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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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30 years of Innisfallen Island MassThe annual special concelebrated Mass on Innisfallen Island takes place next week.

Next Friday (June 21), members of the public are invited to attend the Mass taking place at 6.30pm. Now in its 30th year, the Mass was originally an idea by […]

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Next Friday (June 21), members of the public are invited to attend the Mass taking place at 6.30pm.

Now in its 30th year, the Mass was originally an idea by Geoffrey O’Donoghue who sadly died four years after it began.

“There was an Augustinian Monastery on Innisfallen Island and the people, including priests and monks and they say Brian Boro, went out there to study. The lake, Lough Lein is called ‘The Lake of Learning’,” said his wife Mary who carries on the tradition in his memory.

“My husband Geoffrey was a descendent of the O’Donoghues and he wanted to have Mass on the island. The O’Donoghues built Ross Castle and owned the lands and the lake surrounding it which was later donated by John McShane to the people of Killarney. He [Geoffrey] asked one of the friars and one day he got a call from the OPW that there would be a plaque unveiled to John McShane and they asked if the Mass could coincide with it. It was attended by Sr Pauline, John McShane’s daughter.”

She added that all the public are welcome to attend. Boats, which will have a nominal fee to cover their costs, will be carrying passengers out from 4pm onwards.

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Photo of “hidden gem” wins Camera Club’s latest competition

A photograph of one of Killarney’s hidden beauty spots was deemed the winner of Killarney Camera Club’s most recent competition. Th standard was high throughout all categories but in the […]

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A photograph of one of Killarney’s hidden beauty spots was deemed the winner of Killarney Camera Club’s most recent competition.

Th standard was high throughout all categories but in the Novice category, Iryna Halaieva’s photograph of O’Sullivan’s Cascade was deemed the winner.

“A waterfall is my favourite waterbody and long exposure is my favourite photographic technique,” she said. “I do my best to have as many waterfalls as possible in my photo collection. I heard a lot about O’Sullivan’s Cascade and wanted to visit that hidden gem of Kerry. So, shortly before our club competition I went with a friend to Tomies Wood to photograph it. It was a dream come true for me.”

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