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Ukrainians experience their first ever Hallowe’en




By Natalya Krasnenkova

For Ukrainians, celebrating Hallowe'en is not a tradition.

LOOKING DIFFERENT: Stepan Krykun Natalya Krasnenkova George Saary Valryia Mashkovska Victoria Volkova and Maeve O'Connell enjoyed getting in to character up for Hallowe'en.

DRESS UP: Fedorchuk Mylana and Bidakh Mariia pictured dressing up for Hallowe'en for the very first time. Photo: Natalya Krasnenkova

FIRST TIME: Ukrainian children from Innisfallen Hotel pictured enjoying their first ever Hallowe'en. Photo: Natalya Krasnenkova

In Ukraine, people celebrate more for Christmas than they do for Hallowe'en. It is then that children change into costumes of biblical characters and go from door to door singing carols and glorifying the birth of Christ. Adults reward children's groups with sweets and money.

“But once we were in Killarney, we couldn't help but join in the celebration of a new holiday for us, this will be our first Halloween, we must spend this evening unforgettable,” thought the Ukrainians from Innisfallen Hotel.

As early as noon on October 31, little Ukrainians in traditional costumes were knocking on the doors of the rooms at the Innisfallen Hotel, shouting "trick or treat"! All the adults were ready and generously gifted the children with sweets. For example, several skeletons, several ghosts, a couple of witches and scarecrows in pumpkin masks knocked on my door during the day!

But the real event unfolded at the Innisfallen Hotel in the evening. Then the adults prepared a performance for the children in which the evil pumpkin monster came to feast on the children. The forces of good together with the children had to go through quests and guess all the riddles in order to defeat the pumpkin monster. The children really enjoyed running around the hotel and looking for clues to solve the riddles. The hotel was filled with children's laughter, noise and happy exclamations when another mystery was solved. As a team, the children were able to defeat the pumpkin monster played by Vasyl Melnychuk.

He not only came up with the scenario of the holiday, made a costume, but also expertly carved the head of the pumpkin monster. In Ukraine, Vasyl worked a lot as a wood carver, so he skilfully performed carving.

“First of all, this is a holiday for children who were torn from normal life in Ukraine. Children are children, despite what is happening at home, in Ukraine, they want holidays. Innisfallen Hotel became a family home, the entire hotel team became family. It was a warm family holiday,” Vasyl, the organiser, said.

Then children, together with adults, held a competition for the best festive costume. No one was surprised that the victory went to all the children. And they were all rewarded with applause and sweets. Finally, everyone together, children and parents, carved pumpkins.

We would like to note that the Innisfallen Hotel was beautifully decorated for the holiday, and for lunch we were served a festive menu, for which we are very grateful to all the staff. Any initiative of Ukrainians, be it children's parties, movie screenings, disco, speaking clubs, always finds support and help in organising it from the entire hotel team. The residents of the hotel are very grateful from the bottom of their hearts to everyone who works at the Innisfallen Hotel.


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Start clocking up those ‘Kingdom Kilometres’

With an increase in daylight hours there’s no better time to clock up the ‘Kingdom Kilometres’ on foot or by cycling along the county’s two new Greenways. The recently opened […]




With an increase in daylight hours there’s no better time to clock up the ‘Kingdom Kilometres’ on foot or by cycling along the county’s two new Greenways.

The recently opened Kingdom of Kerry Greenways between Tralee and Fenit and between Listowel and Abbeyfeale are already proving hugely popular with locals and visitors to Kerry.

Representatives of the tourism Industry, local public representatives, travel writers and influencers gathered in Kerry on Monday to experience the exciting new tourist attractions and welcome the arrival of the longer daylight hours as the clocks changed over to summertime.

Sarah Hanrahan, a social media influencer who posts about Irish travel and has more than 100,000 Instagram followers, described the experience.

“Ireland has some of the most amazing outdoor spaces. For a lot of my followers and other people, connecting with green spaces has become much more important to their overall sense of well-being as well as their health and fitness. It’s been really gorgeous to experience the Tralee to Fenit, and Listowel to Limerick Kingdom of Kerry Greenways; a fantastic trip sampling the warm hospitality of Kerry and a great reminder of the active holiday options that are right on our doorstep.”

The new purpose-built trails provide an accessible and inclusive experience for visitors of all abilities.

Mayor of Tralee, Cllr Mikey Sheehy and the Mayor of Listowel, Cllr Aoife Thornton, said that the greenways offer an exceptional recreational amenity for everyone to enjoy.

“The greenways are situated in some of Kerry’s most scenic landscapes and offer spectacular and safe off-road facilities for people of all ages to enjoy as the landscape comes into bloom. They also offer warm hospitality at the trail head towns of each route.”

Visit to find out more.


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St Patrick’s Day parade winners announced

Killarney Valley Classic and Vintage Club has won the sought-after overall award in recognition of their colourful and action-packed entry to this year’s St Patrick’s Day parade in Killarney. Delighted […]



Killarney Valley Classic and Vintage Club has won the sought-after overall award in recognition of their colourful and action-packed entry to this year’s St Patrick’s Day parade in Killarney.

Delighted club representatives were presented with the Seán O’Keeffe Perpetual Trophy – in memory of the former Mayor of Killarney and parade stalwart – at a gala presentation of prizes in the International Hotel, Killarney on Tuesday night.

The award for the Best Interpretation of the Theme, which was Killarney: Experience More, went to the Wander Wild Festival who received the Michael Courtney Perpetual Trophy which is dedicated to the memory of another former mayor of the town who spearheaded the annual St Patrick’s Day celebrations for many years.

The John ‘Killer’ O’Callaghan Perpetual Trophy for the Best Sporting Entry was won by Killarney Athletic AFC and the Peter Irwin Memorial Trophy for the Best Marching Group and Cultural/Arts Entry went to Millstreet Pipe Band.

The Best Sports Club was Spa GAA, the Best Children’s Group prize was won by Kilcummin Comhaltas and the Best New Entry was Killarney Rugby Football Club.

There was an international flavour to the Best Musical Entry which was scooped by the Glenridge High School Marching Band from New Jersey.

The prize for the Best Voluntary Group went to the Kerry Stars Special Olympics Club, the Best School Award went to the Fiona Crowley Stage School and the Best Activity Group was deemed to be Scorchers Cheerleading Club.

The Most Entertaining Entry went to the Killarney Tidy Towns group, the prize for the Most Original Entry was won by Liebherr Container Cranes and the Most Imaginative Entry in the parade was the Art House, Killarney.

The Most Stylish Entry prize was awarded to the Ukrainian community whose representative said they were delighted to play a part in Ireland’s national holiday and thanked the people of Killarney for the warm welcome they have received.

Other prizes presented on the night included the Best Window Display which went to Christy Healy’s on New Street who were celebrating 100 years in business on St Patrick’s Day, while the Europe Hotel and Resort won the Best Green-Themed Building prize.

The judges for the parade were Br Pat Lynch, Guardian, Franciscan Friary, Pam Brosnan, Killarney Musical Society and Denis McMahon.

The awards were presented by Killarney St Patrick’s Festival Chairman Paul Sherry, Mayor of Killarney Cllr Niall Kelleher, Killarney Chamber of Tourism and Commerce Senior Executive Bridget O’Keeffe, and parade grand marshal Cathal P Walshe.

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