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Town Hall to light up as part of nationwide solidarity message

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SHINE A LIGHT: Tralee's Ashe Memorial Hall gets in some practice ahead of Saturday night's Shine a Light nationwide solidarity message. Photo: Sean Moriarty

By Sean Moariarty

Killarney Town Hall is one of several landmark buildings that will light up tonight (Saturday) to send a nationwide message of solidarity.

RTE is calling on the whole country to “shine a light at 9pm to create a moment of solidarity in our battle against the COVID-19 pandemic".

President Michael D. Higgins and his wife Sabina are set to shine their light from the Áras. Government buildings will light up with a host of national and local public buildings across the island shining their beacon lights, along with Irish embassies and missions around the world.

Local buildings include Killarney Town Hall, as well as the Ashe Memorial Hall and County Buildings in Tralee.

Locals and individuals and invited to participate too by being as creative as they wish to either power their phone torches, flashlights, leave a candle safely in the window or even put up Christmas lights, to participate in the initiative from wherever they are.

RTÉ will be creating special content on TV, radio and online to mark this coming together and share the moment of light during what is a dark time for many.

“This global pandemic is affecting each and every person in our society so let's come together for this moment where we can express solidarity with each other while we remain separated from friends and family," RTÉ Director-General Dee Forbes said.

"Let's light up our homes or light a candle to remember all of those who have lost their lives to COVID-19 and their loved ones. Let's also remember and thank our key frontline staff for their ongoing heroic work throughout this crisis. Light reaches across all boundaries and as we watch the light flicker, perhaps we will see a glimmer of hope, in this time of fear and distancing.”

Coverage begins on RTÉ Radio 1 at 8.30pm with Shine Your Light presented by John Creedon featuring music from some of the country’s finest artists including Martin Hayes and Glen Hansard, and poetry from Moya Cannon.

At 9pm, RTÉ will broadcast a short live special on RTÉ One television, RTÉ Radio 1, RTÉ Player and RTE.ie/culture to share this moment.

It will also broadcast images from around the country as families, individuals and workers shine their light, along with local and national public buildings and embassies around the world, joining in solidarity with their communities and loved ones near and far.

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County Board open to GAA museum proposals

By Sean Moriarty The Kerry County GAA Board said it would operate “an open door policy” for any plans to build a GAA museum in the county. There have been talks at a political level to build such a museum in Kerry with political rivals in Killarney and Tralee both pushing for it to be built […]

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By Sean Moriarty

The Kerry County GAA Board said it would operate “an open door policy” for any plans to build a GAA museum in the county.

There have been talks at a political level to build such a museum in Kerry with political rivals in Killarney and Tralee both pushing for it to be built in their home town.

Before he retired from politics in April, Michael Gleeson was campaigning to build a GAA and cultural museum on the grounds of Fitzgerald Stadium.

His campaign goes back several years before the recession set in, with a €0.5 million bridging loan secured from Croke Park along with funding from Fáilte Ireland. That funding was lost with the onset of the recession before 2010.

Tim Murphy, the outgoing chairman of the Kerry County Board, has confirmed to the Killarney Advertiser that no approaches have been made to the County Board at executive level during his five year stint at the helm.

However, he said the Board would be open to such approaches provided there is sound financial planning behind the project in place.

“The first and most important aspect is the capital funding and my understanding is there needs to be Fáilte Ireland funding in place first,” he told the Killarney Advertiser. “If it gets up and running, there needs to be very clear talks with all stakeholders so everyone knows each others expectations. A museum attracts footfall, but it costs a lot of money to run. We would offer an open door policy to all proposals but funding, first from a capital point of view and then from an operational point of view, will need to be in place.”

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Loreto pupils are happy to help save the planet

By Michelle Crean School pupils are fast becoming the next generation of environmentalists thanks to a brand new litter-picking campaign. Happy to help save the planet one bit of litter at a time are the children from Scoil Bhríde, Loreto NS, who are currently partaking in the Picker Pal Programme. It’s all about taking on […]

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By Michelle Crean

School pupils are fast becoming the next generation of environmentalists thanks to a brand new litter-picking campaign.

Happy to help save the planet one bit of litter at a time are the children from Scoil Bhríde, Loreto NS, who are currently partaking in the Picker Pal Programme.

It’s all about taking on a litter-picking adventure in their local area as well as learning songs, reading storybooks, filling in activity books while witnessing that their real-world actions are making a positive difference and inspiring others to join the movement.

Picker Pals is a unique primary school programme that gives children the tools and motivation to become the next generation of environmentalists, teacher Claire O’Meara explained.

“The Picker Pal Programme is a fantastic initiative and will go a long way to raise awareness of the impact litter has on our environment,” she told the Killarney Advertiser.

Real litter-picking is motivated by a Picker Pack made from upcycled dinghy sails and containing adult and child litter-picking tools, gloves, hi-vis vests and safety information.

“This pack is then taken home by a different pupil every week. That child takes their adult on a litter-picking adventure. The children then tell the story of their litter-picking adventures through art and writing. Raising awareness is an essential part of the solution to littering. Picker Pals gives young people the tools and positive motivation to steward their local environment and make the world a better place.”

The programme, run by environmental NGO VOICE Ireland, is funded by the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications and various local authorities across Ireland.

Now in its third year of operation, over one thousand schools all across Ireland will be taking part in the Picker Pals programme this year. In Kerry, 29 schools are taking part, and Scoil Bhríde, Loreto is delighted to be included, she added.

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