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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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New free local fitness group to motivate people back to health

By Brian Foley from Activate Fitness  Our mission at Activate is to extend and enhance the lifespan of 7,000 people in Killarney which is why we have set up a […]

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By Brian Foley from Activate Fitness
 

Our mission at Activate is to extend and enhance the lifespan of 7,000 people in Killarney which is why we have set up a free health and fitness group. 

Our primary vehicle is our gym but we do a lot of other stuff, too, like:

* Train kids how to exercise in schools
* Helping frontline workers with their mindset
* Supporting local fitness events and teams
* Running fun social events in the community
* Raise funds for local charities

We’ve won awards for this stuff, but the real reward is moving the Killarney community back towards health. So today, I’m thrilled to share a free Facebook group: ‘Fitness, Nutrition & Health in Killarney’ with you.
Visit this link to join: www.facebook.com/groups/fitnessinkillarney.

In that group, we’ll share helpful posts, tips, and support for everyone, whether you exercise at Activate or not. We’re also welcoming other health and fitness practitioners to join the group and help people find valuable and sensible advice around health and fitness.

When you join, Facebook will ask you a few questions, then my team will be around to support you and give you stuff to help.

If you have questions about fitness, health, longevity, nutrition, or exercise, go ahead and ask! If you have answers, please share! Let’s get some positive momentum going in Killarney!

What’s the deal with motivation?

I was having a discussion with a new client the other day and it came up that they sometimes feel a lack of motivation to keep working out. I know many of you feel like this sometimes, so I thought I would write about it today.

I really believe in discipline, as motivation is fleeting – but we’ll address this anyway. There are a few things that you can do to fool-proof the system. Here’s five ways.

1. Find an accountability partner:

When it comes to working out, having someone to hold you accountable can be a huge motivator. Whether it’s a friend, family member, or even a fitness coach, knowing that someone is counting on you to show up for your workout can help you stay on track.

2. Set realistic goals:

Setting goals is a great way to stay motivated, but it’s important to make sure they are realistic. If your goal is too lofty, you may find yourself getting discouraged when you don’t see results as quickly as you’d like. However, if your goals are achievable and realistic, you’ll be more likely to stick with your workout plan and see the results you want.

3. Find a workout routine you enjoy:

If you dread your workouts, it’s going to be very difficult to stay motivated. However, if you find an exercise routine that you enjoy, you’ll be more likely to stick with it. There are so many different types of workouts out there, so take some time to experiment and find one that fits your needs and interests. I feel a key facet many of us in the health and fitness industry miss regularly is making sure people are always engaged and challenged, so it remains fun to work out!

4. Reward yourself:

This one sounds a little weird, but for some, it can really work. One way to stay motivated is to reward yourself after setting a goal and reaching it. Whether it’s your favourite snack or a new piece of workout gear, treating yourself to something special can help keep you on track.

5. Get enough sleep:

This is the one thing we all hear that’s drilled into our brains – but for good reason! It’s important to get enough sleep when you’re trying to stay fit and healthy. When you’re well-rested, you’ll have more energy for your workouts and you’ll be less likely to skip them. So make sure to get plenty of rest each night!

Following these tips can help you stay motivated to workout, even when it feels like a struggle. Just remember to be patient, set realistic goals, and find an exercise routine that you enjoy. With a little effort, you can reach your fitness goals in no time!
 

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Irish food only for Lisa’s September challenge

Could you survive on a diet of food grown only in Ireland for one month – well that’s the challenge one Kerry woman has set herself. Artist and food activist […]

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Could you survive on a diet of food grown only in Ireland for one month – well that’s the challenge one Kerry woman has set herself.

Artist and food activist Lisa Fingleton plans the unusual action as she will eat only food grown in Ireland for the entire month.

That means no sugar, lemons, olive oil, or coffee with the challenge designed to highlight issues with Irish food security.

In the seven years since Lisa founded the 30-Day Local Food Challenge, food supply chains have been hit by a succession of market shocks highlighting Lisa’s concerns with increasing urgency.

From seed shortages caused by Brexit to the global market shock of COVID-19 to potential shortages caused by the ongoing war in Ukraine, to the recent conversation about the need to reduce the Irish National Herd in line with carbon emissions targets, Lisa says there has never been a more important time to talk about Irish food security.

“This year in particular in Europe we are seeing the impact of war on food and the global reliance on Ukraine as an important wheat producer,” said the former Kerry County Council Artist in Residence who lives in Ballybunion.

“This has shown us more than ever just how fragile our food systems are. We need to focus on building sustainable and resilient food systems on the island of Ireland. This year we are encouraging people to do one local meal a day so they can make it really simple and have Irish porridge for breakfast or really elaborate with a meal grown in your own garden.”

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