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Book to remember Johnny ‘The Rock’ O’Brien



By Sean Moriarty

A Glenflesk man who died in tragic circumstances at Christmas is to be forever remembered in a book.

The Glenflesk community woke to the worst possible news on St Stephen’s Day when they learned that Johnny 'The Rock' O'Brien, had died in a house fire.A passing motorist alerted emergency services after seeing the fire in the early hours of December 26.A popular local figure, ‘The Rock’ was a farmer who lived his entire life at the roadside farmhouse near Glenflesk.He was well-known to passing motorists, a friendly honk of a car’s horn was always met by an equally happy salute from the bachelor farmer.His love of his animals made national headlines a few years ago as he saved them from flooding after a severe storm.A central part of the local community, ‘The Rock' was supposed to climb The Paps with a group of locals on the Monday morning of his death to raise funds for two charities.Now a friend and neighbour wants to remember him and she is looking for old photos and anecdotes to compile into a book.“The idea is to gather stories and anecdotes from as wide a group of Johnny's friends and neighbours as possible and combine them with as many photos as possible.“[Photographer] Valerie O'Sullivan is completely behind this project and has promised to help with photos of Johnny,” said his neighbour and friend Lucy Chisholm Greenfield in a social media post.“The plan is to self-publish a little book to keep Johnny's memory alive. I will absorb the costs and the price will be set low to encourage everyone who knew him to buy a copy.“All money from the sale of books will go to the two charities that Johnny was intending to raise money for by walking to the summit of one of The Paps with Sam McGuire on St Stephen's Day. The walk went ahead in the snow but without Johnny and with heavy hearts.”The two charities that the book will support are the Kerry Cancer Support Group and The Brian Lawlor Trust.



Seven An Post staff retire

Seven well-known staff members at An Post Killarney celebrated retirement this week. The staff, Mary O’Sullivan, Joe Clifford, Paudie Cronin, Joe Coffey, Tom Ashe, Jerry McCarthy and Dan Murphy were […]




Seven well-known staff members at An Post Killarney celebrated retirement this week.

The staff, Mary O’Sullivan, Joe Clifford, Paudie Cronin, Joe Coffey, Tom Ashe, Jerry McCarthy and Dan Murphy were treated to an night of celebration and reminiscing by the South Kerry branch of the Communication Workers Union of Ireland.

The retirees, their families and colleagues enjoyed an evening at ‘The Panoramic’ the newly named restaurant upstairs at Killarney Racecourse.

Ollie Favier, of the Shire fame has taken over responsibility for operating the coffee shop / restaurant at the racecourse.

“A beautiful venue and apt that Ollie’s father Dan RIP from Glenflesk, was also a long serving postman in the community,” said John O’Shea, the Union Secretary An Post Killarney.

“The night included music with Derry Healy and Rosie Healy and was attended by up to 80 people, under the attentive guidance of Sales and Marketing Manager Emma O’Connor and Ollie’s right hand man, Colin Daly

“The event the food and the atmosphere was a great success and credit to all Ollie’s staff for being great hosts. “

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Watch Video: Primary School Students share knowledge from Coffee Cup Project



Killarney primary schools have joined the crusade against single use coffee cups this week by joining the Killarney Coffee Cup Project and declaring themselves single use coffee cup free. The Killarney Coffee Project is a community grassroots project aimed at eliminating single use coffee cups from Killarney town centre to protect Killarney National Park and the towns surroundings all in the name of conservation.

Alan Oliver, a local coffee shop owner, Lir Café, who is one of the participants of the project has said that he is “thrilled to see the project extend into the local schools. Teaching young people about why we should be moving away from a throw away culture is imperative to the continuous success of projects like this. Today’s young people are the future custodians of this town and so educating them on the importance of sustainability will ensure that Killarney and its National Park will be in safe hands for future generations.”

The schools involved in declaring themselves single use coffee cup free include Holycross Mercy, Gaelscoil Faithleann, Presentation Monastery, Glenflesk, Knocknanes, Coolick, Loreto, Lissivigeen and Tiernaboul. This follows on from the Killarney Coffee Cup Primary Schools Initiative which took place last November supported by Killarney Credit Union, the Kerry Biosphere, and the IKC3 project in MTU.

In November the 5th classes in the Killarney area were brought to Muckross School House and Killarney House for a 2-hour immersive environmental education experience around our connection to the Kerry Biosphere and citizen climate action. Here the students learned about our biosphere and how we as citizens and sustainable initiatives like the Killarney Coffee Cup Project can protect this Special Area of Conservation. Finally, they went outside to work with a park ranger, collecting acorns in leftover disposable compostable cups that the project had gathered from various businesses. They took these acorns back to their classrooms where they have planted and are caring for their oak tree. In 2024, these young oak tree seedlings will be planted back into the National Park.

The Killarney Coffee Cup Project is the 1st of its kind in the world, and it is something that belongs to all the citizens of the town. We all own this!

Want to hear from the future voices of our environment?

This week the Killarney Advertiser caught up with primary schoolers who have been busy learning all about protecting our amazing natural environment

Watch our video where the future eco-warriors share what they’ve learned about keeping our Killarney healthy and thriving! Here is to the next generation of environmental stewards!

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