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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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Trilogy of comedy on offer by Dóchas Drama

By Sean Moriarty Dóchas Drama Group will present a series of three short comedy plays next week. All three plays are written and produced by Dóchas and will be acted […]

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By Sean Moriarty

Dóchas Drama Group will present a series of three short comedy plays next week.

All three plays are written and produced by Dóchas and will be acted out by the group’s members.

The opening act, ‘Flossing Around’ is written by Ger Madden and directed by Brian Bowler.

“A woman has an innate fear of the dentist. We go on the journey with her as she faces her fears, with hilarious consequences,” explained the group’s Liz Ryan.

This will be followed by ‘Faraway Hills’ which is written by Mary Quirke and directed by Michael Mills.
It is a tongue in cheek look at family life.

“A son wants to get away from small town life. His mother wants to keep him at home but his father can’t wait to see the back of him,” added Liz, who plays the mother in this short play.

Brain Bowler wrote the third instalment called ‘A Little Visitor’ which is directed by Ryan Jones.

“There are lots of misunderstandings when a hypochondriac visits a group of doctors who have other things on the their minds,” added Liz.

The run, which will feature all three performances each night, starts Wednesday next week and continues Thursday and Friday (February 8 to 10) at the Killarney Avenue Hotel. Tickets are €10 and are available at the door.

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Killarney secures three gold medals in national business awards

Three hotels in Killarney have won gold medals at the Virgin Media Business Gold Medal Awards. Now in its 33rd year, the awards the best of the best in the […]

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Three hotels in Killarney have won gold medals at the Virgin Media Business Gold Medal Awards.

Now in its 33rd year, the awards the best of the best in the hotel and catering sectors across the country.

This year, judges received over 460 entries from 150 hotels, guest houses, country houses, restaurants, cafés, bars and catering companies from around Ireland.

“An important factor in the Gold Medal Awards is the credibility and impartial nature of the judging process. Every property that undergoes this process is subject to benchmarking against a strict set of criteria and a blind site inspection conducted by the judging panel,” said an event organiser.

“This panel comprises respected industry experts from across the hospitality, culinary and catering sectors.”

Three Killarney hotels took top awards in different categories at the awards ceremony held at the Galmont Hotel and Spa in Galway on Tuesday night.

The Great Southern Hotel was named as the best Business and Conference Hotel in Ireland.

“To be recognised among the greatest hotels in Ireland is a marvellous achievement for Great Southern. It is fantastic news and has provided all our staff with a little morale boost. Our Business & Conference partners and customers are extremely important to us with some relationships in place annually for over 30 years. Receiving this recognition for the service we provide is a fantastic achievement and testament to the incredible work of our outstanding staff,” said Michael Jacobi Managing Director said.

The best front of house team award went the staff at the Aghadoe Heights Hotel and Spa.

In the Hotel Casual Dining Experience category the Dunloe Hotel and Gardens came out on top.

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