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Local political groundwork helped secure ETB campus




By Sean Moriarty

Plans announced this week that the Kerry Education and Training Board will take over the vacant Pretty Polly site and convert it into a third level education centre were first revealed by the Killarney Advertiser in May last year.

Cllr Niall ‘Botty’ O’Callaghan

Cllr Maura Healy Rae

Killarney Municipal District officials and senior ETB managers examined the former factory on Friday, May 7, 2021 to assess its suitability as a campus.

The visit came about after local councillors Marie Moloney and Niall ‘Botty’ O’Callaghan used their influence as political members of the ETB’s board of management. Maura Healy-Rae also played a huge role in securing that first visit.

Earlier in 2021, a Killarney Municipal District meeting was told that all interested parties had withdrawn from a tender process regarding the takeover of the former factory.

Moloney, Healy-Rae and O’Callaghan were aware that the ETB was actively looking for a site or a building for a dedicated Killarney campus and that sparked the first interest in the former factory.

Once the project became viable it was taken over by the senior Department of Education and Department of Further and Higher Education.

“During all my time in politics, I feel I have really done something to benefit the whole community,” Moloney told the Killarney Advertiser.

“Our job is to help the people of Killarney and what better benefit is this?”


The project proposal involves the repurposing of the existing buildings of the former Sara Lee and Pretty Polly factories in Killarney.

The site is approximately 4.94 acres with the existing building's footprint of circa 11,000 square meters, primarily comprised of the original single-storey factory building which was constructed in the late 1960s. It will be at least four years before construction is complete.

“We have been driving it, and I mean driving it, from day one,” Cllr O’Callaghan told the Killarney Advertiser.

“This is going to be iconic for Killarney, this is huge news and has the makings of the town. I will make sure that the Polly is high on the agenda for every ETB meeting going forward.”

The site is located just off the N22 National Primary Road offering ease of access from all major road routes into Killarney. The site also provides ample onsite parking with less than 2 kilometres access to the Killarney town centre and bus/rail stations.

“It is an ideal location,” Healy-Rae said. “Without three councillors from Killarney this would never have happened. We pushed that it would be an ideal site. ETB officials were very good too, they made a strong and convincing application. There was a lot of effort in the process and I acknowledge them too.”

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New  bio-energy therapy clinic open on Beech Road

Have you ever wondered what happens when you deal with an emotionally charged situation or experience high levels of stress daily? Your mind sends alarm signals to your body which […]




Have you ever wondered what happens when you deal with an emotionally charged situation or experience high levels of stress daily?

Your mind sends alarm signals to your body which must adapt to this emergency mode.

Muscles tense up, heart beats faster, vessels get compressed, blood pressure rises, body retains water etc. Most of us subject our bodies to this emergency mode without being aware of it.

Irina Sharapova MH has just opened a new Herbal Medicine and Bio-Energy Therapy clinic at Horan’s Health Store on Beech Road by appointment each Friday.

Both Herbal Medicine and Bio-Energy Therapy, support the body’s natural ability to heal.

During a herbal consultation the therapist suggests necessary corrections to the client’s diet and lifestyle aiming at reducing the elements that contribute to inflammation, stiffness and pain, and increasing the elements that aid healing.

Then they prepare herbal remedies specific to the client. Client’s medications are also examined to ensure that there are no conflicts with the herbal treatment.

Herbs support healing by relaxing the body and improving sleep; they are used to treat various ailments from digestive and reproductive issues to insomnia and migraines.

Bio-Energy therapy is a complementary non-contact treatment that helps to release tension from the body caused by injuries, traumas or stress.

During a Bio-Energy session the therapist scans the client’s body for signals that indicate that the energy is not flowing smoothly – these are the areas that have reacted to the Client’s emotions of fear, worry, hurt, anger, sadness etc.

The therapist “clears out” these areas until the energy flow feels smooth. Bio-Energy is helpful in the treatment of physical and emotional pain and other ailments.

It is suitable for people who do not like massages and other treatments that are performed directly on the body.

Disclaimer: Alternative therapies are not substitutes for medical advice.
For further information or to schedule an appointment please contact Irina at 086 9878941 or via email at Website:


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Spotted an otter lately?

Users of Killarney National Park are being asked to keep an eye out for otters – one of the country’s rarest mammals. The National Parks and Wildlife Service IS launching […]



Users of Killarney National Park are being asked to keep an eye out for otters – one of the country’s rarest mammals.

The National Parks and Wildlife Service IS launching a new National Otter Survey and has teamed up with researchers in Queen’s University Belfast and the National Biodiversity Data Centre to collect and collate otter records from right across the country.

The new survey will map otters and compare results to the last survey, carried out in 2010-11.

NPWS teams will be looking for characteristic signs of otters at over 900 sites throughout the country, including rivers, lakes and the coast.

Members of the public are asked to keep their eyes peeled for otters and to get involved in this national survey by adding their sightings to the survey results.

Otters are mostly active at night and most typically seen at dawn or dusk. They may be spotted from bridges swimming in rivers or along the rocky seashore.
Otters are brown, about 80 cm (30 inches) long and can be seen gliding along the water surface before diving to show their distinctive long pointed tail which is almost as long again as their body.

Dr Ferdia Marnell, Mammal Specialist with the NPWS, said:

“The otter is one of Ireland’s most elusive animals so getting as many people involved in the survey as possible will be important if we are to get good coverage. Otters are rarely seen, so instead, over the coming months, NPWS staff will be searching for otter tracks and signs.”

Dr Ferdia Marnell, Mammal Specialist with the NPWS, said:

“Otters have large, webbed feet and leave distinctive footprints, but these can be hard to find. Fortunately, otters mark their territory using droppings known as spraints. Otters deposit spraints conspicuously on boulders along riverbanks, logs on lake shores or the rocky high tide line. Spraints can be up to 10 cm or 3 inches long, black through to white but commonly brown, tarry to powdery in consistency and straight or curved making them tricky to identify. Luckily, they commonly contain fish bones and crayfish shells which are the otters favoured diet making them easy to tell apart from the droppings of birds and other mammals.”

The otter and its habitat are protected under the EU Habitats Directive which requires that Ireland reports on the status of the species every six years. The next report is due in 2025.

The otter suffered significant declines across much of continental Europe during the 1970s, ‘80s and ‘90s but remained widespread in Ireland. The most recent Irish survey (2010-2011) found signs of otter from all counties of Ireland and from sea-shore to mountain streams.

The otter hunts in water, but spends much of its time on land, and as a result is vulnerable to river corridor management such as culverting, dredging and the clearance of bankside vegetation, as well as pollution, pesticides, oil spillages, coastal developments and road traffic.

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