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Beaufort walk gifts €16k to Kerry Hospice

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By Con Dennehy

Walkers who put their best foot forward along the scenic Tomies Wood Trail in Beaufort this summer during an event to commemorate the memory of local man Jamie O’Sullivan were rewarded for their efforts this week when the O’Sullivan family presented €16,295 to the Kerry Hospice Night Nurse Programme.

The late Jamie O'Sullivan who sadly passed away from cancer last year.

More than 400 friends, family and community gathered at the scenic location in June for the 'Remembering Jamie' walk, organised by parents Patricia and Simon and his brother Diarmuid, which was an occasion to reminisce, share stories and remember a young man that made an indelible impact during his short and memorable life. A native of Gerah in Beaufort, Jamie lost his brave and dignified battle with cancer in 2021.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions at the time, many of his friends and wider community were unable to celebrate his life, his many talents and his ability to touch the lives of so many people in a variety of ways.

“Jamie was just 31 when he left us. He lived in London and Dublin, but home at the foot of the MacGillycuddy Reeks was his endearing love, a place he called home and an area that inspired him. We were astounded at the response to the walk which was a fitting tribute to Jamie. The local response was phenomenal with the business community such as Kate Kearney’s and Pat Sheehan coming on board. We will be forever grateful for this outpouring of generosity,” Diarmuid said.

“Jamie’s book, 'The Powerful Nan Nee', was a joyous labour of love, written during his cancer battle. The book is a beautiful work, enjoyed by children and the not so young. It was reprinted for the walk and sold out immediately thanks in part to the amazing art work from pupils attending Cullina and Kilgobnet National Schools.”

Speaking at the presentation of the cheque in the Palliative Care Unit in Tralee this week, Maura O’Sullivan, treasurer of the Kerry Hospice Foundation, expressed delight at the sum raised from the walk.

“This was a phenomenal sum of money which will assist with the Night Nurse Programme, a key element for individuals on their cancer journey to remain at home in the loving care of their family. The walk, organised by Patricia, Simon and Diarmuid, was a lovely and fitting tribute to Jamie and highlights the respect and popularity Jamie and his family have in the greater Beaufort and Mid Kerry area. We thank them for their overwhelming generosity and we will keep them in our prayers and thoughts.”

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Kerry base confirmed for Rás Mumhan

By Sean Moriarty Preliminary details of the Rás Mumhan have been announced by Cycling Munster. The four-day international cycle race will, once again, be based at the Riverisland Hotel in […]

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By Sean Moriarty

Preliminary details of the Rás Mumhan have been announced by Cycling Munster.

The four-day international cycle race will, once again, be based at the Riverisland Hotel in Castleisland and will run from Good Friday until Easter Monday.

The final route has not yet been revealed but it is expected to follow a similar path to the 2022 edition.

Last year, due to organisational difficulties, the Rás Mumhan committee asked local clubs to take charge of each day of the race.

Killarney Cycling Club hosted the Easter Saturday leg of the race, including managing the stage start in the town centre, the Category One mountain climb at Bealach Oisin Pass and the stage finish in Sneem.

“We are looking forward to seeing everyone at Easter and we wish all the riders the best of luck in their preparations for the event. Further details to follow as they are confirmed,” said Race Secretary Sinéad Moriarty.

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Showcasing Killarney to an influential audience

Kerry’s hospitality professionals turned out in style for the Skal President’s Dinner on Saturday night. It’s the social highlight of the year for professional tourism and travel organisations and it […]

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Kerry’s hospitality professionals turned out in style for the Skal President’s Dinner on Saturday night.

It’s the social highlight of the year for professional tourism and travel organisations and it was also a perfect opportunity to show the best of Killarney. Held in the Plaza Hotel, it was hosted by Kerry Skal President Michelle Rosney who used the occasion to highlight the best of Killarney’s performing arts talent, cuisine and locally produced drinks. There were special performances on the night by singers and dancers from St Brigid’s Presentation Secondary School and the West End House School of Arts who brought The Liberator, Daniel O’Connell, back to life for one night only to deliver a passionate dramatisation of a famous speech. Skal is the largest international hospitality networking organisation in the world with 13,000 members in 308 clubs in almost 90 countries. Fáilte Ireland Chairman Paul Carty said in his speech that the contribution Killarney has made to the Irish tourism industry should not be underestimated. He added that the tourism industry supports over 3,500 jobs in Killarney and over 7,000 in the rest of Kerry. He said the hard work put in by tourism professionals in Killarney over the years is paying off and when Fáilte Ireland surveyed hundreds of domestic and international tourists, at the height of the season last August, they couldn’t speak highly enough of their experience with 97 percent saying they were very satisfied. “The national figure is 90 percent so Killarney is actually seven percent higher than the national average and that’s truly exceptional,” he said. Over 55 percent of visitors to Killarney also spend time in other parts of Kerry and towns, like Dingle, Kenmare and Tralee, and really benefit from the spin-off.

INDUSTRY CHALLENGES

The Fáilte Ireland chairman said his organisation is acutely aware what Killarney has faced in recent years and the challenges it currently faces and every support possible will be provided to help.

Mr Carty said Fáilte Ireland last year launched a destination experience and development plan for Killarney and that will see the town reach its full potential through sustainability and the development of year-round tourist attractions.

He said costs were also a big concern with energy bills, in particular, going through the roof and putting businesses under serious pressure.

Staffing was another serious problem for the industry as so much talent was lost during the pandemic.

“An awful lot of great people left our industry and they’re not coming back, so there is a great shortage,” he said, adding that Fáilte Ireland was working hard to overcome the difficulties being experienced.

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