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Ballyhar woman and daughter win Reeks District luxury adventure break

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A Ballyhar woman and her daughter will enjoy a post-lockdown luxury adventure in the Reeks District after their video won a Facebook competition organised by the tourism agency.

Annie Rose Vogels, supervised by mom Maureen Hegarty-Vogels and dad Thys Vogels, took on the challenge of creating a video of how they could complete the Reeks District Big Five Challenge during lockdown after a selection of Big Five Adventurers posted an appeal for people to try and better their own efforts from a video campaign launched in mid-April.

As soon as restrictions are lifted, the pair will get to enjoy their prize that includes the cream of Irish adventure activities, including climbing Carrauntoohil, kayaking on Caragh Lake, cycling the Ring of the Reeks, surfing on Inch Beach and taking part in an after-dark SUP adventure on Lough Cloon.

Throughout they will get stay in lakeside luxury at Carrig Country House and dine in some of the region’s best restaurants such as Ard Na Sidhe Country House on Caragh Lake and Killorglin’s Sol Y Sombra.

The Big Five Lockdown Edition competition was launched in mid-April when adventure tourism companies in the Reeks got together to create a fun video showcasing how they were keeping their adventure spirits up during the COVID-19 crisis.

Their video was seen by more than 30,000 people who were challenged to create their own version of the film – and two of the entries were chosen for the final reckoning in a battle to see which effort got the most Facebook ‘likes’.

After five days of keen voting as the finalists mobilised their friends and family to vote, Maureen and Annie’s version held a narrow 831-764 victory over the entry from fellow finalist Kilcummin-based Geraldine O’Halloran and her family. In total, the two videos were seen more than 10,500 times.

“We are all keen mountain climbers, love the outdoors, hillwalking, kayaking, cycling, so the prize is right down our alley,” Maureen said. “We love the idea of the Big Five initiative and it really will be a family adventure for us, while also an amazing challenge. It’s really something to look forward to once lockdown is over and we can make a weekend of it.”

Chair of the Reeks District Jens Bachem congratulated Maureen and Annie for their superb win.

"Commiserations to Geraldine and her family who produced such a strong effort themselves. We launched the Big Five Lockdown Edition competition to try and give people something fun to do, as well as remind people that the Reeks’ amazing outdoor adventures are here waiting for them as soon as restrictions are lifted. The Reeks District would like to offer a huge thanks to all who made this happen; our Adventurers who created their own videos with such great enthusiasm, all the businesses who have helped provide the prizes, the public who watched and voted in the Grand Final and, of course, our two finalists for their great videos.”

The Big Five Challenge Lockdown Edition entry mechanic and a full list of participating businesses can be seen at www.reeksdistrict.com.

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NPWS survey to find out impact of fires

By Michelle Crean The National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) has commissioned a comprehensive survey on the impact of fires over the past four decades – in particular Killarney National Park in April. The tender, worth €300,000, and named ‘Study on the Impact of Fires On The Biodiversity of Killarney National Park’, seeks to find […]

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By Michelle Crean

The National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) has commissioned a comprehensive survey on the impact of fires over the past four decades – in particular Killarney National Park in April.

The tender, worth €300,000, and named ‘Study on the Impact of Fires On The Biodiversity of Killarney National Park’, seeks to find out the biological impacts of the fires in the 26,000 acre park.

The fires in April burned from Friday night on April 23 until around 12pm the following Monday when they were finally brought under control.

Parts of the Park were scorched resulting in flora and fauna being wiped out. Some fires came as close as 10 metres to a church and school in the Black Valley area.

Fires raged near Tomies Wood and fire crews from five different districts quenched fires near the properties under threat. A real threat was for The Oak Woods but fire fighters managed to avert danger.

The fire is believed to have begun on the Kenmare Road area escalated by the strong winds.

“The purpose of this tender is to commission a comprehensive survey of the impacts, and the chrono-sequence of fire recovery or otherwise, on lands burned over the past four decades, as well as surveys in unburned areas, in order to assess the biological impacts of the fires, in particular the fire of April 2021, on the biodiversity of Killarney National Park,” an NPWS spokesperson told the Killarney Advertiser.

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Killarney spin will bring comfort to patients

By Michelle Crean Ahead of this year’s ladies only 54321 Challenge a number of spinathons are taking place, including in Killarney town. Sunday, August 15 a group of 10 ladies plan a spinathon day in Killarney ahead of their four day epic adventure from Thursday, August 19 to Sunday 22. This year due to COVID […]

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By Michelle Crean

Ahead of this year’s ladies only 54321 Challenge a number of spinathons are taking place, including in Killarney town.

Sunday, August 15 a group of 10 ladies plan a spinathon day in Killarney ahead of their four day epic adventure from Thursday, August 19 to Sunday 22.

This year due to COVID restrictions the 54321 team will run with two teams of five people, all female – who are raising funds for one single charity – Comfort for Chemo Kerry.

Their four day challenge will include a cycle the Ring of Kerry on day one (Thursday 19), a climb up Carrantuohil on day two (Friday 20), a cycle from Killarney to the foot of Cnoc Na Tobair and then climb Cnoc Na Tobair on day three (Saturday 21) finishing off with a cycle of the Skellig Ring on day four (Sunday 22).

In advance of the ninth annual challenge they will first participate in the spinathons at various locations to help raise much needed funds for this year’s chosen charity.

The first of the spinathons will take place on Saturday, July 31 in Listowel, Killorglin, Dingle, Cahersiveen. On the day volunteers will take to the spinning bikes from 10am to 5pm in different locations around these towns.
This will be followed by Killarney on Sunday, August 15, and Tralee on Saturday, August 28.

When choosing this year’s charity, organisers contacted a past participant and a dear friend, Mairead Dunphy from Glencar who is currently on her own journey with cancer.

“We wanted to show our support to Mairead and knowing that she would like to support those who have supported her on her journey so far, she had already being looking at ideas to raise much needed funds for Comfort for Chemo Kerry,” TJ O’Connor said.

“Please support Comfort for Chemo Kerry by giving what you can.”

For more information about the spinathons go to www.54321challenge.org or the Comfort for Chemo Kerry Facebook page for online donation information.

There’s also a GoFundMe page: ‘Comfort for Chemo Kerry – 54321 Challenge 2021’ which has a €20,000 target set up.

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