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Major changes ahead for ‘The Sem’ as ambitious multi-million Euro building announced

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By Michelle Crean

An ambitious multi-million Euro project is set to totally transform one local school - as Minister for Education, Norma Foley, this morning (Monday) announced an extensive refurbishment plan for St Brendan’s College.

Going forward the extensive building project will ultimately replace the existing school structure with a state-of-the-art campus and facilities for the 750 students and staff, plus there’ll be three SEN base classes along with one class to specifically cater for children with multiple disabilities.

This extensive refurbishment will transform St Brendan’s by providing 26 general classrooms, five science labs, two multimedia rooms, a textiles room, a music room, an arts and craft room, a home economics room, a construction studies room, engineering room, and a technology room.

The building project will also include staff rooms, an office, a GP room and data communication centre as well as a PE Hall and fitness suite.

The Department recently approved interim accommodation for the school to provide three classes for Special Education Needs purposes for 2021/22 school year under the Department’s Modular Framework.

“This ambitious multi-million Euro building project is an endorsement of the staff of St Brendan’s College for their tireless commitment and endeavour to educating the young people of Killarney and surrounding areas,” Minister Foley said.

“This significant project will provide state-of-the-art facilities and special education provision thus ensuring that this educational institution that is ‘The Sem’ will continue to provide a first class education experience for many years to come.”

VISION

School principal Sean Coffey thanked Minister Foley for her forward-looking vision for the provision of education at second level in Killarney.

“St Brendan’s has a proud and lengthy education tradition, but it was now timely to reimagine this school site to look forward to the next 160 years. This is an investment in the future of our whole community,” he said.

“Situated at the heart of the town, adjacent to the National Park, reinvigorating these old buildings will serve to hugely benefit our students, our staff and our community, all of whom are deserving of the state-of-the-art facilities. We can now look forward to creating a modern learning environment couched in these historic buildings.”

Mr Coffey added that this project was only made possible by the vision and support provided to the school by Bishop Ray Browne and the dedicated volunteer Board of Management at the school.

“Our Patron enables us to think creatively about the future of all aspects of St Brendan’s while our Board enacts that vision through its hard work.”

Also welcoming the announcement, Ms Lorna Larkin, Chairperson of the Board of Management thanked the many staff who have worked so diligently and creatively at St Brendan’s to provide a holistic education for all of the students.

She said that the Board were looking forward to engaging a Design Team who would rework the existing fabric of the school into an exciting place of learning for the 21st century.

The official announcement was also attended by Bishop Ray Browne, Patron of St Brendan’s as well as Ms Hannah Devlin Chairperson of the Parents’ Council at the school.

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Vaccination centre leaves basketball club homeless

By Sean Moriarty With the National Basketball League set to get underway in two weeks’ time, Scott’s Lakers St Paul’s Killarney Basketball Club are still unsure where they will play their homes games this season as their usual venue is being used as a COVID-19 vaccination centre. The local side play Limerick Celtic away on […]

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By Sean Moriarty

With the National Basketball League set to get underway in two weeks’ time, Scott’s Lakers St Paul’s Killarney Basketball Club are still unsure where they will play their homes games this season as their usual venue is being used as a COVID-19 vaccination centre.

The local side play Limerick Celtic away on the weekend of October 8 and 9 and their first home game is set for October 16.

Currently their home venue at Killarney Sports and Leisure Centre is unavailable as it is being used as a COVID-19 vaccination centre and according to the Health Service Executive (HSE) this week, there are no plans in place, as of yet, to move out.

Killarney Cougars, the town’s newest addition to the National League, has secured the use of the gym at St Brigid’s Secondary School in the town centre but, as it stands, St Paul’s remain homeless as the season opener looms.

“It is ridiculous at this stage,” said head coach Jarlath Lee. “If you look at what is happening at the Sports Centre, there are very few people in and out of there now compared to the start [of the vaccination roll-out].”

The HSE when contacted by the Killarney Advertiser this week said that they would not be adding to a previous statement issued earlier this month, which said: “In relation to Killarney Sports and Leisure Centre, we are very grateful to staff and management for the use of their facility as a vaccination centre.

“Planning work is well underway for the next phase of the vaccination programme, locally and nationally. This includes a review of where vaccinations are administered in future, but we cannot confirm any decisions in relation to any particular location at this point in time.”

However, the HSE did confirm this week, that the Tralee Vaccination Centre, located at the Munster Technology University, will re-locate to the recently vacated Borg Warner factory in the town. The move is expected to be completed within the next week to 10 days.

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Triple treat for car lovers this weekend

Killarney car fans are in for a triple treat this weekend with three different events to look forward to over two days. Tomorrow (Saturday), Cannonball will blast through the town. Over one hundred supercars, ranging from firm favourites like McLaren, Lamborghini, Ferrari, Aston Martin, Porsche, Maserati, Rolls Royce and Bentley are expected to take part […]

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Killarney car fans are in for a triple treat this weekend with three different events to look forward to over two days.

Tomorrow (Saturday), Cannonball will blast through the town.

Over one hundred supercars, ranging from firm favourites like McLaren, Lamborghini, Ferrari, Aston Martin, Porsche, Maserati, Rolls Royce and Bentley are expected to take part while raising funds for the HOPE Foundation.

The cars will leave Kenmare at around 11.30am and will travel via Moll’s Gap to Killarney and onwards to Farranfore and Tralee.

“The cars will not be stopping in towns this year to avoid gatherings,” said an event spokesperson, but the Killarney Advertiser understands that the high-powered convoy will be stopping in Tralee for a lunch halt before making their way to Tarbert and the Shannon Ferry.

On Sunday, and as revealed by the Killarney Advertiser last week, the Killarney Valley Classic and Vintage Club will host its annual classic motorshow at the racecourse from 11am. This event will raise funds for St Francis’s Special School in Beaufort.

Cars n’Coffee Killarney will join the vintage club on Sunday. After a successful 2019 season at KC Print, Cars n’Coffee is looking for a new home in Killarney, and Sunday’s collaboration with the vintage club could pave the way for further events at the racecourse.

“Having events of this quality in Killarney shows that the town could soon become the car culture capital of Ireland,” said Cars n’Coffee organiser Ger Neeson.

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