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McShain family’s contribution to be celebrated

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The generosity of the man who built America also created a more spectacular Killarney and that incredible deed will be celebrated in great style in the town on Wednesday and Thursday next.

Killarney will always be extremely grateful to the McShain family, not only for the gift of Killarney House and Gardens, but for the donation of Inisfallen Island, Ross Castle and 8,000 acres of parkland, mountains and lake which John and Mary McShain presented to the town.

That remarkable kindness, when added to the generosity of the Bourn Vincent family in Muckross, helped to create Ireland’s first national park and enhance Killarney’s reputation as the country’s tourist capital.

The valued relationship will be very much to the fore during next week’s Celebration of Irish American Friendship with the captivating story of John McShain to be told, through poetry, music and song, in a special hour-long production at the Anam Arts and Cultural Centre on Thursday, July 4 (5.00pm).

Co-produced and choreographed by richly talented locals Noel Patrick O’Sullivan and Fiona Crowley, it will tell the McShain story through the thought-provoking poetry of Tim Buckley, the musical talents of Tony O’Flaherty and Miriam O’Sullivan, the voice of Mary Culloty O’Sullivan and dance courtesy of the Maureen Hegarty Academy.

Detailed script research into the life of the McShain family was conducted by Rachel Kelleher of the NPWS and special permission has been received from the Hagley Museum in Wilmington, Delaware to use iconic images from the coveted McShain family collection in the hour-long production.

“History will tell you what happened but a song will tell you how it felt,” Noel Patrick O’Sullivan said.

This year also there will be an opportunity to remember the estimated six million Irish people who emigrated to the US since 1820, whose descendants now proudly describe themselves as Irish-American.

Their story will be traced in an engaging public lecture in the appropriate setting of the Garden Room Killarney House – the former McShain residence – on the evening of Wednesday, July 3rd. The guest speaker will be acclaimed genealogist and author Kay Caball who will share insights on who emigrated and why, how and to where they travelled and their connections to the Kerry of today.

The big attraction of the Celebration of Irish American Friendship will, of course, be the spectacular parade on Thursday with fantastic floats, favourite Disney characters, beautiful princesses, marching bands and colourful cheerleaders.

The parade will start at Killarney Outlet Centre at 7.00pm and it will pass through Fair Hill, College Street, Plunkett Street and Main Street and several hundred people are expected to line the street for the gala occasion.

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Killarney centre stage for Pride Festival

The award-winning Kingdom Pride in Kerry festival is back next week and Killarney will take centre stage. Kingdom Pride will be celebrated in towns all across the county from July […]

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The award-winning Kingdom Pride in Kerry festival is back next week and Killarney will take centre stage.

Kingdom Pride will be celebrated in towns all across the county from July 17 to 21.

The organisation’s flagship Party in the Park event will be held again in Killarney House and Gardens, following the Pride march in the town centre on July 20.

This year, in solidarity with the people of Palestine, Kingdom Pride in Kerry is inviting the people of Kerry to come to show their unity by bringing Palestinian flags and kites to the march, and to the Party in the Park.

“Pride is a protest for human rights all over the world. Here in the Kingdom, we have been so lucky to receive tremendous community support from our allies and supporters, and we see the struggle for liberation of all peoples as a united cause,” said Daniel Quirke, chairperson of the organising committee.

“Our events have always welcomed everyone, regardless of gender, orientation, religion, or nationality. We truly believe that together we can create positive change through caring for and loving one another. This year is no exception, and we look forward to helping to highlight the Palestinian cause, and to bringing people together to keep generating positive change for all people.”

Events will take place in Cahersiveen, Listowel, Killorglin, Tralee and Dingle, and include an Irish comedy night with Áine Gallagher, an Irish-language movie screening, yoga, sea swimming, poetry and storytelling, bowling, pitch and putt, a lively drag night at the INEC, and plenty more for people of all ages.

“We do our best to keep tickets as low-cost as possible, and we have lots of events that are totally free to attend. It is important to us that people can share Pride with us, regardless of income. Especially with the rise of the cost of living putting a strain on people’s pockets.” added the chairperson.

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A weekend of Live Music, Fun and Entertainment, at FleskFest 2024

The organisers of the annual FleskFest have “a tremendous line-up, with a weekend full of entertainment to suit all” for the July 18 to 20 event. “It promises to be […]

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The organisers of the annual FleskFest have “a tremendous line-up, with a weekend full of entertainment to suit all” for the July 18 to 20 event.

“It promises to be the festival weekend of the summer, an event you don’t want to miss out on. Last year’s Festival was a fantastic memorable experience for our community, a time to get together and celebrate,” said festival PRO Seán Daly.

Organised by Glenflesk GAA, FleskFest 24 will take place at the Barraduff Community Field next week.
There will be a fully licensed bar in the Fest Marquee, some amazing live music on The Big Stage, food trucks and much more.
Glenflesk GAA club’s biggest fundraiser of the year includes a new-for-2024 Texas Holdem Poker Tournament on Thursday night.
Weekend highlights include old-time waltzing, jiving and polka sets with Paudie McAuliffe and Paudie Coffey Band on Friday,
On Saturday, the new Well Flesk event will take place.
“A morning of self-care and wellness at Flesk Fest featuring masterclasses in yoga, pilates, mindfulness, spinning, fitness sessions, workouts, firewood sauna and ice pods with a range of experienced and qualified instructors,” added Daly.
Leading local musician Johnny Courtney and Friends, Sam and Ina, The O’Donoghue Sisters, Reigning All Ireland Champions Glenflesk Ballad Group, and The Border Boys will take to the Big Stage over the weekend.
Sunday is Family Fun Day with children’s entertainment and disco and the All-Ireland Hurling Final Live on the Big screen followed by music with Thingamajig.
The festival will finish with a Sunday evening session with the Meadhbh Walsh Band.

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