Irish rain can't spoil trip of a lifetime
An Invercargill teenager who won a trip to Ireland in a national essay-writing competition enjoyed herself immensely - despite the ever-changing Irish weather.
James Hargest College year 12 student Kerrianne Fanning was the first teenager from Invercargill to win the national Rodney Walshe Ireland Essay competition with her entry Genetically Irish.
Her prize was an all-expenses-paid trip to Ireland.
From her base in Dun Laoghaire, overlooking Dublin Bay, Kerrianne said she was having a wonderful time.
The weather had been ''a tad more wet than a Southland summer”, but dryer than the last summer she had spent in Ireland.
“(It was) enough to give me sunburn - I am reliably informed by the natives that I'm the only one who got burnt in the entire country,” she said.
The trip had been highlight after highlight, Kerrianne said.
Being back in Ireland, where she lived between 2005 and 2008, seeing a performance of River dance at the Gaiety Theatre, and meeting President Michael D Higgins, Prime Minister Enda Kenny and Chief Justice Susan Denham at a National Day of Commemoration service had been great experiences.
She celebrated her 17th birthday in Ireland, and had a lovely surprise when Rodney Walshe, the Honorary Consul General of Ireland in New Zealand, after whom the essay competition is named, gave her a bouquet of flowers, she said.
She had already completed a two-week art course in the Dublin mountains, but there was plenty more still to come, including visiting some of the cultural highlights around Dublin and beyond and spending some time sailing in Dublin Bay.
She arrives back in New Zealand on July 28.
“[I will] be happy to see my family and friends again, but will miss Dublin and my Irish friends and new Irish family.”
- © Fairfax NZ News
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