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Bryan Cooper is a ‘winner alright’ for the 2023 season at Killarney Races




Recently retired jockey Bryan Cooper has been named as the Official Ambassador for the 2023 season at Killarney Races.

RACE MEETINGS: Recently retired Champion Rider Bryan Cooper was on hand at Killarney Racecourse to launch this year’s racing fixtures for 2023 May July August and September meetings. Also included is Áine O’Donoghue (Director Killarney Racecourse) Philip O’Brien Manager Killarney Racecourse. Photo: Valerie O'Sullivan

Bryan has made many media headlines of late following his shock announcement that he was hanging up his boots at just 30 years of age.

It may have been a surprise to many in his retirement from race riding but the renowned young Kerry man is showing the same fortitude and resilience in the new and evolving chapter in his life as he did when race riding. In recognition of his successful riding career and the courage, honesty and grace he has shown throughout his career, Killarney Racecourse is delighted to announce Bryan Cooper as the Official Ambassador for the 2023 season at Killarney Races.

"For Killarney Races this was obvious fit," Chairman of Killarney Racecourse, Billy O’Sullivan said.

"We are only too delighted to show our support of Bryan Cooper as the next chapter in his career unfolds and we are very much looking forward to working with him in the build-up to and during our four-festival season here at Killarney Races. Bryan is a fantastic young man who has shown great courage in choosing to speak out the way he has done about his reasons for retiring and he did so with such grace, it is most honourable and we are thrilled to have him on board.”

The news comes as preparations are well underway at Killarney Racecourse for their busy racing season which is set to kick off from May 14. With no less than four festivals to choose from, between May and October, there is something for everyone from tickets to dining options at Ireland’s most scenic racecourse as all packages officially go live online today (Friday)!


MayFest takes place from Sunday, 14th to Tuesday 16th inclusive, offering two jump cards followed by an all-flat fixture. A popular fixture with locals, this offers a great chance to let your hair down before the tourist season really kicks off in town!

JulyFest is a real highlight on the racing and social calendar that takes place from Monday 17th to Friday 21st inclusive with a mix of national hunt and flat meetings across the five day fixture. There is plenty of competition off the track also, as Friday 21st will host the Lee Strand Best Dressed Competitions.

AugustFest takes place from Thursday 24th to Saturday 26th inclusive. A wonderful festival to mark the last hurrah of the busy summer season in the Kingdom. This is a great social occasion with top class racing where all the fun of a festival is guaranteed in abundance.

OctoberFest is a relatively new addition to the calendar at Killarney Races and offers patrons a more relaxed weekend festival experience on Saturday 30th of September and Sunday 1st of October.


“The support I have received since I announced my retirement has been incredible," Bryan Cooper said.

"The swift approach by my local track to be their Official Ambassador for the season was most welcomed and a very special honour indeed. I love horse-racing, I always have loved it and I always will and whatever the next chapter in my career holds this is a cracking start for which I am grateful and I can’t wait to be there on the opening day of the season on May 14th!”

There are many options available to experience the festivals at Killarney Races. From general admission tickets with ample public food and beverage offerings, free car parking and lawn and indoor seating options to value added group packages complete with racecards, food and beverages. Not to mention, the mouth-watering four course dining and hospitality offering available in the stunning panoramic restaurant complete with a private balcony overlooking the entire racecourse and mountainous backdrop for which Killarney Races is famous.

So come along to Killarney Races to meet Bryan and all the gang who have been working hard behind the scenes at the boutique racecourse in preparation of their opening meet next month. For further information or to make your festival bookings today or for sponsorship and promotional enquiries visit or call 064 6631125.

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Fire warning in National Park

The National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) at the Department of Housing, Local Government and Housing has appealed to the public not to light fires or barbecues in public places […]




The National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) at the Department of Housing, Local Government and Housing has appealed to the public not to light fires or barbecues in public places this summer.

As they appeal to the public to exercise renewed care and responsibility when outdoors the National Parks and Wildlife Service has increased ground crews on fire patrol and has ramped up aerial monitoring with helicopters and drones.

Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage Darragh O’Brien TD said:

“If you notice a fire, please call the emergency services on 112 immediately. NPWS teams are upping their patrols to identify potential fire incidents and act quickly should one break out. However as we know, prevention is better than cure, and we’re asking all members of the public to avoid lighting fires in open areas.”

Minister of State for Heritage and Electoral Reform Malcolm Noonan TD commented further:

“Our National Parks and Nature Reserves, coastal sand dunes, mountains and upland areas, forests, meadows and urban parks are all places where we enjoy spending time in nature, but they are also home to our precious wildlife and their vulnerable young. This is a really important time of year for wildlife, especially vulnerable ground-nesting birds and mammals who are now rearing their young. We all want to get out and enjoy the good weather but let’s do it responsibly – without putting nature at risk.”

The Director General of the NPWS, Niall O Donnchú, has also asked for everybody’s cooperation to protect nature and said:

“While NPWS has increased ground crews and monitoring from the air this week, we still need to enlist your help to protect nature at this high risk time. We ask that members of the public not light fires or barbecues in any National Parks or Nature Reserves, or indeed in nature generally. We are also asking that the public be vigilant and report any fire activity without delay.”

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Killarney Looking Good Competition returns

Over three decades after it was first initiated, to help improve the aesthetic values of the town, the Killarney Looking Good Competition is back with a vengeance with a new […]




Over three decades after it was first initiated, to help improve the aesthetic values of the town, the Killarney Looking Good Competition is back with a vengeance with a new committee, new categories, new sponsors and a whole new approach.

When the project was first launched in 1991 it was a relatively low-key community event but it grew in importance with each passing year, culminating in some style when Killarney won the prestigious overall award in the national tidy towns competition in 2011.

After an enforced three-year absence since 2019, due to the pandemic, the competition has now been given a whole new lease of life and the 2023 version was officially launched this week by Mayor of Killarney, Cllr Niall Kelleher.

Awards will be presented in 26 different categories and high achievers in the business and residential community will be honoured at a gala prizegiving ceremony at the close of the tourist season.

This year two new categories are being introduced in memory of two remarkable people who played massive roles in keeping Killarney looking its best down through the years.

Yvonne Quill, who passed away last October, was the driving force behind the Killarney tidy towns campaign for several years and she was at the helm when the sought-after overall award was secured 12 years ago.

This year the Yvonne Quill Memorial Award will be presented to the volunteer of the year – a person who the adjudicators consider to be a standout contributor – in the overall effort to keep Killarney tidy.

Up to the time of his death in January 2020, Fr Michael Murphy was the public face of tidy towns and he played a huge part in Killarney, Kenmare and Sneem winning the overall national award in 2011, 2000 and 1987 respectively. Affectionately known as Fr Tidy, this year the Killarney Looking Good Competition will honour his memory with a special Pride of Place award.

In the business community, there will be awards for the best large and small commercial premises, best newly painted premises, best signage and the best retail award with prizes also for the most impressive hotel, public house, restaurant, café, guesthouse and best public building as well as the most improved premises.
In the residential categories awards will go to the best large and small estates, best private residence, best roadside garden, best floral display and best friendly planting award.

Other categories include a green hospitality award, a corporate special responsibility award, a restoration award, best school and a special biodiversity award.
Several highly commended awards will also be up for grabs and the winner of the prestigious overall award will be announced at the prizegiving ceremony.

The Killarney Looking Good Competition is organised by Killarney Chamber of Tourism and Commerce and Killarney Municipal District Council and the new committee comprises Sandra Dunlea – a daughter of the late Yvonne Quill – Kathleen Foley, John O’Mahony and Johnny McGuire who is spearheading the project.

MD O’Shea & Sons are the new overall sponsors of the competition and O’Mahony Media Ltd is the media sponsor.

The competition will run throughout the tourist season and businesses and residential areas will be monitored on an ongoing basis.

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