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Relief as Anastasiya arrives safely from Kyiv to Kerry

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"Nobody expected it to happen - I know I'm physically safe but mentally it's not easy"

By Michelle Crean

The horrors of war on her doorstep forced one Ukrainian woman to immediately flee her beloved country to the safety of Kerry this week.

There was huge relief on Wednesday when Anastasiya Ostrovska (24) - who lived on the 25th floor of a Kyiv apartment - landed safely in Dublin - after days of travel through her country, across the Moldovan border and out through Romania.

Anastasiya, her mother Natalya Ostrovska, and Natalya Maxymenko who works in Tesco Deerpark, were very emotional when they spoke to the Killarney Advertiser yesterday (Thursday) about the atrocities in their home country over the past eight days after Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered millions of Russian troops to invade Ukraine.

Since then thousands have died - including children - as the Ukrainian people continue to fight for their freedom. Millions have fled into neighbouring Poland and other the countries to get to safety.

"It was definitely a shock for everybody - it was a regular day last Wednesday, I had a coffee with friends and I said I'd meet them on Saturday," Anastasiya told the Killarney Advertiser. "I went home and woke up to war. Something was happening [in the weeks beforehand] but nobody expected it [war] to happen."

Anastasiya explained that the day the war broke out last Thursday everyone remained calm at first but began making practical plans to leave.

"It wasn't chaos, all the people were trying to be calm, getting money and medications from the pharmacy and fresh water just in case, some people were trying to find a safe place. I thought I'd just escape Kyiv and go to my small town Vinetsa. I got there, but it took a long time. There were queues of people walking with bags. I wasn't scared as [at that time] the shooting was on the military bases - but I was always on alert."

Anastasiya made her way to the Moldovan border onto Romania where she met her emotional parents who travelled from Kerry to meet her. From there they flew to Dublin and onto Kerry.

"I know I'm physically safe but mentally it's not easy. I have friends over there."

The three women said that they are all very grateful for all the support not only worldwide but from the people of Kerry and Ireland.

"We are very grateful and amazed with the support and the whole world on our side. I thought we'd be by ourselves. Everybody is doing everything they can."

Speaking about Putin, Anastasiya said that "all the world knows he's a crazy mad man".

Natalya Maxymenko works in Tesco Deerpark is worried everyday for the safety of her 73-year-old mother.

"She's 100kms from Russian soldiers. She doesn't want to leave her home. All of us hope it will be over soon."

She added that she's also very grateful to her colleagues and the public who are generously dropping donations into her workplace.

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Wine, art and lots of catching up at popular fundraiser

By Michelle Crean Spirits were high and the atmosphere electric at this year’s Wine & Art Night which had a huge attendance on Wednesday night. Over 50 exhibitors gathered in […]

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By Michelle Crean

Spirits were high and the atmosphere electric at this year’s Wine & Art Night which had a huge attendance on Wednesday night.

Over 50 exhibitors gathered in the Great Southern Killarney as the Killarney Rotary Club’s fundraising event – which is one of the biggest in the town each year – was back after a COVID break.

During the afternoon the artists and crafters, many who travelled from all over Kerry, Clare, Cork and even Waterford this year, organised their display for the event. Later that evening there were a lot of familiar faces but also some new people who absolutely loved the evening.

There were many wines available to taste as well as cheese and breads at the event which is run in conjunction with Daly’s SuperValu, Killarney and Killarney Brewing Company.

“There was a huge attendance and everybody was in good spirits to be back to normal,” President of Rotary, Rayla Tadjimatova, said.

“Many of the patrons were buying some art as Christmas presents and the members of Rotary were delighted to be kept busy packing these. A portion of all art sales goes to the fundraiser. One local young man, who is only 16, exhibited his beautiful photographs of local scenic areas. There was an auction of donated works of art and a Kerry Jersey. All one hundred percent of the proceeds from this auction goes to the fundraiser.”

Mike Neeson entertained the crowd on arrival and right until the end of the night.

“Mike is a great supporter of our events and we would like to thank him for keeping everybody entertained.”

The Irish Pilgrimage Trust ran the raffle and they had some wonderful hampers and gifts to be won.

Beneficiaries from this year’s event are: Coolick NS, Gaelscoil Faithleann NS, Knockanes NS, Holy Cross Mercy NS, St Francis Special School, Kerry Stars, Killarney Athletic AFC, and Killarney Cougars Basketball Club.

She thanked everybody for attending and everyone for their help organising the event.

Some, she added, had never been before and said they did not know what exactly the night involved but will definitely be back again next time as it was “so enjoyable”.

“We hope the money raised will help the beneficiaries to proceed with projects,” she said.

“We are delighted for Rotary to be able to help these charities, community groups and schools through our fundraising event.”

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Comedy drama ready for the stage

By Michelle Crean Get out your diary and book in these December dates as Dochas Drama Group is ready to take to the stage. What does a hypochondriac, a grumpy […]

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By Michelle Crean

Get out your diary and book in these December dates as Dochas Drama Group is ready to take to the stage.

What does a hypochondriac, a grumpy father and a confused visitor to the dentist, all have in common? You’ll have to come along to the Killarney Avenue Hotel on Monday, December 12, Tuesday 13 and Wednesday 14 at 8pm to find out.

The popular drama group will present their three new comedies featuring the work of playwrights Brian Bowler, Ger Madden and Mary Quirke.Come along for a night filled with fun and laughter. Just the right beginning to the festive season. Doors open at 7.15pm and tickets are available at the door. All tickets; adults, seniors, students and children are €10. Don’t miss a great night out.

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