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Volunteers are crucial to festival’s success

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SO I WONDER if St Patrick landed outside the Fitzgerald Stadium at 2pm on March 17, would he be bemused or amused by the sight of a population dressed in head to toe in a sea of green, shaking hands and wishing each other a Lá Féile Pádraig and the blessings of St Patrick! Well, whatever his reaction would be it is definite that he would be in total awe for all the work that happens behind the scenes to make this day a memorable one for all!

The work being done by the St Patrick's Day is not just commendable but heroic at times. Everyone on the committee and sub committees work on a totally voluntary basis, with their only aim being to make the festivities of the day enjoyable, exciting and safe for everyone involved.

The committee started preparing for St Patrick's Day 2017 last March after St Patrick's Day 2016!

They meet on a regular basis and then from September to November worked on coming up with the theme for this year – Diversity, which is a perfect theme to incorporate our ever changing, wonderful society.

This year has been particularly challenging as due to works on Plunkett Street, the parade had to be rerouted. Thanks to the help of the Fitzgerald Stadium committee, the problem has been solved and the parade now has a new starting point at the stadium.

SuperValu has come on board this year also to sponsor prizes for winners of various categories.

To calculate the number of voluntary hours that this committee have clocked up would be like asking how long is a piece of string as it is an ongoing project that never leaves your brain once you're hooked!

So here's to the volunteers and participants in the parade in our community, we applaud you, we admire you and we thank you.......and we think St Patrick would too!
 


 
Annmarie Kennelly, chairperson, St Patrick’s Festival, with John Lenihan, events co-ordinator, Fitzgerald Stadium, Killarney, who is ready and waiting for all the parade participants to descend in the stadium grounds on St Patrick’s Day for the Killarney’s parade. PICTURE: VALERIE O'SULLIVAN

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Better late than never Christmas present for St Francis Special School

By Sean Moriarty St Francis Special School received a very late Christmas present this week – a specially adapted bike for the pupils to use. Husband and wife team Ciaran […]

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By Sean Moriarty

St Francis Special School received a very late Christmas present this week – a specially adapted bike for the pupils to use.

Husband and wife team Ciaran and Karen Dwyer, directors of Guerin Engineering and Pumps Ltd in Kilcummin, presented the special adapted bicycle to the staff and pupils at the Beaufort school on Tuesday.

After seeing an online request last December that the school needed the bike, they decided to gift one.

They contacted Glencar Medical, a Dublin-based firm that specialises in the supply of equipment to schools like St Francis, and ordered the bicycle.

However, nothing is straightforward in the current climate, Brexit, COVID and war all contributed to a delay in getting the bike to Ireland. Once it was in Dublin there were further delays in sourcing the special straps that St Francis’ children need to ride the bike safely.

It all came to a happy ending this week when the Dwyers were finally able to present their Christmas present to the school.

“We saw this request and we contacted the school and said we wanted to buy one, they told us where to get one, and we ordered it,” Karen told the Killarney Advertiser.

“We had it paid for by the end of the year but then it took three months to get it into the country. It took more time to import the specialist parts. The costs were increasing but we did not mind at all.”

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Jordan Lee to tell his story to the county’s schools

Paralympian Jordan Lee will share his experiences with schools all over Kerry. The Killarney man has embarked on a countywide tour ‘Jordan’s Drive’ in association with Kelliher’s Garage, a series […]

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Paralympian Jordan Lee will share his experiences with schools all over Kerry.

The Killarney man has embarked on a countywide tour ‘Jordan’s Drive’ in association with Kelliher’s Garage, a series of informal talks on his achievements and how he overcame his disability to reach the top of his chosen sport.

The 21-year-old was born with a foreshortened left arm known as amniotic band syndrome but has enjoyed a successful sports career which included representing Ireland at the Tokyo Olympics last summer.

Now he wants to share his story and inspire other students to follow their dreams.

His tour started last week at Colaiste na Sceilge in Cahersiveen and over the next few weeks, depending on his training schedule, will visit schools in Firies, Milltown, and Killarney.

“Don’t be afraid of people with disabilities or different backgrounds,” he said. “A few years ago there was only typical people in classrooms – you never came across people with disabilities or from various different countries. It is a lot more mixed now. I want to inspire people to treat everyone on the same level.”

‘Jordan’s Drive’ is made possible thanks to his role as a brand ambassador for Kelliher’s Garage, dealer principal, Tim Kelliher explained to the Killarney Advertiser.

“Having got to know Jordan so well over the last couple of years we have come to realise how much of an inspiration he is so we decided to ask him to hop into his Toyota CHR Hybrid and bring his story out into the highways and byways of the Kingdom,” he said.

“Headlined ‘Jordans Drive’ and organised by my marketing team headed by Yvonne McMahon they have travelled to many of the schools around Kerry from Cahersiveen to Beaufort, Killorglin and with other dates planned for Firies and Milltown to name but a few. He has spoken his many words of wisdom to the children who have been in awe of the journey and his achievements, and we at Kelliher’s Garage are delighted and proud to have him as our brand ambassador.”

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