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Men’s Sheds tackle invasive rhododendron

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WORKING TOGETHER: Members from 15 Men's Sheds throughout the country travelled to Killarney last week for the third consecutive year to tackle rhododendron in Killarney National Park.

 

There were high spirits and a huge sense of teamwork as 50 Men’s Shed members from across Ireland descended on Killarney last week to tackle an invasive plant.

Members from 15 Sheds throughout the country travelled to Killarney for the third consecutive year to tackle rhododendron in Killarney National Park.

The plant, which was introduced as ornamentation and hunting cover in the 18th century poses a serious threat to native flora and fauna in the 10,000-hectare park, including the Kerry slug, Killarney fern and Ireland’s only herd of native deer.

 

The men came once again after receiving an invitation from Killarney Chamber and the National Parks and Wildlife Service. It’s part of an ongoing, multi-faceted initiative, which is brainchild of Killarney pharmacist Finbarr Kennelly of Kennelly’s Pharmacy.

 

The members, who hail from sheds as distant as North Belfast Men’s Shed, were accommodated by some of Killarney’s most prominent and prestigious hotels as part of Killarney Chamber’s commitment to tackling the issue. They spent two days tackling the invasive shrub and enjoyed a social evening at Killarney Men’s Shed with lunches provided by the Muckross House Garden Restaurant.

 

The members were welcomed to Killarney by a brace of mayors – Mayor of Kerry Cllr Niall Kelleher and Mayor of Killarney, Cllr Michael Gleeson, who were joined by local TD Brendan Griffin, at a welcoming dinner in Major Colgan’s restaurant.

 

After a comprehensive briefing on safety and environmental preservation from Park Ranger Tim Cahillane, members sallied forth on Monday morning to the Cloghereen/Blue Pool section of the Park, where they helped clear rhododendron from a walking route for the visually impaired.

 

“This is a highly visible, very prominent site,” Johnny McGuire of Killarney Chamber, a long-serving member of the Mountain Meitheal that tackles rhododendron in the Park all year round, said. “People will use this area and what the Men’s Shed group do this week will be of lasting future benefit.”

 

Barry Sheridan of the Irish Men’s Sheds Association expressed his members’ appreciation for the hospitality and support of Killarney Chamber and the National Parks and Wildlife Service.

“For us, this is a highlight of the year,” he said. “To be able to bring 50 of our members to this beautiful, majestic place is just fantastic.”

 

 

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No spare change – no problem, as charity embraces new technology

By Sean Moriarty With less and less people carrying lose change around, one local group have now embraced a new technology to make donating much easier. For their annual Christmas fundraiser, the Killarney Conference of the St Vincent De Paul Society will have a special collection bucket that will allow supporters to use their bank […]

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By Sean Moriarty

With less and less people carrying lose change around, one local group have now embraced a new technology to make donating much easier.

For their annual Christmas fundraiser, the Killarney Conference of the St Vincent De Paul Society will have a special collection bucket that will allow supporters to use their bank card to make a donation.

The Society’s annual churchgate collection will be held on the weekend of December 11/12 at places of worship in the town and surrounding areas. This year’s collection has be renamed as ‘Giving Sunday’ and makes a return after the pandemic forced the cancellation of last year’s fundraiser.

“We are moving towards a cashless society,” explained Killarney Conference President Breda O’Dwyer. “You can tap and swipe your card to make a donation.”

Breda added that they are hoping to have the buckets ready by next week in time for the collection.

She said the local conference of the St Vincent De Paul Society has seen a marked increase in the number of families it is helping mainly caused by the increase in the cost of fuel and home heating products.

The annual St Vincent De Paul Society’s Christmas Jumper Day, in association with Radio Kerry is scheduled for December 10.

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SURVEY: Locals are reducing their social contacts

It is just over a week since new restrictions were announced by the Government in an another effort to curb the spread of COVID-19. In our latest online poll we asked our readers if they had reduced their social contacts over the course of the last week. An overwhelming 62.90% said they had reduced their […]

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It is just over a week since new restrictions were announced by the Government in an another effort to curb the spread of COVID-19.

In our latest online poll we asked our readers if they had reduced their social contacts over the course of the last week.

An overwhelming 62.90% said they had reduced their level of contacts with people.

Interestingly, 37.10% of people had made no change to their lifestyle, but they could have been extra cautious already.

A tiny minority – just 1.61% – said they increased their social contacts over the last week.

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