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Skellig Michael set to reopen this weekend

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It's expected that visitors will be allowed to return to Skellig Michael this weekend.

Unexpected rockfall on June 13 shut the visitor attraction down temporarily to allow the Office of Public Works (OPW) and specialist teams visually assess and remove debris. 

Now it's hoped that the popular UNESCO World Heritage site will reopen this Saturday (July 2) but this is subject to weather conditions remaining favourable.

"Sceilg Mhichíl’s remote location in the Atlantic creates numerous issues as an operational visitor site, not least its accessibility, and throughout the more than three decades since the OPW began providing access to visitors, the safety of the public visiting and of our staff working on Sceilg Mhichíl has been our priority at all times. In all rockfall events, even minor ones, our expert-led investigations have to be very comprehensive,"
Minister with responsibility for the Office of Public Works, Patrick O’Donovan TD, said.

“Our staff, supported by experts and colleagues in the National Parks and Wildlife Service in the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage, are currently on site and are taking all necessary steps to enable a safe return of visitors within the shortest possible turnaround time while strictly adhering to any environmental and other legal obligations imposed at this UNESCO World Heritage Site that is, at the same time, a sanctuary for breeding sea birds."

Sceilg Mhichíl is one of Ireland’s most iconic heritage sites and plays an important role in the local tourism economy, he added.

"We thank our local partners for their continued assistance in managing unforeseen incidents like these or adverse weather events in what is a challenging natural environment. Together with them, we look forward to the reopening of Sceilg Mhichíl at the start of July so that visitors can enjoy safe access to the island again this summer in addition to the other beautiful attractions in South Kerry.”

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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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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 […]

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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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