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Natalia’s culinary skills are world class




By Michelle Crean  

The heat was on but that didn't deter one culinary student from success as local girl Natalia Leane has made it through to the World Skills Olympics in Shanghai later this year.

Natalia from Killarney, a Second Year culinary student at MTU Kerry Campus, secured gold at the National Cookery Skills Competition for World Skills Ireland which took place from Wednesday to Friday last in the Dundalk Institute of Technology (DKIT).

Natalia's marks were combined after three days of intense competition.

She will join the best of Ireland’s talent and winners from over 20 other skills areas who will have the opportunity to represent Ireland at the World Skills Olympics in Shanghai.

Natalia reached the finals after coming through the preliminary round in January. She began practicing for the competition in October putting in the hours after college with her Chef Lecturer Dan Browne as well as working in the exceptional restaurant ‘Kingdom 1795’ in Killorglin where she received lots of support and guidance.

Over three days Natalia had to complete five competitive modules. These examined very specific culinary skills such as pasta making, game butchery and cooking, soups and canapes, classical risotto, a mystery basket and a dessert module to include a handmade puff pastry. Overall, she completed over 15 hours of competition work. Each day she worked to specific service times for each module, delivering the food under strict conditions.

“Her practice and planning were essential here in delivering the dishes on time," Chef Dan Browne said.

"All dishes required a high standard of skill to produce and it became even harder when multitasking four of these dishes at once as in day two. She was working entirely on her own over the three days preparing and cooking all dishes from start to finish. We are very proud of Natalia’s achievement at this competition, it provided an opportunity for Ireland’s most talented student chefs from colleges all across the country to go head-to-head in this tightly fought contest.”

Head of Section at the Hotel, Culinary and Tourism Department at MTU Kerry TJ O'Connor added that Natalia’s great success is a testament to her dedication, skill and hard work.

"Congratulations also to Chef Dan Browne who ensured Natalia was well prepared for the challenges of the event and was ready to produce her best cooking in the heat of competition. A fantastic achievement for them both. It is such an honour for anyone to win on a national stage but now to go and represent your country in front of the rest of the world.”

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Top awards for innovative students

By Michelle Crean Killarney students proved that their projects can make a positive impact after being honoured at the Young Social Innovators of the Year Ireland (YSI) Awards. The five […]




By Michelle Crean

Killarney students proved that their projects can make a positive impact after being honoured at the Young Social Innovators of the Year Ireland (YSI) Awards.

The five members of ‘Operation Red’ in St Brigid’s Secondary School were celebrating this week after receiving a national Bronze Award for their project which is raising awareness about the lack of knowledge surrounding menstrual disorders. Their goal is to encourage open discussion on these issues, so no woman ever feels alone. The team will receive a prize bursary of €750, which can be put towards developing their idea and increasing the impact of their innovation.

Young Social Innovators is a non-profit organisation that believes in the power of youth. Its vision is to empower, equip and inspire young people to change the world for good. The girls’ project was one of 34 shortlisted from over 400 YSI groups around Ireland.

“As part of our project we’re in the process of developing resources for the SPHE classes in our school,” Transition Year student Anna Cashman told the Killarney Advertiser.

“We’ll try it here as a pilot project and branch out to other schools.”

She added that plans so far include educating students by putting an information booklet together using HSE and NHS advice.

“It’s important to have the right information as it’s a very under researched issue. We have had a positive response to it.”

Cait Fitzgerald Healy from YSI arrived to the school as a surprise to the group and presented the girls with their trophy towards the end of the online ceremony. There was huge excitement all round! Teacher and mentor Catherine O’Donoghue also received the ‘Let them Shine’ award for her involvement with YSI over the last five years.


Picking up the ‘Make Our World Safer Award’, a team from St Brendan’s College was recognised for its ‘One Punch Can Kill’ project, which aims to combat toxic masculinity and raise awareness amongst young men of the seriousness of ‘one punch attacks’.

When researching the issue, the team found that many perpetrators rarely reoffend and the percentage of male-on-male violence in society is extremely high. The group examined the route cause of the issue, which stems from a variety of factors, and wanted to raise awareness that spontaneous and random ‘one punch attacks’ can have serious and life-changing consequences.

Amongst its many actions, the team embarked on media outreach, designed and delivered student workshops, created a poster campaign, held an Anti Violence Week and is currently working on a children’s book in an effort to promote the important message that ‘One Punch Can Kill’.

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Pres footballers are in seventh heaven



The St Brigid’s Presentation Second Year footballers were crowned County Junior B champions on Friday last following a superb seven-goal victory over Mercy Mounthawk Tralee in the Ballymac sunshine.

The girls hit the ground running, bagging two quick goals from the boots of Lily O’Shaughnessy and Niamh Cantillon.

The Pres defence was solid and dogged throughout and managed to keep Mounthawk from breaching their goal for the duration. Abby Cronin scored three goals and a point to torment the oppostion and Niamh Cantillon scored a second goal plus a point to keep the Killarney school well in front.

Further scores from Muireann Healy and a final goal from Lara O’Neill gave us a final score of 7-4 to 0-11.

It was an excellent performance from the entire team, including the substitutes who all played their part. Captain Eve Culhane proudly accepted the cup on behalf of the team, and St Brigid’s, at the end of the game and joyous celebrations followed.

Congratulations to all the players and to their trainers: Mr Counihan, Ms Healy and Ms Brosnan.


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