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Little Garda heroes light up the town

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By Michelle Crean

It was noisy and colourful - but it was also lots of fun - as little members of the Garda force lit the town up blue on Wednesday afternoon.

HEROES: Kerry's Little Blue Heroes pictured with their big blue heroes members of An Garda Síochána and the Blue Knights at the Gleneagle on Wednesday.

Kerry's Little Blue Heroes pictured with their big blue heroes members of An Garda Síochána at the Gleneagle on Wednesday.

Alexis O'Mahony with her parents Stephen and Teresa O'Mahony from Woodlawn pictured with local Garda Gillian Mac Eoin at the Gleneagle Hotel on Wednesday afternoon. Photos: Michelle Crean

Alexis O'Mahony from Woodlawn pictured with local Garda Gillian Mac Eoin at the Gleneagle Hotel.

Members of the Blue Knights International coming up through High Street on Wednesday afternoon.

Members of the Blue Knights International coming up through High Street on Wednesday afternoon.

Alannah Foley from Killorglin and Sean Kearney from Killarney pictured with local Garda Gillian Mac Eoin.

Members of the Blue Knights International coming up through High Street on Wednesday afternoon.

Members of the Blue Knights International coming up through High Street on Wednesday afternoon.

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Members of the Blue Knights International coming up through High Street on Wednesday afternoon.

Members of the Blue Knights International coming up through High Street on Wednesday afternoon.

Members of the Blue Knights International coming up through High Street on Wednesday afternoon.

Members of the Blue Knights International coming up through High Street on Wednesday afternoon.

Members of the Blue Knights International coming up through High Street on Wednesday afternoon.

Members of the Blue Knights International coming up through High Street on Wednesday afternoon.

Kerry's Little Blue Heroes pictured with their big blue heroes members of An Garda Síochána at the Gleneagle on Wednesday.

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Alexis O'Mahony from Woodlawn pictured with local Garda Gillian Mac Eoin at the Gleneagle Hotel.

Frankie O'Sullivan, pictured with Garda Gillian Mac Eoin, is thrilled with his brand new mini Garda motor bike.

Garda Gillian Mac Eoin pictured getting arrested by comedian Pat Shortt.

The VIPs got a chance to tag along with their big blue heroes with a special Parade of the Nations from the Gleneagle Hotel down Main Street and through High Street up to Cleeny Roundabout and back to Gleneagle via Port Road and Mission Road with local Gardai and veteran police officers from 29 countries who are in Killarney as part of the Blue Knights International Convention.

It was all part of a special event the Blue Knights organised in association with An Garda Síochána and children's charity Little Blue Heroes who make youngsters undergoing health issues honorary Gardai and treat them to specially sized uniforms and days out.

Some of the local children involved included Frankie O'Sullivan from Killarney town who is in remission following a battle with Leukaemia, Alexis O'Mahony from Woodlawn who suffers from Pyruvate Dehydrogenase Deficiency (PDHD), and Alannah Foley from Killorglin who is currently undergoing treatment for cancer, as well as other young members of the force from across the county.

And special guest was comedian Pat Shortt who helped get the parade going at the Gleneagle.

"Pat Shortt detailed, or gave instructions to, the children, then we put all the children and their families into the seven patrol cars and on the seven motorbikes fitted with car seats," Garda Gillian Mac Eoin told the Killarney Advertiser.

"We made lots of noise in the parade and the kids absolutely loved it, they were doing the sirens through town. We think the Gardai enjoyed the parade more than the kids!"

Back at the hotel Alannah, Frankie and Sean Kearney from Ardfert were thrilled to be presented with fully electric kids mini Garda bikes.

"Seeing them on their bikes was the highlight of the day for me!"

One special Little Blue Hero Kate Lehane from Ballycasheen was in Dublin and unfortunately couldn't attend on the day.

Photos: Michelle Crean

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Sam Maguire to feature at next week’s AugustFest

Killarney Racecourse is set to host the exciting three-day summer horse-racing festival from Thursday August 18 to Saturday 20 inclusive. The festival also marks 200 years of racing at Killarney Races […]

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Killarney Racecourse is set to host the exciting three-day summer horse-racing festival from Thursday August 18 to Saturday 20 inclusive. The festival also marks 200 years of racing at Killarney Races offering patrons great racing, history, socialising, entertainment and so much more at Ireland’s most scenic racecourse.

With lots of ticket levels and packages including food and beverage options to choose from, whether it is close to the action general admission tickets or silver service fine dining, there is something for everyone at Killarney Races. Live music, fashion, and fun for all the family complement the best of summer racing at the track this August.

Thursday and Friday are evening meetings and Saturday is an afternoon event with all race cards offering seven thrilling races for spectators to enjoy each day.

Thursday is Sam Maguire evening. And to mark Kerry’s recent success and Killarney Races bi-centenary celebration, Killarney Races are offering an amazing deal on the opening day of their three-day event. On Thursday August 18 patrons will enjoy admission, a racecard and a €5 free bet all for €20! The first race is approximately 5pm with gates open from 3pm. Come early, bring along your jersey and camera, it’s going to be a great evening.

Friday will see the new entrance officially open, as racing officials and elected representatives unlock the gate to the next 200 years at the popular Killarney track, first race at approximately 5pm with gates open from 3pm. With music on the lawn from Donal Lucey and from Tom Cats in the Jim Culloty bar after racing the après racing party is sure to be a ‘winner alright’!

Saturday is AYU Ladies Day and all about the glamour as fashionistas bring the curtain down on AugustFest in fine style. AYU is an Irish based and Irish owned cosmetics company set up by renowned make-up artist Suzie O’Neill. With over €1,500 in prizes for the most stylish ladies to dress up for, what’s not to love! Gates open from 12 noon with the first off at approximately 2pm.

“At AugustFest we will be celebrating a major milestone here at Killarney Races, 200 years of racing in Killarney which is amazing,” Killarney Racecourse Chairman, Gerard Coughlan said.

“I would like to take this opportunity to encourage all locals and visitors to Killarney to come along and be part of the 200 year celebrations and share in this historic moment with us as we officially open the gates on the next 200 years! It’s a rare opportunity to be able to say ‘I was there the day they celebrated the bi-centenary’ anywhere and what a great story to share with the grandchildren in years to come. On that note, we are looking forward to welcoming multiple generations of families during AugustFest, so make a plan and come along and join us for what will be a most remarkable festival at our beautiful boutique racecourse this August!”

The feature race on the opening day of AugustFest is the Vincent O’Brien Ruby Stakes (listed), the Kingdom Gold Cup Handicap of €50,000 and the Gain Advantage Race Series. On Friday, the day two feature is the Grade B Handicap Hurdle of €50,000 and the EBF Novice Hurdle, with four competitive chase races. The final day of the festival the feature is the Grade B Handicap Chase of €50,000.

Adult tickets are available from €20 and children under 14 go free ensuring a great day out for all the family. For those who love a deal, the “Punter’s Pack” is a great value-added option and if you want to live it up check out the Maurice O’Donoghue Suite and Panoramic Restaurant options.

For all ticket details and festival programme information visit killarneyraces.com.

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Jessie Buckley’s album shortlisted for prestigious award

Killarney superstar Jessie Buckley has been shortlisted for the 2022 Mercury Prize Album of the Year. Her collaboration with Bernard Butler ‘For All Our Days That Tear the Heart’ is […]

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Killarney superstar Jessie Buckley has been shortlisted for the 2022 Mercury Prize Album of the Year.

Her collaboration with Bernard Butler ‘For All Our Days That Tear the Heart’ is one of 12 albums shortlisted for the prestigious award which will be revealed in London on September 8.

“Neither of us really knew each other and it was actually a blessing in disguise because we met each other in the moment and trusted each other, took a leap of faith and in a way come in just the way we were and not because of who we are,” she told a press conference at the awards announcement in London last week.

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