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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!

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Last chance to enter Spa GAA’s fundraising draw

By Sean Moriarty There is just less than one week left to enter Spa GAA’s fundraising raffle. The ‘Cairde Spa’ draw takes place on Thursday night (February 2) the Spa’s […]




By Sean Moriarty

There is just less than one week left to enter Spa GAA’s fundraising raffle.

The ‘Cairde Spa’ draw takes place on Thursday night (February 2) the Spa’s clubhouse at 7pm.

Funds raised will go towards the upgrade and development works planned over the next few years.

Guest of honour on the night is national GAA president Larry McCarthy and the Sam Maguire Cup will make an appearance too.

“Apart from ongoing and essential maintenance work, the club has a number of development projects in the pipeline. The money is being raised towards improving our grounds to provide top class facilities that can be used year-round, including car parking, perimeter fencing for pitches, ladies and juveniles dressing rooms, outdoor skills wall, player dug outs for senior and juvenile pitches, safety enhancements and lighting on the walking track, landscaping, scoreboard, viewing gallery to the sports hall, alignment of entrance to the grounds and a remembrance garden,” said Michael Cronin, Club Chairman.

“We are calling on everyone to get behind the fundraiser. Our vision is to provide top class grounds and facilities where everyone is welcome to use and participate fully in our activities, games and culture. In order to achieve this vision, we are setting out exciting new developments and investments in our facilities – and we need your support.”

There are 10 prizes up for grabs: 1st Prize: €15,000, 2nd Prize: €3,000, 3rd Prize: €2,000, 4th Prize: €1,000, 5th Prize: Two nights dinner and B&B at the Killarney Park Hotel, 6th Prize: €500 Voucher for Killarney Carpets & Furniture, 7th Prize: €300 Voucher for O’Sullivan’s Cycles, 8th Prize: €250 Voucher for Killarney Oils, 9th Prize: €150 Voucher for Killarney Hardware and 10th Prize: A signed Kerry jersey.

Tickets are €100 each and can be collected/returned at the clubhouse this Saturday (10.30am-12noon), Monday (7-8pm) or Wednesday (7-8pm), and tickets are also available online on

Any queries contact Andy (087 2236754), Michael (085 8213027), Assumpta (087 6779292) or Deirdre (085 1216359) or any Club Officers.


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Marian Players excited to get back on stage

By Michelle Crean With a cast of over 50 it’s no small undertaking – but that won’t deter one panto group who are only too happy to get back on […]




By Michelle Crean

With a cast of over 50 it’s no small undertaking – but that won’t deter one panto group who are only too happy to get back on stage this weekend.

It’s been two years since they staged a show due to COVID but the Marian Players Rathmore are rearing to go tomorrow night (Saturday) with their hilarious show ‘Dame Annie Goes West’.

A medley of comedy and colour, combined with music and dance, locals from both sides of the border have been working together to make it a great production.

“We’re very excited, we can’t wait! It’s great to be back,” Mary Hickey told the Killarney Advertiser.

“They [the cast] got together in October and they’re at it since.”

Val Moynihan is the “genius behind it”, she added, and it’s produced by her son Brian Hickey, and co-written with Eilish Coakley.

She said that they have loads working in the background also doing the stage curtains, lighting and making costumes amongst other tasks.

“It’s a pantomime without the pantomime in the background! It’s a whole community effort both sides of the border.”

Evening shows start at 7.30pm tomorrow (Saturday) and again Sunday (January 29) at 3pm.

Mid-week shows continue on Wednesday next (February 1) at 7.30pm, Thursday (February 2) at 7.30pm and also Saturday (February 4) at 7.30pm and Sunday (February 5) at 3pm.

The booking office (085 2031730) will be open every day from 2pm to 6pm to reserve seats and collect tickets and is located adjacent to the community centre, next to Christy’s Take Away.

Seats may be reserved over the phone too and paid for using a bank card. All proceeds are going to Kerry Parents & Friends Association.

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