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Dr Valeria is one tough cookie

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By Natalya Krasnenkova

Valeria Mashkovska applies make-up, manages a short hairstyle and looks like a Roxette soloist. Today she will go to a medical clinic to start taking in Ukrainian patients.

In Ukraine, Valeria worked as a family doctor and head of a medical centre. She is currently an assistant physician at a medical clinic in Killarney. She is preparing for an English language exam and confirmation of a Ukrainian doctor's degree.

Valeria moved to Killarney at the end of March with her two children, Hlib (13) and Veronica (21). Leaving Odessa was a real challenge for her as she had to urgently evacuate her children and herself when rocket attacks began on the city.

Valeria jumped in the car and ran towards the Moldovan border, the closest point to Odessa. There was no plan but to flee the war as far as possible to save her children.

All she managed to grab was a few things and put a knife under the car seat which was needed to feel at least a little bit safe. Of course, she would not be able to use a knife as a weapon.

"I completely forgot about this knife and crossed all borders with it. I can't even imagine what it would be like if it was found at a checkpoint or at the border. When I remembered about it, I was very scared. I left it in the kitchen in Sofia, Bulgaria,” Valeria says.

After crossing the border, Valeria's family took some time out to recover, and then became quite frightened because they had no money and nowhere to stay. Valeria moved to Bulgaria where she spent a week with the children.

Acquaintances in Sofia gave them housing, but not food. For several days they simply did not have anything to eat. Then Valeria got to the Red Cross, where she received some food. For several days, they have eaten only canned food.

"Nobody taught us how to behave in war, nobody prepared us to drive a car for 24 hours without rest, nobody told us to pay money in case of escape," Valeria added. “You have to do all this for the first time and you can't make mistakes and risk your children. You still have to take them away from the war. ”

To buy tickets to Ireland she had to sell her car. These were one-way tickets.

In Killarney, on the first day of her arrival, Valeria told me: “I need to come to my senses and rest. I'm terribly tired".

But in three days she started working. Valeria took a job as a waitress at The Killarney Oaks Hotel, all the time looking for an opportunity to be useful as a doctor.

All Innisfallen citizens know that we have a doctor that can be knocked on 24/7. Valeria is ready to help people, even when she is very tired after 10 hours as a waitress.

And now Valeria is standing by the mirror, straightening her hair and smiling. For several weeks now, she has been working as an assistant doctor in Killarney two days a week. For the remaining four days, Valeria works as a waitress and she spends all her free time learning English. She's a really tough cookie.

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Killarney centre stage for Pride Festival

The award-winning Kingdom Pride in Kerry festival is back next week and Killarney will take centre stage. Kingdom Pride will be celebrated in towns all across the county from July […]

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The award-winning Kingdom Pride in Kerry festival is back next week and Killarney will take centre stage.

Kingdom Pride will be celebrated in towns all across the county from July 17 to 21.

The organisation’s flagship Party in the Park event will be held again in Killarney House and Gardens, following the Pride march in the town centre on July 20.

This year, in solidarity with the people of Palestine, Kingdom Pride in Kerry is inviting the people of Kerry to come to show their unity by bringing Palestinian flags and kites to the march, and to the Party in the Park.

“Pride is a protest for human rights all over the world. Here in the Kingdom, we have been so lucky to receive tremendous community support from our allies and supporters, and we see the struggle for liberation of all peoples as a united cause,” said Daniel Quirke, chairperson of the organising committee.

“Our events have always welcomed everyone, regardless of gender, orientation, religion, or nationality. We truly believe that together we can create positive change through caring for and loving one another. This year is no exception, and we look forward to helping to highlight the Palestinian cause, and to bringing people together to keep generating positive change for all people.”

Events will take place in Cahersiveen, Listowel, Killorglin, Tralee and Dingle, and include an Irish comedy night with Áine Gallagher, an Irish-language movie screening, yoga, sea swimming, poetry and storytelling, bowling, pitch and putt, a lively drag night at the INEC, and plenty more for people of all ages.

“We do our best to keep tickets as low-cost as possible, and we have lots of events that are totally free to attend. It is important to us that people can share Pride with us, regardless of income. Especially with the rise of the cost of living putting a strain on people’s pockets.” added the chairperson.

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A weekend of Live Music, Fun and Entertainment, at FleskFest 2024

The organisers of the annual FleskFest have “a tremendous line-up, with a weekend full of entertainment to suit all” for the July 18 to 20 event. “It promises to be […]

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The organisers of the annual FleskFest have “a tremendous line-up, with a weekend full of entertainment to suit all” for the July 18 to 20 event.

“It promises to be the festival weekend of the summer, an event you don’t want to miss out on. Last year’s Festival was a fantastic memorable experience for our community, a time to get together and celebrate,” said festival PRO Seán Daly.

Organised by Glenflesk GAA, FleskFest 24 will take place at the Barraduff Community Field next week.
There will be a fully licensed bar in the Fest Marquee, some amazing live music on The Big Stage, food trucks and much more.
Glenflesk GAA club’s biggest fundraiser of the year includes a new-for-2024 Texas Holdem Poker Tournament on Thursday night.
Weekend highlights include old-time waltzing, jiving and polka sets with Paudie McAuliffe and Paudie Coffey Band on Friday,
On Saturday, the new Well Flesk event will take place.
“A morning of self-care and wellness at Flesk Fest featuring masterclasses in yoga, pilates, mindfulness, spinning, fitness sessions, workouts, firewood sauna and ice pods with a range of experienced and qualified instructors,” added Daly.
Leading local musician Johnny Courtney and Friends, Sam and Ina, The O’Donoghue Sisters, Reigning All Ireland Champions Glenflesk Ballad Group, and The Border Boys will take to the Big Stage over the weekend.
Sunday is Family Fun Day with children’s entertainment and disco and the All-Ireland Hurling Final Live on the Big screen followed by music with Thingamajig.
The festival will finish with a Sunday evening session with the Meadhbh Walsh Band.

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