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Public invited to inaugural ‘Call of the Wild’ events

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By Michelle Crean   

It's not often members of the public get a safe close up look at the native Red deer - but soon they can with two days of events at Killarney National Park. 

AUTUMN WATCH: Autumn is considered the highlight of the Killarney National Park nature calendar. Pictured are: Danny O’Keeffe (2nd left) District Conservation Officer NPWS. Also included are Conservation Rangers Sam Bayley (1st left) Padrúig O'Sullivan and Sean Forde. Photo: Valerie O'Sullivan

This year marks the inaugural ‘Call of the Wild’ autumn gathering - the highlight of the Killarney National Park nature calendar - and it takes place on Saturday and Sunday October 15 and 16.

The programme will be presented by the Conservation Rangers of National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS), led by Danny O’Keeffe, District Conservation Officer.

Killarney National Park was the first National Park in Ireland, it encompasses 10,000 hectares of diverse ecology, ancient oak and yew woodlands - the most extensive covering of native forest of international importance, the famous Lakes of Killarney, the monastic 6th century Innisfallen Island, Muckross House and Killarney House and Gardens. There the renowned native Irish Red deer - the largest and only native species with a continuous presence in Ireland since the end of the last Ice Age (c.10,000 BC) - live.

Paudie O’Leary was the Head Conservation Ranger at Killarney National Park, and sadly passed away unexpectedly in August 2012. This year to honour Paudie’s memory, Divisional Manager Killarney National Park, Eamonn Meskell, will deliver the inaugural Paudie O’Leary lecture at Killarney House Auditorium on Saturday October 15 at 3pm.

Other events include Autumn Dawn Watch, Photographic Workshops, Children's Autumn Watch with Killarney National Park Education Centre based at Knockreer House, Autumn Night Watch, and an informal discussion of the work of NPWS Conservation Rangers chaired by Chief Executive Kerry County Council, Moira Murrell.

Programme

Saturday October 15

7.30am: Autumn Dawn Watch Gathering takes place. National Park and Wildlife Service (NPWS) local Conservation Rangers meet at Knockreer Gates (opposite St Mary’s Cathedral) walking tour observing native Irish deer, flora and fauna during the autumn season.

Early morning self guide photographic opportunities within Killarney Demesne - observing and photographing the annual rutting season from a safe distance on designated paths.

10am: Autumn Photographic Workshop with photographer Micheál O’Sullivan at Ross Castle. For bookings: info@killarneyphototours.ie/mobile 087 6290556.

10am - 2pm: Children Autumn Watch: Killarney National Park Education Centre, Knockreer House, Scavenger hunts, beginners bushcraft, nature games and a look at the mammals of Killarney National Park.
3pm: The inaugural Paudie O’Leary lecture: Killarney House and Gardens Auditorium delivered by Divisional Manager NPWS Killarney National Park: Eamonn Meskell: Bookings: Reception 01 539 3620.
7.30pm: Autumn Night Watch: Killarney National Park (NPWS) Conservation Rangers to meet at Knockreer gates (opposite St Mary’s Cathedral) bring a head torch/suitable clothing.

Sunday October 16

7.30am: Autumn Dawn Watch Gathering: National Park and Wildlife Service (NPWS) local Conservation Rangers. Meeting at Knockreer Gates (opposite St Mary’s Cathedral) - walking tour observing native Irish deer, flora and fauna during the autumn season.

Early morning self guide photographic opportunities within Killarney Demesne - observing and photographing the annual rutting season from a safe distance on designated paths.

10am: Autumn Photographic Workshop with photographer Micheál O’Sullivan meet at Ross Castle. Bookings: info@killarneyphototours.ie/mobile 087 6290556.

2pm: Autumn Watch Scattering: Muckross School House: informal discussion with NPWS Conservation Rangers on their work in Killarney National Park - chaired by Chief Executive Kerry County Council, Moira Murrell.

For further information and updates: www.facebook.com/killarneynationalpark.

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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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