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Firies locals fundraise for All Weather pitch




By Michelle Crean

Firies locals in need of an All Weather Pitch to help serve the community are appealing for support to help fund it.

Construction of the long awaited All Weather Pitch at Firies National School has finally commenced and so far, just over €17,000 has been raised of their €30,000 goal.

The plan is for construction to be finished in time for the school's reopening in September so that the youngsters, as well the rest of the community can enjoy its use.

Firies Sports Facility, a community based sport and recreation facility, offers an inclusive programme of sport to all ages and ability levels and includes a collaboration with Firies NS, Farranfore Maine Valley Athletic Club and Kerry Parents and Friends to encourage enjoyment, maximise participation and help people achieve their personal best.

The state-of-the-art pitch will measure 60m x 40m and will contain a high density prefabricated shock pad system, surrounded by rebound fencing. A 1.8m concrete footpath will hug the perimeter of the pitch, and floodlights will be installed to ensure the facility can be used in the evenings. Retractable goal posts will also be included. There's also plans to install a cabin with two wheelchair accessible toilets and a storage area for sports equipment.

The school's principal, Claire Doyle, has said that the children are “so excited” and are looking forward to “not playing in the mud”, and “not having games cancelled due to conditions”, once the new facility is up and running.

“It has been difficult to support physical education with our current sports facilities,” she told the Killarney Advertiser.
“I would appeal to the community, past pupils, at home and abroad, to support to buy into this project which will be there for many generations to come as a vital community resource.”

Before heading in to the summer break the children themselves worked hard to begin the fundraising efforts by taking on water games, hula hoop challenges, team games and more.


Many clubs and community groups in Firies and beyond will benefit hugely, regardless of age, social disadvantages, gender or disability, as every person will be able to access Firies Sports Facility.

"This facility will not only benefit people’s physical health but also their emotional and psychological well-being. Firies NS endeavours to be a very active school and we have a very extensive physical education programme that includes athletics, football, hurling, basketball, rugby, soccer, yoga, dance, orienteering, gymnastics and swimming to mention a few. Unfortunately, our school field is water logged for many months during the school year and many of the activities that we endeavour to have our children participate in are cancelled. As a result our children are disappointed and not in a position to receive the basic physical activity that they are entitled to," she said.

"We are sincerely grateful for all donations received to date. However, we still need help in order to make this dream a reality. We hope to reach our goal with the help of our fantastic community, those near and far, who may be in a position to donate."

To donate, search GoFundMe: 'Firies Sports Facility All Weather Pitch'.

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Start clocking up those ‘Kingdom Kilometres’

With an increase in daylight hours there’s no better time to clock up the ‘Kingdom Kilometres’ on foot or by cycling along the county’s two new Greenways. The recently opened […]




With an increase in daylight hours there’s no better time to clock up the ‘Kingdom Kilometres’ on foot or by cycling along the county’s two new Greenways.

The recently opened Kingdom of Kerry Greenways between Tralee and Fenit and between Listowel and Abbeyfeale are already proving hugely popular with locals and visitors to Kerry.

Representatives of the tourism Industry, local public representatives, travel writers and influencers gathered in Kerry on Monday to experience the exciting new tourist attractions and welcome the arrival of the longer daylight hours as the clocks changed over to summertime.

Sarah Hanrahan, a social media influencer who posts about Irish travel and has more than 100,000 Instagram followers, described the experience.

“Ireland has some of the most amazing outdoor spaces. For a lot of my followers and other people, connecting with green spaces has become much more important to their overall sense of well-being as well as their health and fitness. It’s been really gorgeous to experience the Tralee to Fenit, and Listowel to Limerick Kingdom of Kerry Greenways; a fantastic trip sampling the warm hospitality of Kerry and a great reminder of the active holiday options that are right on our doorstep.”

The new purpose-built trails provide an accessible and inclusive experience for visitors of all abilities.

Mayor of Tralee, Cllr Mikey Sheehy and the Mayor of Listowel, Cllr Aoife Thornton, said that the greenways offer an exceptional recreational amenity for everyone to enjoy.

“The greenways are situated in some of Kerry’s most scenic landscapes and offer spectacular and safe off-road facilities for people of all ages to enjoy as the landscape comes into bloom. They also offer warm hospitality at the trail head towns of each route.”

Visit to find out more.


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St Patrick’s Day parade winners announced

Killarney Valley Classic and Vintage Club has won the sought-after overall award in recognition of their colourful and action-packed entry to this year’s St Patrick’s Day parade in Killarney. Delighted […]



Killarney Valley Classic and Vintage Club has won the sought-after overall award in recognition of their colourful and action-packed entry to this year’s St Patrick’s Day parade in Killarney.

Delighted club representatives were presented with the Seán O’Keeffe Perpetual Trophy – in memory of the former Mayor of Killarney and parade stalwart – at a gala presentation of prizes in the International Hotel, Killarney on Tuesday night.

The award for the Best Interpretation of the Theme, which was Killarney: Experience More, went to the Wander Wild Festival who received the Michael Courtney Perpetual Trophy which is dedicated to the memory of another former mayor of the town who spearheaded the annual St Patrick’s Day celebrations for many years.

The John ‘Killer’ O’Callaghan Perpetual Trophy for the Best Sporting Entry was won by Killarney Athletic AFC and the Peter Irwin Memorial Trophy for the Best Marching Group and Cultural/Arts Entry went to Millstreet Pipe Band.

The Best Sports Club was Spa GAA, the Best Children’s Group prize was won by Kilcummin Comhaltas and the Best New Entry was Killarney Rugby Football Club.

There was an international flavour to the Best Musical Entry which was scooped by the Glenridge High School Marching Band from New Jersey.

The prize for the Best Voluntary Group went to the Kerry Stars Special Olympics Club, the Best School Award went to the Fiona Crowley Stage School and the Best Activity Group was deemed to be Scorchers Cheerleading Club.

The Most Entertaining Entry went to the Killarney Tidy Towns group, the prize for the Most Original Entry was won by Liebherr Container Cranes and the Most Imaginative Entry in the parade was the Art House, Killarney.

The Most Stylish Entry prize was awarded to the Ukrainian community whose representative said they were delighted to play a part in Ireland’s national holiday and thanked the people of Killarney for the warm welcome they have received.

Other prizes presented on the night included the Best Window Display which went to Christy Healy’s on New Street who were celebrating 100 years in business on St Patrick’s Day, while the Europe Hotel and Resort won the Best Green-Themed Building prize.

The judges for the parade were Br Pat Lynch, Guardian, Franciscan Friary, Pam Brosnan, Killarney Musical Society and Denis McMahon.

The awards were presented by Killarney St Patrick’s Festival Chairman Paul Sherry, Mayor of Killarney Cllr Niall Kelleher, Killarney Chamber of Tourism and Commerce Senior Executive Bridget O’Keeffe, and parade grand marshal Cathal P Walshe.

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