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“You feel powerless as there’s very little you can do”

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Killarney based Ukrainian couple fear for family's safety

WORRIED: Vladimir (Vova) Bilokhvost and his wife Sophia who live in Killarney are worried for their families in Ukraine as the war escalates.

By Michelle Crean

A Ukrainian couple who have lived in Killarney for just over 20 years fear for the safety of their loved ones as the war escalates in Ukraine.

Russian President Putin's troops have been murdering innocent people including children and bombing buildings such as a children's and a maternity hospital in various cities including Kharkiv, Maripola and Kyiv in a bid to take control of the country over the past fortnight.

Each day the situation becomes harder to watch for Vladimir (Vova) Bilokhvost and his wife Sophia as they worry about their families in Poltava which is 100kms from Kharkiv - currently one of the hotspots of the war.

"It's very worrying," Vova, a food and beverage manager in the Gleneagle Hotel, told the Killarney Advertiser.

"Both our parents, my sisters, brothers are there and Sophia's mother and aunt. It's very worrying. You feel powerless as there's very little you can do. It's very stressful and depressing."

Vova, whose children Alexandra (17) and Andrew (9) were born and reared in Killarney, said they are in constant contact with family every day. Poltava, he explained is 100kms from Kharkiv and his family still have access to food, water and the Internet.

"Poltava is OK for now as Kharkiv is standing strong. They [his parents] go to the basement five or six times a day or more when the alarms sound. Hopefully they [Russians] won't advance."

Vova, who said he and his wife will open their home to a Ukrainian family in the next few weeks, thanked the people of Killarney for their continued compassion and support.

"We're getting huge support here. We have a few families, about seven, who have volunteered to take people in."

Speaking of Putin, Vova added that he never imagined that the war would actually happen.

"I could never believe it until the very last second it happened. He is a very damaged man. I would compare him to the worst in history."

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Killarney man to launch second Irish history book

By Sean Moriarty Killarney native Patrick O’Sullivan Greene will launch his second book in the Great Southern Killarney on December 2. O’Sullivan Greene explains Éamon de Valera’s mission to gain […]

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By Sean Moriarty

Killarney native Patrick O’Sullivan Greene will launch his second book in the Great Southern Killarney on December 2.

O’Sullivan Greene explains Éamon de Valera’s mission to gain recognition for the newly formed Irish republic in New York in 1919 in his latest book ‘Revolution at the Waldorf: America and the Irish War of Independence’.

Without American recognition and funding the young Irish Government was sure to fail against the might of the British Empire and the book tells the story of how de Valera and Ireland-based Michael Collins – much to the defiance of the British authorities at Dublin Castle – got the new State off the ground.

O’Sullivan grew up in New Street and is now based in Beaufort after a career in finance took him all over the world including Dublin, London, New York and France.

“Killarney is the natural place for me to launch the book,” he told the Killarney Advertiser.

“There will be an interesting mix of people there.”

O’Sullivan Greene published his first book, ‘Crowdfunding the Revolution: The First Dáil Loan and the Battle for Irish Independence’, in 2020.

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Caring group craft charity blankets

By Michelle Crean One community group have shown that they care deeply for others by crafting handmade blankets for charity. Using their range of skills and some colourful wool, members […]

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By Michelle Crean

One community group have shown that they care deeply for others by crafting handmade blankets for charity.

Using their range of skills and some colourful wool, members of Kilcummin Community Care worked together to make blankets for service users on the Kerry Cork Cancer Health Link Bus.

“Each blanket is assigned as a personal gift to the clients using the Cancer Link Bus and is kept by them,” Kate Fleming, Chairperson of Kilcummin Community Care, said.

The knitting of the squares to make the blankets began at a gathering in the Rose Hotel in 2018. It was a gathering of different volunteer groups.

The Kerry Cork Cancer Health Link Bus were requesting knitted squares to make blankets for the clients who were using their facilities, she explained.

“Kilcummin Community Care were knitting at the time, so it was decided to help out this worthy cause. We received donations of wool from people in the parish and surrounding areas. Kilcummin ICA also got involved in the efforts.”

During the two years of COVID-19, members of both organisations continued to knit and are still knitting to the present day.

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