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National Park come alive this August with talks, walks and exhibitions

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Killarney National Park is one of six such parks, nationally, that will put on an extended programme of events for the month of August.

The parks will offer a programme of public events on topics as varied as plant life, bats and history.

Throughout August, visitors will be able to engage with the history, plant and animal life of national parks through a diverse programme of events.

Visitors can expect to learn about topics like the natural life blooming in the parks, with talks, free guided walks and workshops on wildflowers, bats, poetry and the parks’ history.
Here’s a snapshot of what’s on offer at Killarney National Park this month.

The Killarney National Park photography competition is an exciting way to celebrate Heritage Week 2022 and, in keeping with the theme for this year, the title is ‘Our History, Our Future’.

Heritage Week is all about sustainability; sustainability of our natural and built heritage. Killarney National Park wants to see young people’s interpretation of our beautiful landscape. In addition to the photograph, they’re asking for a short story (no more than 250 words) to accompany the image; what is it and why is it important.
See Killarney National Park website for further information:
https://www.killarneynationalpark.ie/killarney-national-park-photography-competition/
The closing date is 4:30pm on Friday August 5.

The park is also coming to your small screens through a new app called Ciar’s Quest has been launched this summer; Ciar’s Quest uses augmented reality to bring to life the rich folklore and heritage of County Kerry. Ciar is a descendant of the O’Connor Chieftain Ciar, the founder of the Kingdom of Kerry, and his adventurous quest is to find the Kingdom’s rich wildlife and to seek the hidden gems. Ciar is based on Ross Island and the app invites you to join in his treasure hunt. A treasure map will guide you to the special marker posts, simply hold your phone in front of it and watch the magic happen!
The app can be downloaded for free from the App Store or Google Play.

All the details can be found on the website at:
https://ciarsquest.ie/

Muckross Traditional Farms is offering an exciting programme of events throughout Heritage Week (August 13 to 21) with everything from basket making, a session with a pipeband and súgan chair making sessions taking place during the week.

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Valuable role of Kerry cancer support charity recognised nationally

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Cancer support charity Recovery Haven Kerry has been recognised for its vital role in supporting cancer patients and their families at a national ceremony in Dublin.

The renowned cancer support house was one of 16 such centres across Ireland that were presented with plaques to acknowledge their full membership of the National Cancer Control Programme (NCCP) Alliance – a group made up of voluntary and charity organisations delivering support services directly to cancer patients and their families. An additional 10 associate member charities were also honoured, including Kerry Cancer Support Group.

The Alliance advocates for, and supports, the development of integrated pathways between the cancer centres, acute hospitals, community cancer support services and primary care services. All members’ development is in line with the values of Sláintecare, seeking to provide assurance to healthcare professionals that these organisations are working to an agreed standard as set out in Best Practice Guidance published by the NCCP. 

Speaking after the ceremony, which was held at Dublin’s Farmleigh Estate, Recovery Haven Kerry Chairman, Tim McSwiney, explained that being compliant with the Best Practice Guidance for Community Cancer Support Centres is a true mark of quality. 

“It offers us a yardstick to measure what we are doing against the standards required. As a result, healthcare professionals have more confidence in referring people to our services. We are very proud to be a member of the Alliance,” he said.

Recovery Haven Kerry was represented at the event by centre manager, Gemma Fort and Client Services Co-Ordinator, Siobhan MacSweeney and were presented with their plaque by NCCP Lead for Cancer Survivorship, Louise Mullen, Clinical Lead for Psycho-Oncology Dr Helen Greally, and Minister of State at the Department of Health, Colm Burke. 

The event was also used as an opportunity to announce funding of €3m for the NCCP’s Alliance of Community Cancer Support Centres and Services through Budget 2024. The NCCP is currently in the process of distributing these funds which will directly and positively impact the delivery of services for patients and families nationally.

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‘More Precious Than Gold’ book launch

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At the official book launch of ‘More Precious Than Gold: My enduring connection with John McShain – the man who built Washington’ by Alice O’Neill-McLoughlin at Killarney House, was Minister of State for Nature, Heritage and Electoral Reform, Malcolm Noonan, T.D.

Alice was born the eldest of eleven children into an Irish farming family in Rosbercon, New Ross, County Wexford. In 1978, she was awarded a scholarship from John McShain- the iconic builder, philanthropist, devout Catholic with Derry ancestry, responsible for many famous American landmarks, including the Jefferson Memorial and the Pentagon.

Her book records the lifelong personal correspondence Alice exchanged with ‘The Man Who Built Washington.’ His philanthropy extended to the Irish people in the bequeathing to the State of Killarney House and the surrounding thousands of acres incorporating the Lakes, Ross Castle, and Innisfallen Island. In 2019, Alice had the honour of inducting John McShain into the Irish America Hall of Fame in her home town of New Ross in the presence of his relatives from Philadelphia and Derry. This is a tale of altruism, of gratitude, of faith and of a life lived in the pursuit of excellence.

Alice also donated her treasured correspondence of letters from John McShain for the archive at Killarney House. Also in attendance were Members of the Ignatius A. O’Shaughnessy family, who was founder of The Globe Oil and Refining Company – and part of a consortium of wealthy American businessmen who were going to purchase the lakes of Killarney as a Country Club in the 1950’s.

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