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Over 50 locals celebrated Easter with Ukrainians




By Natalya Krasnenkova

Ukrainian families living at the Innisfallen Hotel had invited their new friends, the local community of Killarney to visit, and together they celebrated Easter.

The crowd enjoying the concert at the Innisfallen Hotel over the weekend.

Nataliya Krasnenkova and Nikola Lynch pictured in the Innisfallen Hotel enjoying the Easter activities.

Young gymnasts Milana Byrdina and Yeva Pashchenko holding the flag for Ukraine at the Easter celebrations in the Innisfallen Hotel.

Tetiana Neliepova singing and Yevheniia Omelchenko playing guitar at the concert which was arranged to celebrate Easter and thank the people of Killarney for their support.

Milana Byrdina and Yeva Pashchenko and Yaromyr Zastup enjoying some treats.

St Brendan's College student Nikolay Kornienko pictured playing the flute at the concert in the Innisfallen Hotel.

More than 50 guests, including Consider it Cakes volunteers, teachers from schools in which Ukrainian children study and local friends came to the holiday concert and party.

“We wanted to spend Easter with our new friends from Killarney, introduce them to our Ukrainian traditions and get to know each other better. And most importantly, we wanted to thank the whole community for the help we receive. Every guest on our holiday was special for us,” Valerya Mashkovska from Odessa said.

Each guest left the holiday with a gift. After all, Ukrainian women and children had prepared many handmade souvenirs: traditional dolls, hearts, necklaces, brooches, and drawings. These yellow and blue souvenirs in the colours of the Ukrainian flag will remind our guests about Ukraine.

Thanks to volunteers and Mary O'Carroll of the Consider it Cakes charity, our children received more than 60 chocolate eggs and several hundred handmade cupcakes. Another 40 eggs went to the Ukrainian children in the Killarney Hotel.

Bonding experience

Consider it Cakes made up of a group of people living around Killarney prepared the charity pastries.

“We had a group of about 20 women from around Killarney and one 13-year-old girl named Kim O’Doherty from Kilcummin who baked for Innisfallen and Hotel Killarney,” Mary O’Carroll said.

“The group Consider it Cakes started at the beginning of COVID with an idea that nationwide every child deserves a birthday cake. It was a great bonding experience for the people of Killarney to the people of Ukraine. Our bakers are all moms and we wanted to show you moms and children some love. We think Ukrainian moms are incredible, strong, dealing with incredible hard times. For me personally my daughter Faye also helps with the baking. We made friends in the Innisfallen Hotel and promise to help our new friends."

The children were visited by an Easter bunny, who gave presents to everyone, hugged everyone and took a photo. The lady who was the Easter Bunny is an Irish language teacher Gaelscoil Faithleann in Killarney. She is very loved by all the kids she teaches and is known as 'Muinteoir Lisa'.

Emotional concert

The main highlight of the meeting was a concert to thank the local community for the support of Ukrainians. It was filled with Ukrainian classical and modern music, gymnastic performances, dances and poems. The organisers of the concert, Yevheniia Omelchenko and Alevtyna Rutto, have experience in organising events in Kyiv, so they willingly joined in the preparations. They devised a script for the event, selected suitable performances and prepared the entire audiovisual series.

Yevheniia Omelchenko, a graphic designer, has edited all the videos that were shown on the screen during a show. She says she wanted to introduce Irish guests to different parts of Ukraine, to show that we all have a place to return to and why to fight for our country.

"Yes, it is not appropriate to talk about the war on Easter. But we kept the balance between sad and funny topics,” Alevtyna Rutto explained.

All the guests were especially moved during the performance of the song 'I Have No Home'. The piano part was played by amateur musician Timur Al-Bayati, who spent two weeks in the basement of the occupied town of Irpin, near Kyiv. He miraculously escaped and is now in western Ukraine. Timur recorded the video of the piano part on his phone and sent it to Ireland. Yevheniia performed a live guitar part at the concert and Tetiana Neliepova sang. Yes, the song 'I Have No Home' turned into a real emotional culmination of the concert and brought together musicians from Ukraine and Ireland.

Mary O'Riordan was impressed by Timur's story. "The story of this guy from Irpin struck me to the core. There were tears in my eyes.”

The women's choir performed an ancient military march of Ukrainian insurgents 'Oh, Red Viburnum in the Meadow' (“Ой у лузі червона калина”). By the way, recently the legendary Pink Floyd played 'Oh in the Meadow Red Viburnum' together with the Ukrainian musician who is currently fighting in the Armed Forces of Ukraine Andriy Khlyvnyuk. This song became famous all over the world.

“We have been preparing and rehearsing for a long time, because it is difficult for us to compete with Pink Floyd, but I think we managed to raise the fighting spirit in the hall. For greater understanding, we made subtitles for the lyrics in English,” added Victoria Volkova, a musician who played the tune on a synthesizer.

15-year-old Mykola Korniienko performed several parts on the flute. The world-famous 'Melody' by Ukrainian composer Myroslav Skoryk was first performed in Killarney.

The concert was closed with the Ukrainian folk dance 'Potato'. The Ukrainians quickly taught the Irish the movements of this dance - and the locals immediately picked it up and started dancing with us.

Making friends

Local guests talked to Ukrainians for a long time after the concert. Everyone has a lot of shared photos on the phone now, as well as many memories.

“We went to the concert to show support in any way we can to all Ukrainian people and to offer them a hug," Nicola Lynch said.

"The concert was very emotional and we cried a lot. I think it made us all closer to see how now the situation is in Ukraine. We need to open up our hearts more and offer more emotional support to people from Ukraine. It was clear to see how you miss your own home and your families that were left behind. The worry and anxiety attached to that is immense. It was so lovely to see how talented everyone was and how loving and close you all are. It was great for my kids to see the video and the devastation that war creates. They asked questions the whole way home in the car. Irish people are very similar to Ukrainian people. We all have big hearts and wear our hearts on our sleeves. Irish people have always been a kind and caring race. We always support and rally around someone who needs help. Ukrainian people are always so grateful for the smallest gestures. They always have a smile,” she added.

"After the success of our concert in Killarney, we are planning a tour around Ireland," joked the organisers!



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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