Re-connecting with Golden Ireland and The Great Southern Hotel Killarney



We are getting a great response to our Le Chéile Arís Competition, so please continue to keep your stories and poems coming in. You could be in with a chance to win an overnight stay with dinner for you and your friend in the luxurious Great Southern Hotel Killarney.

Closing date for entries is Monday, 11th April so get nominating now!

Below are some sample entries which we hope you enjoy!


Happy 60th Birthday!

“Can I nominate my sister Bernie please. She turned 60 during the Pandemic, so no celebration. I’d love to surprise her with this fabulous trip to Killarney. We could have a great catch up, she lives in Kilkenny and I’m in Dublin and would love to celebrate her big birthday in style please. Never too late to say “Happy 60th Birthday” to my sister”.

Grace, Co. Dublin


A Step Back in Time..

“It was the 1980s.  We had four children and no money, and were desperate for a holiday.  My mother had been widowed, and was staying with our boisterous lot for the summer, and she also was longing for a change of scene – or maybe to get away from a houseful of noisy youngsters and constant confusion.

With school holidays on the horizon, we scoured the papers and magazines to find somewhere to escape to, within our budget, and finally sourced a two bedroom cottage near Killarney. It looked perfect  In a beautiful scenic area, with a little grocery shop nearby, and with lots of space to set the children free.  One big snag – it had only two bedrooms!  The three boys could share one bedroom, and our daughter could have a pull out bed in our bedroom. But that left my Mum – where to put an elderly lady who liked her comfort and who longed for some pampering?

The answer was staring us in the face! The beautiful Great Southern Hotel was just a few miles away.  So, with some jigging of finances, we booked Mum into the luxury of this beautiful hotel, and oh how she loved it!  We could drive into Killarney every morning – after she had had her breakfast served up to her in her room, and rested and read the morning paper – and then take her on a tour of Kerry, or shopping in the town, and just sit with her in the evenings, sipping our Irish Coffees while the youngsters were being entertained.   She loved all the staff, who treated her like a queen, and who were extremely nice to my four children.  Mum had the holiday of a lifetime, and our family had our much needed break. Happy Happy memories.

If I win this great prize I will nominate my daughter as the recipient.  She is all grown up now, but still talks of the wonderful time she had with her Gran in the Great Southern, Killarney, and how the visits to the tranquility of this beautiful hotel almost made up for the agony of being stuck in a small cottage with three energetic, boisterous and noisy brothers.  She would relish a step back in time to that distant past…..and maybe with any luck, she would invite me along!”


Old Friends 

“60 years old –  I was last year. 60 years old – this year is – my lifelong friend “Jennifer Boyle”- we grew up in Dublin and were together every day. I live in Kilkenny now & she lives in Kerry. Getting “Le Cheile Aris” would be wonderful to celebrate our Special Birthdays together”.

Bernadette, Co. Kilkenny.

A Much Needed Girl’s Trip
“Would love to nominate my childhood best friend, we have been best friends for 40 odd years. We both live in Galway, her name is Rebecca Jacob but with Covid shut downs, we haven’t see each other for two years. Last time I saw her was her baby’s 18th birthday at her house.  But whenever we do see each other we go back to being 8 and 9 years old. It’s very hard to keep in touch socially when your lives gets busy with children.  We both have two boys and a girl.  Now that our kids are older we need to reestablish our lives before kids. We both need a much needed girls break away”.
Belinda, Co. Galway.

A Lifelong Friendship

“The person I would like to nominate is my friend Marie Garvey from Bruff in Co, Limerick. We have been friends since the early 60s and have been through a lot together, good times and bad. We worked together in the Dept of Defence and lived near one another in Lucan so when we had babies we helped one another out. Marie moved down to Bruff but that did not interfere with our friendship. My husband died mid 70s and I cannot articulate how much she helped me and brought me back to life over the years again.

In recent times she would get the train to Dublin and we would spend the day together but we have not met physically since COVID. Marie was 80 in February and we have not had the chance to celebrate yet so if I won this prize it would be a golden opportunity to celebrate and have a proper catch up. I could relate many more good times and bad that we shared over the years”.

Ann, Co. Dublin.


For more information on how to enter the Le Chéile Arís  (Together Again) Competition,