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“My life is gradually getting better – I feel safe again”




I never thought about emigrating to another country.

In Kyiv, Ukraine, I had everything I needed: my own PR company, which I have been building for 12 years, interesting and important projects, a beautiful apartment in which I recently finished renovations, my family, my children, my favourite places - cafes, botanical gardens, Opera house. I just bought two new dresses for spring and ordered a frame for a new piece of art. I had tickets to the theatre and plane tickets to Stockholm, where my son and I were to fly on vacation.

My life was bright and full of meaning but then on February 24 at 5am it changed unequivocally. The sounds of explosions and sirens became commonplace. Yes, as if you lived all your life to the sound of an air alarm. I lost sleep. I lived in constant stress and fear for my family and friends.

Three weeks after the start of the war, I found myself in a distant country - Ireland.

All my previous life fitted in one small green suitcase. And here we are with children in winter clothes in +14 degrees Celsius in Killarney.

Thus began a new period of my life. Now my temporary home is here in Killarney and the locals have become my family in these weeks.

The first thing that catches your eye here today is the incredible number of shades of green. When you go out into the National Park, your eyes are simply dazzled by the shining green, in the shadows I see rich green, and in the distance - green-brown mountains rise. Incredible beauty.

Here in Killarney, the air is so clean and the nature is so beautiful that if I were an artist, I would paint my best work here and sell it at auction.

When we arrived at Dublin Airport, when we were distributed in different regions, all the people said that we were very lucky to get to Killarney. Now I understand why.


The people in Killarney are wonderful. All locals accepted us, Ukrainian refugees as relatives. The first days at the Innisfallen Hotel many locals came to us and brought us basic things such as children's toys and clothes. It was very appropriate, because we all came in winter clothes, in which we left our houses when the war began.

Local photographer Marie Carroll O'Sullivan took care of us. Mother's Day became special for us. Marie and her friends prepared a surprise for us and brought flowers, sweets and gifts. Local scouts came to us with flowers, and neighbours from Fossa - with cakes. For two weeks, many people came to us to ask how we were doing and how they could help and offer a job.

Such sincere care from strangers has become a very effective factor in the adaptation of children and adults. All Ukrainians who have lived in constant anxiety and fear since the beginning of the war were finally able to breathe calmly. We felt really safe around good people. The local Killarney community needs to know that they have given us more than just the things we need, they have given us a sense of family.


I was amazed at how easy it is to get into the principal's office. We arrived in Killarney on Wednesday, and on Friday I was standing on the doorstep of St Brendan’s College. Mr Sean Coffey listened to me and immediately agreed to take our boys to school. On Monday, my son and his new friends continued their education in Killarney.

The staff at the school are very hospitable and despite many new things in the organisation of education, our children go to school every morning with interest and joy.

Later, all our children joined education in different schools in Fossa and Killarney.

Our education system differs from the Irish one in that Ukrainian children study for 11 years and all our schools are mixed - for boys and girls. The school curriculum is tougher, there are many subjects, few sports and no practices at all. Our lessons last 45 minutes and you do not need to wear a uniform.
So far, most of our children enjoy a two-week Easter break and a short day on Wednesday. They are especially affected by the fact that it is possible for everyone to study for another extra year.


Despite the fact that not all Ukrainians who came to Kerry know English, everyone who wanted has already got a job. It is good that we are in a tourist region with many job vacancies. Our women are already working in various hotels and cafes, and men - on the construction site. After all, I now have an interesting job. I remember my journalistic past and write texts again.

In three weeks I already have many acquaintances here with whom you can talk and ask for advice. It is most pleasant for me when I walk around the town, and one of my acquaintances shouts "Hello, Natalia". This town is gradually becoming my home.

My life is gradually getting better, I feel safe again. And I dream of only one thing - that the war in Ukraine is over so that I can return home.



Killarney and District Motor Club members honoured by Motorsport Ireland

By Cormac Casey Several members of Killarney and District Motor Club were honoured at the Motorsport Ireland awards lunch in Dublin on Wednesday. The highlight of the event is the […]




By Cormac Casey

Several members of Killarney and District Motor Club were honoured at the Motorsport Ireland awards lunch in Dublin on Wednesday.

The highlight of the event is the announcement of the sport’s top awards.

Kilkenny’s Jack Brennan (19) was named Young Rally Driver of the Year, while Wexford native Jack Byrne was named Young Racing Driver of the Year and the International Driver of the Year award went to recently crowned FIA Junior World Rally Champion, William Creighton.

Muckross-based co-driver Noel O’Sullivan was presented with his Irish Tarmac Rally Championship winning trophy.

This year saw the introduction of the Motorsport Ireland President’s Awards which celebrate the achievements of  clubs and organisations.

Killarney and District Motor Club won in the innovation category for their work with their KDMC 2 initiative thanks to the efforts of the club’s vice chairman Mike O’Shea.

Rally Rescue teams were also recognised and the club’s Mike Cleary picked up an award for his role he played in what was a difficult year for rescue crew operators.

Tom O’Riordan, who looks after ambulance procurement on the club’s events, was presented with an FIA Volunteer Pin by Motorsport Ireland President Aiden Harper.

Killarney Advertiser Journalist Sean Moriarty was presented with an award for best use of of PR and media in 2023.


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Kerry Mental Health and Wellbeing Fest ‘thank you’ event at Brehon

Participation in the 2023 Kerry Mental Health and Wellbeing Fest has grown by more than 100% since 2020 with 98% of those who gave feedback saying they would attend similar […]




Participation in the 2023 Kerry Mental Health and Wellbeing Fest has grown by more than 100% since 2020 with 98% of those who gave feedback saying they would attend similar events again in 2024.

Feedback from more than 100 people who attended this year’s Fest events from 7th to 14th October was positive with 91% stating they were satisfied.
The Kerry Mental Health and Wellbeing Fest is held annually over the course of a week to highlight World Mental Health Day on October 10.
It aims to raise awareness of the available supports and services in Kerry as well as empower people to engage with the ‘Five Ways to Wellbeing’ through offering a dynamic and interactive programme of events.
99% percent of respondents, most of whom identified as female, said they would recommend the Fest to friends next year. Some key notes for improvement included a request for more events with wider variety throughout the county.
The Chair of the Interagency Steering Group, John Drummey from Kerry Mental Health Association, said: “We wish to extend a heartfelt thanks to event organisers, community groups, businesses, funders and partners that facilitated the Fest’s dynamic and interactive programme of events in 2023. We are encouraged to see such growth in numbers attending the Fest events with a 50% increase from 2022. We are already making plans for the Fest from 5 to 12t October 2024 and we are looking forward to building on this year’s successes. That said, there is always room for improvement and we would welcome suggestions for new events and activities.”
Many of the event organisers attended a ‘thank-you’ event at the Brehon Hotel, Killarney, courtesy of the Kerry Volunteer Centre to coincide with the annual International Volunteer Day, December 5.
The Kerry Mental Health and Wellbeing Fest was organised by an interagency steering group made up of local agencies that support wellbeing in our community.
The organising committee is a collaboration between Connecting for Life Kerry, Healthy Kerry, Kerry County Council, Kerry Recreation & Sports Partnership, the HSE, NEWKD, SKDP, Kerry Mental Health Association, Jigsaw Kerry, Munster Technological University/Kerry, KDYS, Kerry Volunteer Centre and Family Resource Centres throughout the county.

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