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Skellig Michael to reopen to the public later this month

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WELCOME NEWS: Mayor of Kerry Patrick Connor Scarteen says he welcomes the announcement that Scellig Michael can reopen later this month.

By Michelle Crean

There was a welcome reaction to news this week that Skellig Michael can reopen to the public later this month.

On Wednesday, Patrick O’Donovan TD, Minister of State with responsibility for the Office of Public Works (OPW), announced a target date of June 21 for the reopening of Skellig Michael to public visitors.

The OPW’s work crews are currently on site undertaking preparatory health and safety works prior to reopening, and as things stand, it is likely that the target date will be achieved. The reopening date is subject to weather conditions remaining favourable for works on the island and intending visitors are advised to consult heritageireland.ie for updates ahead of planning their visit.

“I am very pleased to be able to share this much-anticipated good news with holidaymakers eager to visit Skellig Michael this summer and with the rural communities who rely on tourism to the island,” the Minister said.

“I myself look forward to visiting this unique UNESCO World Heritage Site soon and I hope that weather conditions will allow OPW staff to complete the required preparatory works so the reopening can go ahead on June 21. Thanks to the progress we have made on the path to recovery, we will have the opportunity to discover and enjoy national treasures such as these over the coming months.”

WELCOME

Mayor of Kerry Patrick Connor Scarteen says he welcomes the announcement as he called for the reopening “on numerous occasions”.

The announcement by Minister with responsibility for the Office of Public Works Mr Patrick O’ Donovan TD that boat tours to the Skelligs can recommence on June 21 pending works being done which is contingent on decent weather is a huge boost to tourism in Kerry,” he said.

“I’m sure the announcement is very much welcomed by those who earn their livelihoods from such trips and associated businesses. I look forward to visiting the UNESCO World Heritage Site again soon. Fingers crossed for good weather!”

The news was also welcomed by Councillor Michael Cahill who said that it is great news for Cahersiveen, the Iveragh Peninsula, South Kerry and the entire county.

However, he added with caution that “this “target” date must be struck accurately as the recovery of business in the whole area is dependent upon it”.

“The Skellig boatmen have been drawing people to South Kerry for decades and the knock-on spend by visitors can be felt in shops, restaurants, pubs, accommodation, B&B’s, hotels, etc., throughout the county,” he said.

“This is a unique product which has been enhanced by its association with Star Wars and it is critical that it reopens as soon as possible in order to save the local jobs and livelihoods that itself has created down through the years. I can’t emphasise enough the importance of Skellig Michael to the Kerry tourism package and it is integral to future employment in the region along with The Ring of Kerry, The Kerry Way and hopefully soon, The South Kerry Greenway. We must show that we are ‘Open For Business’ and get back to what we do best.”

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Kodaline to play stripped down Killarney gig

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By Michelle Crean

One of Ireland’s best known bands – who have had their recently released studio album streamed more than 60 million times – as well as reached 100 million YouTube views – are set to come to Killarney.

Kodaline will play their first ever stripped down fully acoustic tour on December 4 in the Gleneagle INEC Arena, which is part of a nationwide tour across the country.

Tickets went on sale yesterday (Friday) from the www.inec.ie.

‘One Day At A Time’ is the band’s fourth album, and adds a new chapter to a career that has already encompassed three number 1 albums in Ireland, two Top 5 albums in the UK, and more than a billion streams at Spotify. Kodaline approached the album with a streamlined process that took them back to their roots. The majority of the sessions revolved around the four band members alone in their modest recording space in Dublin, with bassist Jason Boland leading the production side of things.

CAREER

In 2019, Kodaline played some of the biggest shows of their career. At home in Dublin they sold-out two huge outdoor shows at St Anne’s Park, while a 10-date UK tour culminated with a packed show at London’s historic Roundhouse. Further afield, they hit festivals including Lollapalooza, Benicàssim and Open’er before becoming the first Irish band to headline the massive NH7 Weekender in Pune, India. Their extensive touring throughout Asia also included a headline set at Monsoon Music Festival in Vietnam plus dates in China, Japan, South Korea, The Phillippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Taiwan and Singapore.

“We’re excited to do our first ever stripped down fully acoustic tour, it’s something we’ve wanted to do for a long time and something that’s gonna be very special for us. Hope to see you guys there,” the band said.

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Relief for students as State exams finally begin

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Kayleigh O’Connor and Bethany Kelly pictured ahead of their Home Economics exam on Wednesday afternoon.


By Michelle Crean and Grigoriy Geniyevskiy


Although it was a Leaving Cert like no other – that didn’t stop some students from feeling nerves and others relief – as they finally began their State exams on Wednesday morning.


After a mix of homeschooling due to the COVID lockdowns, it was a tough final year for the Sixth Years who at times had no idea if they final school exams would even go ahead.

Some have opted for no exams, while others want a mixture of Accredited Grades combined with the option to sit the exams.

And it all began on Wednesday morning as English Paper 1 was first up followed by Home Economics in the afternoon.

REACTION

For Killian O’Brien, a student in St Brendan’s College, he said that there was no stress as he headed in.
“I’m grand out, not stressed at all.”

George Griffin, also a student in St Brendan’s College was glad to begin the final leg of his school journey and said he too felt grand about it.

“Predictable grades are a good backing to it, it levels out the stress.”

His classmate Darren Counihan was “not too worried” about what was ahead of him.

“You can only go up in points, not down thanks to accredited points.”

Luke Tindall, also a student in the school said he was alright and “not too stressed”

For Adam O’Connor there was some nerves.
“I’m feeling a bit of everything, but mostly stressed,” he said. “I’m just waiting to get it done and over with.”

In Killarney Community College Oliwia Bielanska spoke to the Killarney Advertiser after coming out of her first State exam.

“I was nervous at first, but once I started writing it was all good.”

Aoife O’Brien from the same school said she was “kind of nervous” but that “it was fine”.

“It wasn’t too bad.”

Stefan Lajdar, also a student in Killarney Community College said it went “alright”.

“I finished a bit earlier. I was a bit under pressure before the exam, but it was easy enough. We have a backup with the predicted grades so it was fine.”

A turbulent year



Principal of Killarney Community College, Stella Loughnane, acknowledged the uniqueness of this year. “This year has been a turbulent and emotional year for this particular Leaving Cert group. Thankfully, all of our students sitting these exams have the security of knowing they already have an accredited grade from their subject teacher and can really try to improve on that when sitting their chosen exams. I think this is of great comfort to students and will ease some of their nerves.The majority of our students have embraced this challenge and chosen to sit their exams.”


She added that also this year there are a lot more COVID guidelines from both the Department of Health and the Department of Education that both the school and students must adhere to.

“This year has shown how adaptable our students are, therefore I don’t believe they will cause too much fuss. However, like every other year, our students arrived with the age old butterflies in their stomachs but a willingness to begin their exams.”

Sean Coffey, Principal of St Brendan’s College said it was great to see the exams finally underway.

“It has been the most incredible two years for the students. This is as fair as you can get really. I would say the Sixth Years had a less disruptive year than other students as they had their eye on the prise and could see the finish line in sight.”

Killarney Community College student Stefan Lajdar said it was easy enough once he got going.
Aoife O’Brien student of Killarney Community College said the first exam wasn’t too bad.
Bharragh O’Shea from Killarney Community College felt his first exam went pretty well. “I thought it was easy.”
Happy to get it over and done with was Adam O’Connor from The Sem.
George Griffin from St Brendan’s College pictured before Wednesday’s English exam.
Darren Counihan student from St Brendan’s College said that he was not too worried ahead of the first exam on Wednesday.
Killian O’Brien from St Brendan’s College said he wasn’t feeling stressed before the first exam on Wednesday morning.
Katerina Polyakova and Maryia Casey from Killarney Community College pictured cramming in some last minute revision before Wednesday’s Home Ec exam.
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Lucky local wins dream Barraduff home

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WIN A HOUSE: Barraduff Community Field Organisation fundraiser sub-committee members: Derry Healy, Michael O’Keeffe, Cathy Somers, Linda Dennehy, John Culloty and Rory D’Arcy pictured in the INEC on Sunday evening during the ‘Win A Dream Kerry Home’ draw.

By Michelle Crean

It has been seven months in the making but it was one lucky local who claimed the top prize – a 𝟯-𝗕𝗲𝗱 d𝗲𝘁𝗮𝗰𝗵𝗲𝗱 h𝗼𝘂𝘀𝗲 𝗶𝗻 𝗕𝗮𝗿𝗿𝗮𝗱𝘂𝗳𝗳.


Ticket no. 17033 owned by Catriona Moriarty was the winner, chosen on Sunday evening in the ‘Win A Dream Kerry Home’ fundraiser prize draw live streamed on Facebook and the website from the INEC Arena, Killarney.


The MC for the evenings event was Rory D’Arcy, fundraiser committee member.


Committee member, Liam Warren, joined Rory to speak about the history and aims of the Barraduff Community Field Organisation since its inception in 1977. It was then time for the prize draw, with the combined value of all prizes in excess of €300,000. Rory introduced the independent adjudicating team of Peter Malone, Solicitor, Malone Hegarty Solicitors, and Denis Murphy, Auditor, Moriarty & Murphy Accountants.

It was certainly a night to remember for all prize winners, particularly Catriona Moriarty who will soon be receiving the keys to her new home.


“The Barraduff Community Field Organisation are forever grateful to all who supported this fundraiser, through purchasing of ticket(s) and sponsoring of prizes, to assist us in realising the vision of our local community. This is only the end of the beginning of another chapter!” Michael O’Keeffe said.

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