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The secret behind Fassbender’s rally documentary

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PROMOTIONAL EFFORTS: Fassbender's promotion of the Rally of the Lakes and Killarney is unmeasurable and it was down to Cormac Casey of KC Print and the 2019 Clerk of the Course Dermot Healy.

By Sean Moriarty

A new online documentary by local Hollywood A-lister Michael Fassbender has put the town of Killarney and local motorsport on the world map - and it all started in the offices of KC Print.

The Killarney-based company is Ireland’s largest trade printer and its managing director, Cormac Casey, is the son of the Killarney Advertiser’s late founder Danny.

Early last year Cormac was looking for ways of promoting the town and its motorsport heritage on the 40th anniversary of the cartell.ie Rally of the Lakes.

In his role as part of the event’s coordination team, he wanted to do something big to mark the occasion. Fassbender was already making waves as a racing driver in America and Cormac wanted to find a way to bring the town’s most-famous son and its biggest early summer event together.

He invited Fassbender to act as the rally’s ambassador and the Fossa man jumped at the opportunity.

Dermot Healy, the 2019 Clerk of the Course, backed the project and worked closely with Motorsport Ireland to create a ‘Lakes RallyFest’ event to facilitate Fassbender’s participation.

Cormac set about finding a suitable car and pulling together a team of rally mechanics to run the chosen Ford Escort Mk2 over the weekend. The project was independently funded through the support of the Killarney Advertiser, Dermot Healy Motors, Portwest, Irish Health Foods, and MIS Insurance.

In return, not only did Fassbender act as the best ambassador the county’s biggest motorsport event has ever seen, school road safety trips and town centre meet-and-greet sessions are examples of the hard work he put in, and he also produced a high-quality documentary on the event.

This was on top of unprecedented media attention Fassbender’s participation in the rally attracted. Major national daily newspapers, radio stations and TV channels gave coverage to the rally and its star driver.

The biggest of all was Fassbender’s appearance on The Graham Norton Show a few weeks after the rally where he spoke of the event and his home town to a worldwide audience of millions.

One year on, part-one of a three-part documentary series made its debut on Tuesday evening on social media channel VERO.

The six-minute programme, its length purposely mastered for an online audience, has been going viral since it aired.

The programme shows Killarney’s beauty at its best and also captures the thrill and excitement of rallying.

It is the perfect advertisement for both the town and the rally, especially this year when the Coronavirus conspired against the 41st running of the rally, as the show-reel captures what rally fans and the town were missing over the May Bank Holiday weekend.

The show has reached millions of viewers worldwide and was even picked up by RTÉ’s Six-One main evening news bulletin on Wednesday evening.

“This was not a case of Hollywood coming to Killarney, this was Killarney going to Hollywood,” a justifiably proud Cormac Casey told the Killarney Advertiser. “People questioned the value of what we were trying to do last year, but the rewards, as we have seen this week, go far beyond my expectations.”

In another coup for the KC Print Group, the Killarney Advertiser was the first print or online media organisation anywhere in the world to reveal in last week's issue, that the documentary was to be released.

Turn to our Motoring section on page 31 for a full review of the film.

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Students awarded for their contribution to school life

By Michelle Crean Students were honoured for their contribution to school life this week during a special end of year awards ceremony. Held in the school gym on Wednesday afternoon, […]

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By Michelle Crean

Students were honoured for their contribution to school life this week during a special end of year awards ceremony.

Held in the school gym on Wednesday afternoon, the students from St Brigid’s Presentation were presented with a variety of awards from sport to science, music and visual art while Sixth Year student Saoirse Coffey received the Orla Benson Award.

“During this school year, our students have showcased their brilliance and extensive talents,” teacher Adrienne Brosnan, said.

“We are all so proud of these outstanding achievements across all aspects of school life. Awards day is a truly special occasion for all members of the St Brigid’s community and one which we relish the opportunity to celebrate. It is a time of anticipation, a time of excitement and a time of great joy. The awards that are presented are a testament to that dedication and we also acknowledge all the great work that is done by the teachers here in St Brigid’s.”

Sixth Year students also said their final goodbyes ahead of their State exams next month.

“We wish them the best of luck as they spread their wings and leave the shelter of St Brigid’s for the beginning of a new adventure.”

AWARD WINNERS

Other awards winners were:

Anna Dunlea received the Contribution to Graphics award while Leah Vinluan got the Design and Communication Graphics award.

Clodagh O’Connor and Sarah O’Sullivan both received the Contribution to Visual Art award.

Abbie Finan was awarded Soccer: Player of the Year, Chloe Hue Senior Football: Player of the Year, Emily Buckley 1st Year Football: Player of the Year, Abbey Cronin 2nd Year Football: Player of the Year, and Andrea Murphy Junior Football; Player of the Year, Senior Basketball: Most Valued Player went to Tara Donnellan, the Minor Basketball: Most Valued Player was given to Ciara O’Sullivan and the Cadette Basketball: Most Valued Player went to Leah McMahon.

Kara Huggard earned herself the LCA Student of the Year, Sarah McGrath received the CEIST Award, Excellence in Science was awarded to Emma Myers and Jennie O’Mahony, while Rita Akhter received the Overall Contribution to STEM.

Bríd O’Connor who wrote the book Spark presented Saoirse O’Sullivan with the Outstanding Achievements in Music award.

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Businesses face closure due to staff shortages

Hospitality sector businesses might have to close a few days a week to off-set staff shortages. Fáilte Ireland last week launched a recruitment drive to attract part-time workers into hospitality […]

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Hospitality sector businesses might have to close a few days a week to off-set staff shortages.

Fáilte Ireland last week launched a recruitment drive to attract part-time workers into hospitality and tourism roles, where it is estimated that there is as much as a 40,000 shortage in such roles for the peak summer season.

Damien McCarthy of HR Consultancy firm HR Buddy, founded in Killarney but now based in the RDI Hub in Killorglin, said that workers are losing out due to a more cashless society.

“Hospitality businesses may have to consider shutting their doors or decreasing their operational hours during the peak summer season as many businesses such as bars, restaurants, cafes, B&Bs and hotels are struggling to find staff for the demand. The industry is suffering over these few current weeks in particular as many part-time student workers are not available due to college and Leaving Cert exams. This shows how dependant the industry has become on young student workers,” he said.

“Many service industry workers choose part-time or casual work in hospitality roles because of the tip bonus, but this has even been impacted negatively now as most tips are taxed because they are coming in electronically. The worker is losing out and this key attraction tool that existed when we were a more cash orientated society in pre-pandemic times, is now gone.”

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