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




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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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 […]




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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Teens theory is a national winner

Watch out Dallas as three local students are ready to take their science theory and blow the competition out of the water. Liam Waldron, Rachel Griffin and Luke O’Sullivan, Sixth […]



Watch out Dallas as three local students are ready to take their science theory and blow the competition out of the water.

Liam Waldron, Rachel Griffin and Luke O’Sullivan, Sixth Year students from Killarney Community College, were named SciFest STEM Champions 2022 for their Group Theoretic Approach to Pythagoras’ Theorem.

The national finals of SciFest Ireland were held at the Marino Conference Centre in Dublin last Friday and they were attended by finalists from across Ireland.

The amazing trio will now go on to represent Ireland at the Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair (Regeneron ISEF) which will be held in Dallas, Texas in May 2023.

The students secured their place at the national final after they won the overall prize at the SciFest regional competition at MTU Kerry in May this year.

Their project takes possibly one of the most well-known theorems that everyone remembers from school, Pythagoras’ Theorem. It provides an alternate proof of it, while also highlighting how right-angled triangles naturally provide a link between two coordinate systems and how this special case can naturally recreate the Pythagorean Theorem.

Supported by Intel Ireland and Boston Scientific, SciFest was set up 17 years ago by Sheila Porter and her husband George.

It is the largest, most inclusive STEM fair programme for second-level students in Ireland.

“The aim of SciFest has always been to develop a love of STEM and of inquiry-based learning and every year it is refreshing to see how the students of today continue to love and enjoy immersing themselves in science, technology, engineering and maths,” Sheila Porter, SciFest CEO, said.

“As SciFest grows each year, we grow more excited to see what new experiments and technologies are thought of and created. This year, students have shown incredible innovation in how STEM can make a positive impact on society, with initiatives in farming, space exploration and healthcare.”

Each year SciFest awards a ‘Teacher of Excellence’ and this year Máire Spillane was the recipient for her work with Luke, Rachel and Liam. She accompanied them to both finals and could not be prouder of this huge achievement at national level.

Killarney Community College held a whole school assembly to congratulate the SciFest champions in school and the SciFest STEM Champions 2022 were met with rapturous applause from all students and staff.

Ms Spillane spoke about the importance of STEM subjects and acknowledged the fact that Killarney Community College offers all students the opportunity to study all four of the disciplines, Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths and how our students are encouraged to submit projects every year into SciFest. It may be a competition run by science teachers, but in KCC cross-curricular co-operation by teachers of all subjects, is practiced on a daily basis.

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