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Another Gold medal for Killarney TidyTowns

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Killarney has won another Gold medal in this year's SuperValu TidyTowns competition.

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Tralee, Kenmare, and Listowel were also awarded Gold medals in the competition while Ennis, Co. Clare was named as Ireland’s Tidiest Town for 2021 from 847 entries to the competition this year.

Killarney, with a population of 14,219, was awarded 352 points in the large town category F and named as the highest scoring location in the county.

The TidyTowns competition has been in existence since 1958 and in their report, TidyTowns judges said that "Litter control and tidiness is always a concern with high levels of footfall, and on the day of adjudication the town was generally free from litter, which is a credit to all involved".

"Footpaths were clean and the addition of some re-surfacing has made a difference to busy areas. The many residential houses and estates were all presented to a high standard and a credit to the residents. A few vacant premises have undergone freshening and brightening. Approach roads were good and well presented with trees and landscaping, with areas left for wildlife. Traffic was heavy and congested in areas.
Well done on this year’s entry and presentation."

CONGRATULATIONS

The Cathaoirleach of Kerry County Council, Cllr Jimmy Moloney has congratulated all of the Kerry winners and participants in this year’s Tidy Towns Competition.

Speaking from the Awards Ceremony in Dublin, Cllr Moloney said that every TidyTowns Committee in Kerry can take great pride in their results.

"I want to extend warmest congratulations to all of those who did so well, particularly to Tralee, Kenmare, Listowel and Killarney on being awarded a Gold Medal for 2021," he said.

"The effort of volunteers over the past year, particularly given the enormous challenges posed by the pandemic have been truly Herculean and I commend everyone who put their shoulder to the wheel in communities across the county despite the adverse circumstances.

"As someone with such an involvement and personal commitment to TidyTowns, I know how much time and effort is invested in the competition by so many people. There have some very worthy recipients in other categories and I commend all of those who made such an effort to improve their communities. The results point once again to an exceptional level of community spirit in our county which has been exemplified by the response to the pandemic."

REPORT

Streetscape & Public Places

In the report judges said that "ongoing projects include looking after derelict sites and the Laneway Revitalisation scheme".

"Before and after pictures tell the story very well. You have an upgraded Historical Buildings and Sculpture Trail. Redundant phone boxes are being removed. Future projects include a public realm design for the streetscape, upgrading the Fire Station and new cycle paths. We hope the design team includes street trees in their proposals."

Green Spaces and Landscaping

"A new project is the fairy trail at Knockreer. These are a distinctively Irish initiative which has taken off in all parts of the country. They look great and attract children to parks and forests. We hope the 80 trees planted adjacent to MD O’Shea roundabout have survived. May is very late for planting unless the trees were grown in containers. Also at Knockreer, a wildflower meadow is managed using traditional farm machinery pulled by horses. The Blue Pool Walk at Muckross was improved by cleaning fallen branches and debris and removing some Rhododendrons. It includes an audio route for the visually impaired."

Nature and Biodiversity in your Locality

"We learned in the News about the fire last April which is reported to have damaged about half of the land mass of Killarney National Park and hope it recovers quickly in the coming years. The Falconry display of Sept 2019 is noted. Congrats to KCC for the new brochure on Kerry’s Parks and Gardens. Workshops at Killarney House and Gardens in Sept. 2019 also noted. The 2.4 m swift box at Killarney House, installed in the summer of 2019 is impressive. Plans for a new access walkway to O’Sullivan’s Cascade are noted. The information board for Deenagh will add to the attractiveness of the wooden carved animals and birds. The biodiversity bulb planting on Mission Road is noted above and the Sophie Lodge workshop and the skills course (level 5) in Ecology and Practical Fieldwork. You are working on a biodiversity plan for Killarney and the annual autumn talk series have been popular. The control of Rhododendrons in Killarney is ongoing helped by 50 members of men’s shed in Ireland in November 2019."

Sustainability – Doing more with less

"Projects mentioned here include the Café going green, the climate crisis initiative by the Kerry Diocese, new bicycle stands, solar powered parking machines, the global climate protest by students, the hotel sustainability pact of cutting emissions by 25%, the water refill station, the drive to win a grant by students from St Brendan’s Secondary School for solar panels to reduce heating costs. The students have also made it to the final of the ECO-UNESCO Young Environmentalists Award. KCC operated a shredding system for Christmas trees. Recycling banks managed by KCC, and the KWD recycling initiative. A cycling skills workshop for girls and a covered area for parking bicycles in St Brigid’s Secondary School and the cycle without age campaign is noted."

​​​​​​​Tidiness and Litter Control

"For a third year the staff of Marks and Spencers have joined your volunteers in cleaning street furniture and collecting litter. The new signage at the car parks is a great idea. Painting railings at the courthouse makes them look very smart. Pooper scoopers are erected as well as signs advising dog owners to be responsible for cleaning up after them. You were raked in 2nd place in the IBAL survey. You hope to have more service cables laid underground in future and the removal of redundant cables. In your litter control efforts, you have schemes such as ‘Adopt a Road’, Wednesday clean-ups and the Council employs litter pickers in the summer months. All schools take part in the spring clean. Weed control is done by the Council and they use weedkillers and road sweepers. Has consideration been given to the use of attaching special heavy duty wire brushes to tractors/small vehicles as is done in some European countries. The number of bags of rubbish collected during the county clean-up is amazing and we note the Tanaiste also donned a yellow jacket. You are vigilant in taking care of graffiti which is helping to reduce its impact on the town. Works such as painting bollards, railings and kerbs is noted. Our congratulations to Killarney Town Meitheal for their range of works undertaken throughout each year since they were formed 11 years ago."​​​​​​​

Residential Streets & Housing Areas

"We note that houses in the new social housing scheme have very small gardens. Have you considered giving them some ideas on how to landscape them? It is great to see Armagh House redeveloped. The new build looks very different from the old style. Well done to the Ballydribeen Resident’s Association for their works programme which is very impressive. New footpaths in some estates were provided and others upgraded, and all estate name signs are completed and are bilingual. You have successful competitions that helps to maintain high standards within each estate. A list of projects for improvement in the Ballyspillane estate were noted."

​​​​​​​Approach Roads, Streets & Lanes

"Mentioned under this heading is the Ceramic Tile Project in Chapel Lane, road resurfacing works in College Street, restoration of Well Lane South and the mural at the entrance to St Anthony’s Place. Other schemes include Flesk walkway, the car bus park at Rock Road where cables were placed underground, a mural at Glebe car park and extra parking on the Kenmare Road. Main Street was upgraded, and many footpath improvements were done in and around the town. More road improvements are planned."
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Concluding Remarks

"Killarney is a busy place, and your group are very active in developing and promoting projects that enhance the townscape. Well done on progressing with these especially during the past two years of the Covid pandemic."

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Killarney man to launch second Irish history book

By Sean Moriarty Killarney native Patrick O’Sullivan Greene will launch his second book in the Great Southern Killarney on December 2. O’Sullivan Greene explains Éamon de Valera’s mission to gain […]

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By Sean Moriarty

Killarney native Patrick O’Sullivan Greene will launch his second book in the Great Southern Killarney on December 2.

O’Sullivan Greene explains Éamon de Valera’s mission to gain recognition for the newly formed Irish republic in New York in 1919 in his latest book ‘Revolution at the Waldorf: America and the Irish War of Independence’.

Without American recognition and funding the young Irish Government was sure to fail against the might of the British Empire and the book tells the story of how de Valera and Ireland-based Michael Collins – much to the defiance of the British authorities at Dublin Castle – got the new State off the ground.

O’Sullivan grew up in New Street and is now based in Beaufort after a career in finance took him all over the world including Dublin, London, New York and France.

“Killarney is the natural place for me to launch the book,” he told the Killarney Advertiser.

“There will be an interesting mix of people there.”

O’Sullivan Greene published his first book, ‘Crowdfunding the Revolution: The First Dáil Loan and the Battle for Irish Independence’, in 2020.

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Caring group craft charity blankets

By Michelle Crean One community group have shown that they care deeply for others by crafting handmade blankets for charity. Using their range of skills and some colourful wool, members […]

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By Michelle Crean

One community group have shown that they care deeply for others by crafting handmade blankets for charity.

Using their range of skills and some colourful wool, members of Kilcummin Community Care worked together to make blankets for service users on the Kerry Cork Cancer Health Link Bus.

“Each blanket is assigned as a personal gift to the clients using the Cancer Link Bus and is kept by them,” Kate Fleming, Chairperson of Kilcummin Community Care, said.

The knitting of the squares to make the blankets began at a gathering in the Rose Hotel in 2018. It was a gathering of different volunteer groups.

The Kerry Cork Cancer Health Link Bus were requesting knitted squares to make blankets for the clients who were using their facilities, she explained.

“Kilcummin Community Care were knitting at the time, so it was decided to help out this worthy cause. We received donations of wool from people in the parish and surrounding areas. Kilcummin ICA also got involved in the efforts.”

During the two years of COVID-19, members of both organisations continued to knit and are still knitting to the present day.

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