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Raising of the fairies by Danny Healy-Rae has got the nation talking

THE first book I ever read was called “Miss Pennyfeather and the Pooka”. It was written by Eileen O Faolain and published around 1944. I was very sick and very young and my great-aunt Frances – from The Concrete as it used be known – a very correctly-spoken, very straight-backed and very English lady cycled back to Fossa with the red clothbound book for me. I still have it. I still read it. My first attempts to write my address – a lios in Fossa- are on its pages.

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THE first book I ever read was called “Miss Pennyfeather and the Pooka”. It was written by Eileen O Faolain and published around 1944. I was very sick and very young and my great-aunt Frances – from The Concrete as it used be known – a very correctly-spoken, very straight-backed and very English lady cycled back to Fossa with the red clothbound book for me. I still have it. I still read it. My first attempts to write my address – a lios in Fossa- are on its pages.

It is a story about a fairy horse called Mikey Joe set in Blarney. And it is wonderful.

The point about all this? The raising of the fairies by Danny Healy-Rae has got the nation talking about fairies. In 2007 I covered the meeting when he first hinted that what was happening on that section of the N22 then a new road might not be all it seemed.

His further comments this week that he would “starve” rather than interfere with a fairy fort or a lios excited much reaction – a lot of it a grudging understanding from people who would prefer to forget their rural origins.

Does the TD “believe” in fairies, the news editor in the Irish Times asked me? Fairy lore is no theology, I thought to myself, and Danny is no theologian. But when I asked him he hit the nail on the head without ever having to consult Thomas Aquinas: it is what the people think and it is a shared view and he shares the view. These are sacred places.

There is much that we don’t know and they were linked to the people who were there before us.

This is an ancient land. It has been Christianised and an additional sacral landscape created that until very recently co-existed quite happily with the older one – churchyards and graveyards, and places called seantóirs lived alongside lioses. Ground that shouldn’t be disturbed and until recently was not. Trees that should not be cut.

The shared view of the sacred has helped preserve the country’s archaeology and has helped define us as a people, until recently at least when Mammon has flattened all before it, building walls in our minds.

Ultimately, Danny is right about the luck thing – whether it is the fairies coming after you or if it is a sign of arrogance – but disturbing the old places brings nothing good.

The Irish fairy is a peculiar creature. The “good people” is only to plamás them, I suspect, and being little makes them no less powerful. In fact, they seem more malevolent for being small. If you disturb them, they’ll be turning butter and changing children and maybe even the steering wheel on certain places on the N22. Let them be and they are fine, but rattle them and you will never hear the end of it!

Every nation has its ideas about sprites and fairies, from the ancient Greeks to the Vikings. Shakespeare not only delighted in them in Midsummer Night’s Dream, but retained the idea in his more serious work. “There are more things in Heaven and on Earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy,” as Hamlet puts it. What else is Star Wars only a fairy story with machines?

It is not a lack of sophistication or backwardness, or lack of education that we retain a notion about our fairies – only that we have preserved it longer. It should be a mark of pride in this age that believes in colour therapy, touching healing stones, remedies in sniffing and in chanting eastern mantras!

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Laura’s new look for Leaving Cert

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NEW LOOK: Laura Cronin, who is currently sitting her Leaving Cert, cut 14 inches off her hair for The Rapunzel Foundation.

By Michelle Crean

Rathmore’s Laura Cronin headed into her Leaving Cert exams this week with a whole new look after transforming her hairstyle for charity.

Laura, daughter of Una and Donal from Rathbeg, cut 14 inches off her hair for The Rapunzel Foundation.

As her long locks didn’t get cut over the last year Laura decided to get a good chop in Katelynn’s Hair Design in Rathmore instead, and use the left over hair to create wigs for sick children.

“I thought, rather than trim it I’d cut a lot off,” Laura, who hopes to study pharmacy in college, told the Killarney Advertiser. “I wanted to cut off a lot of it, I was sick of long hair. I said that if there’d be enough I’d donate it as it’d be a shame to see it on the floor.”

Laura said that hopefully it can make a child happy if it allows them to receive a specially made wig for their First Holy Communion, or a similar occasion.

“I’d encourage anyone who has long hair to think about what they could do with it.”

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€1m upgrade for Killarney store

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INVESTMENT: DV8 have invested €1m to update their store in the Killarney Outlet Centre. Pictured at the reopening were staff members: Clodagh McCarthy (Store Manager), Lorraine McGough (Assistant Manager), Anuka Altanson and Sarah Murphy. Photo: Don MacMonagle

A popular Killarney fashion shop, which reopened last week, securing up to 15 jobs, has had a facelift after a €1 million investment.

Leading fashion retailer DV8, which has a network of over 50 stores across Ireland, reopened its 4,000 square feet store in the Killarney Outlet Centre.

And customers admired the new look.

DV8 sells over 40 top fashion clothing brands as well as footwear and accessories in its stores and online at www.dv8fashion.com. The hip fashion house is well-known for its uber cool shop interiors and has dedicated customers across Ireland and the UK.

“We are delighted to be reopening our new store in Killarney and confident it will compliment the existing retail offering in the town, with DV8’s unique range of male and female clothing and footwear,” David Scott from DV8 said.

“We think local shoppers will enjoy the DV8 experience, including the top fashion brands and excellent customer service.”

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Kodaline to play stripped down Killarney gig

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By Michelle Crean

One of Ireland’s best known bands – who have had their recently released studio album streamed more than 60 million times – as well as reached 100 million YouTube views – are set to come to Killarney.

Kodaline will play their first ever stripped down fully acoustic tour on December 4 in the Gleneagle INEC Arena, which is part of a nationwide tour across the country.

Tickets went on sale yesterday (Friday) from the www.inec.ie.

‘One Day At A Time’ is the band’s fourth album, and adds a new chapter to a career that has already encompassed three number 1 albums in Ireland, two Top 5 albums in the UK, and more than a billion streams at Spotify. Kodaline approached the album with a streamlined process that took them back to their roots. The majority of the sessions revolved around the four band members alone in their modest recording space in Dublin, with bassist Jason Boland leading the production side of things.

CAREER

In 2019, Kodaline played some of the biggest shows of their career. At home in Dublin they sold-out two huge outdoor shows at St Anne’s Park, while a 10-date UK tour culminated with a packed show at London’s historic Roundhouse. Further afield, they hit festivals including Lollapalooza, Benicàssim and Open’er before becoming the first Irish band to headline the massive NH7 Weekender in Pune, India. Their extensive touring throughout Asia also included a headline set at Monsoon Music Festival in Vietnam plus dates in China, Japan, South Korea, The Phillippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Taiwan and Singapore.

“We’re excited to do our first ever stripped down fully acoustic tour, it’s something we’ve wanted to do for a long time and something that’s gonna be very special for us. Hope to see you guys there,” the band said.

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