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Local SVdP to help over 500 families this Christmas

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BY MICHELLE CREAN

Kind-hearted St Vincent de Paul volunteers are this week working flat out every day preparing over 500 food hampers in time for Christmas - to those in need in South Kerry - including 300 in the Killarney area alone.

Food, fuel, toys and clothes are high on the priority list for most, and those affected include all ages from families to older people, as well as single people living alone.

According to the newly released data from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) this week, nearly 16 percent of households in Ireland were at risk of poverty in 2017.

This week, Bridget O’Shea, SVdP President of the Killarney area which includes two conferences in Killarney town, Firies, Rathmore, Boherbue, Millstreet, Kenmare and Castletownbere, said the charity is inundated with calls for help - especially at this time of the year.

Over the last few weeks Bridget and her team of dedicated volunteers have been putting together food hampers mainly made up of non-perishable items, wrapping toys for babies and young children, gathering together new items of clothing also for the children, organising vouchers for those aged 10 to teens, and donating food vouchers to families which will allow them buy fresh food days before Christmas.

“All the conferences have been working flat out,” Bridget told the Killarney Advertiser.

“They are inundated with calls for food, fuel and toys. Heating is a huge issue and calls for fuel are way up.”

She added that there’s a poverty out there that people aren’t seeing.

“Our thing is to put food on the table. There is an absolute increase in calls this time of year from struggling families, single and older people living alone feeling lonely and isolated, and those of different nationalities.

“There’s a lot of middle class people that are too proud to ask but that’s changing a little bit.”

She said that the charity has received huge support from local businesses, schools and individual people over the last few weeks.

“We want to thank all our fundraisers. We had a lot of companies in town who donated boxes of food, hotels did giving trees and schools donated toys. We wouldn’t be able to manage without the generosity of the benefactors.”

 

[caption id="attachment_24166" align="aligncenter" width="5184"] Volunteers with St Vincent de Paul are this week busy putting together and delivering food hampers to over 500 families and individuals in the Killarney/South Kerry areas in time for Christmas Day. Pictured were: Bridget O'Shea (President of SVdP Killarney Area), Patricia Lyne ((Secretary of the Killarney Area), Breda Dwyer (President of St Bridget's Conference), Dymphna Horgan (SVdP Member) and Mary Healy (Treasurer).[/caption]

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Local author’s debut book makes Late Late Toy Show

Killarney art psychotherapist Katie O’Donoghue was delighted to spot her first children’s book on last Friday’s Late Late Toy Show! ‘The Little Squirrel Who Worried’ was written and illustrated by Katie, and published by Gill Books in July. With almost every eye in Ireland on the Toy Show every year, children’s authors, illustrators and publishers […]

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Killarney art psychotherapist Katie O’Donoghue was delighted to spot her first children’s book on last Friday’s Late Late Toy Show!

‘The Little Squirrel Who Worried’ was written and illustrated by Katie, and published by Gill Books in July.

With almost every eye in Ireland on the Toy Show every year, children’s authors, illustrators and publishers compete for a much-coveted spot on the set. Aware that her book had been sent to Ryan, but not having heard anything from RTÉ, Katie was thrilled to see it in a prominent position. It was a wonderful surprise to discover ‘The Little Squirrel Who Worried’ had been placed in the front row of the book corner. There, it had a little chair of its own and was even embraced by a cuddly toy.

It was visible many times over the course of the evening, particularly during the book discussion, an incredibly proud moment for first-time author Katie.

“I have to admit, when I saw ‘The Little Squirrel Who Worried’ cradled in the teddy’s arms, I may have jumped up and down with excitement,” Katie told the Killarney Advertiser.

What began as a lockdown project while Katie was living in London and missing her family in Kerry, is providing comfort to children around the world.

Using a gentle story with gorgeous illustrations, Little Squirrel and his forest friends teach young people a variety of simple coping techniques.

“These skills will benefit children their entire lives and the book is even helpful for adults who are prone to worrying and overthinking,” she added.

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No 2021 return for Killarney on Ice

By Michelle Crean Fans of the ice will be disappointed to hear that Killarney on Ice will not return for a second year. Following its huge popularity year on year since returning to Killarney in 2015, the promoters of Killarney on Ice are disappointed to confirm that they are unable to operate again this year. […]

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By Michelle Crean

Fans of the ice will be disappointed to hear that Killarney on Ice will not return for a second year.

Following its huge popularity year on year since returning to Killarney in 2015, the promoters of Killarney on Ice are disappointed to confirm that they are unable to operate again this year.

Rising case numbers, uncertain COVID-19 restrictions, and insurance challenges have been the main drivers behind the decision not to open, according to the company.

As Kerry’s only festive ice rink, the facility has brought much fun and life to the town over the years, attracting thousands of people from all over the county, and indeed the whole country, with many families coming to stay overnight in Killarney and enjoying all that this great town has to offer.

As well as friends and families coming to skate, schools, youth clubs, sports teams and employees of local companies use the group booking discount rate to plan sessions on the ice, and Killarney on Ice would like to thank them all for their continuing loyalty.

“We sincerely hope to be back better and stronger in 2022, and we look forward to welcoming all of our valued customers,” Tim O’Donoghue, the promoter of the rink, told the Killarney Advertiser.

“In the meantime, we wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year.”

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