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McDonald’s funding to help young people gain employability skills




McDonald’s in Kerry is supporting the local Kerry Diocesan Youth Service (KDYS) in Killarney and Tralee as part of a nationwide skills and employment initiative.

In partnership with the Irish Youth Foundation, McDonald’s Youth Opportunity Ireland programme, which was launched earlier this year, is providing €200,000 to youth organisations across Ireland. The programme will enable these groups to deliver specialised training and mentorship opportunities for 2,000 young people by 2023.

The community-focused McDonald’s Youth Opportunity Ireland programme is supporting young people between the ages of 15 and 24 nationally, who are experiencing disadvantage and aims to empower them with the skills, training and mentorship they need to access the employment market.

In the first year of the programme, the funding will enable 13 grassroots youth organisations across Ireland to deliver targeted youth employability programmes. Kerry Diocesan Youth Service was selected to receive funding in the programme’s first year.

Kerry Diocesan Youth Service works directly with young people in Kerry who are not currently in education, employment or training to provide through its unique RICE Programme, using informal educational methodologies, that has the primary objective of assisting young people aged 17 to 20 to develop four, essential life-skills: Resilience, Independence, Communication and Employability related qualities.

“At Kerry Diocesan Youth Service we work closely with the young people in Killarney and Tralee to give them the support and training they need to enter the jobs market," Gareth Hartveld from Kerry Diocesan Youth Service said.

"The funding we have received from the McDonalds Youth Opportunity Programme is crucial, as it enables us to reach more young people in our community.”

Martin Hoban, McDonald’s Kerry Franchisee, added that “McDonald’s is passionate about providing training and development opportunities to its people".

"That is why we have established the McDonald’s Youth Opportunity Ireland programme with the Irish Youth Foundation. Kerry Diocesan Youth Service does exceptional work with young people throughout Kerry and I have seen first-hand the impact that this has had. McDonald’s is delighted to be supporting them.”



Valuable role of Kerry cancer support charity recognised nationally



Cancer support charity Recovery Haven Kerry has been recognised for its vital role in supporting cancer patients and their families at a national ceremony in Dublin.

The renowned cancer support house was one of 16 such centres across Ireland that were presented with plaques to acknowledge their full membership of the National Cancer Control Programme (NCCP) Alliance – a group made up of voluntary and charity organisations delivering support services directly to cancer patients and their families. An additional 10 associate member charities were also honoured, including Kerry Cancer Support Group.

The Alliance advocates for, and supports, the development of integrated pathways between the cancer centres, acute hospitals, community cancer support services and primary care services. All members’ development is in line with the values of Sláintecare, seeking to provide assurance to healthcare professionals that these organisations are working to an agreed standard as set out in Best Practice Guidance published by the NCCP. 

Speaking after the ceremony, which was held at Dublin’s Farmleigh Estate, Recovery Haven Kerry Chairman, Tim McSwiney, explained that being compliant with the Best Practice Guidance for Community Cancer Support Centres is a true mark of quality. 

“It offers us a yardstick to measure what we are doing against the standards required. As a result, healthcare professionals have more confidence in referring people to our services. We are very proud to be a member of the Alliance,” he said.

Recovery Haven Kerry was represented at the event by centre manager, Gemma Fort and Client Services Co-Ordinator, Siobhan MacSweeney and were presented with their plaque by NCCP Lead for Cancer Survivorship, Louise Mullen, Clinical Lead for Psycho-Oncology Dr Helen Greally, and Minister of State at the Department of Health, Colm Burke. 

The event was also used as an opportunity to announce funding of €3m for the NCCP’s Alliance of Community Cancer Support Centres and Services through Budget 2024. The NCCP is currently in the process of distributing these funds which will directly and positively impact the delivery of services for patients and families nationally.

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‘More Precious Than Gold’ book launch



At the official book launch of ‘More Precious Than Gold: My enduring connection with John McShain – the man who built Washington’ by Alice O’Neill-McLoughlin at Killarney House, was Minister of State for Nature, Heritage and Electoral Reform, Malcolm Noonan, T.D.

Alice was born the eldest of eleven children into an Irish farming family in Rosbercon, New Ross, County Wexford. In 1978, she was awarded a scholarship from John McShain- the iconic builder, philanthropist, devout Catholic with Derry ancestry, responsible for many famous American landmarks, including the Jefferson Memorial and the Pentagon.

Her book records the lifelong personal correspondence Alice exchanged with ‘The Man Who Built Washington.’ His philanthropy extended to the Irish people in the bequeathing to the State of Killarney House and the surrounding thousands of acres incorporating the Lakes, Ross Castle, and Innisfallen Island. In 2019, Alice had the honour of inducting John McShain into the Irish America Hall of Fame in her home town of New Ross in the presence of his relatives from Philadelphia and Derry. This is a tale of altruism, of gratitude, of faith and of a life lived in the pursuit of excellence.

Alice also donated her treasured correspondence of letters from John McShain for the archive at Killarney House. Also in attendance were Members of the Ignatius A. O’Shaughnessy family, who was founder of The Globe Oil and Refining Company – and part of a consortium of wealthy American businessmen who were going to purchase the lakes of Killarney as a Country Club in the 1950’s.

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