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Killarney-Ukraine war refugee paves the way for diverse leadership in Irish society

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Natalya Krasnenkova from Killarney was among 31 migrants graduating from political and leadership programmes, at a ceremony run by the Immigrant Council of Ireland (ICI).

Natalya graduated from the Migrant Leadership Academy. Run by the ICI, the course is aimed at increasing migrant representation in politics and encouraging migrants to use their voice to enact change.

At a special event at EPIC Museum Dublin, graduates were presented with certificates. Sinéad Gibney, Chief Commissioner at the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission delivered the keynote address.

Speaking at the graduation, Immigrant Council of Ireland CEO, Brian Killoran, said, “One of the most incredible benefits to working with diverse communities is the opportunity to interact with up-and-coming community and political leaders. The energy, dynamism, and passion of those who participate in our leadership academy and political internship scheme gives us all a boost, and shows us that the future is bright for social and community activism in Kerry and Ireland, and for diversity in politics.

“By stepping up and participating, they are demonstrating their commitment to build a future for Ireland that is positive, diverse and informed by strong values of social justice, collaboration, mutual support and human rights. That’s an incredible thing, and so important in a world with many issues and challenges. We thank them for their commitment, and for participating.”

Adding to Mr. Killoran’s comments, Integration Manager at the Immigrant Council of Ireland, Valéria Acquino said “At the Immigrant Council, our work is enriched by the interactions we have with the fantastic people we meet through the leadership academy and political internship scheme, and we know that communities and local politics in Kerry and across Ireland will be enriched when the talent and enthusiasm shown by this group is harnessed and given an opportunity to shine.

“Given the recent media and online attention around refugee rights in communities across the country, we’re at risk of losing sight of the overwhelming positivity around migration and diversity that exists in Irish society. To counter this, we need to ensure that we showcase the contribution and potential of those who have chosen Ireland as their new home, and that we all recognise migrants and refugees as equal members of our communities, who share in the successes we have as a society.”

18 graduates in total completed the Migrant Leadership Academy. The aim of the programme is to improve leadership skills and the capacity of participants to initiate, design and implement community-led campaigns and initiatives. It also aims to empower migrant and refugee communities to speak out on issues affecting them.

Also recognised at the ceremony were 13 people who graduated from the Migrant Councillor Internship Scheme. The internship scheme is a mentoring programme that pairs local councillors with migrants who want to learn more about Irish politics and get involved in their local communities. Graduates from this programme hailed from Dublin, Waterford, Offaly, Galway, Cavan, Cork and Kildare.

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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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