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Olga Lukavska gave birth to the first Ukrainian born in Killarney.




Olga Lukavska sways her new-born son Marko in her arms.

She speaks softly so as not to wake the baby. Her eyes glow with happiness. A few weeks ago, Olga gave birth to her third son. She has come a long and difficult way to give birth abroad.

Olga lived in Kyiv with her husband and two sons. Her husband is a musician, Olga is a speech therapist teacher and was six months pregnant when the war broke out.

The family did not really believe that war would break out. Therefore, emergency suitcases were not ready and there was no evacuation plan.

They simply lived their lives in peace and prayer. Olga and her husband prepared for the birth of a child through The Secret of Happiness St. Jude Novena prayers.

At the beginning of the war, Olga's two sons were with her grandmother in Western Ukraine.

On February 24, she woke from explosions. The war started very loudly. Next to Olga's house is Gostomel Airport, where the Russian landing party began arrived.

It was necessary to evacuate immediately. Friends offered to take Olga's family out in their car. But all the roads from Kyiv were filled with cars, traffic jams stretched for many kilometers. All 4 million Kyivites tried to leave the capital as soon as possible to escape.

To get to the evacuation car the pregnant woman and her husband had to cross fields.

"This field has been my biggest test," says Olga. She ran across the field in complete darkness, holding a guinea pig cage in one hand and her stomach in her other hand.

The man with their things was running nearby. There were constant explosions around, helicopters flew low, the airport was on fire on the horizon, where there was already a battle with the Russian landing party.

At that moment, Olga was thinking about what she should do to save her future child. She and her husband prayed incessantly. Olga still thanks God for her salvation. At the last moment, they managed to get in the car and leave.

Along the way, they saw rockets hitting different cities. The road to western Ukraine stretched for 15 hours. And then the journey continued for a few more months.

Olga's husband stayed, and she and her two small children, mother and brother, left. "We thought we were leaving Ukraine for a few weeks and would have time to return to childbirth," she said. However, fate took the family across Europe and eventually led to Ireland.

After staying at the Killarney Hotel, Olga had a lot of worries, because it was necessary to arrange for children to go to school and kindergarten, Prepare for childbirth, learn how the medical system works and collect all the necessary things for the baby.

She says that the birth went as well as she did not even expect. For this she is grateful first of all to God, but also to the medical staff, volunteers from KASI and all the people who supported her. Parents from St Olivers and the Ballyspillane centre also helped her.

"I received a lot of support from the people who helped me at every stage, from organising medical care to collecting things in the maternity hospital, buying all the necessary things for my son: a stroller, clothes, diapers."

The medical staff also impressed Olga with their attention and professionalism.

"Now, when I look back a few months ago, I realise that I was under a lot of stress. But my psyche was strong. Now I will remember our long journey from Kyiv to Killarney like a dream. During which I had only one thought that I should save the children. It was my mission that gave me incredible strength. It was only in Ireland that I consciously lived my days and was able to exhale,” Olga says.

Nobody knows how long the war will last in Ukraine, so the Lukavsky family plan to stay in Ireland. In autumn her husband will come to Olga and the whole family plans to move from the hotel to their own apartment.

She really believes in people's care.



Donie McCarthy to be remembered by Firies GAA with golf classic

On the approach of the second anniversary of his passing, Firies GAA have taken the opportunity to both acknowledge and pay tribute to the late Donie McCarthy by organising a […]




On the approach of the second anniversary of his passing, Firies GAA have taken the opportunity to both acknowledge and pay tribute to the late Donie McCarthy by organising a golf classic in his name. Donie was a key figure; player, coach, mentor and officer in the club for many years.

Michael Quirke, former team mate and part of the events’ committee, outlined the significance of remembering and acknowledging the legacy that Donie left to his beloved club. “Donie exemplified the concept of a club stalwart, his love of both the game and the development of the club was boundless. His energy towards the development of young players is truly visible today in Firies. Donie got great satisfaction from seeing young players improve, and as they got older and achieve success with Firies. During his successful playing days, he helped lead Firies to secure the O’Sullivan Cup title in 1979 and went onto manage and coach many Firies teams down through the years. Since his untimely passing in November 2022, the club has aspired to acknowledge his legacy.”

Final preparations are being put in place for the classic which takes place on Saturday, July 13, in Maine Valley Members Golf Club, Killorglin. The classic, which includes GUI handicap applied with a maximum adjusted handicap of 24 for men and 36 for ladies, promises to be a great day celebrating Donie, with top team, nearest the pin, and longest drive prizes.

Family, friends and former club mates of Donie gathered to officially launch the golf classic in Pairc Eamonn, along with Kerry Senior Footballer; Dara Moynihan to lend his support the event. The Firies GAA Club were eager to recognise L. & M. Construction, of New York City for their generous contribution towards The Donie McCarthy Memorial Golf Classic. The American company, has strong club connections and supports many of the club events. “Without this support, we would be unable to organise such events. The Club would also like to acknowledge the members who attended the launch today from young to old to recognise Donies’ contribution”. A club spokesperson said this week.

If you or your club are interested in submitting a team of four at €200 per team, you can contact Brendan Quirke 087-9172854, Dermot O’Connor 087-6958610, Michael Quirke 087-6683699 or Maine Valley Members Golf Club 066-9761979. Likewise, sponsored tee boxes are available for €50.

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Muckross Lottery goes online

Muckross Community Association has announced the launch of its new online facility for playing the Muckross Lottery. The Muckross Lottery community fundraiser has operated since 1995, raising thousands of euro […]




Muckross Community Association has announced the launch of its new online facility for playing the Muckross Lottery.

The Muckross Lottery community fundraiser has operated since 1995, raising thousands of euro for the benefit of local community groups and bodies including Loughquittane National School, Muckross ICA and Muckross Rowing Club among others.

Over the years, countless prize winners have also benefited in the share of jackpot and Match 3 prize wins.

The first Muckross Lottery draw was held in the summer of 1995, a year which also saw the opening of the Muckross Community Centre.
At the time, the lottery draw was a first of its kind in Killarney and was to set a fine example for the many other sports club and community lotteries that were later established in the town.

The community fundraiser has continued to be a vital support, initially securing the completion of the Muckross Community Centre and over time generating funds for the development of school, community and sporting facilities in the Muckross area.

Since 1995, the lottery has been sustained by the unwavering commitment of local sellers and a dedicated committee within the community association.

A number of the lottery’s founding members continue to sell weekly tickets to this day in support of local causes.

In a move with the times and ahead of the 30th anniversary of the Muckross Lottery, the association is now building for the future and launching its new online lottery facility.

Ahead of the online launch this month, the Association has collaborated with Irish company ClubForce, a leading provider of online lottery systems, to develop the secure online system.

It is hoped the new online facility will generate new lottery sales, extend the lottery’s reach to those living abroad and sustain the community fundraiser long into the future.

Existing lottery supporters who avail of the online option can also enjoy the benefits of new features including a weekly results email, ticket auto renewal and access to ticket purchase history. The Association are also keen to highlight that existing hard copy tickets will continue to be available and sold as normal.

The Community Association is seeking the support of all residents of the Muckross area and all those with a connection to the community, to spread the word and get behind the new online lottery.

Online tickets can now be purchased ahead of the weekly draws on June 22, June 29 and throughout July.

The jackpot for June 22 stands at €5,050 with a rollover each week if the jackpot is not won. Online lottery tickets can be purchased each week (3 tickets for €5). A single €2 ticket can also be purchased for multiple draws. The lottery’s annual ‘green’ ticket is also available online for €100 and continues to include two free draws.

Link to Muckross Lottery online.

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