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Old traditions alive and well in Lissivigeen school




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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O’Connor’s college concert a resounding successAccordion maestro Liam O’Connor does not do things by halves.

He proved it again last Thursday night when he hosted his ninth ‘Liam O’Connor Concert with St Brendan’s College Students’ in the school’s chapel. While the concert was always about […]




He proved it again last Thursday night when he hosted his ninth ‘Liam O’Connor Concert with St Brendan’s College Students’ in the school’s chapel.

While the concert was always about showcasing the students’ talents as musicians and singers, the guest list would not have looked out of place on Ryan Tubridy’s Late Late Show on RTÉ One.

The GAA world was represented by former Kilkenny hurling manager Brian Cody, Kerry stars and past students of St Brendan’s Dara Moynihan, David Clifford and Gavin White.

Of course, legendary RTÉ sports commentator Marty Morrissey was on hand to get the best responses out of the sporting stars.

O’Connor and his musical children Saoirse, Oisín, and Cillian who is a student of the college, weren’t even the top musical bill on the night.

That honour went to Paddy Casey.

“Casey royally entertained one and all, and our surprise guest, the RTÉ broadcaster Marty Morrissey, enthralled us with his views on Kerry footballers Dara Moynihan, Gavin White and David Clifford,” Liam told the Killarney Advertiser.

“A night of unbelievable synergies was completed with an abundance of local talent. It was a truly unique night of star talent that will live on in the memories of everyone who was there.”

Liam also paid special tribute to the college Principal Seán Coffey and music teachers Mish O’Donoghue and Niamh O’Connell for their colossal support.

“The students themselves were indeed amazing, with the energy they brought to their singing, dancing and playing music. Their commitment to the event was such that they generously gave up their lunch hours to help make it all work,” he added.

The success of the concert rounded off a busy year for the international-renowned accordion champion that included a high-energy appearance at Electric Picnic and an equally lauded performance with the Celtic Tenors at the rugby clash between Munster and world champions South Africa at Páirc Uí Chaoimh, Cork.

He and his son Oisín also made history in November when they became the first father and son pair to play both football and music at Croke Park on the same day.

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Marie was “lovely, unassuming lady”

By Sean Moriarty Tributes have been paid to Marie Murphy of Aughacureen, who died in tragic circumstances on November 30. Marie was a member of the well known Murphy business […]




By Sean Moriarty

Tributes have been paid to Marie Murphy of Aughacureen, who died in tragic circumstances on November 30.

Marie was a member of the well known Murphy business family in Killarney – her brother runs KWD Recycling and she was heavily involved in the business.

She was best known for involvement in the local GAA both as a county star and a member of Fossa GAA Club.

She was a third generation Kerry footballer, her grandfather Con and father John all played football for Kerry.

She was extremely proud of her niece Abbie, her brother Seán’s daughter, when she became the fourth generation Murphy to play for Kerry.

Marie played for Kerry in 1976 and re-joined Fossa GAA Club in 2010 when the ladies’ side of the club was re-formed.

She acted as a mentor for current group of ladies.

Back in 2019 when Fossa GAA Club published a book to mark its 50th anniversary she was one of the leading lights on that committee.

This year, when the club held its Night of Legends to raise funds for a new dressing room for the ladies’ club, Marie was one of the guests of honour at the INEC event and was interviewed on the stage in front of a capacity audience.

Only a few weeks ago she was one of the many club members who helped organise the Fossa Golf Classic and acted as official photographer for that event.

“The club is numb with sadness,” said Fossa GAA chairman Dermot Clifford. “She was a loyal member and very proud of the club. Our thoughts are with her family. A lovely, unassuming lady who will be sorely missed.”

Marie will be sadly missed by her brothers Con, Seamus and Seán, sisters-in-law Breda, Gennie and Anna, her nieces Shauna, Amy, Kate and Abigail, nephews John, Jack, Luke, aunties Mairead and Maura, cousins, relatives, neighbours and a large circle of friends.

She was laid to rest at Old Aghadoe Cemetery on Monday following Requiem Mass at The Prince of Peace Church, Fossa.

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