Proinsias says farewell to Gaelscoil after 33 years
By Michelle Crean
For over three decades one face has been constant at Gaelscoil Faithleann but today (Friday) it all changes as the school's first and only Principal to date says a fond farewell.
It's a day full of mixed emotions for Proinsias Mac Curtain who was appointed the school's Principal on September 1, 1989.
Today, the school's 245 children and staff will host a number of events at the school for him which are sure to stir a few emotions.
It follows a special Mass on Innisfallen Island on Saturday morning as 150 children, staff members, parents council and Board of Management members boarded a boat for the occasion. And the location was apt as the school is called after the island, Proinsias explained to the Killarney Advertiser.
"It was lovely, it was meaningful as the school is called after Innisfallen Island. I've been blessed with the school community down through the years. It was a pleasure to work with school staff and parents, Boards of Management - but the most important is the children. I'm proud of them and their achievements. They are great children and I'll miss them."
He said the school will be in great hands as Lisa Ni Iarlaithe, who has been at the school since 1991, takes over as Principal.
He also praised the hardworking staff.
"I'll miss it but I'm comfortable to step back as the school is in excellent hands."
Proinsias is originally from Tournafulla Co Limerick. He began his career as a teacher in Scoil Iognáid in the centre of Galway city, the largest Gaelscoil in the country at the time.
Shortly before he died his father Jerry, who loved to holiday for a few days a year in Killarney, had heard of a new school opening here and phoned Proinsias to tell him. The rest they say is history.
He says his love of Irish language was inspired by Tournafulla Primary School Principal Liam O Loineacháin and in St Ita's College Abbeyfeale by Jim Tierney and the late Johnny Nelligan.
And although three decades is a long time, Proinsias says it flew by and that he has seen many changes over the years. The first is seeing the children of former pupils coming to school. The second is the advancement of technology - some good and some not so good!
"The biggest change was the growth of technology, the changeover to the whiteboard and the use of devices which makes it challenging for parents. It's wonderful you can access so much, but there are advantages and disadvantages."
He added a huge thanks to his wife Karen who supported him down through the years when he was out late at meetings, adding that she was "very patient".
He also thanked Sean O Luanaigh.
"He has been my chairperson since the start and has been such a tremendous support, help and guidance down through the years."
In retirement he plans to spend more time with his family including his three children Ruadhán, Meadhbh and Cormac.
He also plans to get more involved in Beaufort Tidy Towns as well as the Annals of Innisfallen project.
"It's always been an interest of mine. I also plan to relax for a few weeks, make more time for family, and I look forward to playing more trad music, bee keeping, gardening and travel."
Fire warning in National Park
The National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) at the Department of Housing, Local Government and Housing has appealed to the public not to light fires or barbecues in public places […]
The National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) at the Department of Housing, Local Government and Housing has appealed to the public not to light fires or barbecues in public places this summer.
As they appeal to the public to exercise renewed care and responsibility when outdoors the National Parks and Wildlife Service has increased ground crews on fire patrol and has ramped up aerial monitoring with helicopters and drones.
Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage Darragh O’Brien TD said:
“If you notice a fire, please call the emergency services on 112 immediately. NPWS teams are upping their patrols to identify potential fire incidents and act quickly should one break out. However as we know, prevention is better than cure, and we’re asking all members of the public to avoid lighting fires in open areas.”
Minister of State for Heritage and Electoral Reform Malcolm Noonan TD commented further:
“Our National Parks and Nature Reserves, coastal sand dunes, mountains and upland areas, forests, meadows and urban parks are all places where we enjoy spending time in nature, but they are also home to our precious wildlife and their vulnerable young. This is a really important time of year for wildlife, especially vulnerable ground-nesting birds and mammals who are now rearing their young. We all want to get out and enjoy the good weather but let’s do it responsibly – without putting nature at risk.”
The Director General of the NPWS, Niall O Donnchú, has also asked for everybody’s cooperation to protect nature and said:
“While NPWS has increased ground crews and monitoring from the air this week, we still need to enlist your help to protect nature at this high risk time. We ask that members of the public not light fires or barbecues in any National Parks or Nature Reserves, or indeed in nature generally. We are also asking that the public be vigilant and report any fire activity without delay.”
Killarney Looking Good Competition returns
Over three decades after it was first initiated, to help improve the aesthetic values of the town, the Killarney Looking Good Competition is back with a vengeance with a new […]
Over three decades after it was first initiated, to help improve the aesthetic values of the town, the Killarney Looking Good Competition is back with a vengeance with a new committee, new categories, new sponsors and a whole new approach.
When the project was first launched in 1991 it was a relatively low-key community event but it grew in importance with each passing year, culminating in some style when Killarney won the prestigious overall award in the national tidy towns competition in 2011.
After an enforced three-year absence since 2019, due to the pandemic, the competition has now been given a whole new lease of life and the 2023 version was officially launched this week by Mayor of Killarney, Cllr Niall Kelleher.
Awards will be presented in 26 different categories and high achievers in the business and residential community will be honoured at a gala prizegiving ceremony at the close of the tourist season.
This year two new categories are being introduced in memory of two remarkable people who played massive roles in keeping Killarney looking its best down through the years.
Yvonne Quill, who passed away last October, was the driving force behind the Killarney tidy towns campaign for several years and she was at the helm when the sought-after overall award was secured 12 years ago.
This year the Yvonne Quill Memorial Award will be presented to the volunteer of the year – a person who the adjudicators consider to be a standout contributor – in the overall effort to keep Killarney tidy.
Up to the time of his death in January 2020, Fr Michael Murphy was the public face of tidy towns and he played a huge part in Killarney, Kenmare and Sneem winning the overall national award in 2011, 2000 and 1987 respectively. Affectionately known as Fr Tidy, this year the Killarney Looking Good Competition will honour his memory with a special Pride of Place award.
In the business community, there will be awards for the best large and small commercial premises, best newly painted premises, best signage and the best retail award with prizes also for the most impressive hotel, public house, restaurant, café, guesthouse and best public building as well as the most improved premises.
In the residential categories awards will go to the best large and small estates, best private residence, best roadside garden, best floral display and best friendly planting award.
Other categories include a green hospitality award, a corporate special responsibility award, a restoration award, best school and a special biodiversity award.
Several highly commended awards will also be up for grabs and the winner of the prestigious overall award will be announced at the prizegiving ceremony.
The Killarney Looking Good Competition is organised by Killarney Chamber of Tourism and Commerce and Killarney Municipal District Council and the new committee comprises Sandra Dunlea – a daughter of the late Yvonne Quill – Kathleen Foley, John O’Mahony and Johnny McGuire who is spearheading the project.
MD O’Shea & Sons are the new overall sponsors of the competition and O’Mahony Media Ltd is the media sponsor.
The competition will run throughout the tourist season and businesses and residential areas will be monitored on an ongoing basis.
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