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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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International day was a recipe for success

By Michelle CreanSpicy dishes and sweet treats were part of the experience in Killarney Community College as students took time out on Monday to celebrate a variety of different cultures. […]

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By Michelle CreanSpicy dishes and sweet treats were part of the experience in Killarney Community College as students took time out on Monday to celebrate a variety of different cultures.

The Modern Foreign Languages Department organised many events throughout the week but activity that took centre stage place was MasterChef for International Culture Day.

60 students from different countries took part by cooking dishes from their native countries. The judges had their work cut out for them but they finally agreed on a deserving winner.

First place went to Greece with a classic but simple Greek salad which was unbelievably well received by all. In second place was the Polish representatives who made mouth-watering pierogi dumplings while students from Germany produced a sweet cake from their own specific region and took third place.

First Year students got the opportunity to sample the food and learn about the dishes and cultures.

Stickers were worn on students’ jumpers from European Day of Languages and allowed students to speak with other students from their country and make new friends.

“It’s important to recognise and celebrate the ever-growing variety of different cultures within our society and our school setting,” Principal Stella Loughnane said.

“These opportunities provide a great scope for our students to learn and have a better understanding of these cultures while creating a greater respect for everyone’s backgrounds. I also got to taste a few of the dishes and even managed to snag a couple of recipes, they were that good.”

BREWING UP

Meanwhile it was a feel-good morning last Thursday at the school as students and staff brewed up for the Kerry Hospice Foundation.

They enjoyed many delicious treats kindly donated by staff all for an amazing cause. The Bewley’s Big Coffee Morning in aid of Kerry Hospice raised a whopping €650, this will no doubt be put to great use in supporting people in difficult times. This charity has an extra special meaning for Killarney Community College as they have had members of staff, who in challenging times, were supported by this outstanding service.

Ms Loughnane commended the efforts of staff involved adding that it was such a worthwhile cause.

“The college was delighted to host this event to raise funds for Kerry Hospice who provide so much support to our community at times of need, it is so important to give a little back.”

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Godley fourth in National Ploughing competition

By Sean Moriarty Four years on from his last appearance at the National Ploughing Championships, Shane Godley continues to move up the ranks in his age group. The Killarney Ploughing […]

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By Sean Moriarty

Four years on from his last appearance at the National Ploughing Championships, Shane Godley continues to move up the ranks in his age group.

The Killarney Ploughing Association member last represented Kerry in the Under 21s in 2018 when he placed sixth in the two-furrow conventional class in the national competition.

Last week at the 2022 National Ploughing Championships at Rathinaska, County Laois he placed fourth in the under 28 age group for the same category.

“Weather conditions for both the ploughing days was very good but the ground was very hard,” he said.

Club mate Mike Brosnan from Gortalea, finished 20th in the ‘Vintage Mounted’ class. They were the only two members of Killarney Ploughing Association to compete at the event.

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