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Business legend receives the town’s highest honour

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The matriarch of an incredibly entrepreneurial family that has made an enormous contribution to business and community life in Killarney over many years has been awarded the highest honour the town can bestow.

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Margaret O’Donoghue of the landmark Gleneagle INEC Arena was inducted into the Order of Inisfallen by Cairde Chill Áirne at a reception in the historic Muckross House in Killarney National Park on Monday evening.
The award was created in 2005 to allow Killarney to recognise, celebrate and say thank you to a select number of people who have, in a variety of different ways, brought good to Killarney’s name and image around the country and around the world.
Margaret follows in the footsteps of very distinguished previous recipients including former Taoiseach Enda Kenny, international industrialist Isolde Liebherr, Hollywood A-lister Michael Fassbender and entertainer Daniel O’Donnell.
She becomes the first lady to receive the honour since 2018 when the recipient was Camilla, then Duchess of Cornwall and now the Queen of England.
Margaret and her late husband, Maurice, who passed away in 2001, transformed an eight-bed guesthouse into the incredibly successful entertainment complex that is now the Gleneagle INEC Arena which has attracted hundreds of thousands of visitors to the town over the years.
They were the guiding hands in the push to develop The Brehon Hotel, The Gleneagle Apartments and Scott’s Hotel as well as top class indoor and outdoor sports and leisure facilities and a concert band and the O’Donoghue family has been to the forefront of several other major developments which have been of huge benefit to Killarney, to Kerry and to Ireland.
The Order of Innisfallen award – a joint initiative between Kerry County Council and Killarney Chamber of Tourism and Commerce – was presented to Margaret by Mayor of Killarney, Cllr Brendan Cronin.
“Margaret has been the guiding hand in all that the family has achieved and, given her enormous contribution over so many years, it is wonderful that she is being officially recognised with this very important award,” the mayor said.
Event host and Muckross House Trustee, Geraldine Rosney, said the award reflected the enormous contribution Margaret and Maurice O’Donoghue have made to Killarney.
“They were a couple with a dream, a couple with a vision and a couple with get-up-and-go determination to pick up the ball and start running and running and running.
“Margaret, Maurice and their family’s achievements with the creation and building and expansion of their enterprises over the last 59 years is nothing short of monumental,” she said
Margaret said it was an honour to accept the Order of Innisfallen on behalf of both herself and the late Maurice and, indeed, their seven children, Patrick, Maurice, John, Eamonn, Áine, Shelly and Aoife.
Margaret was one of 10 children born to Hannah and John O’Sullivan in Shanara, Beaufort. She attended school in Kilgobnet and Killorglin Community College and she began her working life in Killarney’s Great Southern Hotel.
She first met Maurice O’Donoghue, who was then studying to become a pharmacist in Dublin, at a dance in Tralee in 1961 and they were married in 1964.

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Killarney centre stage for Pride Festival

The award-winning Kingdom Pride in Kerry festival is back next week and Killarney will take centre stage. Kingdom Pride will be celebrated in towns all across the county from July […]

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The award-winning Kingdom Pride in Kerry festival is back next week and Killarney will take centre stage.

Kingdom Pride will be celebrated in towns all across the county from July 17 to 21.

The organisation’s flagship Party in the Park event will be held again in Killarney House and Gardens, following the Pride march in the town centre on July 20.

This year, in solidarity with the people of Palestine, Kingdom Pride in Kerry is inviting the people of Kerry to come to show their unity by bringing Palestinian flags and kites to the march, and to the Party in the Park.

“Pride is a protest for human rights all over the world. Here in the Kingdom, we have been so lucky to receive tremendous community support from our allies and supporters, and we see the struggle for liberation of all peoples as a united cause,” said Daniel Quirke, chairperson of the organising committee.

“Our events have always welcomed everyone, regardless of gender, orientation, religion, or nationality. We truly believe that together we can create positive change through caring for and loving one another. This year is no exception, and we look forward to helping to highlight the Palestinian cause, and to bringing people together to keep generating positive change for all people.”

Events will take place in Cahersiveen, Listowel, Killorglin, Tralee and Dingle, and include an Irish comedy night with Áine Gallagher, an Irish-language movie screening, yoga, sea swimming, poetry and storytelling, bowling, pitch and putt, a lively drag night at the INEC, and plenty more for people of all ages.

“We do our best to keep tickets as low-cost as possible, and we have lots of events that are totally free to attend. It is important to us that people can share Pride with us, regardless of income. Especially with the rise of the cost of living putting a strain on people’s pockets.” added the chairperson.

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A weekend of Live Music, Fun and Entertainment, at FleskFest 2024

The organisers of the annual FleskFest have “a tremendous line-up, with a weekend full of entertainment to suit all” for the July 18 to 20 event. “It promises to be […]

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The organisers of the annual FleskFest have “a tremendous line-up, with a weekend full of entertainment to suit all” for the July 18 to 20 event.

“It promises to be the festival weekend of the summer, an event you don’t want to miss out on. Last year’s Festival was a fantastic memorable experience for our community, a time to get together and celebrate,” said festival PRO Seán Daly.

Organised by Glenflesk GAA, FleskFest 24 will take place at the Barraduff Community Field next week.
There will be a fully licensed bar in the Fest Marquee, some amazing live music on The Big Stage, food trucks and much more.
Glenflesk GAA club’s biggest fundraiser of the year includes a new-for-2024 Texas Holdem Poker Tournament on Thursday night.
Weekend highlights include old-time waltzing, jiving and polka sets with Paudie McAuliffe and Paudie Coffey Band on Friday,
On Saturday, the new Well Flesk event will take place.
“A morning of self-care and wellness at Flesk Fest featuring masterclasses in yoga, pilates, mindfulness, spinning, fitness sessions, workouts, firewood sauna and ice pods with a range of experienced and qualified instructors,” added Daly.
Leading local musician Johnny Courtney and Friends, Sam and Ina, The O’Donoghue Sisters, Reigning All Ireland Champions Glenflesk Ballad Group, and The Border Boys will take to the Big Stage over the weekend.
Sunday is Family Fun Day with children’s entertainment and disco and the All-Ireland Hurling Final Live on the Big screen followed by music with Thingamajig.
The festival will finish with a Sunday evening session with the Meadhbh Walsh Band.

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