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Over €100k raised for 10 deserving charities




By Michelle Crean

The aim of this year's 54321 Challenge was to raise €100,000 and delighted organisers have exceeded that by €270!

CHEQUES: A number of cheques were given to charities from the 54321 Challenge. Pictured front l-r were: TJ O’Connor Orla O’Sullivan (Cystic Fibrosis) Caroline Danaher Alannah Foley (Alannah and Polly’s Fight for Sight) and Carol Moran. Back l-r were: Denis Daly Mary Fitzgerald (Comfort for Chemo) Kathleen Sheehy (ADAPT) Mary Horgan (Comfort for Chemo) Anne McCarthy Maura Sullivan (Kerry Hospice) ?????? (HeartBeat Killarney) Eoghan O’Grady (The Irish Pilgrimage Trust) Noreen Sheahan and Tomás Crowley (ADAPT).



It was an amazing feat for the 50 participants who, over four days, completed three cycles, and climbed two mountains for local deserving charities in August. It brings the total raised to date by the Challenge to €400,250 supporting a number of very deserving Kerry charities over the years

The 54321 Challenge committee and participants came back together again on Friday night at Francie Sheahans in Killorglin to present the cheques to the 10 charities; The Irish Pilgrimage Trust, Kerry Hospice, Comfort for Chemo Kerry, ADAPT Kerry, Skellig Stars, Cystic Fibrosis Kerry, Sera Huskey, HeartBeat Killarney, Alannah and Polly’s Fight for Sight and Scoil Iognaid Ris Dingle.

Over 80% of this year’s participants had completed the challenge previously over the first nine years but a new participant added a fresh lease of life completed the entire challenge in just 22.5 hours.

Jamie O’Shea from Dromid, who had previously completed the challenge over four days, was elated when he knocked it out of the park.

A major contributor to this year’s fundraising efforts were a number of Spinathon Days including Killarney.

"On behalf of this year's 10 Kerry charities and the 54321 Challenge team, we would like to say thank you to all those who have sponsored and supported us along the way," , TJ O'Connor said.

“If the last few years has taught us anything, it is to be thankful for what we have, our health is our wealth, and the power of people working together can get us through some of the most difficult situations."

He also added that spending four days with such positive and enthusiastic people should be prescribed by doctors, as their positive energy was infectious and great for the heart and soul.

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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 […]



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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Rathmore students look to the future

Students in Scoil Phobail Sliabh Luachra, Rathmore looked to the future as they explored third level opportunities. The teens took part in a number of activities to mark College Awareness […]




Students in Scoil Phobail Sliabh Luachra, Rathmore looked to the future as they explored third level opportunities.

The teens took part in a number of activities to mark College Awareness Week which was held in schools and other education settings nationwide last week.

The focus throughout the week in their school was to highlight the wide range of options open to them when they leave school and to realise that there are pathways to suit all types of learners.

Students from First to Sixth Year took part in activities to get them thinking about their future plans.

First and Second year students completed a module on ‘My Pathways’ and Third Years had an introductory talk on options after school.

Transition Year students worked on a display on all the options and pathways available after school which will remain up permanently.

Senior Cycle students attended the Careers Fair in Munster Technological University (MTU) where they got a chance to meet universities, colleges of Further Education, agricultural colleges, apprenticeship and more education and training providers from around the country including past sudent Aidan O’Mahony at the stand with An Garda Síochána.

Leaving Cert and LCA students had a really informative talk in school on Further Education and apprenticeships from Ella O’Donoghue, Admissions Officer of Kerry College.

The week finished with a talk for Senior Cycle students on Business and Law options in UCC by Ian Wallace.

“A highlight of the week was the involvement of past students, who sent us video clips on their career stories so far and shared tips with students,” Niamh Dwyer, Guidance Counsellor at the school, said.

“It was fabulous to see how well our former students have done and it was really important for our current students to see the diversity of pathways they have taken including apprenticeships, Further Education courses, university, travel, setting up businesses and returning to education as mature students. We are really grateful to the past students who reconnected with us for this week, their input was inspiring and invaluable.”

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