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Service dog Bosco is the Horgan family’s new best friend 

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When Shane and Deirdre Horgan suspected that their youngest son, Fionn, might be autistic, they put their name on a waiting list for a service dog. Two years later, My Canine Companion gave them Bosco, an exceptionally talented Goldendoodle who has quickly become a much-loved member of the family. Their new furry friend is getting on great with Fionn (6) and his older brother Brian (8) and Shane says Bosco has already made a big difference.

“Thankfully Fionn is mild on the spectrum but what we’ve noticed now is that whenever he’s crying or having a bit of a moment, Bosco will go over and sit down next to him. If we’re in town, Fionn might get a little over-sensitive to noise and things like that and he’ll start rubbing Bosco’s tail. It kind of distracts him from whatever’s going on.

“We were at the beach one day and Fionn decided to run off. The dog ran after him, and then came back up to tell me where he was. He didn’t leave Fionn’s side for the rest of the day after that. Our biggest fear for Fionn is that he might wander off for five seconds and he’s so quiet he wouldn’t answer if we called him. Hopefully when Bosco is fully trained we’ll be able to attach him to Fionn’s waist. If you commanded him to stay, he wouldn’t move and you could tell him to come and he wouldn’t run across the road or anything. It’s just a safety valve.

“Talking is difficult for Fionn so when somebody comes and asks if they can pet the dog, we get the person to speak to him. It’s a good icebreaker and there’s a bit of social interaction, which is beneficial for Fionn.”

As a service dog, Bosco has access rights to shops and restaurants and Shane says that places in town have been very welcoming so far.

It costs about €10,000 to train Bosco so the Horgans are currently selling raffle tickets to raise funds for My Canine Companion, the charity who have provided them with this life-changing service dog. As well as raising money, they’re also hoping to raise awareness about autism.

“Sometimes it’s not just a bold child,” Shane explains. “There can be a lot of things going on. Simple things like eating and sleeping are difficult for Fionn. People need to be aware that when a kid is having a bit of a moment in Penneys or Dunnes, it’s probably an accumulation of loads of things that the child is struggling with.”

Shane, a well-known local basketballer, says the fundraising has been going well. “Killarney people are brilliant,” he says. “They support everything.”

The draw will take place on June 16 and there are plenty of terrific prizes up for grabs. To buy a ticket, contact Shane directly on 086 3740220.

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Killarney girl has an important part to play in Rose Festival

By Michelle Crean A little Killarney girl has had her dreams come true after being selected as a Rose Bud in this year’s Rose of Tralee International Festival. Chloe Nott […]

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By Michelle Crean

A little Killarney girl has had her dreams come true after being selected as a Rose Bud in this year’s Rose of Tralee International Festival.

Chloe Nott (7) from Fossa was thrilled to find out that she has been paired with Arizona Rose Sophie Owen.

She’s now super excited as the Festival kicks off tonight (Friday) and is looking forward to being part of the big parades which attract thousands to the streets of Tralee tomorrow (Saturday) and again on Sunday.

“We found out about three weeks ago, she was picked from hundreds from all around the country,” Chloe’s mom Gemma told the Killarney Advertiser.

Last Saturday the Rose Buds came together for the first time in the Meadowlands Hotel in Tralee where they met the Kerry Rose Édaein O’Connell and received their sashes.

Tonight (Friday) they’ll enjoy a party in the Meadowlands and have a busy weekend meeting and greeting people when they take part in the Festival’s activities including a trip to the Kingdom Greyhound Stadium.

“I’m so excited to meet my Arizona Rose,” Chloe, who is going into Second Class in Fossa National School, said.

Gemma and her husband Eric and son Luke (9) went to Reidys in Killarney to tell Chloe the exciting news.

“My mom gave me a rose and told me I was a Rose Bud. After she told me I was bursting with excitement.”

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Killarney Races celebrates 200 years

Killarney Races celebrated 200 years of racing yesterday during the opening day of AugustFest, an exciting three-day summer horse-racing festival that will run until tomorrow (Saturday) inclusive. Kerry Senior Football Captain […]

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Killarney Races celebrated 200 years of racing yesterday during the opening day of AugustFest, an exciting three-day summer horse-racing festival that will run until tomorrow (Saturday) inclusive.

Kerry Senior Football Captain Sean O’Shea, with a host of fellow teammates and back-room staff, escorted Sam Maguire to the racecourse arriving by jaunting cart to take part in the bi-centenary celebrations.

Racegoers of all ages were thrilled to get up close with the Sam Maguire Cup and our fantastic Kerry football legends.

AugustFest at Killarney Races offers patrons great racing, history, socialising, entertainment and so much more at Ireland’s most scenic racecourse. A special bi-centenary admission package was available on the opening day offering patrons admission, a racecard and a €5 free bet all for €20 which went down a treat with punters. With many bringing their jerseys and cameras along to make the most of the double celebrations at the Kerry track.

The first race at Killarney Racecourse was recorded in 1822. In the early days, the meetings were supported by Lord Clanmorris and the Earl of Kenmare, the feature race being the Kenmare Stakes from 1826 to 1830. The current racing venue located at Ross Road held its first race meeting on 20 July 1936 and Ontario was the first ever winner at the track, winning the 1½ mile handicap hurdle, in the hands of jockey Willie O’ Grady.

During the August racing festival, a special commemorative marquee featuring a wonderful collection of memorabilia and photographs from the last 200 years is open to all in attendance for the duration of the festival.

“We celebrated a major milestone here at Killarney Races, two hundred years of racing in Killarney which is amazing,” Killarney Racecourse Chairman, Gerard Coughlan said.

“I would like to take this opportunity to encourage all locals and visitors to Killarney to come along and be part of the 200 year celebrations during AugustFest!

With two more fantastic days of racing in store and lots of ticket levels and packages including food and beverage options to choose from, whether it is close to the action general admission tickets or silver service fine dining, there is something for everyone at Killarney Races. Live music, fashion, and fun for all the family complement the best of summer racing at the track this August.

Patrons are advised to book online and come along early to enjoy the stunning views, facilities, delicious food, live music on the lawn and soak up the boutique festival atmosphere for which Killarney Races is famous.

Adult tickets and packages are available from €20 and children under 14 go free ensuring a great day out for all the family. For those who love a deal, the punter’s pack is a great value-added option and if you want to live it up check out the Maurice O’Donoghue Suite and Panoramic Restaurant options. For all ticket details and festival programme information visit killarneyraces.com.

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