Shocking drain of young Kerry talent

THE incredible talent of our young people was rarely more apparent than it is this week with the news that a native of Cromane has become the county's first ever Oscar nominee.

Cromane woman Fodhla Cronin O'Reilly has been nominated for producing the short film 'Head Over Heels', which has been nominated in the Best Short Film category and has won rare acclaim worldwide already. Fodhla's talented production of the piece should be cause for great pride among Kerry people everywhere.

News of her nomination comes in the same week as two students from Kerry made a big impression on none other than film director Quentin Tarantino for their hilarious dubbing of one of the bestknown scenes from his film Pulp Fiction. 'Pulp Fiction Kerry Shtyle' was made by ITT students David Williams and Eoin O'Leary. The now famous YouTube clip was brought to Tarantino's attention while he was a guest on the BBC's Graham Norton Show on Friday night.

The talent of these three young Kerry people will hopefully be reflected in their achievements in the years to come. Their talent shines a bright light on the capabilities of young Kerry people in general. While this county is lacking in material wealth, we are rich in our greatest resource of all - our young people.

Killarney Actor Michael Fassbender, in the most obvious instance, has become a household name. Ballyheigue fashion designer Don O'Neill is now dressing the stars in the US, Killarney man Pio Fitzgerald was named Boeing's Commercial Airplanes' Engineer of the Year and Mike Fitzgerald's Altobridge continues to lead the global communications industry, to name but a few of the high achievers of recent years.

These are only the names in lights, however. Behind each one are hundreds of other Kerry people making their mark in quieter, but no less significant ways, around the world. Sadly, most of them are carving out professional niches far from their home county as the recession continues to force our youth to emigrate.

The Gathering was originally conceived to capitalise on the wealth of expertise among Irish people all over the world. It is ironic that it will bring home descendants of Ireland at a time when the country is undergoing a catastrophic brain drain as a generation of highly educated and talented young people is lost to this country. It is sincerely hoped that loss is only for the time being.