PHOTOS: Conference Showcases Community Spirit In Kerry

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Cathal O’Shea and Tara Conway of NEWKD with Ger Collins of Open Arms Kerry at the Powering Our Community event in IT Tralee on Friday. Photo by Dermot Crean

A MAJOR conference encouraging the people of Kerry to embrace change and reach their true potential took place in IT Tralee on Friday.

Organised by the North East and West Kerry Development (NEWKD) — with help from Employabilty Services Kerry — with the theme ‘Powering Our Community’, the conference was attended by around 200 people featuring inspirational speakers sharing their  success stories, telling how they overcame challenges to change the direction of their lives towards a brighter future.

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The conference was opened by Sean Lyons, Author and Community Activist, and Dr Oliver Murphy President of Institute of Technology Tralee, who in his speech welcomed the community in to the ITT with open arms.

Keynote speaker for the event was writer, painter, musician and former prisoner Gary Cunningham, who served time in Mountjoy Prison before turning his life around since his release.

Bridget Quilligan, Kerry Traveller Health Community Development Project and Mandy Landers, Women’s Twin Group at the Powering Our Community event in IT Tralee on Friday. Photo by Dermot Crean

Breeda Hurley author of ‘Survive and Thrive: the journey of a lifetime’ & Motivational Speaker Astrid Longhurst, also spoke, while Irish radio and television personality Eilish O’Carroll made an appearance, finishing up the conference with a rendition of her song Live, Love, Laugh to tremendous applause.

Susan Browne, Author and Life Coach along with a host of inspirational local people shared their life stories of courage and strength over adversity and showed how self-belief and determination is the key to achieving dreams.

All speakers were very brave in sharing their life stories.  The audience didn’t want it to end and there was standing ovation after standing ovation for the speakers.

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Katie Allen and Marie Dennehy of Tralee Local Employment Services at the Powering Our Community event in IT Tralee on Friday. Photo by Dermot Crean

“At some point in life we all need a bit of inspiration, especially in the face of adversity,” said Event Organiser, Elaine McKenna, Coordinator with the Tralee Local Employment Service.

“This is where a community and its leaders come into their own, helping to encourage us when we need it most, providing the vital tools needed to enable us to unlock our true potential and strive for a brighter future. People need people, and by coming together in a show of strength, anything is possible. The sky’s the limit!” she said. Scroll down for photos…

Geraldine Kelly, NEWKD, Sara Dillon, Tralee Community Training Centre and Helen Fitzgerald, Employability Service Kerry at the Powering Our Community event in IT Tralee on Friday. Photo by Dermot Crean

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Lucy Fitzell, Admissions Officer ITT, Mary Stritch, Lifelong Learning Co-ordinator and Marlene Fernane, Admissions Office, at the Powering Our Community event in IT Tralee on Friday. Photo by Dermot Crean

Organisers of the Powering Our Community event in IT Tralee on Friday. From left; Elaine McKenna, NEWKD, Miriam Ryan, Employability Service, Lorna Griffin, NEWKD and Dee Keogh, NEWKD. Photo by Dermot Crean

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