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“We’ll be at the door to welcome you in”

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A WARM WELCOME: Fr Kieran O'Brien from St Mary's Cathedral will be on hand to welcome parishioners back to Mass next week. Photo: Michelle Crean

By Michelle Crean

Mass returns next week but it'll be a different experience to what it was pre-lockdown with a smaller barely there congregation, hand sanitisers and face visors for the priests.

In Killarney, St Mary's Cathedral has the capacity for 1,400 parishioners. However, current Government guidelines are set to just 50 people indoors which includes the Priest, Sacristans, Eucharistic Ministers and ushers - but as the cathedral is so large, Parish Administrator Fr Kieran O'Brien says they can easily accommodate 200 people while staying within the two metre distance rule.

"We know people are longing to come back," Fr Kieran told the Killarney Advertiser this week. "We'll be at the door to welcome you in. There is capacity for 200 with social distancing taken into account that we've calculated."

The plans and preparations are well underway but it'll be a gradual process, he added.

Before entering parishioners are asked to hand sanitise and respect social distancing as ushers guide them to their seats. During Mass Fr Kieran will sanitise his hands and wear a facial visor before giving out communion and is respectfully asking people to take the communion in their hand.

After each Mass the church will be sanitised and cleaned by a team of volunteers.

Also this weekend, the cathedral will be 'fogged' clean which will last for three days, ahead of its official reopening for Masses.

Although in recent weeks people have been allowed in for personal prayer from 11am to 5.45pm, he said that it's been a difficult few months saying Mass in an empty church alone.

"It has been difficult certainly - this pandemic has affected everyone. But people were tuning in on the Internet and their radios and people sent us messages of appreciation."

And he added, that in future baptisms will more than likely be one service for four separate families with a maximum of 15 family members each.

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Killarney centre stage for Pride Festival

The award-winning Kingdom Pride in Kerry festival is back next week and Killarney will take centre stage. Kingdom Pride will be celebrated in towns all across the county from July […]

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The award-winning Kingdom Pride in Kerry festival is back next week and Killarney will take centre stage.

Kingdom Pride will be celebrated in towns all across the county from July 17 to 21.

The organisation’s flagship Party in the Park event will be held again in Killarney House and Gardens, following the Pride march in the town centre on July 20.

This year, in solidarity with the people of Palestine, Kingdom Pride in Kerry is inviting the people of Kerry to come to show their unity by bringing Palestinian flags and kites to the march, and to the Party in the Park.

“Pride is a protest for human rights all over the world. Here in the Kingdom, we have been so lucky to receive tremendous community support from our allies and supporters, and we see the struggle for liberation of all peoples as a united cause,” said Daniel Quirke, chairperson of the organising committee.

“Our events have always welcomed everyone, regardless of gender, orientation, religion, or nationality. We truly believe that together we can create positive change through caring for and loving one another. This year is no exception, and we look forward to helping to highlight the Palestinian cause, and to bringing people together to keep generating positive change for all people.”

Events will take place in Cahersiveen, Listowel, Killorglin, Tralee and Dingle, and include an Irish comedy night with Áine Gallagher, an Irish-language movie screening, yoga, sea swimming, poetry and storytelling, bowling, pitch and putt, a lively drag night at the INEC, and plenty more for people of all ages.

“We do our best to keep tickets as low-cost as possible, and we have lots of events that are totally free to attend. It is important to us that people can share Pride with us, regardless of income. Especially with the rise of the cost of living putting a strain on people’s pockets.” added the chairperson.

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A weekend of Live Music, Fun and Entertainment, at FleskFest 2024

The organisers of the annual FleskFest have “a tremendous line-up, with a weekend full of entertainment to suit all” for the July 18 to 20 event. “It promises to be […]

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The organisers of the annual FleskFest have “a tremendous line-up, with a weekend full of entertainment to suit all” for the July 18 to 20 event.

“It promises to be the festival weekend of the summer, an event you don’t want to miss out on. Last year’s Festival was a fantastic memorable experience for our community, a time to get together and celebrate,” said festival PRO Seán Daly.

Organised by Glenflesk GAA, FleskFest 24 will take place at the Barraduff Community Field next week.
There will be a fully licensed bar in the Fest Marquee, some amazing live music on The Big Stage, food trucks and much more.
Glenflesk GAA club’s biggest fundraiser of the year includes a new-for-2024 Texas Holdem Poker Tournament on Thursday night.
Weekend highlights include old-time waltzing, jiving and polka sets with Paudie McAuliffe and Paudie Coffey Band on Friday,
On Saturday, the new Well Flesk event will take place.
“A morning of self-care and wellness at Flesk Fest featuring masterclasses in yoga, pilates, mindfulness, spinning, fitness sessions, workouts, firewood sauna and ice pods with a range of experienced and qualified instructors,” added Daly.
Leading local musician Johnny Courtney and Friends, Sam and Ina, The O’Donoghue Sisters, Reigning All Ireland Champions Glenflesk Ballad Group, and The Border Boys will take to the Big Stage over the weekend.
Sunday is Family Fun Day with children’s entertainment and disco and the All-Ireland Hurling Final Live on the Big screen followed by music with Thingamajig.
The festival will finish with a Sunday evening session with the Meadhbh Walsh Band.

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