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Anger as National Park says roaming deer not its problem

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DIVIDED: Road safety activists and animal welfare activists remain divided on how to control the deer population in Killarney National Park. Photo: Philo Brosnan

 

By Sean Moriarty

 

There was widespread anger at Wednesday’s Killarney Municipal Meeting after it was, effectively, revealed that the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) would do nothing to solve the roaming deer issue in Killarney National Park and the wider Killarney area.

Last November, Cllr Brendan Cronin lead a deputation of Ballydowney and Fossa residents to the Council outlining issues connected with the growing issues with large numbers of deer roaming in the Killarney area.

The group – some of whom have lost family members in fatal accidents involving deer – have being campaigning for over a year now but are growing increasingly frustrated at the lack of action by the NPWS.

As a result of this deputation the KMD wrote to the NPWS asking for action on the growing problem.

The NPWS carries out an annual cull, 272 were culled last year and 65 were culled last week in what was week one of a three week programme. Outside of culling deer within the grounds of Killarney National Park the NPWS has absolved itself of all responsibility regarding deer management and said as much in its letter to the Council.

The contents of this letter angered every elected member at the Killarney meeting.

‘The management of animals outside the National Park and in the wider Killarney Valley area is a matter for private landowners and culling and control is not the responsibility of the Department beyond the issuing of licences/permits which may be applied for,’ said the letter, which was seen by the Killarney Advertiser.

“This is insulting to the people who came into the meeting in November,” said Cllr Cronin. “They would badly want to come and talk to the families who have suffered because of this. I feel like beating my head off a strong wall when I see the mentality behind this.”

The NPWS letter further explained that while it does manage deer within the Park it does not own them and this statement further angered councillors.

“So, they can fine a hunter if he shoots one without a licence or hunts out of season, but they don’t own them or can’t manage them for road safety reasons?” asked Cllr Donal Grady.

Last November the residents of Ballydowney and Fossa called for fencing to be placed in their areas to prevent deer escaping – an issue that was highlighted last week by photographs doing the rounds on social media that showed a herd of deer grazing on a busy roundabout.

‘Fencing is simply not a viable solution and would not achieve the desired results,’ said the letter.

The local Council will now form a deputation to the NPWS office in Leinster House in Dublin.

“We are not giving up on this,” added Cronin.

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Teens theory is a national winner

Watch out Dallas as three local students are ready to take their science theory and blow the competition out of the water. Liam Waldron, Rachel Griffin and Luke O’Sullivan, Sixth […]

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Watch out Dallas as three local students are ready to take their science theory and blow the competition out of the water.

Liam Waldron, Rachel Griffin and Luke O’Sullivan, Sixth Year students from Killarney Community College, were named SciFest STEM Champions 2022 for their Group Theoretic Approach to Pythagoras’ Theorem.

The national finals of SciFest Ireland were held at the Marino Conference Centre in Dublin last Friday and they were attended by finalists from across Ireland.

The amazing trio will now go on to represent Ireland at the Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair (Regeneron ISEF) which will be held in Dallas, Texas in May 2023.

The students secured their place at the national final after they won the overall prize at the SciFest regional competition at MTU Kerry in May this year.

Their project takes possibly one of the most well-known theorems that everyone remembers from school, Pythagoras’ Theorem. It provides an alternate proof of it, while also highlighting how right-angled triangles naturally provide a link between two coordinate systems and how this special case can naturally recreate the Pythagorean Theorem.

Supported by Intel Ireland and Boston Scientific, SciFest was set up 17 years ago by Sheila Porter and her husband George.

It is the largest, most inclusive STEM fair programme for second-level students in Ireland.

“The aim of SciFest has always been to develop a love of STEM and of inquiry-based learning and every year it is refreshing to see how the students of today continue to love and enjoy immersing themselves in science, technology, engineering and maths,” Sheila Porter, SciFest CEO, said.

“As SciFest grows each year, we grow more excited to see what new experiments and technologies are thought of and created. This year, students have shown incredible innovation in how STEM can make a positive impact on society, with initiatives in farming, space exploration and healthcare.”

Each year SciFest awards a ‘Teacher of Excellence’ and this year Máire Spillane was the recipient for her work with Luke, Rachel and Liam. She accompanied them to both finals and could not be prouder of this huge achievement at national level.

Killarney Community College held a whole school assembly to congratulate the SciFest champions in school and the SciFest STEM Champions 2022 were met with rapturous applause from all students and staff.

Ms Spillane spoke about the importance of STEM subjects and acknowledged the fact that Killarney Community College offers all students the opportunity to study all four of the disciplines, Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths and how our students are encouraged to submit projects every year into SciFest. It may be a competition run by science teachers, but in KCC cross-curricular co-operation by teachers of all subjects, is practiced on a daily basis.

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Rathmore students look to the future

Students in Scoil Phobail Sliabh Luachra, Rathmore looked to the future as they explored third level opportunities. The teens took part in a number of activities to mark College Awareness […]

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Students in Scoil Phobail Sliabh Luachra, Rathmore looked to the future as they explored third level opportunities.

The teens took part in a number of activities to mark College Awareness Week which was held in schools and other education settings nationwide last week.

The focus throughout the week in their school was to highlight the wide range of options open to them when they leave school and to realise that there are pathways to suit all types of learners.

Students from First to Sixth Year took part in activities to get them thinking about their future plans.

First and Second year students completed a module on ‘My Pathways’ and Third Years had an introductory talk on options after school.

Transition Year students worked on a display on all the options and pathways available after school which will remain up permanently.

Senior Cycle students attended the Careers Fair in Munster Technological University (MTU) where they got a chance to meet universities, colleges of Further Education, agricultural colleges, apprenticeship and more education and training providers from around the country including past sudent Aidan O’Mahony at the stand with An Garda Síochána.

Leaving Cert and LCA students had a really informative talk in school on Further Education and apprenticeships from Ella O’Donoghue, Admissions Officer of Kerry College.

The week finished with a talk for Senior Cycle students on Business and Law options in UCC by Ian Wallace.

“A highlight of the week was the involvement of past students, who sent us video clips on their career stories so far and shared tips with students,” Niamh Dwyer, Guidance Counsellor at the school, said.

“It was fabulous to see how well our former students have done and it was really important for our current students to see the diversity of pathways they have taken including apprenticeships, Further Education courses, university, travel, setting up businesses and returning to education as mature students. We are really grateful to the past students who reconnected with us for this week, their input was inspiring and invaluable.”

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