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New multi-media experience officially opens at iconic Blasket Centre

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A new imaginative multi-media experience has opened re-telling the story of the Blasket islands.

Vincent Ó Gormáin (Guide Ionad an Bhlascaoid) with Deputy Brendan Griffin TD and Minister for State with responsibility for the Office of Public Works Patrick O’Donovan who re-opened the iconic Blasket Centre (Ionad an Bhlascaoid). Photo: Valerie O’Sullivan

Seán Ó Cearna the youngest and only living Blasket Islander looking at his uncle Seán Sheáin Í Chearnaigh Islander with The Minister for State (Office of Public Works) Patrick O’Donovan at the official opening of Ionad an Bhlascaoid Mhóir. Photo: Valerie O’Sullivan

Lorcán Ó Cinnéde (Manager Ionad an Bhlascaoid centre) with Micheál de Mordha former Manager and Máire Ní Shúilleabháin Uí Chíobháin daughter of famed Blasket author Muiris Ó Súilleabháin at the official opening by The Minister for State with responsibility for the Office of Public Works Patrick O’Donovan at the iconic Blasket Centre (Ionad an Bhlascaoid) in Dún Chaoin. Photo: Valerie O’Sullivan

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The flagship visitor experience - which pays homage to the cultural footprint the islanders left in a series of books documenting their lives - is expected to generate €1.6m for local economy over five years following an investment of €2.9m from Fáilte Ireland, the Office of Public Works and the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage.

The Minister for State with responsibility for the Office of Public Works Patrick O’Donovan, and Máire Ní Shúilleabháin Uí Chíobháin, daughter of famed Blasket author Muiris Ó Súilleabháin, re-opened the iconic Blasket Centre (Ionad an Bhlascaoid) in Dún Chaoin on the Western edge of the Dingle Peninsula on Monday, making it another exciting focal point for people to come and discover along the Wild Atlantic Way

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Adjacent to the recently opened viewing platform with spectacular views over the Blasket Islands, the project includes a total transformation of the centre’s exhibitions to deliver an authentic, and imaginative re-telling of the story of the Blasket islands, their rich heritage and their literature which is of national and international significance.

The centre has been designated as a Wild Atlantic Way Signature Discovery Point, and together with the walkway and viewing platform, which opened to the public in 2020, offers dramatic views of the Blasket Island archipelago and the Atlantic coastline.

The centre provides direct employment for 20 people when in operation and will support over 250 additional jobs in this Gaeltacht region.

“The story of the Blasket Islands is one of great interest to domestic and international audiences," Minister for Tourism Catherine Martin TD said.

"The renewed visitor experience at the Blasket Centre is an exciting and imaginative opportunity for visitors to engage with the richness of that culture.”

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Sam Maguire to feature at next week’s AugustFest

Killarney Racecourse is set to host the exciting three-day summer horse-racing festival from Thursday August 18 to Saturday 20 inclusive. The festival also marks 200 years of racing at Killarney Races […]

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Killarney Racecourse is set to host the exciting three-day summer horse-racing festival from Thursday August 18 to Saturday 20 inclusive. The festival also marks 200 years of racing at Killarney Races offering patrons great racing, history, socialising, entertainment and so much more at Ireland’s most scenic racecourse.

With lots of ticket levels and packages including food and beverage options to choose from, whether it is close to the action general admission tickets or silver service fine dining, there is something for everyone at Killarney Races. Live music, fashion, and fun for all the family complement the best of summer racing at the track this August.

Thursday and Friday are evening meetings and Saturday is an afternoon event with all race cards offering seven thrilling races for spectators to enjoy each day.

Thursday is Sam Maguire evening. And to mark Kerry’s recent success and Killarney Races bi-centenary celebration, Killarney Races are offering an amazing deal on the opening day of their three-day event. On Thursday August 18 patrons will enjoy admission, a racecard and a €5 free bet all for €20! The first race is approximately 5pm with gates open from 3pm. Come early, bring along your jersey and camera, it’s going to be a great evening.

Friday will see the new entrance officially open, as racing officials and elected representatives unlock the gate to the next 200 years at the popular Killarney track, first race at approximately 5pm with gates open from 3pm. With music on the lawn from Donal Lucey and from Tom Cats in the Jim Culloty bar after racing the après racing party is sure to be a ‘winner alright’!

Saturday is AYU Ladies Day and all about the glamour as fashionistas bring the curtain down on AugustFest in fine style. AYU is an Irish based and Irish owned cosmetics company set up by renowned make-up artist Suzie O’Neill. With over €1,500 in prizes for the most stylish ladies to dress up for, what’s not to love! Gates open from 12 noon with the first off at approximately 2pm.

“At AugustFest we will be celebrating a major milestone here at Killarney Races, 200 years of racing in Killarney which is amazing,” Killarney Racecourse Chairman, Gerard Coughlan said.

“I would like to take this opportunity to encourage all locals and visitors to Killarney to come along and be part of the 200 year celebrations and share in this historic moment with us as we officially open the gates on the next 200 years! It’s a rare opportunity to be able to say ‘I was there the day they celebrated the bi-centenary’ anywhere and what a great story to share with the grandchildren in years to come. On that note, we are looking forward to welcoming multiple generations of families during AugustFest, so make a plan and come along and join us for what will be a most remarkable festival at our beautiful boutique racecourse this August!”

The feature race on the opening day of AugustFest is the Vincent O’Brien Ruby Stakes (listed), the Kingdom Gold Cup Handicap of €50,000 and the Gain Advantage Race Series. On Friday, the day two feature is the Grade B Handicap Hurdle of €50,000 and the EBF Novice Hurdle, with four competitive chase races. The final day of the festival the feature is the Grade B Handicap Chase of €50,000.

Adult tickets are available from €20 and children under 14 go free ensuring a great day out for all the family. For those who love a deal, the “Punter’s Pack” is a great value-added option and if you want to live it up check out the Maurice O’Donoghue Suite and Panoramic Restaurant options.

For all ticket details and festival programme information visit killarneyraces.com.

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Jessie Buckley’s album shortlisted for prestigious award

Killarney superstar Jessie Buckley has been shortlisted for the 2022 Mercury Prize Album of the Year. Her collaboration with Bernard Butler ‘For All Our Days That Tear the Heart’ is […]

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Killarney superstar Jessie Buckley has been shortlisted for the 2022 Mercury Prize Album of the Year.

Her collaboration with Bernard Butler ‘For All Our Days That Tear the Heart’ is one of 12 albums shortlisted for the prestigious award which will be revealed in London on September 8.

“Neither of us really knew each other and it was actually a blessing in disguise because we met each other in the moment and trusted each other, took a leap of faith and in a way come in just the way we were and not because of who we are,” she told a press conference at the awards announcement in London last week.

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