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Nathan’s Walk continues to challenge the stigma

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This weekend, Darkness Into Light fundraising events will take place across the globe in aid of the suicide and self-harm crisis centre, Pieta House. Here in Killarney, the annual walk is held in memory of the late Nathan O’Carroll who took his own life in 2007. He was just 14 years of age.

Nathan’s family, led by parents Denis and Marie, have run the event since its inception in 2011 and it has become one of the most successful fundraisers of its kind in the country. It’s great to see so many people coming together to show their support for the O’Carrolls, while also providing much-needed funds for a worthy charity in the process.

Perhaps the greatest achievement of the Darkness Into Light campaign has been the manner in which it has challenged the stigma attached to suicide and mental health. In the past, these issues were brushed under the carpet but people like Denis and Marie, who speak so openly and so candidly about their first-hand experience with suicide, have unquestionably shifted the dial in a major way. I wouldn’t go so far as to say that as a nation we’re completely comfortable with the topic, but things have certainly come a long way even in the past decade or so.

Unfortunately, many of us here in Killarney have been touched by suicide. Personally, I lost one of my best friends to suicide back in 2009. We’ve all suffered bereavements and every death is tragic in its own way, but there’s something especially difficult about a suicide. It’s so unexpected and so confusing. It really knocks you off your feet.

My main thought after it happened was that I wished I could have spoken to him about whatever was going on before it was too late.

I definitely found it hard to cope and the next few months were extremely tough. I really struggled with it, to be honest, and I eventually decided to get some counselling. It wasn’t an easy step to take but addressing the issue head-on and just talking made the world of difference.

At the time, I probably felt as though what I was going through was never going to end but looking back now I realise that it was just one minor chapter in a much bigger story. That’s why Darkness Into Light is so important. Firstly, it funds Pieta House, a charity that has provided assistance to over 30,000 people when they needed it most. Secondly, it has helped to force the subject of mental health out of the shadows and into the light.

When things are out in the open like they are now, and mental health issues become more widely accepted as simply an illness like any other, people are more likely to speak up about their problems. And that can only be a good thing.

Darkness Into Light takes place tomorrow (Saturday) morning at 4.15am, starting from the Killarney Racecourse. You can register at the Racecourse from 5pm-8pm today or online at dil.pieta.ie

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Training day for junior rowers

By Michelle Crean Junior members of Muckross Rowing Club were delighted to take part in a training day recently to fine tune their skills for upcoming events. Beginner to Junior 18 members competed in 19 races. The 500m sprints were held in octuples, quads and doubles. “Taking part in this sprint regatta will help Junior […]

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By Michelle Crean

Junior members of Muckross Rowing Club were delighted to take part in a training day recently to fine tune their skills for upcoming events.

Beginner to Junior 18 members competed in 19 races. The 500m sprints were held in octuples, quads and doubles.

“Taking part in this sprint regatta will help Junior Members prepare for upcoming regattas which are hoped to take place this summer,” Shóna O’Sullivan said.

“Those racing were cheered on by their fellow team mates at the Garden Quays. The races were exciting to watch, especially the races that ended in a photo finish.”

The competitors refuelled with a barbecue cooked by Bernie and Seamus O’Sullivan, she added.

“Thanks to Bernie, Seamus, all coaches and committee members that helped this training session run successfully in accordance with COVID-19 guidelines.”

On the same day Seán Daly Chairperson of Muckross Rowing Club presented Jane and Lila Ryan with Honorary Associated Membership for their generous contribution of €500 to the club.

“Our rowing club are extremely grateful for their generosity.”

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Hike up Strickeen Mountain for air ambulance

  Locals and visitors are being invited to join a guided ascent of Strickeen Mountain on July 4 to raise funds for the Irish Community Air Ambulance. The hike, described as an easy to moderate climb and family friendly well be led by Killarney-based Irish Community Air Ambulance volunteer and tour guide Krzysztof Szwab. It […]

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Locals and visitors are being invited to join a guided ascent of Strickeen Mountain on July 4 to raise funds for the Irish Community Air Ambulance.

The hike, described as an easy to moderate climb and family friendly well be led by Killarney-based Irish Community Air Ambulance volunteer and tour guide Krzysztof Szwab.

It is expected that the 7.5km hike will take around three hours to complete and participants will benefit from the expertise of Krzysztof for a minimum donation €10 per person or €20 per family.

Strickeen Mountain is the eastern most peak of the MacGillycuddy’s Reeks and the hike will start from the Gap of Dunloe at 11am on the day.

As an added bonus fruit and water, donated by local supermarkets including Lidl, Aldi and Daly’s SuperValu, will be provided. The first 20 to register will receive a limited edition Irish Community Air Ambulance face covering snood.

“This is an ideal opportunity for someone who has never climbed this mountain, but wants to do it with the help of an experienced guide,” Donie Lucey, who is one of the Irish Community Air Ambulance’s chief fundraisers, said.

Further details are available from Donie on 086 854 5873 or from Krzysztof on 087 7589697 after 6pm.

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Golf club launches Summer Series competition

By Sean Moriarty Competitive golfing has resumed at Killarney Golf and Fishing Club marking another step towards normality in the locality. The O’Mahony’s Point course hosted an open singles event on Monday last and this competition will continue every Monday for the rest of the summer. Meanwhile the club’s ‘TaylorMade’ Summer Series gets underway at […]

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By Sean Moriarty

Competitive golfing has resumed at Killarney Golf and Fishing Club marking another step towards normality in the locality.

The O’Mahony’s Point course hosted an open singles event on Monday last and this competition will continue every Monday for the rest of the summer.

Meanwhile the club’s ‘TaylorMade’ Summer Series gets underway at the famed Killeen course this coming Wednesday (June 23). This series will continue every Wednesday for eight weeks and top five scorers on each date will qualify for a Grand Final which is scheduled for Sunday, August 22.

“We are delighted to launch the ‘TaylorMade’ Summer Series. This is a singles stableford event taking place on the Irish Open course, Killeen,” said the club’s marketing manager Meg Dalton. “With over €8,000 worth of prizes to be won, this is an event not to be missed. The first opportunity to qualify for the grand final is Wednesday.”

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