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Blás award a sweet win for local honey business

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By Michelle Crean

Winning a major national food award after only two years in business is a sweet success for one Kilcummin honey producing family.

Tim and Kathleen Regan of Regan’s Family Apiary were awarded Silver by the Blás Na hEireann judges this week - which is considered to the Oscars of the Irish food industry.

Normally presented in Dingle, this year’s winners tuned in for a second year running from every corner of the country for a virtual celebration of the very best in Irish food.

Products from every county in Ireland were entered into this year’s competition to win Gold, Silver or Bronze in over 150 food and drink categories, as well as key awards like Supreme Champion and Best Artisan Producer.

According to Tim, who runs the artisan business with his wife Kathleen, with help from his son Liam and daughter Katy, the win is thanks to the bees!

"It's down to the bees and the forage rather than the beekeeper," Tim told the Killarney Advertiser. "Good honey depends on three things, good weather, forage and the bees."

The former St Brendan's College Science and Maths teach explained that they started out with two hives seven years ago but that has now grown to 20 plus hives. The bees feed on briars, clover and other flowers which gives their wild flower honey its distinctive taste.

"On average you can get 40 to 50 pounds of honey per hive, on a good year it could go up to 100 pounds per hive," Tim, who is currently Chair of the Kerry Beekeepers Association, added. "Last year we had 20 to 30 pounds as the weather was too cold and the clover didn't release the nectar as it needs to reach 20 plus degrees."

At present the business runs from the family home in Inchicullane with an honesty table outside where customers can put the money in the box. They plan to sell online in time with the addition of candles, face creams and lip balms made from the honey. They're also planning a walking experience around the meadows to show how the honey is produced.

The 12 other Blás winners announced were: Camos Artisan Foods (Gold and Silver), Cistin na hEireann (Gold), Dingle Distillery (Silver), Dingle Farm (Silver), Dingle Goats Cheese (Bronze), Kells Bay Cheese (Silver), Kennedy’s Butchers (Gold and Silver), Prestige Foods Ltd (Gold and Silver), Quinlan's Kerry Fish (Gold and Bronze), Valentia Island Vermouth Ltd. (Bronze), West of Dingle (Gold), Rogha na Gaeltachta (Best in County), supported by LEO Kerry, and Knockatee Natural Dairy (Gold).

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Shock at the death of “wonderful community activist”

There was a great sense of shock over the weekend when new of the death of Yvonne Quill, a Tidy Towns champion and wonderful community activist, became known. Yvonne, from […]

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There was a great sense of shock over the weekend when new of the death of Yvonne Quill, a Tidy Towns champion and wonderful community activist, became known.

Yvonne, from Barleymount and formerly of the Cafe, College Street, passed away following a short illness on Friday. Requiem Mass takes place this morning (Monday) at 11am in The Prince of Peace Church, Fossa, followed by burial in Aghadoe Lawn Cemetery.

Killarney Chamber of Tourism and Commerce President Niall Kelleher said she will be very fondly remembered as an incredibly dedicated woman, a strong personality who led by example and spearheaded the town’s Tidy Towns committee with such passion for over 25 years.

He recalled that her proudest day was when, as chairperson of the Killarney Looking Good Committee, she inspired Killarney to the prestigious overall national award in 2011 which had proved so elusive prior to that.

“Yvonne led by example and she never asked anyone to do something she wouldn’t do herself. You would seldom see her without the yellow bib, playing her part and showing us all what needed to be done to give Killarney the edge,” Mr Kelleher said.

“While winning the overall prize was something special, Killarney has never been far from the top and it has won a gold medal almost every year which is testament to Yvonne’s great ability to organise, her steely determination and her unrivalled ability to rally the troops,” he added.

The Chamber President also remembered her as a great businesswoman, a master baker and confectioner whose café on College Street was a must-visit for a whole generation of Killarney people and visitors.

“Yvonne Quill has left a great legacy in her home town. We thank her for what she has done, we’ll remember her incredible work ethic and we’ll ensure her name will live on in Killarney by continuing the commitment to the Tidy Towns initiative.”

Johnny McGuire, a member of the executive of Killarney Chamber of Tourism and Commerce, who worked alongside Yvonne at the helm of the Tidy Towns committee, said she was a born leader who inspired the whole community and always led by example.

“Killarney would never have won the All-Ireland Tidy Towns award without her. She was the inspirational captain of the winning team. Yvonne worked night and day and, when it came to Tidy Towns, there was no downtime for her,” Mr McGuire said.

“Her commitment to the cause brought her into every school and every housing estate in Killarney. Working closely with the late Fr Michael Murphy, her great friend, Kathleen Foley, and others, they really put Killarney in contention for the top awards every year. The name Yvonne Quill was known and respected in Tidy Towns circles throughout the entire country – she really was a legend and everything she turned her hand to,
she succeeded. Killarney will miss her,” he added.

She will be deeply missed by her husband John, children Peter, Sandra and Sean, her son-in-law Peter, daughter-in-law Mairéad, grandchildren Anna, Jake, Ted, Abby and Luke, sister Angela Mulvey, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, and extended family, friends, neighbours and the community.

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Jim awarded for life-long service to the community

By Michelle Crean Listry local Jim O’Shea was honoured last week as members of the community council presented him with an award for his life-long service to the community. Jim […]

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By Michelle Crean

Listry local Jim O’Shea was honoured last week as members of the community council presented him with an award for his life-long service to the community.

Jim received the O’Shea Award for 2022 at a meeting of Directors of Listry Community Council held on September 21.

Jim has been involved in Athletics from a very early age both as a competitor and administrator.

He was very much involved with Community Games in Milltown/Listry as organiser and coach. He was also involved with the Farranfore Maine Valley Athletic Club since its foundation.

Over the years Jim has competed in athletic events, mainly high jump and long jump, both in Ireland and abroad.

Recently he travelled to Derby in the UK in the British Masters Championship and won Gold in the 100 metres and Long Jump and finished second in the High Jump.

Jim, who is a very modest man, was actively involved with Listry Community Council as a volunteer driver for Meals on Wheels and for his commitment to keeping our community litter free by organising a number of litter picking days each year.

Always interested in fitness, Jim often came along to the Listry Seniors Social day and led the group in gentle exercises.

“Jim is a very worthy recipient of the O’Shea Award 2022 and we thank him for a lifetime of service to others,” Tony Darmody, Chairman, said.

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