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Ursula closes the books after 42 years in education

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By Michelle Crean 

Memories flowed as much as the tears last week as pupils, colleagues and friends paid tribute to one of the town's best loved principals who has retired after over four decades in education. 

Ursula Coffey with her family celebrating her retirement as Principal and Teacher at Holy Cross Mercy School. From left were: Lee and Jennifer Buckley Kieran and Ursula Coffey Eithne McAuliffe Fintan and Laura Coffey. Photo: Eamonn Keogh

Deputy Principal Anne Lucey retiring Principal Ursula Coffey and incoming Principal Alice O’Donnell Davern at the Hotel Europe celebrating the retirement of Ursula Coffey from Holy Cross Mercy Primary School. Photo: Eamonn Keogh

Ursula Coffey with her family on the night of her retirement as Principal and Teacher at Holy Cross Mercy School. From left were: Jennifer Kieran Ursula and Fintan Coffey. Photo: Eamonn Keogh

Ursula Coffey (seated centre) surrounded by her family and staff of Holy Cross Mercy School on Friday night in The Hotel Europe Killarney on the occasion of her retirement following 42 years of service. Photo: Eamonn Keogh

Ursula Coffey arriving in style to her retirement dinner in the Hotel Europe with her husband Kieran and family. From left were: Lee and Jennifer Buckley Kieran and Ursula Coffey Fintan and Laura Coffey. Photo: Eamonn Keogh

Marie Westlake making a presentation on behalf of the Parents’ Association of Holy Cross Mercy School to Ursula Coffey on the evening of her retirement. From left: Rhonda Healy Marie Westlake Alice O’Donnell Davern Ursula Coffey Anne Lucey and Breda Flanagan. Photo: Eamonn Keogh

Some past teachers of Holy Cross Mercy School pictured with Ursula Coffey at her retirement dinner in the Hotel Europe Killarney on Friday night. Front from left were: Sr Colette Dennehy Ella Stack Ursula Coffey Siobhán Clancy and Helen Prendergast. Back from left: Breda Courtney Murphy Maureen O’Donoghue Mary O’Sullivan and Alison Coffey. Photo: Eamonn Keogh

Bridget McGuire (Chairperson of the Holy Cross Mercy Board of Management) making a presentation to retiring Principal Ursula Coffey with Fr Niall Howard and Caitríona Behan. Photo: Eamonn Keogh

Ursula Coffey who retired from Holy Cross Mercy School was best remembered for knowing each and every child by name as she greeted them every morning - and for her infamous homemade chocolate brownies which they say were a staple in the school for special days!

For much of her career at the school Ursula taught Sixth Class pupils in what some of her former pupils referred to as her “finishing school” preparing young girls for their transfer to secondary school.

Over the past 16 years she undertook the historic role of the first lay principal of the school.

Under the leadership of Deputy Principal, Anne Lucey with Breda Flanagan and Rhonda Healy, preparations were made for an event to celebrate Ursula’s long and distinguished contribution to life in Holy Cross. Each member of the staff and all of the pupils pulled out all of the stops to make this time a very special one for Mrs. Coffey. Her retirement celebrations began on Wednesday last with a school Mass which coincided with the annual celebration of Mercy Day, a very important feast day for all of the Mercy Community.

Speaking from the Altar in St Mary’s Cathedral Mrs. Coffey reminded all present of the strong links that Holy Cross Mercy School has, which are rooted in the Mercy Community and officially thanked the Mercy Sisters for their generosity to the school. Fr. Niall Howard, former school chaplain, led the pupils, staff, parents and community in prayer during the con-celebrated Mass.

Afterwards the school hosted a gathering in honour of Ursula. She was joined by her close friends and family members and welcomed with a guard of honour by the pupils in their red and grey uniforms waving Mercy flags and applauding.

Thursday saw a variety show put on by the pupils in an outpouring of gratitude and affection for their beloved outgoing principal. Song, poetry, artwork and drama rooted in the curriculum formed the basis for the variety show which was enjoyed by one and all. 

Friday saw Mrs. Coffey leave the school following her final day’s work. She left the building on New Road handing over her famously large bunch of keys to incoming Principal and former Mercy pupil Alice Davern. With rapturous cheers from one and all Mrs. Coffey bid farewell to the building she taught in and ran during her career.

Later that evening Ursula and her family were chauffeured by helicopter to the Hotel Europe where her retirement dinner was held. The pupils, parents, staff and Board of Management of Holy Cross Mercy School, wish Ursula and her family all the very best as she begins this next chapter of life’s journey.

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Credit Union launch a new collaboration with Gilroy’s Green Energy Ltd.

Building on recent success the Credit Unions of Kerry and West Limerick have launched a new collaboration with Gilroy’s Green Energy Ltd. Gilroy’s Green Energy Ltd specialise in Photovoltaic (PV) […]

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Building on recent success the Credit Unions of Kerry and West Limerick have launched a new collaboration with Gilroy’s Green Energy Ltd.

Gilroy’s Green Energy Ltd specialise in Photovoltaic (PV) Solar systems that generate electricity, battery storage, air to water heat-pumps and much more.
Gilroy’s work with customers to receive the SEAI once-off grant towards the purchase and installation of solar photovoltaic (PV) systems and heat pumps for your home.
Collaborating with Kerry and West Limerick Credit Union expands the finance options available to Gilroy’s Green Energy Ltd customers to help finance new PV Solar Panel installations. Loan rates will be directly linked to the property BER starting from 4.7%(4.89APR) for an “A” rated BER.
Martin Gilroy; CEO with Gilroy’s Green Energy Ltd said: “We are delighted to officially launch this collaboration with the Credit Unions of Kerry and West Limerick. Customers have already reaped the benefits on recent installation projects after contacting their local Credit Union. Having a direct link to local Credit Unions allows us to guide customers to affordable financing options based on the specific installation quotation we provide at very competitive rates.“
Speaking on behalf of the Kerry and West Limerick Credit Unions, Ashley Fitzgerald added: “We are delighted to have Gilroy’s Green Energy Ltd come on board as part of our Greener Homes Loan offering. Home Energy Upgrade have become a prominent concern and talking point among members in recent months, by Credit Unions having a direct link with Gilroy’s Green Energy Ltd allows both sides to make referrals and seek the best finance option for members. We are working hard building relationships with Green Energy Ltd providers as we want to ensure our members can avail of the best loan rates for all upgrade works.”
Credit Unions across Kerry and West Limerick. Abbeyfeale Credit Union, Cara Credit Union, Killarney Credit Union, Listowel Credit Union and Rathmore and District Credit Union can be reached via: www.creditunion.ie
Gilroy’s Green Energy Ltd can be contacted on 066-7115920, email info@gilroys.ie or for more information visit www.gilroys.ie.

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Racegoers Club to host Cheltenham Preview Night

Killarney Racegoers Club will host its annual Cheltenham Preview Night in Corkery’s Bar on March 7. Admission is free and this year’s chosen beneficiary is the Killarney Branch of St […]

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Killarney Racegoers Club will host its annual Cheltenham Preview Night in Corkery’s Bar on March 7.

Admission is free and this year’s chosen beneficiary is the Killarney Branch of St Vincent De Paul Society.
The expert panel includes professional punter Paddy Wilmott, leading jockey Conor McNamara, up-and-coming Kerry-based trainer Eoin McCarthy and local bookmaker Brendan Tyther with Vince Casey acting as the event’s compere.

“There is no admission fee but a raffle on the night for dual membership of Killarney Racegoers Club for the year, which includes 13 days racing and many reciprocal days to other race meetings,” said Mr Casey.

The Cheltenham Festival begins on March 12.

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