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125 years serving pints on New Street

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Charlie Foley’s is Killarney’s oldest family run public house but will have to wait a little while longer to enjoy official celebrations. In the meantime, Colm and his staff will continue to provide an ever changing high standard of service to Killarney locals and tourists for the foreseeable future.

I visited in the morning time and getting left in the side door out of hours was a novelty in itself!

It was evident the magic Christmas fairy Norma O’Donoghue had visited as the bar was twinkling for the festive season ahead, whatever COVID restrictions might bring.

“I can’t take any credit, Norma is fantastic at what she does,” Colm Foley told me.

HISTORY

In November 1896, Charlie Foley and his wife Ellen, on returning from Liverpool back home to Kerry, purchased 101 New Street from the estate of Lord Kenmare, a ‘local bar’ that still proudly bears the Foley name over the door.

Ireland of that time was a place of political and social turmoil, rebellion from the old order, growth in industry and expansion of tourism and communications. This was the birth of what became known as Foley's of New Street.

Charlie and Ellen were the opening Foley chapter. Charlie Junior soon stepped into his father’s shoes as master of the house, having married Noreen Lyne of the famous Kerry footballing family, together they continued the operation of the public house and grocery and raised their own young family.

These times were of an infant country, fresh from the troubles of 1916, the Civil War, birth of a new republic, and a third generation of Foley's began their lives in 101 New Street.

Tragedy struck the family with the sudden death of Charles, the eldest son of Charlie and Noreen. Eileen, their next eldest child, returned from nursing in Cork to help with the running of the family business.

“Sure I never had the grá to run a pub Marie but it came naturally to me,” Eileen said. Eileen went on to marry Colm Foley from Killorglin. The birth of their first born coincided with a change of direction for Foley's. The old ways of combining grocery with public house was coming to an end, and Eileen and Colm lead the change.

Charlie, Eileen’s father, passed away in 1984. Together, along with rearing a young family, Eileen and Colm moved with the times and brought 101 New Street forward to cater for a growing Killarney town and more discerning customer. Unfortunately Eileen’s husband Colm passed away tragically in 2003. With a young family to rear she also kept the doors of Charlie Foley's open to the public. Eileen’s son, Colm Foley, took on the challenge at the age of 17 to continue what his great-grandparents began, and it has continued seamlessly through to the generations.

“I ran the pub under the watchful eye of my mother, bringing in local DJs like Kevin Sul and DJ Gaz attracting a younger clientele, but sustaining an atmosphere for our long-term customers also. A new era with an older feel," Colm added.

“The plan was to celebrate this year, 125 years at Foley’s, but COVID has played havoc with many celebrations across the board. On making my initial enquiries about our 125 year celebrations, I knew that COVID would curtail my imagined festivities. I didn't think Mass in the bar with my family would be too much of a hurdle, but as it turns out Fr Kieran was unavailable regardless of COVID as Austin Stacks are due to play Kerin O'Rahillys in the county final on Sunday," Colm joked.

ADAPTING TO CHANGING TIMES

“Overall Colm, how has adapting to COVID over the past 20 months been?" I asked.

“It was a trying time and serious uncertainty but everyone is the same. Over the past 125 years Foley’s has survived the Spanish Flu, the Civil War, two World Wars and the War of Independence and it’s not going to sink on my watch! Our staff, Gerry, Samantha and Courtney, suggested we operate Foley’s like they used to as a team in New York. A system was put in place and it’s worked wonderfully, as well as we can do in COVID times. I am lucky to have great staff and great customers. We continue to welcome locals and tourists alike to Foley’s in a safe but atmospheric environment. We are thankful to have welcomed back live music with Donal Lucey and Cathal Flaherty in recent months which is great.”

I commented on the many photographs throughout the entire bar which are seeping in history, smiles and atmosphere within the Foley family and their customers, local legends and special occasions at the pub. An heirloom of memories, character and authenticity is not something that can be bought. It’s no wonder Foley’s on New Street has been a popular place to socialise at for the past 125 years.

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It’s that time of the year again – New Year’s resolutions and plans to get the health and fitness levels in check.

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Important date reminders about CAO applications

The normal closing date for CAO applications is on February 1 at 5pm, so it is really important that any students applying from Leaving Certificate, Further Education or as Mature Applicants are clear on the deadlines and application process. Before you start make sure to look at the CAO handbook which is available as in […]

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The normal closing date for CAO applications is on February 1 at 5pm, so it is really important that any students applying from Leaving Certificate, Further Education or as Mature Applicants are clear on the deadlines and application process.

Before you start make sure to look at the CAO handbook which is available as in interactive flipbook or to download from www.cao.ie, which also has a lot of resources to help applicants and parents.

To register, log on to www.cao.ie and click on Apply, it will ask you first to input your personal and contact details along with the category of applicant you are. Once you create a password and submit payment you receive you CAO number which means you are registered. It is advisable to go through the Demo Version of the CAO form first which is available on their website in the ‘Student Resources’ section.

Applicants who register before January 20 at 5pm will be charged the discounted application fee of €30, which increases to €45 up to February 1. Once you have registered you have until February 1st to add and change your courses, free of charge. On May 5, the Change of Mind facility will open and you will have the change to change your courses, with certain restrictions, up to July 1 at 5pm.

Course choices

You have the option of filling in 20 courses in total – 10 choices on level 8 (Honours Bachelor Degrees) and 10 on level 7/6 (Ordinary Bachelor Degrees / Higher Certificates) and it is advisable to fill as many as you can to give yourself the best chance of being offered a place on a course you like.

It is essential though that you research carefully all the courses you are going to include. Often students are careful about their first couple of choices but don’t research the courses that are further down the list well enough. Don’t make this mistake. Every course you put down should be one that you are genuinely interested in and willing to do so consider all options carefully. The majority of level 7/6 courses have progression routes onto level 8.

Order of Preference

This is the golden rule of the CAO and a very common mistake made by students every year. Always put down your courses in order of preference, not in the order of the points from the previous year. Points for courses change each year and you will not know the points for 2022 until the day that the Round 1 offers are issued by CAO, which is usually a couple of days after the Leaving Cert results come out. Also you don’t know what points you are going to get until those results come out and it will be too late to make changes to your CAO application at that stage.

Restrictions for the February 1 deadline

While you will get the opportunity to change your course choices later in the year, there are certain restrictions to take note of regarding the February 1st deadline. If you are applying for ‘restricted courses’ they must be added in by February 1as they require some other form of assessment apart from Leaving Cert points such as an aptitude test or a portfolio.

Such assessments are usually carried out between February & April. Students who are applying for Medicine must apply to do the HPAT by January 21 on https://hpat-ireland.acer.org/.

Any students applying for the HEAR (Higher Education Access Route) or DARE (Disability Access Route to Education) schemes must have applied to CAO by February 1.

You then have until March the 1st to complete those applications and up to March 15 to have supporting documentation sent to CAO (see www.accesscollege.ie). In the case of mature applicants, most HEIs (Higher Education Institutions) require applications to be in by the February 1 deadline.

Niamh Dwyer is a Guidance Counsellor in Scoil Phobail Sliabh Luachra, Rathmore, and Chairperson of the Kerry Branch of Guidance Counsellors. She is also a Career Consultant – For details see www.mycareerplan.ie or email info@mycareerplan.ie

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