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Slimming World group achieves flagship status




A weight-loss expert in Killarney has won an award for the exceptional work she does in helping more than 200 people to lose weight at her local Slimming World groups.

Sorcha, who runs the Tuesday and Thursday Slimming World groups every week, has achieved Flagship status because of her success in supporting slimmers to reach their dream weight and in recognition of the super service she provides to those members.

The accolade is given to Slimming World consultants who support large numbers and who provide such exceptional service that members come back week after week. These members are losing weight beautifully and wouldn’t miss their weekly group for anything. It represents one of the highest levels of service in slimming and means Killarney is home to one of the best Slimming World Consultants in Ireland.

“I am delighted to have received the ‘Flagship’ award,” Sorcha says. “I absolutely love my job and I think this is a wonderful honour to receive. I adore seeing my members every week and couldn’t think of a better position to be in. We help people to shed the misery of excess weight so that they can discover the real them inside and become the person that they always dreamed of being. It’s not just about looking different though, it’s about feeling happier, healthier and more confident too. Seeing that transformation in people is what I love most about my job and I’m passionate about helping and supporting my members to change their lives by losing weight.

“I’m the face of the Tuesday and Thursday Slimming World groups, but I’ll be sharing this award with our many members. They’re the ones who make the group the success it is, with their fabulous commitment, the wonderful support they give each other every week, and, above all, their impressive weight losses while following Slimming World’s Food Optimising eating plan. They make the group a fun, exciting place to be and I can safely say I always look forward to going to work

“The group has really put healthy weight loss on the map in Killarney. Together, members have lost an amazing 135 stone this month alone. Obesity is at record levels everywhere and with 57 per cent of adults in Killarney being affected, many people are suffering a range of weight-related health problems from diabetes to heart problems and feelings of low self-worth, things that impact on their working and personal lives every day. Struggling with being overweight affects so many of us and has an impact on our health and happiness. It’s never been more important for people to get support to make the changes needed to lead healthier lives for the good of the whole community.”

Groups are Tuesdays in The Brehon at 9.30am, 11.30am, 5.30pm and 7.30pm or Thursdays in the Plaza Hotel at 9.30am or 11.30am. Pop along or give Sorcha a call on 086 8423317.



Fossa School says ‘bonjour’ to French classes



Fossa National School is giving its pupils a headstart in learning a new language.

The school signed up to Language Sampler scheme as part of the ‘Say Yes to Languages’ initiative in primary schools organised by Post Primary languages Ireland in 2021. This is the school’s third year running the module.

Hélène Olivier-Courtney, the school’s French teacher and director of French For All Killarney School of French, covers ten schools in Kerry over the three terms.

The success of the initiative relies on an all-school approach and the active involvement of class teachers and management.

“The whole staff in Fossa certainly helped make this new journey a special and enjoyable experience for the children as we learnt French through art, songs, games and food tasting! This year, we also organised a catwalk on our last day. Our sixth-class students will have such a head start before secondary school and most importantly will have develop curiosity interest and love for the language,” said Hélène.


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Opinion: Silent majority needs to stand up and call out far-right hate



By Chris Davies

Last Friday’s Dublin Riots should not have come as a surprise to anyone. It has been bubbling under the surface of Irish society for a good number of years now. The actions of a small minority last week was a culmination of years of racism, hatred and misinformation shared online by far-right groups.

Late on Friday night a disturbing WhatsApp voice note was doing the rounds on social media where a far-right actor could clearly be heard encouraging violence on the streets of Dublin. 

“’Seven o’clock, be in town. Everyone bally up, tool up…Any foreigner, just kill them”

Watching the Riots unfold on social media brought me back to when I was working in Dublin a number of years back. My morning commute from Skerries to the city centre involved a dart to Connolly Station followed by a short trip on the Luas to the Jervis. Every week, without fail, I would witness at least one racial slur or attack on someone who didn’t fit the narrow minded view of what an Irish person should look, dress or talk like. I don’t know if it is the eerie silence of public transport that seems to amplify the situation, but that’s where I found it to be most common. The abuse was usually perpetrated by a group of youths or someone who was clearly under the influence of drink or drugs. The victims were always of colour, often dressed smartly enough to presume they were on their way, or coming from work. A far cry from the perpetrators who you could tell were roaming aimlessly around the city looking for trouble.

While shameful to admit, I would often look on and watch the abuse unfold, only to spend the rest of my work day thinking about the poor person who was told to “F*&K off back to your own country”. I would sit at my desk questioning why I didn’t step in and say something. There were one or two occasions where I did step in and call it out, but not nearly often enough.  

This disgusting behaviour is much more visible in our cities. Since moving back to Killarney I wouldn’t witness as much direct abuse on the streets but working with the Killarney Advertiser I would be tuned in to local news and some of the comments I read on our social platforms are far worse than anything I witnessed during my time in Dublin.  

There is a significant group of people in Ireland that I would call the ‘silent majority’. We are not as outspoken on issues we care about. We tend to observe and consume the news quietly, and only speak of our support or disgust on certain issues in close circles, too afraid we might offend someone. The problem with this is that we are leaving these far-right groups unchallenged, to become louder, more aggressive and more hostile as seen last week. 

The past week Sinn Fein and the Social Democrats have been busy in the media expressing no confidence in Justice Minister Helen McEntee and Garda Commissioner Drew Harris but I would suggest that there is a large percentage of the Irish population that bears some of the responsibility. We witness racism in our communities and online every day and we need to start speaking up and calling it out. 

On the issue of immigration in Killarney, there is no doubt resources are being stretched and our tourism industry is suffering as a result of an influx of immigration. Locals have also raised concerns in relation to the placement of so many male international protection applicants in one setting and we only have to look back on the incident in Hotel Killarney last year where a number of men were involved in a harrowing stabbing incident to see how that played out.  

However, being concerned around immigration is not the same as anti-immigration. It is important to raise these issues with local representatives and Kerry TD’s but also to separate ourselves from far-right groups who are only interested in encouraging violence.  

The anarchy we witnessed last week should never be the answer and research shows it is completely unnecessary. Harvard University have looked at hundreds of protests over the last century, and found that non-violent campaigns are twice as likely to achieve their goals as violent campaigns and that it only takes around 3.5% of the population actively participating in the protests to ensure serious political change.

Let’s continue to protest peacefully for issues we believe in, but stand up and speak out against people and movements in our community that incite hate and violence. 

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