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Yulia Liventsova: I am happy because I do what I love

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By Natalya Krasnenkova

In her 47 years Yulia Liventsova has twice fled from war. Living in Europe in the 21st century, she was again forced to leave her home, hastily collect things, go into the unknown and start her life over.

Yulia comes from Donetsk, the east of Ukraine. In 2014, when the city was taken over by pro-Russian militants, who set up the Donetsk People's Republic there, she urgently left for Odessa with her husband and pregnant daughter.

The whole life of the family fit in the trunk of a small car.

In the southern city near the Black Sea, Yulia began a new life. She is a cook by profession and in Odessa, she worked in a restaurant as a chef.

From February 24, since the beginning of Russia's military invasion of Ukraine, her restaurant has started preparing free lunches for the Ukrainian military. Yulia Liventsova spent many hours in the kitchen to feed our soldiers.

And when the Russian army occupied the neighbouring city of Kherson (now under Russian occupation), Russia began firing rockets from their ships located in the Black Sea, targeting Odessa. Yulia’s husband made an important decision; he put his wife, daughter and granddaughter in the car to take them to the border with Moldova.

"You have to go to save the child and the granddaughter, and I will stay here to help your old mother," he said.

And Yulia left. For a month they lived with acquaintances in the vineyard, and then moved to Ireland.
Not knowing a word of English, with two T-shirts and two pants in a suitcase - this was the beginning of a new chapter for her life in Ireland.

Yulia is a bright, small and strong woman. She laughs a lot and does a lot for people. There were not enough cooks at the Eviston Hotel where she stayed. Yulia offered her help. Now she is a sous-chef in the restaurant.

"I was ready to work as a volunteer, but in Ireland, everyone who wants to work has this opportunity, even without a good knowledge of the language,” Yulia said.

HARD WORKING

Her working day is from 9am to noon in the kitchen, then she has a three-hour break. What is she doing at this time? She attends English language courses daily then returns to the kitchen in the afternoon and works until 10pm.

When Julia has a day off, she goes to the pool.

Yes, Yulia is in great physical shape and recently got a new tattoo - the national symbol of Ukraine - a huge trident on her shoulder.

Recently, for the Ukrainian Day at the K-Fest in Killorglin, Yulia organised a day of Ukrainian cuisine. To do this, she gathered a team and spent more than 10 hours in the kitchen to prepare traditional Ukrainian borsch, dumplings and compote. The next day, she welcomed Irish guests with a smile on her face. She really wanted to introduce the Irish to our gastronomic culture. She succeeded.

"How are you feeling now?" I ask Yulia.

"I'm happy. Despite all the difficulties, I can still do what I really love. And I am surrounded by very good people. So yes, I'm happy."

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Black Valley broadband installation gets underway

Works are under way to install a high-speed fibre broadband network in the remote Black Valley area of Kerry. The Black Valley was one of the last areas of Ireland […]

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Works are under way to install a high-speed fibre broadband network in the remote Black Valley area of Kerry.

The Black Valley was one of the last areas of Ireland to be electrified but broadband in the region is expected to be live in the second half of the year with residents already able to pre-order their connection. 
“It is well known that Black Valley was one of the last locations to get electricity due to its remoteness and challenging terrain, so we are extremely pleased to be commencing the rollout of our high-speed fibre network now with a view to connections being available later this year,” said National Broadband Ireland Deployment CEO, TJ Malone.
  
“We are determined to ensure the rollout is as fast as possible and connection is made easy for Black Valley residents, and we have a plan in place to work around the location’s all-important tourist season.

“Black Valley is a symbol of NBI’s mission that no area will be left behind no matter how rural or remote and we are delighted that this beautiful location moves one step closer to high-speed fibre today, with all the opportunities that will unlock for the local community.” 

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Players of the year don’t duck a challenge

They never duck when faced with a big challenge on the field so it was safe to assume that GAA players of the year David Clifford and Louise Ní Mhuircheartaigh […]

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They never duck when faced with a big challenge on the field so it was safe to assume that GAA players of the year David Clifford and Louise Ní Mhuircheartaigh weren’t going to shy away from the latest task on their home patch.

The two top footballers in the country teamed up to launch a charity duck race which will form part of this year’s St Patrick’s Festival in Killarney, where they both live.

When the working day was done, busy secondary school teachers David and Louise had some great quack and they got caught up in the spirit of the occasion along the scenic River Deenagh in Killarney National Park.

The reigning Player of the Year and Ladies Player of the Year award winner demonstrated their competitive streak when they expressed confidence that their own ducks will win The Deenagh Duck Dash on the same river at noon on Monday, March 18.

But, luckily, festival chairman Jason Clifford was there to keep the peace and he even threatened to cry fowl and brandish a card at the star players – with duck yellow deemed the most appropriate colour.

Considered by many to be the greatest players of all time in their respective codes, between them, Fossa hotshot David and Corca Dhuibhne star Louise have an incredible nine All-Star awards.

But they might be tempted to swap one if their duck wins the fun-filled race on the day after St Patrick’s Day.

All proceeds from the event will go to St Francis Special School in Beaufort, Killarney which provides specialist education for young people with learning disabilities.
Festival chairman Jason remarked: “This isn’t just a race – it’s great fun for the whole family.
“Picture the scene with a flotilla of vibrant rubber ducks racing down a winding river, their owners cheering them on and all in the name of a fantastic cause”.
Super prizes await the winners, the cost of a rubber duck to participate in the race is just €5 and they can be bought online at https://stpatricksfestivalkillarney.ie/.

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