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Range of free activities for Kerry Mental Health and Well-being Fest

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'My Mental Health Matters' is the theme for the upcoming Kerry Mental Health and Well-being Fest which will feature a wide range of in-person and online activities to suit all ages.

The key focus of the festival from October 8 to 15 is to promote mental health and well-being in Kerry through a fun and interactive programme of events throughout the county.

Well known Irish sports and entertainment personalities have joined many local voices – young and old – to share a video message outlining how their mental health matters to them.

“Whether I’m on tour, chilling in my dressing room, or if I’m doing my grocery shopping in the supermarket, my mental health matters,” Boyzone singer and actor, Keith Duffy, said.

Magician Keith Barry, Killarney Paralympian Jordan Lee, Otto the Clown from Fossetts Circus, All-Ireland winning captain, Sean O’Shea and many other Kerry people, have also shared similar mental health messages.

Organised by an interagency steering group, the Kerry Mental Health and Well-being Fest is held annually to highlight World Mental Health Day on October 10.

“The key message from this year’s fest is that we all need to remember that whatever we do and wherever we are – regardless of gender, age or employment status – our mental health matters," Chair of the Steering Committee and Resource Officer for Suicide Prevention in Kerry, Donagh Hennebry, said.

"The emphasis on community and the role that we can all play in ensuring our own mental health, and that of our friends and family, is strong. More events are in-person this year which will help us to connect with others more than was possible during COVID. We are grateful to the many people who have put their names forward to host a range of fun and interactive events that will promote mental health and well-being in Kerry.”

The Kerry Mental Health and Well-being Fest, which is celebrating five years, aims to create awareness of, and schedule events that empower people to engage with the Five Ways to Well-being – Connect | Give | Take Notice | Keep Learning | Be Active.

There’s still time for sports clubs, organisations, workplace or community groups to host an event. All events are free, registration is essential and can be done by visiting www.kerrymentalhealthandwellbeingfest.com or following on social media.

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Faulty Towers meets Love Island in new romantic novel

By Michelle Crean The pandemic may have delayed it from hitting the bookshelves sooner – but local author Breda Joy’s latest work has now hit the bookshops. ‘Under a Skellig […]

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By Michelle Crean

The pandemic may have delayed it from hitting the bookshelves sooner – but local author Breda Joy’s latest work has now hit the bookshops.

‘Under a Skellig Sky’ is a combination of Love Island and Fawlty Towers together in this new romantic novel with a bite!

The Skellig islands off the coast of Kerry are the backdrop to the page turner that doles out quick fire laughs as well as confronting issues such as rural crime and depopulation.

Nomadic Carol O’Connell’s return to Glenosheen overlooking the famed craggy Skelligs turns into one more in a series of half-baked decisions that pass for her life.

An experiment with Airbnb in her mother’s old farm guesthouse on the ‘Wet Atlantic Way’, a disastrous re-union with an ex and the rescue of a troubled friend set her tumbling through the year.

Through the sultry heat wave of 2018, she searches for peace to recover from a broken relationship but her sleepy valley homeplace has woken up to Star Wars fever and mass tourism.

But a trip to the stunning Skellig Michael with a mystery guest called Oliver turns the tide in the love stakes for Carol.

“I wrote ‘Under a Skellig Sky’ during the heat wave of 2018 and set it in that summer, drawing directly from the weather conditions as I wrote,” Breda, who is an award winning author and local journalist said.

“As part of my research, I took a boat trip to the Skellig on a day when the sea was like a billiard table and the sky was a sapphire blue. I had been on the island previously, but it was my first time visiting when the puffins were in residence, and it was wonderful to see them. That idyllic day informed my descriptions of the island and sets the background to the visit of my two main characters there.

“When I planned the novel, I set out to write a romantic comedy to provide readers with an escape chute to an imaginary world – similar to the escapism of Love Island,” she said. “I wanted to write a kind of Kerry-based ‘Fawlty Towers’. Humour is very much at the heart of both my fiction and journalism. When I want to get a serious message across, humour is my lure to reel the reader in.

“Having my novels published is a dream-come-true,” Breda said. “It’s such a privilege to be included among the ranks of published Irish writers. Chief among the essential advice I’d give an aspiring writer is not to be isolationist as I have been with the crucial exception of joining a small writing group in Killarney 15 years ago. The support and the constructive criticism of the members advanced me hugely on my writing journey.”

‘Under a Skellig Sky’ was first launched as an eBook on Amazon during the pandemic but is now available in Eason and O’Connor’s Newsagent in Killarney as well as all good book shops.

Breda’s previous non-fiction books include ‘Hidden Kerry, The Keys to the Kingdom’ and ‘The Wit & Wisdom of Kerry’ with Mercier Press Cork. She published ‘Brian Crowley, Against the Odds’, a Biography with Brandon Press in 1996. Her second novel was ‘Eat the Moon’ and she is currently researching her third.

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Camera Club ready to celebrate its 21st anniversary

Killarney Camera Club is ready for the new season and as well as celebrating their 21st birthday – they’re also looking for new members. Next Thursday night they will be […]

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Killarney Camera Club is ready for the new season and as well as celebrating their 21st birthday – they’re also looking for new members.

Next Thursday night they will be holding an Open Night at 7.30pm in the Plaza Suite at The Brehon Hotel.

The club meets every other Thursday at 7.30pm and is open to everyone with an interest in photography, including a junior membership category for 16 to 17-year-olds.

“Whether you’re a complete beginner, or you already know your way around a camera, everyone is welcome,” Deirdre Donohue from the club said.

The club activities include speaker nights, outings, project nights and competitions. At part of the club’s 21st celebrations they will be mounting an exhibition at Killarney House in late October.

“As well as a warm welcome, including tea and biscuits, the Open Night will feature a presentation, by professional photographer Micheál O’Sullivan, of his wonderful landscapes, so come along for a lovely evening of chat and photography!”

If you have any queries, you can contact the club secretary via email at secretary@killarneycameraclub.ie.

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