovision Song Contest,” said Stepan Krasnenkov.

The Ukrainian band Kalush Orchestra received the highest number of points from the audience during the entire existence of the competition: 439 points from the audience, 192 points from the professional jury. In the end – 631 points, which brought Ukraine victory.

Also, thanks to the Kalush Orchestra, the whole world now knows about the humanitarian catastrophe in Mariupol and the Azovstal enterprises, where wounded Ukrainian soldiers and civilians are under blockade without food, water and medicine.

After their performance, Kalush Orchestra addressed the audience from around the world with a request to save the defenders of Mariupol, who are at the Azovstal plant.

“Please help Ukraine, Mariupol! Help Azovstal! Right now!” – the band called.

After these words, search queries for Azovstal and Mariupol took off on the Internet as people were looking for what they meant.

Irish Eurovision contestant Brooke also sang it and the whole world sings the song of the winners ‘Stefania’.

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