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Urgent appeal as earthquake death toll reaches over 21,000




By Michelle Crean

A Turkish man living in Killarney is urgently appealing for help following multiple earthquakes in his home country this week which has left over 21,000 dead.

Monday's devastating 7.8 magnitude earthquake ripped through Turkey and Syria leaving thousands of people without shelter or food, and with just the clothes on their backs.

At least 26 staff of the Irish aid agency Goal have also died.

It's the biggest earthquake Turkey has experienced in over 200 years with 10 cities affected, according to well known Turkish barber Michael Kaya, who is urgently appealing to Killarney locals to donate what they can to help the people in his home country.

At least 6,400 buildings were destroyed in Turkey and approximately 30 percent of the area has been completely destroyed with the remaining 70% damaged. People desperate for food and basic goods have been forced to loot supermarkets as they await aid. Babies have been found alone in the city of Kahramanmaras and brought to hospital for treatment.

Michael, who is from Kuşadası, has been living in Killarney for 19 years and runs Michael's Barbers on High Street which is a busy and popular spot.

Upon hearing the news of the devastation to hit his country he put a call out for donations and has been overwhelmed by the response so far.

It's currently winter in Turkey with temperatures hitting minus four degrees.

He says people urgently needs hats, gloves, scarves, coats and shoes for all ages, blankets as well as nappies, baby food and hygiene products. He is not accepting money.

He plans to transport the goods to the Turkish Embassy in Dublin and they will then arrange for them to be transported to aid agencies.

He says he knows of people close to his family members who have died. Ergin Kuccuk who has lived in Tralee for two decades and currently works in The Rose Hotel lost both his parents this week. They had survived the initial earthquake and he spoke to them on the phone but they died soon after when another earthquake struck while they were inside their home.

"As a person from my home country I want to do my duty to help," Michael told the Killarney Advertiser.

"We had an earthquake in the early 2000s so I know what it feels like, the desperation especially in the cold winter. We want to give them a bit of hope. Irish people are very fair, I see that the last few years for the people of Ukraine."

He says he plans to drive to the embassy to drop off the goods.

"If anybody would like to donate any of the goods you can drop them into my shop 20 High Street, Killarney."

A second collection is being organised by Mary O'Leary.

She's calling on people to consider picking up similar items when shopping over the coming days.

She will be available on Monday evening at 7pm in the Cathedral car park, Killarney where people can drop the items off.

"I will park at the edge of the cathedral car park and will have my boot open so that people can easily drive by and drop off items that they want to donate," she told the Killarney Advertiser. "The items will be sent to the Dublin embassy on Tuesday so I will not be collecting any items after that." 

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Killarney twinned with Italian town

By Sean Moriarty It has taken 10 years but the Italian town of Casperia is now an official twin town with Killarney. The idea to twin the picturesque town near […]




By Sean Moriarty

It has taken 10 years but the Italian town of Casperia is now an official twin town with Killarney.

The idea to twin the picturesque town near Rome was first mooted by the old Killarney Town Council.

However, when town councils were discontinued in 2014 the task was handed over to Killarney Town Twining Association and was supported by the elected Killarney Municipal District members of Kerry County Council.

A delegation from the association and the council visited Casperia in 2019 to sign the Italian side of the twining agreement.

The pandemic further delayed the process but on Thursday last Killarney Mayor Niall Kelleher and Casperia Mayor Marco Cusso met to formally sign the charter in Killarney.

“This was honouring a commitment made by the former town council to establish a twinning under European guidelines back in 2014,” said association chairman Sean Counihan.

“Unfortunately the town councils were abolished and Killarney Town Twinning Association pursued the matter.

“We are delighted that the municipal authority saw fit to move the beautiful town of Casperia near Rome from association status to full twinning with Killarney.

“We deeply appreciate the members’ positivity in honouring the former Town Council’s decision.”

The signing between the two mayors took place over the St Patrick’s Festival weekend when Killarney Town Twining Association also welcomed groups from other towns like Pleindfeld in Germany and Concord, North Carolina, USA.


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Music and fun at Fossa Rambling House

By Sean Moriarty The Fossa Two Mile branch of Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann held its first Rambling House night of music and dance on Saturday night. Their return to the stage […]




By Sean Moriarty

The Fossa Two Mile branch of Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann held its first Rambling House night of music and dance on Saturday night.

Their return to the stage was timed to coincide with the St Patrick’s weekend celebration and also marked the first big event at the Castlerosse Park Resort since it re-opened on Thursday night following its winter break.

As well as a feat of Irish music, dance and poetry, Fossa-based Ukrainians gave performances in their native language too.

“What a great night we had at our CCÉ Rambling House last Saturday night,” Chairman Tim Kissane said.

“There are so many people to thank that we apologise in advance if we miss anybody out. Firstly, to the management and staff Castlerosse Park Resort for hosting our event and the wonderful service they provided.

“To our very talented stalwart musicians Mike Jack, Noreen and Maura who entertained us all so well from start to finish.

“To all our guest performers, from The Racing Pigeons to the Biddy Group and all the singers, musicians and storytellers in between go raibh mile maith agaibh. Special mention to our Ukrainian singers who performed two songs in their native language for us on the night. Thank you to all our members and supporters and to Fear an Tí, Mick Myers agus Bean an Tí, Theresa Kissane who kept the night flowing. Our fireplace display was kindly lent to us by the Beaufort Pioneers and adorned with ‘things of old’ from Brendan O’Sullivan.”


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