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Search is on for Killarney Community Rose

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The Rose of Tralee International Festival is coming to town in search of its first ever Killarney Community Rose!

The team at the Festival have unveiled their new plan to host Community Rose selections in towns and villages across Ireland this year with 'Rose of Tralee Communities' - in search of a Community Rose to represent your locality and who will go forward to compete at the county rose selection.

Towns and villages across the country will host their own selection nights to pick a local Rose - and Rose Escort - to go forward to their respective counties' selection events, in this case - the Kerry Rose Selection!

The winner will hold the title of Killarney Community Rose for one year, representing their community and go forward to the County Rose selection later in the year.

Killarney has the honour of hosting the very first Community Rose event in the Kingdom - which will take place on Saturday, January 28 at the Heights Hotel in Killarney.

The person chosen will go forward to the County Selection event and potentially represent their county at the International Festival from the August 19 to 23..

Community Rose entrants must be female or identify as female, available for Rose Selection events and be 18 years of age by January 1, 2023 and not have reached their 30th birthday on or prior to September 1, 2023. Applicants must be born in Ireland, be an Irish citizen or be of Irish origin by virtue of one of your ancestors having been born in Ireland. They must also not have previously represented any Rose Centre at the Festival.

Eligible young men between the ages of 21 and 31 are also asked to get involved with the voted winner going forward as a Rose Escort to the Kerry Rose Selection and guaranteed an interview for Rose Escort Bootcamp.

“We want to put community at the heart of the Rose Festival. Our Festival connects the global Irish diaspora, and this is a fantastic opportunity to extend that reach to include communities across Ireland in that celebration,” Festival CEO, Anthony O'Gara, said.

Those wishing to apply to become a Community Rose or Rose Escort may do so on www.roseoftraleecommunities.com.

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Valuable role of Kerry cancer support charity recognised nationally

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Cancer support charity Recovery Haven Kerry has been recognised for its vital role in supporting cancer patients and their families at a national ceremony in Dublin.

The renowned cancer support house was one of 16 such centres across Ireland that were presented with plaques to acknowledge their full membership of the National Cancer Control Programme (NCCP) Alliance – a group made up of voluntary and charity organisations delivering support services directly to cancer patients and their families. An additional 10 associate member charities were also honoured, including Kerry Cancer Support Group.

The Alliance advocates for, and supports, the development of integrated pathways between the cancer centres, acute hospitals, community cancer support services and primary care services. All members’ development is in line with the values of Sláintecare, seeking to provide assurance to healthcare professionals that these organisations are working to an agreed standard as set out in Best Practice Guidance published by the NCCP. 

Speaking after the ceremony, which was held at Dublin’s Farmleigh Estate, Recovery Haven Kerry Chairman, Tim McSwiney, explained that being compliant with the Best Practice Guidance for Community Cancer Support Centres is a true mark of quality. 

“It offers us a yardstick to measure what we are doing against the standards required. As a result, healthcare professionals have more confidence in referring people to our services. We are very proud to be a member of the Alliance,” he said.

Recovery Haven Kerry was represented at the event by centre manager, Gemma Fort and Client Services Co-Ordinator, Siobhan MacSweeney and were presented with their plaque by NCCP Lead for Cancer Survivorship, Louise Mullen, Clinical Lead for Psycho-Oncology Dr Helen Greally, and Minister of State at the Department of Health, Colm Burke. 

The event was also used as an opportunity to announce funding of €3m for the NCCP’s Alliance of Community Cancer Support Centres and Services through Budget 2024. The NCCP is currently in the process of distributing these funds which will directly and positively impact the delivery of services for patients and families nationally.

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‘More Precious Than Gold’ book launch

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At the official book launch of ‘More Precious Than Gold: My enduring connection with John McShain – the man who built Washington’ by Alice O’Neill-McLoughlin at Killarney House, was Minister of State for Nature, Heritage and Electoral Reform, Malcolm Noonan, T.D.

Alice was born the eldest of eleven children into an Irish farming family in Rosbercon, New Ross, County Wexford. In 1978, she was awarded a scholarship from John McShain- the iconic builder, philanthropist, devout Catholic with Derry ancestry, responsible for many famous American landmarks, including the Jefferson Memorial and the Pentagon.

Her book records the lifelong personal correspondence Alice exchanged with ‘The Man Who Built Washington.’ His philanthropy extended to the Irish people in the bequeathing to the State of Killarney House and the surrounding thousands of acres incorporating the Lakes, Ross Castle, and Innisfallen Island. In 2019, Alice had the honour of inducting John McShain into the Irish America Hall of Fame in her home town of New Ross in the presence of his relatives from Philadelphia and Derry. This is a tale of altruism, of gratitude, of faith and of a life lived in the pursuit of excellence.

Alice also donated her treasured correspondence of letters from John McShain for the archive at Killarney House. Also in attendance were Members of the Ignatius A. O’Shaughnessy family, who was founder of The Globe Oil and Refining Company – and part of a consortium of wealthy American businessmen who were going to purchase the lakes of Killarney as a Country Club in the 1950’s.

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