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Westmeath woman announced as the 2022 Rose of Tralee



Rachel Duffy has been announced as the 2022 Rose of Tralee, becoming the first Rose representing Westmeath to take the title.


The 24-year-old was presented with her sash on Tuesday night by the 2019 Rose of Tralee Dr Sinead Flanagan after the Festival returned for the first time since August 2019.

33 International Roses from communities across Ireland and around the world took part in the 61st Rose of Tralee International Festival which was broadcast live on RTÉ One over two nights.

From the small village of Rosemount, Rachel graduated from NUIG with an Undergraduate Degree in Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies and Spanish last year. She is currently working in P Egan’s Traditional Irish Bar in Moate, and plans to return to university to complete a Master’s Degree to be a Spanish and English teacher.

RTÉ’s Dáithí Ó Sé made the announcement live from Kerry Sports Academy at MTU to local and global audiences with viewers tuning in from countries including Turkey, Indonesia and Saudi Arabia.

The celebrations were instant as Rachel was whisked away, where she was presented to the town of Tralee and serenaded by Alan Teahan in front of the thousands of people during the Midnight Madness fireworks display.

“I’m pinching myself now wondering if it just happened," a shocked Rachel said.

"Having all the Roses around me made it so much more special. I’m so grateful for this honour; it was such an honour to represent my community and my county and now to be the Rose of Tralee is just unbelievable. I never anticipated ending up here, I’m looking forward to the memories I’m going to make. If the last two weeks are anything to go on I know I’m going to make memories to last a lifetime.”

As the 2022 Rose of Tralee, Rachel will enjoy an extensive prize package that includes exquisite ranges from Tipperary Crystal’s 2022 Jewellery Collection, and exclusively designed trophy, the all new KIA Niro Plug-In Hybrid EV courtesy of McElligott’s Tralee for the next year, hair styling by Sean Taaffe Hair & Beauty during the year of her reign, complimentary accommodation at the four star Meadowlands Hotel throughout the year, a week-long adventure break from Kerry County Council, and a world travel prize valued at €25,000.

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Faulty Towers meets Love Island in new romantic novel

By Michelle Crean The pandemic may have delayed it from hitting the bookshelves sooner – but local author Breda Joy’s latest work has now hit the bookshops. ‘Under a Skellig […]




By Michelle Crean

The pandemic may have delayed it from hitting the bookshelves sooner – but local author Breda Joy’s latest work has now hit the bookshops.

‘Under a Skellig Sky’ is a combination of Love Island and Fawlty Towers together in this new romantic novel with a bite!

The Skellig islands off the coast of Kerry are the backdrop to the page turner that doles out quick fire laughs as well as confronting issues such as rural crime and depopulation.

Nomadic Carol O’Connell’s return to Glenosheen overlooking the famed craggy Skelligs turns into one more in a series of half-baked decisions that pass for her life.

An experiment with Airbnb in her mother’s old farm guesthouse on the ‘Wet Atlantic Way’, a disastrous re-union with an ex and the rescue of a troubled friend set her tumbling through the year.

Through the sultry heat wave of 2018, she searches for peace to recover from a broken relationship but her sleepy valley homeplace has woken up to Star Wars fever and mass tourism.

But a trip to the stunning Skellig Michael with a mystery guest called Oliver turns the tide in the love stakes for Carol.

“I wrote ‘Under a Skellig Sky’ during the heat wave of 2018 and set it in that summer, drawing directly from the weather conditions as I wrote,” Breda, who is an award winning author and local journalist said.

“As part of my research, I took a boat trip to the Skellig on a day when the sea was like a billiard table and the sky was a sapphire blue. I had been on the island previously, but it was my first time visiting when the puffins were in residence, and it was wonderful to see them. That idyllic day informed my descriptions of the island and sets the background to the visit of my two main characters there.

“When I planned the novel, I set out to write a romantic comedy to provide readers with an escape chute to an imaginary world – similar to the escapism of Love Island,” she said. “I wanted to write a kind of Kerry-based ‘Fawlty Towers’. Humour is very much at the heart of both my fiction and journalism. When I want to get a serious message across, humour is my lure to reel the reader in.

“Having my novels published is a dream-come-true,” Breda said. “It’s such a privilege to be included among the ranks of published Irish writers. Chief among the essential advice I’d give an aspiring writer is not to be isolationist as I have been with the crucial exception of joining a small writing group in Killarney 15 years ago. The support and the constructive criticism of the members advanced me hugely on my writing journey.”

‘Under a Skellig Sky’ was first launched as an eBook on Amazon during the pandemic but is now available in Eason and O’Connor’s Newsagent in Killarney as well as all good book shops.

Breda’s previous non-fiction books include ‘Hidden Kerry, The Keys to the Kingdom’ and ‘The Wit & Wisdom of Kerry’ with Mercier Press Cork. She published ‘Brian Crowley, Against the Odds’, a Biography with Brandon Press in 1996. Her second novel was ‘Eat the Moon’ and she is currently researching her third.


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Camera Club ready to celebrate its 21st anniversary

Killarney Camera Club is ready for the new season and as well as celebrating their 21st birthday – they’re also looking for new members. Next Thursday night they will be […]




Killarney Camera Club is ready for the new season and as well as celebrating their 21st birthday – they’re also looking for new members.

Next Thursday night they will be holding an Open Night at 7.30pm in the Plaza Suite at The Brehon Hotel.

The club meets every other Thursday at 7.30pm and is open to everyone with an interest in photography, including a junior membership category for 16 to 17-year-olds.

“Whether you’re a complete beginner, or you already know your way around a camera, everyone is welcome,” Deirdre Donohue from the club said.

The club activities include speaker nights, outings, project nights and competitions. At part of the club’s 21st celebrations they will be mounting an exhibition at Killarney House in late October.

“As well as a warm welcome, including tea and biscuits, the Open Night will feature a presentation, by professional photographer Micheál O’Sullivan, of his wonderful landscapes, so come along for a lovely evening of chat and photography!”

If you have any queries, you can contact the club secretary via email at

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