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Ukrainians sing from the heart as a thank you to community

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By Natalya Krasnenkova

Beautiful sounds and hand crafted gifts made for a very special occasion on Sunday as the Ukrainian community came together to thank locals for their warm welcome and hospitality.

Ksenia Ruskak pictured during her solo performance dat St Mary's Church of Ireland on Sunday. Photo: Oleksandr Khomenko

Kaenia and Sofia Yershovy pictured at St Mary's Church of Ireland on Sunday. Photo: Anastasya Garbera

Getting ready to perform were members of the Ukrainian Choir at St Mary's Church of Ireland on Sunday. Photo: Oleksandr Khomenko

Young Ukrainians performed in the Children's Choir in St Mary's Church of Ireland on Sunday. Photo: Oleksandr Khomenko

St Mary's Church of Ireland on Sunday was full of guests as the Ukrainian choir prepared for their 'Thank You' concert. Photo: Oleksandr Khomenko

Members of the Irish Cathedral Choir pictured performing at St Mary's Church of Ireland on Sunday. Photo: Anastaya Garbera

Adrian McSweeney playing at the charity concert in St Mary's Church of Ireland on Sunday. Photo: Anastasiya Garbera

Christmas cards made by Ukrainians which were handed out to those in attendance at Sunday's concert. Photo: Oleksandr Khomenko

The talented Yershovy Sisters performing at Sunday's concert in St Mary's Church of Ireland. Photo: Oleksandr Khomenko

A charity concert was held at St Mary's Church of Ireland and it was packed to the rafters as the 200 seats could not accommodate all present.

A choir of Ukrainians currently living in Killarney spent three weeks in daily rehearsals to present the best Ukrainian carols and had prepared a large programme of traditional Christmas songs and melodies.

Fortunately, among the participants there are many professional singers Okasna Bondarenko, Anna Domina and Olena Basko, who helped other participants to sound sublime.

“The whole choir sang from the heart. It was an opportunity to show what a good Ukrainian fun song is,” Anna Domina said.

The children's choir also prepared the song 'Oh, who loves St Nicholas?'. Saint Nicholas is for Ukrainians what Santa Claus is for the Irish. Children are waiting for St Nicholas who traditionally brings them gifts and puts them under the pillow. It is no accident that during the performance of this song, the Ukrainians treated all the little guests to sweets.

The Ukrainian violinist sisters Yeroshovy from Listowel impressed everyone with their virtuoso performance. People in the hall cried and applauded when they heard the world-famous 'Melody' by the Ukrainian composer Myroslav Skoryk.

Bandur player Ksenia Rusnak travelled from Lisdoonvarna where she lives now to perform several compositions.

The Irish Cathedral Choir joined the concert with several Christmas carols accompanied by the organ and Adrian McSweeney sang a traditional Irish song.

"We really wanted to introduce the Irish audience to our musical Christmas traditions. Now the whole world sings the 'Carol of the Bells' written by the Ukrainian composer Mykola Leontovych. In Ukrainian, this Christmas song is called 'Shchedryk'. Exactly one hundred years ago, the premiere of this song took place in New York. Singing and spending this special time together, we can become closer to each other and connect culturally and spiritually," Yulya Spillane, one of the organisers, said.

To commemorate the concert, all guests received Christmas cards and angels made by Ukrainian children.

"We will be happy if these small gifts decorate your homes and create a festive atmosphere."

Ukrainians are very grateful to Rev. Simon J Lumby from St Mary's Church for the wonderful venue and KASI for providing a room for rehearsals.

After the successful concert, the Ukrainian choir received several invitations for future performances. All those who could not make it to last Sunday's concert are invited to the church in Fossa next Wednesday, December 21, with other concerts also possible in the coming week.

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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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