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Kerry's St. Patrick's Day Parade

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Kerry's St. Patrick's Day Parade Empty Kerry's St. Patrick's Day Parade

Post by Admin on Wed Mar 10, 2010 3:55 pm

Hollywood stars head for Kerry

by Breda Joy and Michelle Crean

Hollywood glitz will be lighting up Killarney and Dingle this month, as two movie stars arrive in the county for high-profile appearances.

Award-winning actor Michael Fassbender is to lead the Saint Patrick’s Day Parade in his home town of Killarney, while Cillian Murphy, star of The Wind That Shakes the Barley, is to officially open the Dingle Film Festival.

Fassbender has a slew of acclaimed films to his credit, and will be Grand Marshall at the parade, which will be dedicated to the memory of the late Cllr Michael Courtney.

The actor grew up in Fossa, attended Saint Brendan’s College and worked in his parents’ restaurant, West End House.

“We’re absolutely delighted to have Michael for the parade,” Cllr Donal Grady said. “He is a big, rising star. We certainly want to see more people coming out and more business people getting involved.”

Cork native Cillian Murphy will officially open the Dingle Film Festival on March 18th, when he attends a gala screening of his new crime comedy, Perrier’s Bounty.

The Dingle Film Festival will also host a workshop by two-time Oscar winner Tom Johnson, who won awards for his sound work on Titanic and Terminator 2 will also host a workshop, according to festival director, Maurice Galway.

And another coup for The Dingle Film Festival, which launched its programme this week, is Ireland’s first 4k screening the first demonstration of Red camera technology in Ireland.

“All these firsts are a coup for festival and we’ve have also secured commission of a documentary feature to be made about the festival by acclaimed director Geoff Wonfor of The Beatles Anthology,” Maurice said.

“The festival’s growing reputation is recognised by director Geoff Wonfor who, after attending the festival as a guest in 2009, has decided to return this year to make a one hour documentary.”

Tom Johnson will deliver a workshop on the power of sound and Heiko Sparenberg the creator of Digital Cinema Package (DCP) and will demonstrate this revolutionary computer programme that lets you edit film on a PC, he explained.


“Perrier’s Bounty heads a series of screenings around the theme of gangsters, he added.

“It includes I Went Down followed by a questions and answers session with acclaimed Irish director and producer Paddy Breathnach and Rob Walpole, a mobster and moll’s night with a screening of the James Cagney’s classic break-through film The Public Enemy and a chance to see the Oscar nominated French film, A Prophet.”

Stand out documentary screenings include Crude, Houston We Have a Problem, Still Bill and Harold Pinter, a celebration of the Nobel Prize winning playwright.

Stanley Kubrick’s Barry Lyndon shot in Ireland will close the festival, a personal choice of Dingle’s very own film aficionado Michael O’Sullivan.

The Dingle Film Festival gives film enthusiasts the chance to see exceptional films in a unique setting, as well as the unusual opportunity to mix with film stars and filmmakers, he added.

The full programme can be viewed and downloaded from

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Post by Admin on Wed Mar 17, 2010 3:18 pm

We should be looking forward to interviews and pictures soon.

@InterHotel Great day ahead at the International Hotel Killarney! Michael Fassbender coming in later, the craic will be great! about 9 hours ago

@IrelandTours Happy St Patrick's Day to all !! We are in Killarney in Co. Kerry and will be enjoying the Parade at 2.00 pm GMT. Parade Photos to Follow ! about 11 hours ago

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Post by Admin on Wed Mar 17, 2010 8:32 pm

Parades Across The Country: A Round-up

THE ST Patrick’s Day parade in Ballinafad, Co Sligo, was billed as the shortest in the country but the organisers did attract an Oscar- nominated film director, Paul Young, director of The Secret of Kells and a native of nearby Boyle, to preside over the event.

A highlight was the tractor-pulling competition won by a team representing Des McDonagh’s pub in Heapstown.

Visitors from Britain and the US joined revellers in Monaghan town yesterday for one of the biggest parades in the Border region.

Marching bands from the North participated in the parade which also featured floats from several local industries and commercial firms. Voluntary organisations and representatives from the public services, including Co Monaghan Fire Service, the Civil Defence and the Monaghan Sub Aqua Club, took part.

In Downpatrick, Co Down, thousands turned out in spring sunshine for the culmination of the town’s nine-day St Patrick’s Festival.

The centre-piece was the traditional yet spectacular cavalcade of floats, bands, and hundreds of people in fancy dress.

They marched under the parade theme of “Oh What a Wonderful World”. This was chosen to mark the United Nations International Year of Bio-Diversity and included an international cast with participants from Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Portugal and Romania.

There was a wreath-laying ceremony in the grounds of St Patrick’s cathedral on the stone which is reputed to mark the burial site of the national patron.

In Armagh, the Catholic Primate of Ireland Dr Seán Brady led the parade accompanied by the Church of Ireland Archbishop of Armagh, Dr Alan Harper, and the mayor of Armagh, Thomas O’Hanlon.

Kerry’s parades began in Dingle with the pre-dawn fife and drum marching band. Glorious sunshine brought crowds on to the streets in Killorglin, Tralee and all around the county. The star attraction in the Kingdom, however, was the Killarney parade where actor Michael Fassbender was grand marshal.

Fassbender led the more than 60 entries including several bands on a traditional jaunting car. Earlier he was accorded a civic reception in the council chambers.

Also in Killarney were the Polish ambassador to Ireland Dr Tadeusz Szumowski, as well as representatives from Staffanstorp, Sweden, and Pleinfeld, Germany.

Tralee saw up to 50 entries including an amusing Tiger Woods lookalike sporting a Husband of the Year T-shirt. Up to 6,000 people watched the parade.

(sadly, no pictures)

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Post by Admin on Wed Mar 17, 2010 8:47 pm

Scottish Dream Tours What a wonderful day we are having! This morning we went to Muckross House in the Killarney National Forest. This lovely Victorian home was built in 1843 and was once owned by the Arthur Guiness family. It is one of the loveliest Victorian homes in Ireland. After our tour we took a horse drawn carriage ride all around ...Killarney and out to Ross Castle. We enjoyed the company of Patrick Joseph Coffey and his horse Billie for about an hour. As with most of the Irish, his wit and wisdom was a true delight.

We then went for lunch at Paddy's Restaurant and had traditional Bacon and Cabbage with all the trimmings. I know that in the States, people think of corned beef as very traditiional, but that is only in the States, as the Irish do not eat corned beef. Following lunch we met with all the locals in the town center where we were entertained by traditional music and dance before the parade. The Guest of Honor at the parade, was the actor Michael Fassbender who grew up in Killarney. We enjoyed the parade and we entertained by dancers, pipe bands and a variety of floats.

After the parade we retired to Scruffys for a traditional afternoon music session and a few pints. As with happens everywhere we go, we met some new friends who made the afternoon highly entertaining. We are at home for a wee break before we go out to dinner at Molly Darcys Pub and then enjoy some more traditional Irish music and dance.

We will be posting a photo album of our day very shortly.

Here are some pictures from the parade but nothing of Michael.

Last edited by greyeyegoddess on Thu Mar 18, 2010 1:57 am; edited 2 times in total

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Post by Admin on Wed Mar 17, 2010 9:16 pm

Star Fassbender ‘honoured’ to take grand marshal role

By Donal Hickey

Thursday, March 18, 2010

SCREEN star Michael Fassbender received a tumultuous welcome when he returned to his hometown Killarney to act as grand marshal of the St Patrick’s Day parade.

He was accorded a civic reception by Killarney Town Council before heading the parade in a horse-drawn carriage, accompanied by Killarney mayor Michael Gleeson.

"I’m overwhelmed. It’s a great honour to be involved here today," said the broadly smiling actor who signed autographs and posed for photographs with fans.

"It feels quite surreal but it’s very pleasant. There’s a general feeling of support of encouragement and lots of love – all the happy faces I see when I walk the streets of Killarney."

Mayor Gleeson presented Fassbender, 32, with a pen made of Arbutus Killarney wood and a Killarney-crested tie.

Also present were his parents, German-born Josef Fassbender and his Antrim mum, Adele, who run the West End Restaurant, in Killarney.

Best known for his part in the popular TV series, Band of Brothers and the film, Hunger, in which he played IRA hunger striker Bobby Sands, he is shortly due to start filming Jean Eyre, in Derbyshire, England, in which he will play the male lead, Mr Rochester.

Now living in London, he returns to Killarney about three times a year.

The Killarney parade, in which more than 60 groups and floats and six bands participated, was a tribute to the recently deceased councillor, Michael Courtney, chief organiser of the parade for many years. Members of the extended Courtney family were guests at the civic reception.

Thousands of people also attended parades in other parts of Kerry. In Dingle, the local fife and drum band upheld an old tradition by marching through the town at 6am, almost seven hours before the official parade.

This story appeared in the printed version of the Irish Examiner Thursday, March 18, 2010

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Post by Admin on Thu Mar 18, 2010 1:44 am

Blue skies for green day as the sun shines on revellers

By Jason O'Brien, Barry Duggan, Brian McDonald and Conor Kane

Thursday March 18 2010

GREEN was the dominant colour, unsurprisingly, but it was the blue skies across Ireland that helped entice people to their local St Patrick's Day parades.

With spring having finally sprung and temperatures in the low teens in many areas, the result was huge crowds up and down the country.

A lot has changed in the past couple of years, but St Patrick's Day appears to be resolutely recession-proof. And with a strong multicultural theme apparent in the majority of events, the future also looks secure.


TENS of thousands turned out to see the 'ship to shore' themed parade led by marathon swimmer Lisa Cummins. Last September, she became the first Irish person to complete a non-stop double crossing of the English Channel.

More than 2,100 people marched in the parade, which was led by the Band of the First Southern Brigade and other members of the Defence Forces.

Also present this year were groups from Liverpool, Poland, Hungary, the Philippines, Bangladesh and Togo. The highlight of the day for most spectators was a 40-ft crocodile built by the Waterford-based arts organisation Spraoi.


THE biggest cheer was reserved for rugby hero Keith Earls. Along with his three-year-old sister Jenny.

The Munster star led 3,700 participants through the city's streets, watched by 70,000.

The Moyross player was showered in Munster red confetti when he presented a rugby ball to the mayor of Limerick, Kevin Kiely.

Sitting alongside the confetti cannon, former defence minister, Willie O'Dea -- an ever present fixture at the Limerick parade -- was covered in confetti from head to toe, much to the amusement of his wife, Geraldine.

The theme of the parade was 'I Love Limerick' and families were entertained by an assortment of colourful participants, including an Army colour party; singer Leanne Moore; Irish international Jerry Flannery; break dancers; athletes from the Special Olympics and the Irish Chamber Orchestra.


THE parade was fittingly led by town crier Liam Silke in his ceremonial garb.

A crowd estimated at 50,000 gave a hero's welcome to grand marshall John Killeeen, who brought the acclaimed Volvo Ocean Race to Galway last summer.

More than 50 groups took part in the festivities, which had the theme 'Over the Moon'.

Last night, a St Patrick's festival party took place at the Black Box theatre.


'THROUGH the looking glass' was the theme as citizens looked forward to June's opening of the new Waterford Crystal's Visitor Centre.

More than 60 groups and organisations were represented in the festivities, which wound through the main streets.

One of the highlights for the 50,000 crowd was Lang the Ludicrous, a 25-ft robot created by street theatre specialists Spraoi, accompanied by 30 costumed performers from the ranks of the popular company.


UP TO 15,000 turned out to see what was billed as the country's first carbon-neutral parade -- although the jury may still be out on that goal.

The parade was led by 'Ear To The Ground' presenter Helen Carroll and a strong hurling presence was also featured.


IN KILLARNEY, the star attraction was Hollywood actor Michael Fassbender. The 'Inglorious Basterds' star was grand marshall.

The 32-year-old was born in Germany but his family moved to Killarney when he was a toddler and his parents run a guesthouse in the town.


THE town's 40th parade anniversary was celebrated with a colourful event that drew thousands of visitors.

A group of 26 top US retail and tourism operators donned Disney costumes.

A hapless Tiger Woods llokalike being chased by a bevvy of somewhat dubious-looking females was one of the chief highlights.


THE local tradition of raising the papal and national flags was held as usual at St Patrick's Well outside the town, while a jug of water was brought from the well to mark 1,500 years of Christianity in the area.


ST PATRICK'S Day was the culmination of 10 days of cultural celebration, taking in Seachtain na Gaeilge and featuring a wide variety of entertainment, exhibitions, music, and more.


SUSTAINABLE travel was the theme of the parade at which the former world cycling champion Sean Kelly was grand marshal. Amongst the guests were delegations from Slovenia and Limavady in Co Derry, Westport's twin town.


GAA club Castlebar Mitchels had pride of place in this year's parade which was one of the largest in recent times. Enda Kenny was amongst those on the reviewing stand who greatly enjoyed the mini-GAA pageant staged by club members on Main Street.


FOR the first time ever, the parade had a grand marshal and the honour went to John O'Hara, one of the leading lights in the Bonniconlon Show Committee.

The occasion was enlivened by marching bands, including two from Northern Ireland.

Matt Farrell, one of the parade organisers said that it was most gratifying to see such a huge turnout of young people for the festivities.


VOLUNTEERISM was a strong theme in the parade, which was held in pleasant weather and was one of the largest ever.

Taoiseach Brian Cowen may have been in the US for St. Patrick's Day but a convincing lookalike turned up in the east Mayo town and was presented with a bowl of shamrock by a local admirer.

The former defence minister Willie O'Dea also featured in one of the many colourful float presentations.


THE musical society's recent presentation of 'The Pirate Queen' had gone down a treat with audiences and there was similar rapture yesterday with the appearance of the grand marshal, Sinead Heneghan, who had played the role of Grace O'Malley.

Cartoon characters, such as Mickey Mouse and Tom and Jerry, entertained the masses who turned out on mild weather, while old local stalwarts such as the Ballinrobe Town Band again played 'a blinder'.


ST PATRICK (Michael McAleer), who was carried aboard a cart pulled by a jennet, led the parade.

A cavalcade of 16 floats, made its way from the community centre to the middle of the island.

- Jason O'Brien, Barry Duggan, Brian McDonald and Conor Kane

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Post by Admin on Thu Mar 18, 2010 6:46 pm

More pictures of the parade, sans Michael.

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Post by Admin on Sat Apr 10, 2010 3:02 am

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Class act Fassbender goes back to school

ONE of the truly great young stars of the movie industry, Michael Fassbender is more than comfortable in the company of Hollywood legends of the calibre of Brad Pitt, Quentin Tarantino and Diane Kruger.

But he has never neglected his roots and that point was proved emphatically when he returned to the town in which he grew up for what will be a few days to remember for his legion of younger fans.

The gifted actor, who was born in Heidelberg, Germany but grew up in Killarney, took centre stage and went down a treat when he was grand marshal in the town for the colourful St Patrick’s Day parade.

But it was the following day that he proved his real star quality when he readily agreed to spend a number of hours chatting with the pupils of his two former schools in Killarney.

The first port of call for the 32year-old film star was Fossa National School where children screamed, cheered and waved fabulous home-made banners in the air as the swashbuckling former pupil glided through the gates.

There to meet and greet him were principal Kieran Coffey and two of his former teachers, Linda O’Donoghue and Angela Lynch, who had fond memories of the young Fassbenber when they taught him in the late 1980s.

He made a nostalgic visit to his old classroom where he found his original desk and checked his attendance record in the school roll-book before happily posing for souvenir snapshots with staff and spending time signing autographs for star-struck pupils.

Fassbender and his sister, Catherine, grew up in the parish of Fossa and his parents, Josef and Adele, still operate the thriving West End House restaurant in Killarney town. He made the short journey to and from his home to the school around the corner for many years and he said he has many happy memories of the years he spent in Fossa at a time when former Kerry GAA great Tom Long was principal.

The excited pupils were overjoyed to be treated to a question and answer session with the star and one of the most amusing queries of the session came from a young child who asked the multi award-winning movie star what it was like to meet Ryan Tubridy on the Late Late Show proving that real fame is relative.

The enthusiastic Fossa pupils also entertained their VIP visitor with some fun-filled songs from classic movies and he was ready and willing to sing along and join in the fun.

The star of modern day classics like Hunger, 300 and Inglourious Basterds also spent some time signing copies of a photograph of his former class group as well as adding his signature to the dozens of colourful posters carefully prepared by the pupils for their favourite actor.

After spending well over an hour at Fossa, the next stop for one of the most exciting young actors of the modern era was St Brendan’s College, where he attended secondary school in the 1990s before moving on to study at the Central School of Speech and Drama in London.

A more vocal crowd of students awaited in the secondary school where the actor was formally welcomed by principal Ed O’Neill and members of the parents’ council. Also there to share the spotlight with him was fellow Killarney man Donie Courtney, now an acting coach in Dublin, who frequently shared the stage with Fassbender during a number of amateur drama productions in Killarney many years ago.

Fassbender was an instant hit with students and staff in St Brendan’s College and he delighted a captive audience when he picked up a guitar and proved that his talents are not confined to acting.

Fassbender is widely regarded as one of the most accomplished actors currently in the business and his portrayal of IRA hunger striker Bobby Sands in the Steve McQueen epic, Hunger, is acknowledged as one of the most powerful performances in cinema for many years.

The Killarney actor got his first big break on the 2001 TV series Band of Brothers when he played the role of Sgt Burton Christenson. After making a more than favourable first impression, the high-profile parts started rolling in fast and thick, including roles in movies of the quality of 300, Angel, Cassandra’s Dream, Eden Lake, Creek and the highly-rated Fish Tank before he played a key part in Tarantino’s highly-rated 2009 Oscar-winning blockbuster Inglorious Basterds.

In addition, his many television roles included Hearts & Bones, NCS Manhunt, Holby City, Carla, Gunpowder, Treason & Plot, Hex, A Most Mysterious Murder, A Bear Named Winnie, Return of Sherlock Holmes, and The Devil’s Whore.

His roles in the demanding world of theatre included The Three Sisters (1999) for the Oxford Stage Company and Allegiance (2006) for the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

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Post by Pilar on Sat Apr 10, 2010 10:49 am

*dreamy sigh*

He's so friggin' cute. Giving a sweet memory to those kids, God bless him.
Azazeal's Angel

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