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Muckross Estate to be the focus of new feature film

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By Michelle Crean

It will be lights, camera and action in Killarney next month as a new film is to be filmed in Muckross Estate and at The Bog Village, Glenbeigh on The Ring of Kerry.

Set for an early 2021 release worldwide, ‘The Kingdom’ - inspired during the darkest days of COVID lockdown - is to be one of the greatest Irish period drama feature films and TV series.

It was literally an eureka moment one sunny June afternoon while researching the Herbert Family of The Muckross Estate in Killarney, conceived by author and director of Blue Box Productions Walter Ryan-Purcell.

“The film location is all there, it’s perfect!” he said.

Muckross House, which was built in 1843, the ruins of Muckross Abbey built mid-1400s, and Muckross Traditional Farms will provide incredible scenes for the story of The Herbert Family and their 200 year tenure on the estate.

Walter Ryan-Purcell contacted his friend Mary Wood who had a part in the film ‘Tradition’ produced in Kerry a few years ago by Damian O’Callaghan, Declan O’Shea and Tim O’Connor of OC Productions.

“It was like turning on all the lights in Ireland! The darkness lifted and a new dawn of film production in Killarney is born. Blue Box Productions Ltd., was incorporated specifically for ‘The Kingdom’ alone, a feature film and TV series likely to be shown in most countries around the world. Muckross House is a national museum expertly curated and managed by the Office of Public Works and a group of very dedicated voluntary Trustees. The support, historical advice and perseverance of Seamus Hassett, Patricia O’Hare, Toddy Doyle and Denis Reidy of Muckross has been phenomenal in the build up to this production.”

The story, based in the 1800s, starts with young nine-year-old Kathleen being sent to America during Black ’47 of The Famine Era, after circumstances for her family on a neighbouring estate turn foul.

The Herberts of Muckross and other local landlords live in absolute luxury in their stately homes. However, tensions and emotions within the family and between families arise, fuelled by the upcoming visit of Queen Victoria and other members of The Royal Family. This entangled and gripping story is cleverly written by award winning scriptwriter Luke Corcoran.

Director Damian O’Callaghan and his team have attracted the best of Ireland’s actors and crew and make them work their hearts out to produce real raw world class productions. Starring in The Kingdom are Paul Ronan (The Devil’s Own, Veronica Guerin, How I Live Now), Patrick Bergin (Sleeping with The Enemy, Patriot Games, Robinhood), Niamh Sweeney (Trust, Noel, and Gaiety productions), and Tony Murphy (Charlie Casanova, Fair City).

“Period drama is very much in demand now following the success of Downton Abbey and others. This is a real first for Ireland. A whole new generation on every continent will again fall in love with The Emerald Isle. From the depths of COVID a new era dawns for Irish film-making.”

Blue Box Productions Ltd. is inviting investors to be part of this production company. Further details from wryanpurcell@eircom.net.

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Killarney man wins most-coveted trophy in sheepdog trials

By Sean Moriarty Kilcummin farmer Tom O’Sullivan – one of the main organisers of last month’s Sheep Dog Trials in Fossa – has become the first Kerry man to win the biggest award in the sport. Tom is the chairman of the Killarney sub-committee and was a member of the 15-strong Irish team that participated […]

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By Sean Moriarty

Kilcummin farmer Tom O’Sullivan – one of the main organisers of last month’s Sheep Dog Trials in Fossa – has become the first Kerry man to win the biggest award in the sport.

Tom is the chairman of the Killarney sub-committee and was a member of the 15-strong Irish team that participated in the international sheepdog competition in Aberystwyth in Wales last weekend.

A total of 60 competitors, 15 each from Ireland, England, Scotland and Wales, contested the biggest event in sheepdog trials on Friday to Sunday last.

After getting through the qualifiers on Friday and Saturday, Tom and his dog Northhill Tess, fended off the challenges of the other top-15 qualifiers to win the International Supreme Champion award.

Not alone is he the first Kerry man to win the competition, which has been running since 1947, he is just the fifth Irishman to do so and the first from Munster.

“The qualifying course was similar to Killarney,” he told the Killarney Advertiser.

However, Sunday’s final was much more difficult. His dog had to round up a flock of sheep at the left hand side of the course. Then Northhill Tess, under the guidance of Tom, had to round up a smaller flock and bring them to the same holding pen. When finished, five of the sheep were wearing red collars and Tom had to instruct his dog to separate them and bring them to a separate holding area.

“It is the biggest trophy in sheep dog trailing,” he added. “Everyone who trains a dog does so for this day. It is mind blowing. My family are very proud, they know the time and the work involved preparing for this.”

The standard at the Killarney event last month was evident in Wales last weekend. The Killarney winner, Peter Morgan and his dog Moss, ran Tom to a very close second.

His son Peter Og won the Young Handlers award and Team Ireland were declared the overall winners based on aggregate scores in the final 15.

Tom arrived home to Kilcummin on Monday night to a traditional homecoming bonfire.

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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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