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“The main challenge will be social distancing”

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By Michelle Crean

Two new classrooms are due to be opened for the new school term - but school principal of Scoil Phobail Sliabh Luachra in Rathmore this week told the Killarney Advertiser that social distancing will be one of the main challenges when students return.

Principal Denis Kerins explained that the full effect of changes won't be fully understood until the 390 students and 30 staff return as they have never experienced anything on this scale before.

Hand sanitisers will greet the students at the entrance into the school building and will have to be used when changing classes. Students will also be kept to certain areas to minimise the movement within the building but subjects like PE and practical classes such as construction, metal work, Home Ec and some Science classes will need changes, he explained.

"The main aim will be to keep it [COVID] out of the building and the country," Denis told the Killarney Advertiser.

"We'll follow the recommendations but the first thing is to get the school open. Face masks aren't really being recommended for schools but the one metre rule is recommended between desks. It's a totally new thing we're dealing with, we have no experience to go on. There could be a breakout at anytime but we have to learn to get on with it."

He said some schools will have to stagger bringing in students for the first time but that it's something the Rathmore school has been doing for years.

"We've always done that. In our particular case we're due to open two new rooms so we're in a good position and will have a bit more space than normal."

However, he said some classes are quite big and as timetables are already completed some changes will have to be made.

"Practical subjects will involve a lot of hygiene as there's a lot of utensils being used but we won't know until we start."

And as students will have been out of school for six months since the sudden lockdown in March he said that staff will be very mindful of the impact of COVID and will take steps to address any concerns students or parents may have.

"Some might have have anxiety, that will be identified and taken seriously."

And he added that for students entering an exam year hopefully the Department of Education will make adjustments for the time lost.

"It's going to be very uncertain year ahead, it's new territory."

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Local soprano releases new single

Local soprano Mary Culloty O’Sullivan has released her second self-penned single. Following the success of her debut song ‘Forever and a Day’ which was released on July 16 and was aired on radio stations all over the world and on streaming platforms like Spotify, YouTube and iTunes, her second single was released last Friday. ‘Before […]

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Local soprano Mary Culloty O’Sullivan has released her second self-penned single.

Following the success of her debut song ‘Forever and a Day’ which was released on July 16 and was aired on radio stations all over the world and on streaming platforms like Spotify, YouTube and iTunes, her second single was released last Friday.

‘Before You Leave Me’ has a Jazz influence. Mary has been writing her own songs since March this year covering several different genres.

“Tony O’Flaherty of Sonas Studios has brought my songs to life and I am delighted with the production on the songs,” Mary told the Killarney Advertiser.

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Fun Urban Orienteering event coming to Killarney town

The event is free, open to all ages, levels of fitness and is both wheelchair and buggy friendly.Kerry Recreation and Sports Partnership are calling on you, to get out and #BeActive as part of European Week of Sport 2021, which runs from September 23 to 30. Sport Ireland, the national coordinating body for European Week of Sport in […]

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The event is free, open to all ages, levels of fitness and is both wheelchair and buggy friendly.
Kerry Recreation and Sports Partnership are calling on you, to get out and #BeActive as part of European Week of Sport 2021, which runs from September 23 to 30.

Sport Ireland, the national coordinating body for European Week of Sport in Ireland hope that this year’s event will inspire even more people than previous years and has funded multiple flagship as well as local events run by the Network of Local Sports Partnerships, including this ‘Family Street Orienteering Kerry’ event.

“This free event looks to offer everyone an opportunity the get out and be active and maybe try something new,” Gearóid O Doherty, the Coordinator of Kerry Recreation and Sports Partnership said. 

“Urban Orienteering is an activity that you can do on your own or with your family and friends. You get to challenge yourself a little and still go at a pace that suits you – and what a beautiful location to do it all in, Killarney town!

“With many people possibly new to the Kerry region, be that through work, college or otherwise, this is an ideal way to get involved in the community and explore the streets and lanes of Killarney in a fun and active way.”

The Kerry Orienteers Club have designed the courses for this event and are looking forward to the excitement of it all and helping those new to the sport to continue taking part in the months and years that follow.

“We know that, for a lot of people, this will be their first time trying orienteering, but they can rest assured, as we will be there to talk them through it and help them out if needed,” Brendan O’Brien from Kerry Orienteers said.

“If it is something they want to try again, we can signpost them to other events, both locally here in Kerry and indeed nationally. Orienteering is a fantastic sport that allows you to build your skills and confidence, with all events having a variety of routes to cater for all levels.”

To cater for physical distancing and government guidelines, there are several staggered start times for participants to choose from, beginning at 6pm and the last group heading off at 7.30pm. With free t-shirts for all who sign up and additional workshops onsite, from the likes of Leave No Trace Ireland, it is sure to be a fun and vibrant evening, all stemming from the start point at ANAM – Killarney’s Arts and Culture Centre.

Places are limited for this event. Free online registration is available and those looking to attend are encouraged to book their place early to avoid disappointment.

For more information, you can visit any of the Kerry Recreation and Sports Partnership social media accounts or go to www.sportireland.ie.

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