Aoife just can't Resist this role!

A central role in a new blockbuster historical drama is behind a Castlegregory actor’s discovery of a terrible personal family link to the War of Independence.

Aoife Duffin is one of the stars in Resistance, the new prime time period drama currently airing on RTE on Sunday nights.

She told Kerry’s Eye how being part of the drama brought home a personal connection to the Anglo-Irish War - her granduncle James Cronin, “My granduncle on my mother’s side, James or Jimmy Cronin, was shot dead by the infamous Black and Tans, and there is a monument to him in Castlegregory, where I grew up.

 

What happened in Kerry this week

A Kerry solicitor representing  seven clients affected  by the missed diagnoses scandal at University Hospital Kerry wants  to  personally meet with Health Minister Simon Harris and tell him to 'sort this out'. Pádraig O'Connell is now representing seven patients and their families who have been affected as a direct result of the biggest scandal ever to hit the hospital.

Listowel woman Mary Purcell was killed in a tragic road crash on Monday, just moments after visiting her mother. “She was a warm, vibrant young woman who was taken much too young from us,” her brother John Purcell said.

Gardaí are investigating videos in which a man threatens to kill another 'stone dead'. The videos are understood to be part of a Traveller feud which, it is now feared, could spill over into serious violence.

Vital road works at the Lewis Road Junction in Killarney - the county’s most dangerous accident blackspot - are finally to be carried out by Kerry County Council following widespread public pressure.

The heroic exploits of Kerry Mountain Rescue Team (KMRT) have been captured on film for a new Virgin Media documentary series. The first episode of Rescue: River Deep Mountain High aired on Virgin Media One and ITV on Tuesday night and featured some of Kerry’s finest mountain rescuers as they respond to emergency calls.

A woman whose ties to Austin Stacks GAA can be traced all the way back to the club’s formation has become its first female chairperson. Máiréad Fernane was elected to the chair at the Annual General Meeting on Sunday.

Nicole just wants a ‘normal life’

Nicole travelled to Dublin this week to undergo further testing to determine if she is strong enough, both mentally and physically, to be put on a transplant list to receive a new heart.

Without a life-saving transplant, doctors say Nicole, who is also on dialysis for kidney failure, will only have two years to live.

Nicole told Kerry’s Eye that she feels as though life is passing her by and that she has missed out on so much.

“She was a very bubbly child, but she started coughing all the time, I thought it would go away, but it didn’t, then the doctors told me it was a heart murmur,” said Nicole’s mom, Jennifer.

Why did my brother Charlie die?

Kenmare woman Sheila Brennan is demanding that the truth be finally told about why her 23-year-old brother, Charlie, perished in the Whiddy Oil Disaster forty years ago this week.

Sheila and other family members gathered in Bantry on Tuesday to take part in the 40th anniversary commemorations to mark the deaths of 50 people in one of the worst maritime tragedies in Irish history.

Her brother, Charlie Brennan, was engaged to be married at the time.

But 40 years on, Sheila and numerous other victims’ family members still want justice for their loved ones and for the full truth to be revealed about what happened that fateful day.

 

Jessie's our Rising Star

Killarney TV and film sensation Jessie Buckley is in line for yet another major honour. Along with Hollywood favourite, Dublin actor Barry Keoghan, Jessie has been nominated for the 2019 BAFTA Rising Star Award.

The pair are among five nominees for the Rising Star Award, one of the categories for the British Academy of Film and Television Arts awards which acknowledges new talents in the acting industry.

Despite the nominees being chosen by the BAFTA juries, the winner is chosen entirely by the public votes via text, internet or phone.

Reeks rise to world renown

Just months after the Reeks District was rebranded and marketed, it has been chosen as not only one of the Rough Guide’s 19 Places to Visit in its annual list of holiday hotspots but also Number 3 in its ‘Six Regions on Our Radar’ - just behind Argentina’s Iberá Wetlands and Yunnan in China, and ahead of sites in Canada’s Yukon, Jordan and Alabama.

And the Mid Kerry Tourism Cluster - the group behind the Reeks District’s promotion as a destination for an adventure/activity holiday - is ecstatic.

“We are both astounded and delighted to have been selected as one of Rough Guides’ Best Places to Visit for 2019.

‘It’s what’s on the inside that counts’

Antoinette O’Sullivan is calling on all those with Apert syndrome and their families and friends to share videos of their everyday activities online, so people will come to know just how normal their lives can be.

And while she is quite capable of getting her point across, she says her boyfriend Jason McCarthy, from Oakview Village, Tralee, will be recording her video on her behalf.

“Jason and myself have been together happily for over three years, and he’s promising to do a recording of me in the next while,” she explained.

Kerry ‘should host’ Civil War centenary

The Kilflynn native, who lectures in Modern Irish History in UCD, is a recognised authority on the 1916-1923 period and author of Forging A Kingdom, The GAA in Kerry 1884-1934.

He claims Kerry must lead the way in marking the centenary commemorations given that the county was where the Civil War was most bitterly and brutally fought.

He said the commemorations should be about understanding and acknowledging what happened – not about what some people think should have happened or what others desperately wish did not happen.

Bon Jovee return in the name of charity

From the boys who sold out the Rose of Tralee Dome two years in a row, ‘Bon Jovee’ are back and are stretching the vocal cords in rehearsals for their upcoming gig in the Brandon Conference Centre on February 16.

“We’re from three different bands. We come together once a year or so, and we block out all other bookings.

“We are massive Bon Jovi fans so we go to a lot of effort. We are an absolute tribute show. Close your eyes, you’ll think we are Bon Jovi,” said Mike Leahy, one of the six band members.

Christmas tree mulching all over Kerry

Christmas trees are being accepted at Kerry County Council’s five  Civic Amenity Sites in Killarney, Milltown, Kenmare, Dingle and Cahersiveen for €3. In Tralee, Dillon Recycling accept trees for €8, while Higgins Recycling will take them for €5 and collect them for €10. Killarney Municipal District has a drop-off location in New Street Carpark open until Friday January 18 which is free of charge.

And this coming Saturday, January 12, Killorglin Tidy Towns will host their annual Christmas Tree Shredding from 10am to 1pm in the Fairfield, Killorglin. Trees can be dropped off there free of charge.

Louise’s orphanage for new documentary

National school teacher Louise Quill established the Tír na nÓg orphanage, which accommodates more than 50 children, in 2007.

Now documentary producer Brian Hurley, also from Tralee, will travel to Africa with his Kerry-based crew to record a special report on Louise Quill’s amazing work there.

This follows Brian’s extraordinary success with his documentary ‘Living with Lyme Disease’, aired on RTÉ in November. The film crew will fly out to Africa this April and will spend two weeks filming near Mount Kilimanjaro.

Louise Quill told Kerry’s Eye that when she finished college, she wanted to volunteer in Africa.

Africa charity asks for more support

Action Lesotho, a Tralee-based international charity, feeds kids in one of the poorest countries of Africa through their breakfast club and weekend programmes. The charity has now revamped their website, hoping to attract more support.

Formerly known as ‘Twinning the Kingdoms’, the charity has been working for over 10 years with the people in Maputsoe, an area within the Kingdom of Lesotho, in Africa.

Through its second-hand book sales, fundraising drives, donations and a Forsa grant, the charity have an annual budget of €128,000, which goes directly to the people who need it - from this Kingdom to theirs.

Big Maggie students learn by doing

And those currently studying for their English exams will have greater reason than most to remember their lines, as ‘Big Maggie’ is the chosen play for this year’s Leaving Cert students.

According to director Tony Behan, the teachers were very much in favour of us doing this play. “What better way to study it than to be involved in the production of it?” he said.

And with a matinee scheduled for January 25 at 10.30am, Tony hopes that students from other schools will take the opportunity to see Keane’s words come to life on stage.