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Old traditions alive and well in Lissivigeen school

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This week I had the pleasure of visiting Third Class at Lissivigeen NS which I recall as one full of vibrancy where education was rhythmical and harmonious under the talented watch of Mrs Long who has since retired.

She has now been suitably replaced by an equally gifted musician and teacher Mr Robert Fell.

I wanted to visit a few schools that have kept up the tradition of making crosses on St Brigid’s Day. Honoured with a brand new public holiday, this year more than ever, St Brigid’s Day represents spring and new beginnings and a new dawn for Irish people, positivity and hope going forward after a very difficult couple of years.

St Brigid was the patron saint of the poetic arts and crafts; she was the equivalent of the Roman goddess Minerva (Greek Athena). Performing arts and creativity are communities that have lost out so much during COVID-19. And wasn’t I the happy camper to land into such activity that I decided to ‘stay back after class’ for a chat with musician and teacher Mr Fell from Firies.

Mr Fell is very involved in Comhaltas, responsible for organising the annual national Irish music festival and Fleadh Cheoil competitions, the world’s largest annual celebration of Irish music, language, song and dance.

It attracts in the region of 500,000 visitors to the host town every year. He has taken part in the Slieve Mish Comhaltas in Castlemaine, the Patrick O'Keeffe Festival in Castleisland and Scoil Cheoil an Earraigh, a five day Traditional Music School in Ballyferriter on the Dingle Peninsula, including singing and dancing workshops, concerts and sessions, paying particular attention to the music, style and of the Corca Dhuibhne area.

In September he took up a post as Third Class teacher in Lissivigeen NS and is thoroughly enjoying it. Prior to that he spent three years at Faha NS having graduated from Mary I in Limerick.

“Have you always loved to teach?"

“I suppose my dad Frank was a teacher at Mounthawk in Tralee which gave me great guidance and I soon began teaching at the age of 17; tin whistle, the flute and the uileann pipes. I love to teach and I myself was lucky to have been taught so well by the Buckleys at the Killarney School of Music. It wasn’t a huge transition, more like the next step to teach there. I really enjoyed it and it was extra money for me through my college years too, an added bonus. I knew when I was attending Mary I that this was the path I definitely wanted to take. It’s unfortunate that the tin whistle is not a COVID friendly instrument as at this stage I would love to teach it to this already very musical class. Some of the Third Class students play the keyboard, guitar and there are two concertina players and one of our students Tadhg Daly played for Minister Norma Foley outdoors in the sunshine when she visited last September.”

“In your spare time Mr Fell, what do you enjoy doing?"

“I love mountain climbing and I am a member of the Killarney Mountaineering Club," he replied.

And what better place to live for a pastime like that I thought. We are truly blessed in Killarney.

“What have been your favourite hikes here in Kerry and elsewhere?

“I love the Reeks and west Kerry in general, but outside of the Kingdom I would say the Wicklow Mountains was a hike that I thoroughly enjoyed. I also enjoy spending any spare time helping out with Killarney Meitheal. They’re a great bunch of people who do tremendous community work together. It is a great start to a Sunday morning and only a couple of hours to do some good for our National Park. They have a Facebook page: Killarney Meitheal, but you can also text 087 2385600 to get involved and they will send you updates of dates and times.

I thanked Mr Fell for his time and look forward to the possibility of returning to photograph his Third Class pupils - hopefully complete with the sound of tin whistles!

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Kerry v Cork match day parking

  Kerry take on Cork in the first round of the Munster Championship at Fitzgerald Stadium on Saturday. This glamour tie always attracts a huge crowd and Cork fans will […]

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Kerry take on Cork in the first round of the Munster Championship at Fitzgerald Stadium on Saturday.

This glamour tie always attracts a huge crowd and Cork fans will travel in their droves from the Rebel County.

As a result there will be parking restrictions and traffic disruptions in the town on Saturday afternoon.

“Please be aware that the town will be bustling with activity, and traffic congestion is expected. Some parking areas may reach capacity, so we recommend allowing extra time for your journey,” said a Garda spokesperson.

Parking will be available in the following areas near the stadium: New Street, The Glebe car park, Fair Hill car park, High Street, Rock Road car park and the Lewis Road car park.

Parking in the vicinity of Fitzgerald Stadium is reserved for residents with parking passes only.

For a full preview of the match turn to our Sports section on page 54

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Win tickets for Taylor Swift and support Palestine

Killarney For Palestine is raffling two tickets to a Taylor Swift concert in Edinburgh. The group is raising funds for the Halaq family who are known to Kerry Friends of […]

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Killarney For Palestine is raffling two tickets to a Taylor Swift concert in Edinburgh.

The group is raising funds for the Halaq family who are known to Kerry Friends of Palestine and who are currently displaced in tents in the Gaza Strip.

Their homes were destroyed in the city of Khan Younis by Israeli airstrikes.

“It currently costs between €5,000 and €6,000 per person to be evacuated from Gaza,” said Susan Larkin of Killarney For Palestine.

To be in with a chance of winning the tickets for the June 8 concert all you have to do is make a donation via the gofundme link below.

A minimum €5.00 donation ensures entry to the draw which will be made on April 24.

Link: https://www.gofundme.com/f/hx5ahx-help-my-children

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