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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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Photo of “hidden gem” wins Camera Club’s latest competition

A photograph of one of Killarney’s hidden beauty spots was deemed the winner of Killarney Camera Club’s most recent competition. Th standard was high throughout all categories but in the […]

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A photograph of one of Killarney’s hidden beauty spots was deemed the winner of Killarney Camera Club’s most recent competition.

Th standard was high throughout all categories but in the Novice category, Iryna Halaieva’s photograph of O’Sullivan’s Cascade was deemed the winner.

“A waterfall is my favourite waterbody and long exposure is my favourite photographic technique,” she said. “I do my best to have as many waterfalls as possible in my photo collection. I heard a lot about O’Sullivan’s Cascade and wanted to visit that hidden gem of Kerry. So, shortly before our club competition I went with a friend to Tomies Wood to photograph it. It was a dream come true for me.”

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Corcoran’s Furniture walk raises €12k for autism charity

Corcoran’s Furniture and Carpets charity walk through the Gap of Dunloe on Saturday raised almost €12,000 for Autism Assistance Dogs Ireland There were 37 participants in the event, which included […]

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Corcoran’s Furniture and Carpets charity walk through the Gap of Dunloe on Saturday raised almost €12,000 for Autism Assistance Dogs Ireland

There were 37 participants in the event, which included AADI families, dogs, and representatives, as well as fundraisers, supporters, and members of the Corcoran’s team. The stars of the day were the three life-changing super-hero dogs, Buzz, Baron and Hank.

Former Kerry Footballer, James O’ Donoghue, was the ambassador for the event
Those taking part left Ross Castle and were treated to a phenomenal boat ride in the expert hands of Diarmuid ‘Dux’ O’Donoghue of Gap of Dunloe Traditional Boat Tours. The O’Donoghue family entertained the entire group with a range of fascinating stories outlining the history of the lakes of Killarney and Killarney National Park.

The group set out from Lord Brandon’s Cottage and walked the 11K through the iconic Gap of Dunloe, with two AADI families and their dogs taking part in the full walk. This was followed by a well-deserved meal and some rest and relaxation at Kate Kearney’s Cottage. Flemings Taxi’s Killarney brought the group back to Ross Castle, Killarney upon completion of the event.

“On behalf of everybody at Corcoran’s Furniture, we would like to thank everybody who participated in our Gap of Dunloe charity event on behalf of AADI,” said Shane O’ Callaghan, Financial Controller atCorcoran’s.

“Collectively we have raised almost €12,000 for this incredible charity and monies are still coming in. We are extremely grateful to all who supported our walk, and also to James O’ Donoghue, Christina Tagney, the Gap of Dunloe Traditional Boat Tours, the fantastic support of Noel Lucey and Donal McCarthy from the Order Of Malta, Killarney branch, and to Killarney National Park, Kate Kearney’s Cottage and Fleming’s Taxi’s. All funds raised will go toward the expert training and maintenance of the upcoming AADI dogs who will make a dramatic difference to so many children with Autism and their families.”

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