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Vision impaired Fires girl goes driving

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A vision impaired Fires girl got the chance of a lifetime recently when she drove a specially adapted car for the first time.

Grace O'Sullivan meets her hero Jason Smyth

Event organiser and visually impaired rally co-driver Sara McFadden with Grace O'Sullivan at the Vision Sports rally driving experience day at Mondello Park last week

Grace O’Sullivan, 13., who has Stargardts, took part in a special Vision Sports Ireland event at Mondello Park last week.

Run in partnership with Motorsport Ireland, the day provided an experience of a lifetime for 80 blind and vision impaired participants.

During the morning session, participants got behind the wheel of hybrid and electric dual control Opel Corsa cars, offering a unique driving experience. For many of them, including Grace, it was their first time ever getting behind the wheel of a car.

“She had a brilliant time and loved every minute of it,” said her mother Mary.
“Grace is already asking if she can go again next year.”

In the afternoon they took to Mondello’s famous track where they experienced passenger rides in a host of different rally cars driven by some of Ireland’s top drivers.

Grace teamed up with Mayo-based rally driver Vanessa McFadden, sister of the event organiser, Sara, to get  her first taste of rally driving.
She also met her sporting hero, multiple Paralympic gold medallist Jason Smyth who also has Stargardts.

“Grace has followed Jason since she was seven years old, not alone is a great runner but he is an inspiration, he is married with two children and just shows that you can have a near enough normal life.,” added Mary.

The O’Sullivan Family is organising a charity cycle on September 9. Pedal for Grace will raise funds for the National Council for the Blind and will be based in the Firies Community Centre.

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Retiring Garda Sergeant began career in Killarney

Antoinette Cunningham who retired last week from An Garda Síochána and the Association of Garda Sergeant’s and Inspector’s as their General Secretary started her career 33 years ago in Killarney. […]

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Antoinette Cunningham who retired last week from An Garda Síochána and the Association of Garda Sergeant’s and Inspector’s as their General Secretary started her career 33 years ago in Killarney.

Sergeant In charge at Killarney Garda Station Dermot O’Connell paid tribute to her achievements and her unrelenting commitment to improving the policing environment.

As a former Chairman, Secretary and delegate of the Kerry Branch, Sergeant Dermot O’Connell worked closely with Antoinette in AGSI for many years.

“Her support for members of the Association was second to none. Antoinette always pursued what was right and just. Her ability, knowledge and professionalism was acknowledged both internally and externally by other representative bodies and also professional bodies,” he said.

“When Antoinette arrived here at her first station, the late Jack McGrath was the Sergeant In Charge.”
“As many know Sergeant Jack McGrath frequently walked the beat. During this time Jack shared much of his experience with Antoinette who proved her ability as a competent Garda to Sergeant Jack McGrath. “
“Jack was very impressed by her ability even at that early stage, he always spoke highly of Antoinette and followed her career path with great interest.”

Antoinette subsequently transferred to Limerick (Roxboro Road and Mayorstone Garda Stations). As a Sergeant she moved to the Garda College and completed a Master’s Degree in Adult Learning and a BA in Training and Education.
In 2021 Antoinette was honoured by University Galway with an Alumni Award for her significant contribution in the field of policing.

She became the first female member to serve with the Association of Sergeants and Inspectors at Branch level, National Executive level, President, Deputy General Secretary and finally General Secretary.

“On behalf of the Kerry Branch of AGSI I wish Antoinette the very best in whatever the future holds for her and her family,” added Sergeant O’Connell.

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‘The Bumblebee1000’ Supercar event arriving in Killarney on Saturday

The ‘Bumblebee1000’ supercar run will arrive in Killarney around 5pm on Saturday. Around 40 supercars will leave Barberstown Castle in County Kildare on Saturday morning.After stops at Portlaoise Plaza (11am) […]

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The ‘Bumblebee1000’ supercar run will arrive in Killarney around 5pm on Saturday.

Around 40 supercars will leave Barberstown Castle in County Kildare on Saturday morning.
After stops at Portlaoise Plaza (11am) and Cashel Palace Hotel (1pm) the convoy will arrive the Europe Hotel and Resort at 5pm.
“’The Bumblebee1000’ is not just about horsepower and adrenaline rushes; it’s about making a difference. As participants roar through the countryside, they’ll also be driving towards a noble cause. This event is dedicated to raising awareness and funds for The Little Blues Heroes charity, supporting the children of the Little Blue Heroes, and making a positive impact on their lives,” said an event spokesperson.
“The Bumblebee1000” is not just a journey; it’s an experience that blends luxury, adventure, and philanthropy in a seamless fusion. Whether behind the wheel of a sleek supercar or a supporter cheering from the sidelines, everyone is invited to be part of this remarkable event.
The cars will depart the Europe Hotel and Resort at 10am on Sunday and will stop off at a charity cars and coffee event in Tarbert at 11am before finishing in Adare at around 2pm.

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