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London Kerry Persons of the Year 2021 announced

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Portmagee sisters Shilagh and Teresa McCarthy have been named as joint Kerry Persons of the Year 2021 by the Kerry Association London (KAL).

The McCarthy sisters have been selected to mark their huge contribution to the Irish communities in London and Northamptonshire.

Shilagh is the eldest of seven children and Teresa is the youngest. Growing up in beautiful fishing village of Portmagee, the core values dear to many Irish people runs deeply in both girls.
Shilagh and Teresa will be presented with the Dennis Reidy Memorial Trophy at the association’s gala dinner dance at The Hilton Hotel, Wembley on Friday October 22.

They will be joined on the evening by their family and friends and contingents from both Portmagee and Northampton.

Shilagh has made a huge impact on the Irish community in London and was one of the founding members of the reformed Kerry Association in 2000. Nominated secretary, she steered the association for the first 11 years, dedicating herself to helping Kerry people in the capital. She was also a vital part of the Kerry Kingdom Gaels club (KKG), and also held a leading role in the London GAA supporters club for more than five years, raising thousands for all the London GAA clubs. She also played a huge role in the London Rose of Tralee Centre.

Her sister Teresa McCarthy also played for many years for KKG and later moved to Northampton where for the past 15 years, she and her husband Anthony have run a successful Irish pub called The Swan and Helmet. They are hugely involved with The Sons of Erin GFC in Northampton.

In March 2020, when the pandemic hit, Teresa was forced to close the doors of the pub. They decided to transform the pub into an emergency food bank, which proved to be a lifeline for many struggling families in the area.

They soon realised the community’s needs were far worse than they had originally thought. The food bank has now gone from strength to strength and Teresa has now founded The McCarthy-Dixon Foundation, a multi-faceted, registered charity that offers a range of services dedicated to supporting the local and Irish community. They focus on mental health and well-being, supporting a variety of local people and cultures, working with people with disabilities and bringing the whole community together.

To date they have supported over 50,000 local people and at the height of the pandemic were packing and delivering more than 1,150 food hampers a week. Over the past 15 years Teresa has been instrumental in raising hundreds of thousands of pounds for local causes, hosting and organising countless festivals, community events and fundraisers.

Teresa was awarded both Northamptonshire Community Person of the Year 2020 and the Northamptonshire Inspirational Woman of the Year in 2021 along with many other community awards over the years. Teresa is described as a real gem in the Northampton community, and both sisters will be recognised by the KAL for going above and beyond to help her local communities during their time in the UK.

The McCarthy’s will be presented with the award at the KAL’s annual gala dinner in what will be a fantastic evening of craic and ceol, with Daithí Ó Sé as MC for the night and appearances from Barry Owen and other special guests.

Tickets for the Kerry Association London dinner and dance are available from Secretary Margaret Rochford on 0044 77 68138709, by emailing info@kerryassociationlondon.org or getting in touch with any committee member.

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Dancing classes set to unite communities

By Michelle Crean There’s no language barrier when it comes to dancing – which is why one local group is organising classes to unite communities. KASI, the Killarney Immigrant Support […]

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By Michelle Crean

There’s no language barrier when it comes to dancing – which is why one local group is organising classes to unite communities.

KASI, the Killarney Immigrant Support Centre, has teamed up with dance instructor John Moriarty to teach both Ukrainians and multiple cultures living in Kerry Irish set dancing steps from next week.

The first class will take place on Tuesday evenings, starting next week (September 27) at St Mary’s Parish Hall at 6.30pm and all are welcome to join.

The idea is to help Ukrainians living in Killarney and Kerry to come and have fun and get to know locals better, KASI coordinator, Marilyn Catapat-Counihan, explained to the Killarney Advertiser.

“We have a women’s group for all ages where we do crochet, sewing and art and crafts, where they can talk which is good. I had the music on and they were dancing. I asked if they would like to do dancing classes so I organised it with John Moriarty who is well known in Killarney.”

She added that the women are very excited to learn set dancing and get to know other people from the area.

“Sometimes when you meet new people the language can be a barrier and when you’re dancing everybody is moving. He will open it to everyone so there’ll be integration, it’s fun as well. They are all very excited.”

To find out more contact John on 086 1579381.

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Multiple Sclerosis Walk celebrates 20 years

By Sean Moriarty The rising cost of fuel is already having a negative effect on charity events with some limiting numbers. On October 9, the annual Multiple Sclerosis South Kerryv Walk […]

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By Sean Moriarty

The rising cost of fuel is already having a negative effect on charity events with some limiting numbers.

On October 9, the annual Multiple Sclerosis South Kerryv Walk takes place over the Old Kenmare Road.

First run in 2002, this year’s event will celebrate 20 years since its foundation but two years were lost as a result of the pandemic.

This year’s walk will be limited to 150 people – three coach loads – so event organisers can cut back on running costs.

It will only be possible to participate in this year’s event if walkers pre-register.

“Walkers must raise at least €40 to make it worthwhile,” organiser John O’Shea told the Killarney Advertiser.

“Spaces are limited, 150 people equals three coaches and we need smaller coaches to get into the start of the Old Kenmare Road as that is just a bog road. We have limited numbers for cost and operational reasons.”

Mr O’Shea thanked event sponsors O’Callaghan Coaches and The Gleneagle Hotel for their support of the event.

Registration forms can be obtained by calling John on 087 2348824.

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