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Bird’s Funfair ready to open amid public health concerns

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By Sean Moriarty

Birds Euroshow Funfair will open in Killarney tomorrow (Saturday) for the first time in two years.

The funfair will operate at its traditional location in the Fair Field car park despite concerns raised by Killarney Chamber of Tourism and Commerce who said the attraction could draw large crowds and increase the risk of the spread of the Delta variant of COVID-19.

Bird’s said it will operate a “robust” COVID-19 plan that will include hand sanitisation stations at the entrance and exit of the fair and on each of the rides. Face masks will have to be worn on site and a COVID-19 compliance officer will work with visitors to ensure social distancing.

“We are glad to be back,” Don Bird, grandson of founder William Bird, told the Killarney Advertiser.

“We have a robust protocol in place that is also subject to tweaking and improving.”

Bird’s Euroshow Funfair have been a traditional part of Killarney summers since 1937.

William Bird ran fundraisers to help build Fitzgerald Stadium and the family paid for the initial paving of the car park in the 1960s.

They applied to Kerry County Council to operate in the town centre car park, they also pay a fee to the Council and all of their fair-rides are subject to an annual safety check.

“As they do every year, the funfair indicated the dates they wish to set up and this is facilitated as part of a long-standing arrangement and relationship with Birds. The Council has no role in the licensing of funfairs but does require the submission of safety certs before a funfair sets up,” a Council official told the Killarney Advertiser.

However, the Chamber remains opposed to the fun fair operating in Fair Field car park this year.

They worked with the funfair and Kerry County Council to find alternative venues as car parking spaces in town are already at a premium.

The Chamber is also worried that the funfair will attract large groups of people at a time when there are wider concerns about the spread of the Delta Variant of COVID-19.

“Killarney Chamber of Tourism and Commerce had, and still has, concerns about a funfair setting up in the centre of town at a time when concerned public health officials are warning of an extremely contagious new variant of the COVID-19 virus,” a statement, issued yesterday (Thursday), said.

“Killarney Chamber of Tourism and Commerce appreciates and values the role played by the funfair in entertaining generations of children in the town and we hope they have a very successful and safe stay.

“It remains Chamber’s view, however, that the public health concerns must be given absolute priority and that the Fair Field car park is not a suitable location at a time when parking facilities in the town are at an absolute premium and in the current public health environment.”

Last week’s Killarney Advertiser suggested that Killarney Chamber made two separate statements on its concerns about the funfair. In fact, it only made one – the Killarney Advertiser is happy to clarify this.

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Rebel lights delight for Killarney star

By Con Dennehy The continued growth, development and participation of women’s handball in East Kerry was rewarded at the weekend when Cork hosted ‘She’s Ace’, the prestigious All Ladies Handball […]

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By Con Dennehy

The continued growth, development and participation of women’s handball in East Kerry was rewarded at the weekend when Cork hosted ‘She’s Ace’, the prestigious All Ladies Handball championships.

Attracting all the leading players in Ireland, it was Sarah Dineen, the Spa/Killarney player who shot out the Rebel lights in Conna with a phenomenal display of handball.

Competing in the highly competitive Ladies Challenger championship, the Killarney player, who took up the sport just 18 months ago, had the perfect start in the competition defeating the home town favourite Agnes Hurley from Conna on a 21-20 scoreline following an energy sapping and close encounter that hung in the balance to the final ace.

In her second game she took on the challenge of Nolwenn Even from St Brigids where her skill, superior fitness and movement on the court resulted in the 21-12 victory and a place in the prestigious final.

“The final was always going to be a difficult game not least playing local girl Kate O’Riordan from Conna. I concentrated on my serve and kill shots which ensured we shared the aces early in the game. It was a difficult game with the home supporters out in force to cheer on their local hero. However, I played well and secured a 21-11 victory. This was the second time this title came to Spa Killarney following the 2022 win by Aoife Walsh in Northern Ireland,” said Sarah, who is currently chairperson of the Killarney Camogie Club.

A native of Westmeath, Sarah (46) runs a jewellery business in Killarney and lives in Rathmore. No stranger to competitive sport she played camogie for Westmeath and Leinster and also won an Intermediate championship Gaelic football medal in Westmeath.

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STEM Scholarship for outstanding female student

By Michelle Crean A Killarney student attending University College Cork has received a STEM scholarship. Annie O’Donoghue (22) who is in her final year of a Bachelor of Science Degree in Data Science […]

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By Michelle Crean

A Killarney student attending University College Cork has received a STEM scholarship.

Annie O’Donoghue (22) who is in her final year of a Bachelor of Science Degree in Data Science and Analytics in University College Cork, was recognised as an outstanding female student in STEM2D disciplines: Science, Technology, Engineering, Math, Manufacturing and Design at a ceremony held at Janssen Sciences site in Ringaskiddy.

Annie, from Muckross, will receive a student award, a bursary of €1,500, industry mentoring and leadership training, along with the opportunity to attend career workshops, visit Johnson & Johnson sites and participate in WiSTEM2D events designed to support students with pursuing future STEM careers.

The Johnson & Johnson WiSTEM2D programme fuels the development of the female STEM2D talent pipeline by awarding and sponsoring girls and women at critical points in their educational experience and their careers, in STEM disciplines. The Undergraduate programme was first introduced at University of Limerick in 2016. Since then, it has expanded to include University College Cork in 2018, University of Galway in 2021, and Munster Technological University in 2022, supporting more than 400 female students over the last six years.

“It’s an honour to be a recipient of this award,” Annie, who is a former St Brigid’s Presentation Secondary School student, told the Killarney Advertiser.

“It’s great to see the number of women in Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, Manufacturing and Design, increase over the years.”

She added that the goal of the award is “to inspire women to pursue their career path in their respective STEM2D field of work”.  
 

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