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Tributes as St Patrick’s Festival chairman steps down



Killarney Chamber of Tourism and Commerce has paid tribute to the enormous contribution of local businessman Paul Sherry who has stepped down as voluntary chairman of the St Patrick’s Festival in Killarney.

Mr Sherry said he has thoroughly enjoyed his time at the helm but, due to several other commitments, he has to hand over the baton to somebody else to plan for the future and elevate the event to a new level.

Chamber President Niall Kelleher said the outgoing chairman has done a tremendous job over the past five years and his work ethic has been extraordinary.

“It is regularly said that if you want something done well then you should give it to a busy person and that was certainly the case with Paul,” Mr Kelleher said.

“In addition to his position as manager of Killarney Outlet Centre, he is hugely active in Killarney Celtic FC, Killarney Rotary Club and so many other local organisations yet he always found time to do the job for us and to do it very well.

“Paul put his heart and soul into the organisation of the St Patrick’s Festival in Killarney, leading by example all the time and the town and its people owe him an enormous debt of gratitude for ensuring we have had such a wonderful spectacle to enjoy every March.”

Paul said the St Patrick’s Day parade in Killarney has always been a success because, in some shape or form, community activists freely give of their time and effort to their club, their organisation and their community.

“The St Patrick’s Festival is a celebration of our place, our history and our heritage and I want to thank everybody for being part of it over the years,” he said.

“The spirit of community and volunteerism is alive and well in our town and that is clearly evident by the magnificent display we saw on our streets on St Patrick’s Day. Without this overall community effort, there would be no parade,” he added.

Paul Sherry has spent the past five years as voluntary chairperson of the St Patrick’s Festival – even though it was suspended during the pandemic – and, prior to that, he was assistant chairperson during Anne Marie Kennelly’s three-year term in charge.

“I feel that, in order for the festival to grow and progress, it now needs fresh input from somebody with experience in international marketing to promote Killarney further,” he said.

“Much as I have enjoyed working on the festival, between the demands of family, work and other commitments, I will no longer be able to allocate the time necessary to do justice to what is required to run this event,” Mr Sherry added.

”I wish to take this opportunity to thank everyone within the Chamber of Tourism and Commerce, Kerry County Council and Fáilte Ireland who have helped and supported me with the festival and I have no doubt that, with fresh leadership and commitment, St Patrick’s Festival Killarney will go from strength to strength."

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Top awards for innovative students

By Michelle Crean Killarney students proved that their projects can make a positive impact after being honoured at the Young Social Innovators of the Year Ireland (YSI) Awards. The five […]




By Michelle Crean

Killarney students proved that their projects can make a positive impact after being honoured at the Young Social Innovators of the Year Ireland (YSI) Awards.

The five members of ‘Operation Red’ in St Brigid’s Secondary School were celebrating this week after receiving a national Bronze Award for their project which is raising awareness about the lack of knowledge surrounding menstrual disorders. Their goal is to encourage open discussion on these issues, so no woman ever feels alone. The team will receive a prize bursary of €750, which can be put towards developing their idea and increasing the impact of their innovation.

Young Social Innovators is a non-profit organisation that believes in the power of youth. Its vision is to empower, equip and inspire young people to change the world for good. The girls’ project was one of 34 shortlisted from over 400 YSI groups around Ireland.

“As part of our project we’re in the process of developing resources for the SPHE classes in our school,” Transition Year student Anna Cashman told the Killarney Advertiser.

“We’ll try it here as a pilot project and branch out to other schools.”

She added that plans so far include educating students by putting an information booklet together using HSE and NHS advice.

“It’s important to have the right information as it’s a very under researched issue. We have had a positive response to it.”

Cait Fitzgerald Healy from YSI arrived to the school as a surprise to the group and presented the girls with their trophy towards the end of the online ceremony. There was huge excitement all round! Teacher and mentor Catherine O’Donoghue also received the ‘Let them Shine’ award for her involvement with YSI over the last five years.


Picking up the ‘Make Our World Safer Award’, a team from St Brendan’s College was recognised for its ‘One Punch Can Kill’ project, which aims to combat toxic masculinity and raise awareness amongst young men of the seriousness of ‘one punch attacks’.

When researching the issue, the team found that many perpetrators rarely reoffend and the percentage of male-on-male violence in society is extremely high. The group examined the route cause of the issue, which stems from a variety of factors, and wanted to raise awareness that spontaneous and random ‘one punch attacks’ can have serious and life-changing consequences.

Amongst its many actions, the team embarked on media outreach, designed and delivered student workshops, created a poster campaign, held an Anti Violence Week and is currently working on a children’s book in an effort to promote the important message that ‘One Punch Can Kill’.

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Pres footballers are in seventh heaven



The St Brigid’s Presentation Second Year footballers were crowned County Junior B champions on Friday last following a superb seven-goal victory over Mercy Mounthawk Tralee in the Ballymac sunshine.

The girls hit the ground running, bagging two quick goals from the boots of Lily O’Shaughnessy and Niamh Cantillon.

The Pres defence was solid and dogged throughout and managed to keep Mounthawk from breaching their goal for the duration. Abby Cronin scored three goals and a point to torment the oppostion and Niamh Cantillon scored a second goal plus a point to keep the Killarney school well in front.

Further scores from Muireann Healy and a final goal from Lara O’Neill gave us a final score of 7-4 to 0-11.

It was an excellent performance from the entire team, including the substitutes who all played their part. Captain Eve Culhane proudly accepted the cup on behalf of the team, and St Brigid’s, at the end of the game and joyous celebrations followed.

Congratulations to all the players and to their trainers: Mr Counihan, Ms Healy and Ms Brosnan.


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