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Stolen property returned to renowned Killarney musician

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INTERNATIONALLY renowned Killarney musician Liam O’Connor was tonight reunited with thousands of euro worth of property stolen from his home.

Following a burglary on Wednesday, January 3, gardaí conducted an investigation which led to the recovery of laptops, cash, jewellery, watches and electronic items including a games console. The robbery occurred between 8pm and 9pm on January 3 when the house was unoccupied. “All of the property was recovered in the Muckross Road area,” Superintendent Flor Murphy told Killarney Advertiser. “Two people have since appeared before a special court in Killarney on Sunday in relation to the matter.”

Liam, a gifted accordionist, thanked Killarney Gardaí, including Supt Flor Murphy, Sergeant Dermot O’Connell, Garda Finbarr Donovan and all the detectives involved in the investigation. “They were outstanding,” he said as he retrieved his property from Killarney Garda Station tonight.

An accordion player who holds the Guinness World Record for the fastest fingers in the world, Liam is a master of over 20 instruments. He has performed throughout the world and has also mesmerised audiences at Croke Park.

Other houses in the vicinity were targeted on New Year’s Eve and in one nearby house an attempted burglary was interrupted by vigilant neighbours.
Separately, Gardaí are continuing investigations into a spate of burglaries that occurred in recent days in the Scrahan, Pinewood, Park Road and Woodlawn Road areas.
 


 
Above: Liam O'Connor identifies his stolen property including jewellery, laptops, watches and games console with Garda Finbarr Donovan at Killarney Garda Station on Thursday evening. Pic: Don MacMonagle

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Valuable role of Kerry cancer support charity recognised nationally

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Cancer support charity Recovery Haven Kerry has been recognised for its vital role in supporting cancer patients and their families at a national ceremony in Dublin.

The renowned cancer support house was one of 16 such centres across Ireland that were presented with plaques to acknowledge their full membership of the National Cancer Control Programme (NCCP) Alliance – a group made up of voluntary and charity organisations delivering support services directly to cancer patients and their families. An additional 10 associate member charities were also honoured, including Kerry Cancer Support Group.

The Alliance advocates for, and supports, the development of integrated pathways between the cancer centres, acute hospitals, community cancer support services and primary care services. All members’ development is in line with the values of Sláintecare, seeking to provide assurance to healthcare professionals that these organisations are working to an agreed standard as set out in Best Practice Guidance published by the NCCP. 

Speaking after the ceremony, which was held at Dublin’s Farmleigh Estate, Recovery Haven Kerry Chairman, Tim McSwiney, explained that being compliant with the Best Practice Guidance for Community Cancer Support Centres is a true mark of quality. 

“It offers us a yardstick to measure what we are doing against the standards required. As a result, healthcare professionals have more confidence in referring people to our services. We are very proud to be a member of the Alliance,” he said.

Recovery Haven Kerry was represented at the event by centre manager, Gemma Fort and Client Services Co-Ordinator, Siobhan MacSweeney and were presented with their plaque by NCCP Lead for Cancer Survivorship, Louise Mullen, Clinical Lead for Psycho-Oncology Dr Helen Greally, and Minister of State at the Department of Health, Colm Burke. 

The event was also used as an opportunity to announce funding of €3m for the NCCP’s Alliance of Community Cancer Support Centres and Services through Budget 2024. The NCCP is currently in the process of distributing these funds which will directly and positively impact the delivery of services for patients and families nationally.

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‘More Precious Than Gold’ book launch

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At the official book launch of ‘More Precious Than Gold: My enduring connection with John McShain – the man who built Washington’ by Alice O’Neill-McLoughlin at Killarney House, was Minister of State for Nature, Heritage and Electoral Reform, Malcolm Noonan, T.D.

Alice was born the eldest of eleven children into an Irish farming family in Rosbercon, New Ross, County Wexford. In 1978, she was awarded a scholarship from John McShain- the iconic builder, philanthropist, devout Catholic with Derry ancestry, responsible for many famous American landmarks, including the Jefferson Memorial and the Pentagon.

Her book records the lifelong personal correspondence Alice exchanged with ‘The Man Who Built Washington.’ His philanthropy extended to the Irish people in the bequeathing to the State of Killarney House and the surrounding thousands of acres incorporating the Lakes, Ross Castle, and Innisfallen Island. In 2019, Alice had the honour of inducting John McShain into the Irish America Hall of Fame in her home town of New Ross in the presence of his relatives from Philadelphia and Derry. This is a tale of altruism, of gratitude, of faith and of a life lived in the pursuit of excellence.

Alice also donated her treasured correspondence of letters from John McShain for the archive at Killarney House. Also in attendance were Members of the Ignatius A. O’Shaughnessy family, who was founder of The Globe Oil and Refining Company – and part of a consortium of wealthy American businessmen who were going to purchase the lakes of Killarney as a Country Club in the 1950’s.

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