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Bird’s Amusements hopeful of a summer in Killarney

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By Sean Moriarty

Bird’s Amusements, who have been coming to Killarney town for 83 years - are hopeful they can maintain their long tradition this summer and are in active discussions with Kerry County Council and Killarney Municipal District officials.

Ireland’s largest travelling fun fair has never missed a summer in Killarney since their first visit in 1937.

The fair, currently operated by founder William Bird’s grandson Don and his children, usually operates in the Fair Hill car park.

In preparation for a hopeful restart the fun fair has introduced a range of measures including appointing several staff member as COVID-19 compliance officers. They have worked with the Irish Showman’s Guild to come up with a range of plans that will see all members of this umbrella group operate to some degree this season.

The family’s permanent fun fair in Tramore County Waterford is operational since late last month and Don Bird is “optimistically hopeful” this will help get the necessary permits to operate in Kerry this year.

“We understand that the Council is very busy trying to reopen the town and we are just another peripheral operation in all of that,” he told the Killarney Advertiser. “My colleague, who looks after the paperwork is quietly confident we will get permits but I prefer to take a more cautious approach – I am optimistically confidant.”

One of the main problems is insurance. They have suspended their cover until they get back up and running but the Council may not grant a permit without insurance in place.

“I would have to spend an awful lot of money to reactivate it and then find I could not start up for the summer,” he added. “I have been given a letter of goodwill from my broker showing that cover can be put in place. I don’t want to put the Council officials under pressure either – they have enough to do to get the town reopened.”

Bird’s Amusements have used Computer Aided Design (CAD) software to plan proposed layouts in the Fairhill car park. This has helped them identify areas in the fairground that may not be complaint with social distancing measures.

Most of their fleet has been parked at their depot near Birdhill in Tipperary since the shutdown – they were due to operate at St Patrick’s Day festivals in Dublin and Bray but that never happened and instead used the down time to train staff and try new methods of operation.

“We tested loads of different scenarios – some PPE does not work in a fairground – there is no point in wearing a face shield that will fly off when on a ride,” he added.

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Eileen rewarded for her dedication to athletics

By Sean Moriarty Well-known Dalton’s Avenue woman Eileen Switzer has been named as the Honorary President of Killarney Valley Athletic Club in recognition of her work as a volunteer. The club held its annual awards night on Friday night last. As well as presenting awards to club members in recognition of their achievements at home […]

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By Sean Moriarty

Well-known Dalton’s Avenue woman Eileen Switzer has been named as the Honorary President of Killarney Valley Athletic Club in recognition of her work as a volunteer.

The club held its annual awards night on Friday night last.

As well as presenting awards to club members in recognition of their achievements at home and abroad they decided to honour Mrs Switzer for her “lifetime of volunteering to the community, to sport, to youth and for championing diversity and inclusion”.

“Eileen has been an advocate, a coach and an administrator in the sport of athletics for over 60 years in the town of Killarney, Kerry and beyond,” said club chair Jerry Griffin.

Eileen and her husband Frank have dedicated their lives to the community games and athletics in the greater Killarney area.

“I enjoy, but I don’t like, all the limelight,” she told the Killarney Advertiser.

“I like to watch newcomers as they come up through the ranks, many of the Community Games people of the past are now running the committee.”

In a life time dedicated to volunteerism in Killarney Eileen has helped sports like golf, pitch and putt and badminton grow.  She was also heavily involved in the local Irish dancing scene and remains a great supporter of Kerry Parents and Friends.

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A Mass of Commemoration in Kilcummin

COMMEMORATION: A Mass of Commemoration for all those who fought and died in Kilcummin during the Irish War of Independence was celebrated last Sunday last at 11.30am in Our Lady of Lourdes Church, Kilcummin by Fr Kieran O’Brien. Organised by the Kilcummin Historical Group there followed a walk to the Kilcummin Mass Rock where Fr […]

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COMMEMORATION: A Mass of Commemoration for all those who fought and died in Kilcummin during the Irish War of Independence was celebrated last Sunday last at 11.30am in Our Lady of Lourdes Church, Kilcummin by Fr Kieran O’Brien. Organised by the Kilcummin Historical Group there followed a walk to the Kilcummin Mass Rock where Fr Kieran laid a wreath.

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