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Students bring real life business to the classroom




There was great innovation and lots of inspiration as young Kerry entrepreneurs excelled at the County Final of the Kerry County Council Annual Student Enterprise Awards held on Friday.

INTERMEDIATE WINNERS: Evan Greany Killian Dennehy Ruairi Brosnan and Josh Daly from St Patrick’s Secondary School Castleisland were named intermediate winners at the Kerry County Council Annual Student Enterprise Awards. Also included are: Victor Sheehan (Kerry LEO) and Flor Griffin (Business Teacher). Photo: Domnick Walsh

JUNIOR WINNERS: Cait Daly Brid Curtin Ellie Curtin Laura McShane and Kirsten O’Connor from Presentation Secondary School Castleisland won Junior Level for their ‘Roley Poley’ project. They are pictured with Breeda O’Sullivan (Kerry LEO) Paola Kennedy (Mentor) and Edward Clarke (Business Teacher) at the Student Enterprise Awards. Photo: Domnick Walsh

Outstanding participation levels saw 16 mini-businesses being set up by over 50 second level school students involved in the competition. The competition promotes business idea development, structure, sourcing of finance, marketing/sales and the presentation of a formal business plan.

The students progressed through the establishment of a mini company which trades over a period of months. An exciting and rewarding programme, students get to experience the realities of entrepreneurship from developing a business idea to producing a product, researching the market, promoting the business, managing the books and generating profits.

Prizes were awarded at Junior, Intermediate and Senior level at MTU in Tralee. The winners of the County Student Enterprise Awards in all categories will be considered for inclusion in the National Finals to be held in The Helix on May 18.


The winner of the Senior Category was Mearscaoilte Lao – a farm safety mechanism which allows ropes under tension on a calving jack to be instantly released. This company was set up by Katelyn Curtin and Orlaith Buckley from Presentation Secondary School, Castleisland.

The winners of the Intermediate Category was Kicks On Wheels – a remote control to drive the kicking tee and was set up by Ruairí Brosnan, Killian Dennehy, Josh Daly and Evan Greaney from St Patrick's Secondary School, Castleisland.

The Junior level winner was Roley Poley – an outdoor seat with cover and a retrofit rotating seat cover set up by Cait Daly, Brid Curtin, Kirsten O’Connor, Ellie Curtin and Laura McShane from Presentation Secondary School, Castleisland.

Other prizes were awarded for Social Enterprise, Best Stand, Innovation Award, Digital Award, Best Business Plan, Environmental Awareness and Duaiseanna Gaeilge.

Lillian O’Connor from Presentation Secondary School, Tralee won the coveted award for Entrepreneurial Educator of the Year and St Patrick's Secondary School Castleisland won the Best Newcomer School award.

The Creative Video Winner – Recharge Nutrition was won by Nicole Walker of Presentation Secondary School, Tralee – a Sports Nutrition App.

My Entrepreneurial Journey Junior Category was won by Nancy O’Connor from Intermediate School Killorglin – with her business Bosca Cliste – an Irish learning tool for kids.

“I am pleased to see the level of innovation, resourcefulness, planning and development of all 16 projects in this year’s awards," Tomás Hayes, Head of Local Enterprise Office, said.

"This is a real life exercise. It involves idea generation and actual trading. Profits are generated and finance is secured. It is a taste of business and all the issues involved from finding the right idea, funding the business, collecting the money and building the team. I must commend the teachers for their efforts and the mentors for their support. The judges had a very difficult task!”

Margaret Murphy, Kerry Programme Coordinator emphasised that “this was a very strong programme in 2022 requiring extensive work by teachers, mentors and staff which was made a lot more difficult with remote working and teaching".

"The results are evident with three category winners which will be considered for inclusion in The National Final on May 18. We hope that we can win another award for Kerry following our great success in 2021.”



Killarney and District Motor Club members honoured by Motorsport Ireland

By Cormac Casey Several members of Killarney and District Motor Club were honoured at the Motorsport Ireland awards lunch in Dublin on Wednesday. The highlight of the event is the […]




By Cormac Casey

Several members of Killarney and District Motor Club were honoured at the Motorsport Ireland awards lunch in Dublin on Wednesday.

The highlight of the event is the announcement of the sport’s top awards.

Kilkenny’s Jack Brennan (19) was named Young Rally Driver of the Year, while Wexford native Jack Byrne was named Young Racing Driver of the Year and the International Driver of the Year award went to recently crowned FIA Junior World Rally Champion, William Creighton.

Muckross-based co-driver Noel O’Sullivan was presented with his Irish Tarmac Rally Championship winning trophy.

This year saw the introduction of the Motorsport Ireland President’s Awards which celebrate the achievements of  clubs and organisations.

Killarney and District Motor Club won in the innovation category for their work with their KDMC 2 initiative thanks to the efforts of the club’s vice chairman Mike O’Shea.

Rally Rescue teams were also recognised and the club’s Mike Cleary picked up an award for his role he played in what was a difficult year for rescue crew operators.

Tom O’Riordan, who looks after ambulance procurement on the club’s events, was presented with an FIA Volunteer Pin by Motorsport Ireland President Aiden Harper.

Killarney Advertiser Journalist Sean Moriarty was presented with an award for best use of of PR and media in 2023.


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Kerry Mental Health and Wellbeing Fest ‘thank you’ event at Brehon

Participation in the 2023 Kerry Mental Health and Wellbeing Fest has grown by more than 100% since 2020 with 98% of those who gave feedback saying they would attend similar […]




Participation in the 2023 Kerry Mental Health and Wellbeing Fest has grown by more than 100% since 2020 with 98% of those who gave feedback saying they would attend similar events again in 2024.

Feedback from more than 100 people who attended this year’s Fest events from 7th to 14th October was positive with 91% stating they were satisfied.
The Kerry Mental Health and Wellbeing Fest is held annually over the course of a week to highlight World Mental Health Day on October 10.
It aims to raise awareness of the available supports and services in Kerry as well as empower people to engage with the ‘Five Ways to Wellbeing’ through offering a dynamic and interactive programme of events.
99% percent of respondents, most of whom identified as female, said they would recommend the Fest to friends next year. Some key notes for improvement included a request for more events with wider variety throughout the county.
The Chair of the Interagency Steering Group, John Drummey from Kerry Mental Health Association, said: “We wish to extend a heartfelt thanks to event organisers, community groups, businesses, funders and partners that facilitated the Fest’s dynamic and interactive programme of events in 2023. We are encouraged to see such growth in numbers attending the Fest events with a 50% increase from 2022. We are already making plans for the Fest from 5 to 12t October 2024 and we are looking forward to building on this year’s successes. That said, there is always room for improvement and we would welcome suggestions for new events and activities.”
Many of the event organisers attended a ‘thank-you’ event at the Brehon Hotel, Killarney, courtesy of the Kerry Volunteer Centre to coincide with the annual International Volunteer Day, December 5.
The Kerry Mental Health and Wellbeing Fest was organised by an interagency steering group made up of local agencies that support wellbeing in our community.
The organising committee is a collaboration between Connecting for Life Kerry, Healthy Kerry, Kerry County Council, Kerry Recreation & Sports Partnership, the HSE, NEWKD, SKDP, Kerry Mental Health Association, Jigsaw Kerry, Munster Technological University/Kerry, KDYS, Kerry Volunteer Centre and Family Resource Centres throughout the county.

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