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No drama until go ahead from Government

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By Michelle Crean

A well-known local performing arts teacher - who says there's no clear guidance or roadmap for reopening in line with other businesses and industries - is to join a national day of action on Monday.

Lily MacMonagle, who runs The MACademy, a musical community for children, will be one of many, including her own dance, singing and drama teachers, from the sector to protest outside Cork Opera House at 11am.

The event 'Curtain Up' is organised by Performing Arts Educators of Ireland (PAEI) and a second event takes place in Dublin at the same time, as they say they are fed up the the Government's inaction in relation to the resumption of indoor dance, drama, and music classes under safe protocols.

She says that come next month the sector will have been closed for 18 months at a personal cost to businesses up and down the country.

Lily, who ran a number of outdoor summer camps, says the indoor closure has had a huge impact on children and young adults in their Arts training, resulting in a detrimental effect on their mental health, confidence, and social skills.

"In the last 17 months we've not been given a date or any guidance for operating indoors," Lily told the Killarney Advertiser.

She said that the Performing Arts sector has been largely ignored in published guidelines, financial supports and roadmaps for reopening. "We are calling on the government to listen to us, acknowledge our sector and engage with us to allow our students return to classes.

"I ran summer camps outdoors, and the amount of stress I had checking the weather everyday wondering if I have to cancel. I bought all of our own covers, I'd say I spent €600 on them. We're left in the dark."

Professionals in the industry such as Saoirse Ronan, Colin Farrell, Killian Donnelly, Kerry man Tom Vaughan Lawlor, Rebecca Storm, Charlene McKenna, Aoibhinn McGinnity, and Norma Sheahan have already lent their support to the campaign with video clips and sound bites, with other celebrities coming on board daily, she added, saying the importance of this campaign should not be underestimated.

She added that a lot of industries have been allowed resume under safe protocols and that they can too.

"We managed the summer camps, we can manage indoors in a safe manner."

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Muckross Rowing Club members on Irish teams for two major regattas

  Six members of Muckross Rowing Club will compete for Ireland in two upcoming international events. Rowing Ireland this week announced the Irish squads for the Coupe de la Jeunesse […]

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Six members of Muckross Rowing Club will compete for Ireland in two upcoming international events.

Rowing Ireland this week announced the Irish squads for the Coupe de la Jeunesse Regatta.

Daniel Fleming and Ian Coffey have both been selected for the Under 19 Irish squad to race at the Coupe de la Jeunesse Regatta for European junior rowers. The Coupe de la Jeunesse Regatta, involving 16 European countries, will be held over from over three days, August 9-11 in Racice, Czechia.

Four Under 23 university rowers from the Muckross club have also been selected as part of the Senior Irish squad for the Home International Regatta this month.

Niamh Coffey (University of Limerick), Patrick Buckley (University of Limerick), Finn O’Sullivan (University of Limerick) and Ethan O’Neill (University College Cork Rowing Club) will take on the ‘Triple Crown’ event of rowing, competing for Ireland against crews from England, Scotland and Wales.

The Home International Regatta will be held on Saturday, July 27 in Strathclyde, Scotland.

All six Muckross rowers have earned their green jerseys following a lengthy and testing trial series on land and water which began in Autumn 2023 and culminated in final water trials at the end of June.

“Muckross Rowing Club sends its best wishes to the very talented Muckross oarsmen and women and all their crewmates as they fly the flag for Ireland this summer. The talented group build on a successful record in the sport,” said club PRO Tim O’Shea.

Niamh Coffey is a multiple Irish and University Championship winner and has previously represented Ireland in the Under 23 European Championships.

In 2022, O’Neill rowed at Junior level at the Home International event and won a gold medal as part of the Irish quadruple scull crew in the 500m sprint event.

Both Buckley and O’Sullivan continue to compete at the highest level nationally with the University of Limerick Rowing Club,  and join the Irish squad for the first time this year.

The international selections come at an exciting time before the Olympic Regatta in Paris, where Zoe Hyde (Tralee Rowing Club) will be among the largest Irish rowing contingent of 16 rowers to contest an Olympic Games.

Killorglin native Zoe has previously rowed for both Killorglin and Muckross rowing clubs and will race the Women’s Double event for Ireland with Alison Bergin (Fermoy Rowing Club) in Paris.

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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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