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

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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.

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Comedy drama ready for the stage

By Michelle Crean Get out your diary and book in these December dates as Dochas Drama Group is ready to take to the stage. What does a hypochondriac, a grumpy […]

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By Michelle Crean

Get out your diary and book in these December dates as Dochas Drama Group is ready to take to the stage.

What does a hypochondriac, a grumpy father and a confused visitor to the dentist, all have in common? You’ll have to come along to the Killarney Avenue Hotel on Monday, December 12, Tuesday 13 and Wednesday 14 at 8pm to find out.

The popular drama group will present their three new comedies featuring the work of playwrights Brian Bowler, Ger Madden and Mary Quirke.Come along for a night filled with fun and laughter. Just the right beginning to the festive season. Doors open at 7.15pm and tickets are available at the door. All tickets; adults, seniors, students and children are €10. Don’t miss a great night out.

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Teens theory is a national winner

Watch out Dallas as three local students are ready to take their science theory and blow the competition out of the water. Liam Waldron, Rachel Griffin and Luke O’Sullivan, Sixth […]

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Watch out Dallas as three local students are ready to take their science theory and blow the competition out of the water.

Liam Waldron, Rachel Griffin and Luke O’Sullivan, Sixth Year students from Killarney Community College, were named SciFest STEM Champions 2022 for their Group Theoretic Approach to Pythagoras’ Theorem.

The national finals of SciFest Ireland were held at the Marino Conference Centre in Dublin last Friday and they were attended by finalists from across Ireland.

The amazing trio will now go on to represent Ireland at the Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair (Regeneron ISEF) which will be held in Dallas, Texas in May 2023.

The students secured their place at the national final after they won the overall prize at the SciFest regional competition at MTU Kerry in May this year.

Their project takes possibly one of the most well-known theorems that everyone remembers from school, Pythagoras’ Theorem. It provides an alternate proof of it, while also highlighting how right-angled triangles naturally provide a link between two coordinate systems and how this special case can naturally recreate the Pythagorean Theorem.

Supported by Intel Ireland and Boston Scientific, SciFest was set up 17 years ago by Sheila Porter and her husband George.

It is the largest, most inclusive STEM fair programme for second-level students in Ireland.

“The aim of SciFest has always been to develop a love of STEM and of inquiry-based learning and every year it is refreshing to see how the students of today continue to love and enjoy immersing themselves in science, technology, engineering and maths,” Sheila Porter, SciFest CEO, said.

“As SciFest grows each year, we grow more excited to see what new experiments and technologies are thought of and created. This year, students have shown incredible innovation in how STEM can make a positive impact on society, with initiatives in farming, space exploration and healthcare.”

Each year SciFest awards a ‘Teacher of Excellence’ and this year Máire Spillane was the recipient for her work with Luke, Rachel and Liam. She accompanied them to both finals and could not be prouder of this huge achievement at national level.

Killarney Community College held a whole school assembly to congratulate the SciFest champions in school and the SciFest STEM Champions 2022 were met with rapturous applause from all students and staff.

Ms Spillane spoke about the importance of STEM subjects and acknowledged the fact that Killarney Community College offers all students the opportunity to study all four of the disciplines, Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths and how our students are encouraged to submit projects every year into SciFest. It may be a competition run by science teachers, but in KCC cross-curricular co-operation by teachers of all subjects, is practiced on a daily basis.

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