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St Francis pupils in line for national award

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By Michelle Crean

St Francis Special School has been named one of the County Winners in the prestigious 'Someone Like Me' national art competition.

Scoil Naisiúnta Naomh Eirc near Ardfert and St Francis Special School were named Junior and Senior County Winners respectively of the prestigious national art competition. They'll now join over 40 other schools to compete for the much sought-after national title at an online national awards ceremony on Thursday next, February 3.

Senior County Winners, St Francis Special School in Beaufort, submitted a beautifully painted art piece of an inclusive playground where everyone plays together with purpose built swings, roundabouts and interactive equipment that allows all abilities join in the fun. It was created by teacher Bernadette O'Neill and pupils Jack Leane and John Anthony O'Brien, who are both aged 13.

'Someone Like Me', which is organised by the National Disability Authority, attracted more than 1,800 entries from national schools across the length and breadth of the country. The competition has been designed to be a national celebration of the things that unite children of all abilities and, over its six-year history, more than 8,000 children have taken part, creating a tangible contribution to developing more positive attitudes towards persons with disabilities.

During the last school term of 2021 teachers and their pupils right across Ireland worked through special lesson plans which challenged them to respond artistically and creatively to the theme of 'Someone Like Me', while, at the same time, appreciating and respecting similarities and differences in people.

The judges were particularly impressed with the submissions from pupils and teachers at Scoil Naisiúnta Naomh Eirc and St Francis Special School, selecting them as County Winners based on their insightful and inspirational responses to the theme.

Congratulating both schools, Minister of State with Special Responsibility for Disability, Anne Rabbitte TD said that she was hugely encouraged by the growing interest in the competition which is helping to develop a shared understanding of how we should treat others in a caring, sensitive and inclusive way, and promoting a sense of belonging and connectedness.

“I am so impressed by the standard of entry and the obvious thought that has gone into each creative submission. Once again, our primary school teachers and pupils have shown their commitment to putting ‘ability’ under the spotlight helping to build a more inclusive society.”

The competition, which offers a range of prizes up to the value of €750, was open to all primary school pupils from junior infants to sixth class and more than 1,800 entries were received from individual pupils, class groups and whole schools right across Ireland. Entries ranged from posters and collages to large sculptural installations and multi-media pieces.

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Dancing classes set to unite communities

By Michelle Crean There’s no language barrier when it comes to dancing – which is why one local group is organising classes to unite communities. KASI, the Killarney Immigrant Support […]

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By Michelle Crean

There’s no language barrier when it comes to dancing – which is why one local group is organising classes to unite communities.

KASI, the Killarney Immigrant Support Centre, has teamed up with dance instructor John Moriarty to teach both Ukrainians and multiple cultures living in Kerry Irish set dancing steps from next week.

The first class will take place on Tuesday evenings, starting next week (September 27) at St Mary’s Parish Hall at 6.30pm and all are welcome to join.

The idea is to help Ukrainians living in Killarney and Kerry to come and have fun and get to know locals better, KASI coordinator, Marilyn Catapat-Counihan, explained to the Killarney Advertiser.

“We have a women’s group for all ages where we do crochet, sewing and art and crafts, where they can talk which is good. I had the music on and they were dancing. I asked if they would like to do dancing classes so I organised it with John Moriarty who is well known in Killarney.”

She added that the women are very excited to learn set dancing and get to know other people from the area.

“Sometimes when you meet new people the language can be a barrier and when you’re dancing everybody is moving. He will open it to everyone so there’ll be integration, it’s fun as well. They are all very excited.”

To find out more contact John on 086 1579381.

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Multiple Sclerosis Walk celebrates 20 years

By Sean Moriarty The rising cost of fuel is already having a negative effect on charity events with some limiting numbers. On October 9, the annual Multiple Sclerosis South Kerryv Walk […]

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By Sean Moriarty

The rising cost of fuel is already having a negative effect on charity events with some limiting numbers.

On October 9, the annual Multiple Sclerosis South Kerryv Walk takes place over the Old Kenmare Road.

First run in 2002, this year’s event will celebrate 20 years since its foundation but two years were lost as a result of the pandemic.

This year’s walk will be limited to 150 people – three coach loads – so event organisers can cut back on running costs.

It will only be possible to participate in this year’s event if walkers pre-register.

“Walkers must raise at least €40 to make it worthwhile,” organiser John O’Shea told the Killarney Advertiser.

“Spaces are limited, 150 people equals three coaches and we need smaller coaches to get into the start of the Old Kenmare Road as that is just a bog road. We have limited numbers for cost and operational reasons.”

Mr O’Shea thanked event sponsors O’Callaghan Coaches and The Gleneagle Hotel for their support of the event.

Registration forms can be obtained by calling John on 087 2348824.

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