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Teen’s first cut set for Youghal film festival




A short film put together by young Kerry filmmakers - which was directed by a Killarney teen - will be screened at the First Cut Youth Film Festival next month. 

Dylan Shortt from Killarney directed 'Airbag' while cinematography and post-production was done by Patrick O’Connor-Mason from Kenmare.

The crew is made up of a group of young people from Killarney, Rachel Griffin, Luke O'Sullivan, Kalem Llyod, and Eoin O'Reilly, and it tackles the difficult subject of teenage drinking.

Shot in and around Killarney, and with the support of Kenmare Family Resource Centre and the Killarney Court Hotel, it tells a gripping story.

The film was selected to be screened in-person at the festival in Youghal on March 12. Online screenings will take place the following day.

Filmmaker in Residence, Mieke Vanmechelen, helped the teens put the production together. 

“This group is very unique and incredibly ambitious, they managed to form a strong connection, which withstood the challenges of the pandemic," Mieke said.

"I have no doubt that many of them will go on to become significant players in the film industry in the future."


Supporting and guiding young people, Mieke also works with many schools around the county. Her partnership with Saint Brendan’s College continues as she lends her support to their Young Social Innovators (YSI) campaign, ‘One Punch Can Kill’, tackling the subject of male violence.

Come April, Mieke will be lending a hand to students at the Presentation Secondary School Killarney, who are planning a mountain rescue documentary, again, a student-led project, dealing with serious issues and subjects that matter to young people, their families, and the wider community.

Mieke is currently developing an exciting showcase of films for and made by young people with Kerry International Film Festival Director Eibh Collins.

“Eibh and I have worked together in the past, and with her broad expertise in programming and my on-the-ground experience we hope to deliver a lovely programme that is both for and about young people this summer."



New and upcoming plans are also in progress for the Kerry Film Forum, with a film screening planned to take place this April. The screening features a short film called 'Like a Mouse', an experimental documentary following Dr Hodd's discovery of a tiny fern, Stenogrammitis myosuroides. It explores the concept of natural conservation and the pressures of an unstable, globalised ecology. Made during the summer of 2021 the film was directed by Michael Holly and Mieke Vanmechelen, it has been picked up internationally and will be screened at the Achill Island Film Festival in May.

Alongside all these projects, Mieke is also in the process of directing a documentary in Kerry and West Cork. The film will look at the life of hill farmers and the project is being supported by the Arts Council of Ireland.



Seven An Post staff retire

Seven well-known staff members at An Post Killarney celebrated retirement this week. The staff, Mary O’Sullivan, Joe Clifford, Paudie Cronin, Joe Coffey, Tom Ashe, Jerry McCarthy and Dan Murphy were […]




Seven well-known staff members at An Post Killarney celebrated retirement this week.

The staff, Mary O’Sullivan, Joe Clifford, Paudie Cronin, Joe Coffey, Tom Ashe, Jerry McCarthy and Dan Murphy were treated to an night of celebration and reminiscing by the South Kerry branch of the Communication Workers Union of Ireland.

The retirees, their families and colleagues enjoyed an evening at ‘The Panoramic’ the newly named restaurant upstairs at Killarney Racecourse.

Ollie Favier, of the Shire fame has taken over responsibility for operating the coffee shop / restaurant at the racecourse.

“A beautiful venue and apt that Ollie’s father Dan RIP from Glenflesk, was also a long serving postman in the community,” said John O’Shea, the Union Secretary An Post Killarney.

“The night included music with Derry Healy and Rosie Healy and was attended by up to 80 people, under the attentive guidance of Sales and Marketing Manager Emma O’Connor and Ollie’s right hand man, Colin Daly

“The event the food and the atmosphere was a great success and credit to all Ollie’s staff for being great hosts. “

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Watch Video: Primary School Students share knowledge from Coffee Cup Project



Killarney primary schools have joined the crusade against single use coffee cups this week by joining the Killarney Coffee Cup Project and declaring themselves single use coffee cup free. The Killarney Coffee Project is a community grassroots project aimed at eliminating single use coffee cups from Killarney town centre to protect Killarney National Park and the towns surroundings all in the name of conservation.

Alan Oliver, a local coffee shop owner, Lir Café, who is one of the participants of the project has said that he is “thrilled to see the project extend into the local schools. Teaching young people about why we should be moving away from a throw away culture is imperative to the continuous success of projects like this. Today’s young people are the future custodians of this town and so educating them on the importance of sustainability will ensure that Killarney and its National Park will be in safe hands for future generations.”

The schools involved in declaring themselves single use coffee cup free include Holycross Mercy, Gaelscoil Faithleann, Presentation Monastery, Glenflesk, Knocknanes, Coolick, Loreto, Lissivigeen and Tiernaboul. This follows on from the Killarney Coffee Cup Primary Schools Initiative which took place last November supported by Killarney Credit Union, the Kerry Biosphere, and the IKC3 project in MTU.

In November the 5th classes in the Killarney area were brought to Muckross School House and Killarney House for a 2-hour immersive environmental education experience around our connection to the Kerry Biosphere and citizen climate action. Here the students learned about our biosphere and how we as citizens and sustainable initiatives like the Killarney Coffee Cup Project can protect this Special Area of Conservation. Finally, they went outside to work with a park ranger, collecting acorns in leftover disposable compostable cups that the project had gathered from various businesses. They took these acorns back to their classrooms where they have planted and are caring for their oak tree. In 2024, these young oak tree seedlings will be planted back into the National Park.

The Killarney Coffee Cup Project is the 1st of its kind in the world, and it is something that belongs to all the citizens of the town. We all own this!

Want to hear from the future voices of our environment?

This week the Killarney Advertiser caught up with primary schoolers who have been busy learning all about protecting our amazing natural environment

Watch our video where the future eco-warriors share what they’ve learned about keeping our Killarney healthy and thriving! Here is to the next generation of environmental stewards!

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