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BBC appearance for Kilcummin man and his sheepdog




By Michelle Crean

They say "a dog is man's best friend" and for one Kilcummin man nothing could be more true as they compete this Sunday on one of the UK's most popular weekly factual TV programmes.

TV APPEARANCE: Tom with his two daughters Aoibhe and Kayleigh and his wife Mairead pictured on set for the BBC1 Countryfile programme.

FAME: Tom's sheepdog 'North Hill Tess' is reaching new levels of fame as she will appear on BBC 1's Countryfile this Sunday.

Countryfile, which pulls in six million viewers a week will feature Tom O’Sullivan and his beloved award winning sheepdog 'North Hill Tess'.

After winning the International Supreme Championship last year - they were invited to take part in the prestigious BBC1 'One Man and His Dog' show.

However, he's not revealing the outcome of the TV trials just yet, saying viewers will have to tune in this Sunday when the programme airs on BBC1 at 4.45pm.

"I haven’t competed on this programme before, the prize is 'One Man and His Dog Champion 2022' and a trophy will be presented on the show on Sunday night," Tom, who has travelled all over Ireland and the UK with his dog, told the Killarney Advertiser.

"I compete in sheepdog trials and after our success at last year's 2021 International Supreme Championships in Wales we were invited to compete in this year's televised sheepdog trial competition on 'One Man and His Dog'. I will be competing with the 2021 International Supreme Champion, 'North Hill Tess'."


The competition was recorded on the farm of Ceri and Phil Rundle, Bodfari, North Wales last month with top sheepdog trial handlers competing from Ireland, England, Scotland and Wales.

"We are very proud to be representing our country in this prestigious event," he added.

“'One Man and His Dog' began in 1976 and is the TV programme/competition that everyone associates with sheepdog trialling. It brings the skill and brilliance of the border collie to everyone’s attention from the '70s to current times."

After last year's win he said he was honoured to be asked to compete in this year's event and represent Ireland with 'North Hill Tess'.

"We had a great few days in Wales with the family and friends at the recording of the event. 'North Hill Tess' is a brilliant dog and she has taken myself and my family all over Ireland and the UK competing at the highest level over the past number of years. We are delighted to be appearing on this year's 'One Man and His Dog' programme and hope to be able to bring the trophy back to Ireland.”



Kerry rowing clubs flock to Killarney for the start of the coastal season

There was a fantastic spectacle of colour and rowing on Lough Leane last Sunday (June 16th) with the coastal rowing clubs of Kerry participating in the first ‘Head of the […]




There was a fantastic spectacle of colour and rowing on Lough Leane last Sunday (June 16th) with the coastal rowing clubs of Kerry participating in the first ‘Head of the Lake’ time-trial for coastal one-design boats.

The event, hosted by the local Flesk Valley Rowing Club, signalled the start of the summer season for clubs rowing the coastal ‘one-design’ boats.

It was fitting that on the weekend that the Killarney National Park celebrated the 60th anniversary of the opening of Muckross House to the public, that hundreds of people also flocked to the Flesk Valley shore to appreciate and enjoy the splendour of the park.

Speaking after the event, Flesk Valley chairman, John Fleming thanked all the Kerry clubs who supported this new event and congratulated all the first-time rowers taking to the water in a competitive event for the first time.
“We were delighted to welcome our neighbouring clubs Workmens’ and Fossa, and look forward to renewing rivalries with them again at the Killarney Regatta at the end of this month,” he said.

“We would also like to thank Mary B. Teahan, Andrew Wharton, Johanna King and the Kerry Coastal Rowing Association for all their support and encouragement, and Denis O’Leary for coordinating safety on the water.”
Flesk Valley would also like to thank the Killarney National Park, Leanes Tool Hire, Hegartys Shop and Muckross Rowing Club for their support.

“This was a great start to the coastal rowing season, and augurs well for the months ahead as clubs build towards the All-Ireland Coastal Rowing Championships to be held in Dingle at the end of August,” added the chairman.

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NPWS announces nature scholarships to mark ‘Muckross 60’

Director General of the National Parks and Wildlife Service, Niall O’ Donnchú, this week announced the inaugural ‘Muckross 60’ nature scholarships to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the opening of […]




Director General of the National Parks and Wildlife Service, Niall O’ Donnchú, this week announced the inaugural ‘Muckross 60’ nature scholarships to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the opening of Muckross House and Gardens to the public. The scholarships will be funded and managed by the National Parks and Wildlife Service.

Niall O Donnchú said, “Killarney and Muckross have a very special place in Ireland’s heritage legacy, and  such beautiful gems need constant care, nurturing and indeed protecting by future generations. In supporting these third level scholarships, the NPWS is building the knowledge base of the future to assist those generations in continuing to realise the full beauty and nature value of the very unique Muckross House and Gardens and Killarney National Park.”

Mr O Donnchú added: “Killarney has a long history of scholarship, research and frontier work on nature and that continues to this day in the management of Killarney National Park and Muckross House and Gardens. The endowment of these annual scholarships is a very clear attestation that this crucial work continues to be undertaken across our national park system and especially here in Killarney and Muckross. This work has been pioneering in respect of wildlife and nature research and indeed the reintroduction of endangered species and the discovery, even this year, of more.”

Minister for Education and Kerry T.D. Norma Foley also welcomed new scholarships to mark the 60th anniversary of Muckross House.

“Muckross House is one of the jewels in the crown of Kerry tourism and received almost one million visitors last year. These scholarships will further add to our understanding of this outstanding part of our national heritage,” she said.

Muckross House was built by the Herbert family, who were local landlords. They became very wealthy during the 18th century due to the working of the copper mines on the Muckross Peninsula. They commenced the building of the present Muckross House in 1839. It was completed in 1843 at cost of £30,000, just two years prior to the Great Irish Famine. The Herbert family hosted the visit of Queen Victoria to Muckross House in 1861 but later got into financial difficulties and lost the house in 1897.

It was then bought by Lord Ardilaun, a member of the Guinness family. He in turn sold it in 1911 to William Bowers Bourn, a wealthy Californian gold miner. Bowers Bourn gave it to his daughter Maud as a wedding gift when she married Arthur Rose Vincent, an Irish barrister who later became a Senator.

After Maude died from pneumonia in 1929, Arthur Rose Vincent decided to donate Muckross house to the Irish nation as a memorial to his wife. Muckross House was transferred to the state in 1932 with its 11,000 acre estate and became Ireland’s first National Park in 1933.

The park and gardens were opened to the public but the house remained closed until 1964 when it was reopened as a folk museum on June 14, 1964 following a campaign by people in Killarney.

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