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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.

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Trilogy of comedy on offer by Dóchas Drama

By Sean Moriarty Dóchas Drama Group will present a series of three short comedy plays next week. All three plays are written and produced by Dóchas and will be acted […]




By Sean Moriarty

Dóchas Drama Group will present a series of three short comedy plays next week.

All three plays are written and produced by Dóchas and will be acted out by the group’s members.

The opening act, ‘Flossing Around’ is written by Ger Madden and directed by Brian Bowler.

“A woman has an innate fear of the dentist. We go on the journey with her as she faces her fears, with hilarious consequences,” explained the group’s Liz Ryan.

This will be followed by ‘Faraway Hills’ which is written by Mary Quirke and directed by Michael Mills.
It is a tongue in cheek look at family life.

“A son wants to get away from small town life. His mother wants to keep him at home but his father can’t wait to see the back of him,” added Liz, who plays the mother in this short play.

Brain Bowler wrote the third instalment called ‘A Little Visitor’ which is directed by Ryan Jones.

“There are lots of misunderstandings when a hypochondriac visits a group of doctors who have other things on the their minds,” added Liz.

The run, which will feature all three performances each night, starts Wednesday next week and continues Thursday and Friday (February 8 to 10) at the Killarney Avenue Hotel. Tickets are €10 and are available at the door.


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Killarney secures three gold medals in national business awards

Three hotels in Killarney have won gold medals at the Virgin Media Business Gold Medal Awards. Now in its 33rd year, the awards the best of the best in the […]




Three hotels in Killarney have won gold medals at the Virgin Media Business Gold Medal Awards.

Now in its 33rd year, the awards the best of the best in the hotel and catering sectors across the country.

This year, judges received over 460 entries from 150 hotels, guest houses, country houses, restaurants, cafés, bars and catering companies from around Ireland.

“An important factor in the Gold Medal Awards is the credibility and impartial nature of the judging process. Every property that undergoes this process is subject to benchmarking against a strict set of criteria and a blind site inspection conducted by the judging panel,” said an event organiser.

“This panel comprises respected industry experts from across the hospitality, culinary and catering sectors.”

Three Killarney hotels took top awards in different categories at the awards ceremony held at the Galmont Hotel and Spa in Galway on Tuesday night.

The Great Southern Hotel was named as the best Business and Conference Hotel in Ireland.

“To be recognised among the greatest hotels in Ireland is a marvellous achievement for Great Southern. It is fantastic news and has provided all our staff with a little morale boost. Our Business & Conference partners and customers are extremely important to us with some relationships in place annually for over 30 years. Receiving this recognition for the service we provide is a fantastic achievement and testament to the incredible work of our outstanding staff,” said Michael Jacobi Managing Director said.

The best front of house team award went the staff at the Aghadoe Heights Hotel and Spa.

In the Hotel Casual Dining Experience category the Dunloe Hotel and Gardens came out on top.


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