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Presidential salute for Margaret

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A WOMAN who once thought she was too old to return to learning has been honoured by none other than the President of Ireland.

Killarney’s Margaret Scully was a special guest of President Michael D Higgins at Áras an Uachtaráin, and was there to represent Kerry people who have returned to learning to address the literacy skills they missed out on first time round at school.

The event coincided with National Literacy Week and the National Adult Literacy Agency’s First Step Campaign.

Margaret has been taking classes in reading, writing, math and technology with Kerry Education and Training Board (ETB) over the last seven years. Like many people, her learning journey started when her young boys went to school and needed help with their homework.

“I would make every excuse not to help them because I had nothing to draw from. I got six years of education. I started at 6 and finished at 12. That was my education,” said Margaret.

At the start she was worried she would not be able, or that people would laugh. “I was terrified. But I thought I have to do something. In the long run you have to take that first step and do it for yourself,” she said.

Since starting literacy and adult basic education classes with Kerry ETB, not only has her literacy developed, but she has done other things with her new found confidence and skills, including taking up community roles, such as being the South Kerry Coordinator for the Team Hope Project that organises shoe boxes as presents for disadvantaged children at Christmas time.

She has also trained as a NALA Literacy Ambassador, to go out and give talks to others about her experience. “Meeting the President of Ireland representing Kerry adult learners was a great honour,” she said.

"My motto is to encourage others. It is not like going back to school. There are no teachers. No one will talk down to you. I stay away from those words– they have connotations for me. Now when you go back as an adult, it is your choice and your decision. You work with a tutor not a teacher alongside you. You are equals. They make you feel so welcome.”

Kerry ETB has eight Adult Literacy & Basic Education Centres spread around the county. Call 066-7193900 or go to www.kerryetb.ie for further information.

 


 
Above: Patron of the National Adult Literacy Agency President Michael D. Higgins congratulates Margaret Scully at a reception in Aras an Uachtarain to celebrate Literacy Awareness Week. Picture: Colm Mahady/Fennells

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30 years of Innisfallen Island MassThe annual special concelebrated Mass on Innisfallen Island takes place next week.

Next Friday (June 21), members of the public are invited to attend the Mass taking place at 6.30pm. Now in its 30th year, the Mass was originally an idea by […]

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Next Friday (June 21), members of the public are invited to attend the Mass taking place at 6.30pm.

Now in its 30th year, the Mass was originally an idea by Geoffrey O’Donoghue who sadly died four years after it began.

“There was an Augustinian Monastery on Innisfallen Island and the people, including priests and monks and they say Brian Boro, went out there to study. The lake, Lough Lein is called ‘The Lake of Learning’,” said his wife Mary who carries on the tradition in his memory.

“My husband Geoffrey was a descendent of the O’Donoghues and he wanted to have Mass on the island. The O’Donoghues built Ross Castle and owned the lands and the lake surrounding it which was later donated by John McShane to the people of Killarney. He [Geoffrey] asked one of the friars and one day he got a call from the OPW that there would be a plaque unveiled to John McShane and they asked if the Mass could coincide with it. It was attended by Sr Pauline, John McShane’s daughter.”

She added that all the public are welcome to attend. Boats, which will have a nominal fee to cover their costs, will be carrying passengers out from 4pm onwards.

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Photo of “hidden gem” wins Camera Club’s latest competition

A photograph of one of Killarney’s hidden beauty spots was deemed the winner of Killarney Camera Club’s most recent competition. Th standard was high throughout all categories but in the […]

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A photograph of one of Killarney’s hidden beauty spots was deemed the winner of Killarney Camera Club’s most recent competition.

Th standard was high throughout all categories but in the Novice category, Iryna Halaieva’s photograph of O’Sullivan’s Cascade was deemed the winner.

“A waterfall is my favourite waterbody and long exposure is my favourite photographic technique,” she said. “I do my best to have as many waterfalls as possible in my photo collection. I heard a lot about O’Sullivan’s Cascade and wanted to visit that hidden gem of Kerry. So, shortly before our club competition I went with a friend to Tomies Wood to photograph it. It was a dream come true for me.”

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