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Let’s celebrate Ukrainian-Irish Christmas together!

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By Natalya Krasnenkova

Local Ukrainians are inviting the Killarney community to a special Christmas concert next week.

On Sunday, December 11 there will be a charity Christmas concert of Ukrainian and Irish music in St Mary's Church in Killarney at 3pm.

The concert will include traditional Ukrainian carols - Christmas songs that are performed during many winter holidays in Ukraine. In addition to solo songs, all guests will hear the performance of young violinists, the five Yershovy’s sisters and the performance of Ksenia Rusnak, who masterfully plays the ancient Ukrainian instrument - the bandura.

Bandura is a relative of the medieval lute, known in Ukraine since the 12th century as Kobza. Folk songs and Cossack poems are usually performed on the bandura. Residents of Killarney will have a unique opportunity to hear virtuoso playing on this instrument and be transported back to the 16th century. It was during this period that playing the bandura became very popular in Ukraine.

At the invitation of Ukrainians, Irish musicians will take part in the concert - which ones are still a surprise.
The organisers say that for Ukrainians, it is very important to share their Christmas traditions with the local community, and at the same time learn how Christmas is celebrated in Ireland. Despite seemingly different cultures, we have many points in common. So, for example, the famous Christmas song Carol of the Bells, which is performed all over the world, was written by the Ukrainian composer Mykola Leontovych and is known in Ukraine as 'Shchedryk'.

With this concert, Ukrainians also want to thank the entire local community for their warm welcome and hospitality and also to collect funds for a shelter in the city of Khotyn in Ukraine. In this house, priests receive women and children who lost their homes and suffered violence during the war. The house is in dire need of electricity to keep the little refugees and their mothers warm.

Meanwhile, preparations for the concert are in full swing. The soloists rehearse their programme in the evenings, attracting new voices to the choir.

“Ukraine was lucky to be among few European countries to preserve its authentic Christmas traditions with carol singing (kolyadky) and Malanka plays (vertep) - we will recreate this and other heritage at our concert. This is a great opportunity for you to get to know our culture better, and for us to bring our home closer during this festive time,” Yulia Spillane, one of the choir's soloists, says.

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Trilogy of comedy on offer by Dóchas Drama

By Sean Moriarty Dóchas Drama Group will present a series of three short comedy plays next week. All three plays are written and produced by Dóchas and will be acted […]

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By Sean Moriarty

Dóchas Drama Group will present a series of three short comedy plays next week.

All three plays are written and produced by Dóchas and will be acted out by the group’s members.

The opening act, ‘Flossing Around’ is written by Ger Madden and directed by Brian Bowler.

“A woman has an innate fear of the dentist. We go on the journey with her as she faces her fears, with hilarious consequences,” explained the group’s Liz Ryan.

This will be followed by ‘Faraway Hills’ which is written by Mary Quirke and directed by Michael Mills.
It is a tongue in cheek look at family life.

“A son wants to get away from small town life. His mother wants to keep him at home but his father can’t wait to see the back of him,” added Liz, who plays the mother in this short play.

Brain Bowler wrote the third instalment called ‘A Little Visitor’ which is directed by Ryan Jones.

“There are lots of misunderstandings when a hypochondriac visits a group of doctors who have other things on the their minds,” added Liz.

The run, which will feature all three performances each night, starts Wednesday next week and continues Thursday and Friday (February 8 to 10) at the Killarney Avenue Hotel. Tickets are €10 and are available at the door.

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Killarney secures three gold medals in national business awards

Three hotels in Killarney have won gold medals at the Virgin Media Business Gold Medal Awards. Now in its 33rd year, the awards the best of the best in the […]

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Three hotels in Killarney have won gold medals at the Virgin Media Business Gold Medal Awards.

Now in its 33rd year, the awards the best of the best in the hotel and catering sectors across the country.

This year, judges received over 460 entries from 150 hotels, guest houses, country houses, restaurants, cafés, bars and catering companies from around Ireland.

“An important factor in the Gold Medal Awards is the credibility and impartial nature of the judging process. Every property that undergoes this process is subject to benchmarking against a strict set of criteria and a blind site inspection conducted by the judging panel,” said an event organiser.

“This panel comprises respected industry experts from across the hospitality, culinary and catering sectors.”

Three Killarney hotels took top awards in different categories at the awards ceremony held at the Galmont Hotel and Spa in Galway on Tuesday night.

The Great Southern Hotel was named as the best Business and Conference Hotel in Ireland.

“To be recognised among the greatest hotels in Ireland is a marvellous achievement for Great Southern. It is fantastic news and has provided all our staff with a little morale boost. Our Business & Conference partners and customers are extremely important to us with some relationships in place annually for over 30 years. Receiving this recognition for the service we provide is a fantastic achievement and testament to the incredible work of our outstanding staff,” said Michael Jacobi Managing Director said.

The best front of house team award went the staff at the Aghadoe Heights Hotel and Spa.

In the Hotel Casual Dining Experience category the Dunloe Hotel and Gardens came out on top.

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