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Meet the Killarney woman in the heart of the biggest US news stories this year

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By Sean Moriarty

Working from home has taken a very different twist for one Killarney woman. Niamh Cagney is a producer with MSNBC in Manhattan, but over the last year she has covered some of the biggest news stories in the world from both New York and Muckross.

ON THE SCENE: Yasmin Vossoughian reporting from the Capitol Hill riot last January. The show was produced by Niamh Cagney from her Muckross home.

She is currently at home in Lough Guitane where she maintains her role as a news producer for the ‘Yasmin Vossoughian Reports’ show which airs every Saturday and Sunday afternoon in the United States.
She also works on the station’s other current affairs programmes like ‘Morning Joe’ and ‘Andrea Mitchell Reports’.

Niamh has been living in New York for the last four years, and after a stint with Fox News, she has been working for MSNBC for the last two and a half years.

Over the course of the last 18 months she has covered and produced some of the biggest news stories in America, including the biggest of them all, The January 6 storming of Capitol Hill in Washington, and not least the global pandemic.

“This year has been one of the craziest news cycles I've worked through,” she told the Killarney Advertiser. “At the beginning [of the year] both Covid and January 6 definitely rivalled each other in our newscasts... A lot of the time January 6th would inch ahead in our coverage.”

The January 6th insurrection happened while she was still at home in Ireland on her extended Christmas break and she faced new challenges of trying to produce one of America’s biggest news programmes while operating on Irish time.

“Yasmin was on the ground reporting during the riot,” she added. “She was there watching everything unfold, while my team and I sat at our laptops in different corners of the world wondering what the hell was going on... Now, as we approach the one year anniversary of that attack, it's still very much part of the news agenda.

“We are still reporting on the before and after, and it's wild to think we still don't have a concrete conclusion of what happened. Trump and his inner circle are still being investigated, some of his supporters seem to be willing to risk a huge amount to avoid harming him. We also have that very real possibility of him running [for president] again in 2024 – which is obviously a major angle we're looking at for the next news cycle.”

The Global Pandemic was also a huge part of her working life over the last 18 months.
“The vaccine has given us endless stories, from vaccine hesitancy to misinformation,” she said.
Unlike most of Europe, where vaccination rates are as high as 90 per cent, the USA is hovering at about 60 percent uptake. The Federal political system adds to the complexity.

“This is putting pressure on [President Joe] Biden,” she said. “And it gets amplified – a Democratic State Governor is more likely to go along with whatever guidance is coming out of the White House... a Republican Governor could really swing either way, and that's when you see tensions developing.”

Irish news consumers only get snapshot of what is happening in America through television news bulletins and national newspapers but the sheer size of the country gives way to so many different opinions so that what is seen on this side of the Atlantic will never be able to tell the full story.

"It really puts into perspective how massive the country really is when you have reporters travelling to these areas throughout the Deep South and really Red states talking to residents about the pandemic. It's easy to get trapped into hearing the voices and opinions of people in New York and California and big metropolitan areas, when in reality they make up such a small representation of the country."

Cagney is currently at home in Muckross, and her working days starts around 1pm Irish time.
“Americans consume news in a different way, they all have their favourite presenters on their go-to TV stations,” she said. “Viewers are more inclined to stick with a few select news sources.”

She will return to New York in January where she will head back to the studio and office work for the first time in nearly two years.

Niamh works in 30 Rockefeller Plaza, the centrepiece skyscraper of the Rockefeller Center in Midtown Manhattan.

The building's name is sometimes shortened to 30 Rock, a nickname that inspired an NBC sitcom of the same name.
It is the tallest structure in Rockefeller Center, and the 28th tallest building in New York City.

“Fingers crossed we will be back in 30 Rock in January,” she concluded.

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The late Peggy O’Callaghan was a founder of Kilcummin Scor

By Sean Moriarty Tributes have been paid to Peggy O’Callaghan, who was laid to rest on Tuesday of this week. Peggy played a central role in all activities related to Kilcummin parish. She passed away peacefully at her home on Friday, January 7. Peggy and her husband Michael founded Kilcummin Scor in 1978 – the […]

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By Sean Moriarty

Tributes have been paid to Peggy O’Callaghan, who was laid to rest on Tuesday of this week.

Peggy played a central role in all activities related to Kilcummin parish. She passed away peacefully at her home on Friday, January 7.

Peggy and her husband Michael founded Kilcummin Scor in 1978 – the music and drama arm of the local GAA club.

“It afforded the opportunity to females to participate in club activities long before ladies’ football was initiated and it brought many people into the club, many of whom remained involved in different capacities over the years,” said a club statement.

“She has left us a wonderful legacy and will be remembered fondly by those lucky enough to have met her.”

Peggy will be sadly missed by her husband Michael, sons Diarmuid and Shane, daughters-in-law Trisha and Áine, grandchildren Dara, Caoimhe, Donnacha, Siún and Éabha, brothers Seánie and Frank, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, nieces, nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews, extended family, neighbours and friends.

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Surprise: Details of town-centre inner relief road revealed

By Sean Moriarty Plans to link the Monsignor O’Flaherty Road with New St via a new road at Bohereen na Goun have been announced by Killarney Municipal District. Town engineer John Ahern told Wednesday’s Killarney Municipal District Meeting between elected councillors and senior council executives that Kerry County Council intends to make a compulsory purchase […]

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By Sean Moriarty

Plans to link the Monsignor O’Flaherty Road with New St via a new road at Bohereen na Goun have been announced by Killarney Municipal District.

Town engineer John Ahern told Wednesday’s Killarney Municipal District Meeting between elected councillors and senior council executives that Kerry County Council intends to make a compulsory purchase order on lands that will link the two town centre streets.

If plans come to fruition it will be possible for motorists on New St to get to the top of High St, adjacent to the Killarney Advertiser’s town centre office, without travelling through the town centre. The plan was first mooted as far back as 2016.

The announcement caught councillors off guard, it was one of the last topics discussed at the four-hour meeting, but it was broadly welcomed by all.

“This access will change the dynamic of traffic movement in the town forever,” said Cllr Niall Kelleher.

Further details of the surprise project are set to be revealed to elected members over the next four to six weeks.

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