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Killarney volunteers hit movie screens around the world

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Killarney Mountain Meitheal volunteers profiled in the short documentary film ‘Hatchets & Hope’ are featuring on cinema screens around the world.

VOLUNTEER: Maureen Hegarty of Killarney Mountain Meitheal uses the stem treatment method to eradicate Rhododendron.

The five-minute film introduces the Killarney Mountain Meitheal, an intergenerational group of volunteers in Killarney and has been shortlisted for a number of high-profile film festivals.

Each week they hike out to protect some of Ireland’s last surviving woodland forests and rare ecosystems from the alarming spread of the invasive plant Rhododendron ponticum.

Despite its beautiful purple flower, the infestation of this strain of rhododendron is lethal to the local biodiversity.

With the spectacular backdrop of the mountains of south Kerry, the film shows the community working to eradicate these exotic plants and stop their advance.

This inspiring film is about camaraderie, commitment, and the astounding results a small group of passionate nature lovers have achieved.

Aoibheann O’Sullivan, whose parents are from Killarney, is an award-winning film-maker who lives in Kenya.
She found herself stuck in Killarney at the start of the pandemic, and joined the ‘Meithal’ group who clear rhododendron in Killarney National Park.

"It is wonderful to see the important work of the Killarney Mountain Meitheal getting worldwide attention. It shows the profound impact a small group of committed people can make. We need more inspiring stories like this to show that action instead of anxiety is going to fix our relationship with nature,” she told the Killarney Advertiser.

Last October the film had its premiere at the 2021 Kerry International Film Festival and is now screening at some well-regarded film festivals such as the Wildlife Conservation Film Festival in New York, Sustainable Stories Film Fest in Texas, and the Irish Film Festival London.

The film was made possible with the support of the South Kerry Development Partnership (SKDP) and EU LEADER funding.

If you would like to join the Killarney Mountain Meitheal, or find out more, please contact them on info@killarneymountainmeitheal.com.

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Wine, art and lots of catching up at popular fundraiser

By Michelle Crean Spirits were high and the atmosphere electric at this year’s Wine & Art Night which had a huge attendance on Wednesday night. Over 50 exhibitors gathered in […]

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By Michelle Crean

Spirits were high and the atmosphere electric at this year’s Wine & Art Night which had a huge attendance on Wednesday night.

Over 50 exhibitors gathered in the Great Southern Killarney as the Killarney Rotary Club’s fundraising event – which is one of the biggest in the town each year – was back after a COVID break.

During the afternoon the artists and crafters, many who travelled from all over Kerry, Clare, Cork and even Waterford this year, organised their display for the event. Later that evening there were a lot of familiar faces but also some new people who absolutely loved the evening.

There were many wines available to taste as well as cheese and breads at the event which is run in conjunction with Daly’s SuperValu, Killarney and Killarney Brewing Company.

“There was a huge attendance and everybody was in good spirits to be back to normal,” President of Rotary, Rayla Tadjimatova, said.

“Many of the patrons were buying some art as Christmas presents and the members of Rotary were delighted to be kept busy packing these. A portion of all art sales goes to the fundraiser. One local young man, who is only 16, exhibited his beautiful photographs of local scenic areas. There was an auction of donated works of art and a Kerry Jersey. All one hundred percent of the proceeds from this auction goes to the fundraiser.”

Mike Neeson entertained the crowd on arrival and right until the end of the night.

“Mike is a great supporter of our events and we would like to thank him for keeping everybody entertained.”

The Irish Pilgrimage Trust ran the raffle and they had some wonderful hampers and gifts to be won.

Beneficiaries from this year’s event are: Coolick NS, Gaelscoil Faithleann NS, Knockanes NS, Holy Cross Mercy NS, St Francis Special School, Kerry Stars, Killarney Athletic AFC, and Killarney Cougars Basketball Club.

She thanked everybody for attending and everyone for their help organising the event.

Some, she added, had never been before and said they did not know what exactly the night involved but will definitely be back again next time as it was “so enjoyable”.

“We hope the money raised will help the beneficiaries to proceed with projects,” she said.

“We are delighted for Rotary to be able to help these charities, community groups and schools through our fundraising event.”

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Comedy drama ready for the stage

By Michelle Crean Get out your diary and book in these December dates as Dochas Drama Group is ready to take to the stage. What does a hypochondriac, a grumpy […]

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By Michelle Crean

Get out your diary and book in these December dates as Dochas Drama Group is ready to take to the stage.

What does a hypochondriac, a grumpy father and a confused visitor to the dentist, all have in common? You’ll have to come along to the Killarney Avenue Hotel on Monday, December 12, Tuesday 13 and Wednesday 14 at 8pm to find out.

The popular drama group will present their three new comedies featuring the work of playwrights Brian Bowler, Ger Madden and Mary Quirke.Come along for a night filled with fun and laughter. Just the right beginning to the festive season. Doors open at 7.15pm and tickets are available at the door. All tickets; adults, seniors, students and children are €10. Don’t miss a great night out.

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