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Businessmen to receive Killarney’s highest honour

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Two very prominent and successful businessmen are to be honoured in Killarney with the prestigious Order of Innisfallen Award.

The award is in recognition of the enormous contribution they and their families have made to the economic and social fabric of the community.

Brothers-in-law Donal Ring and Michael O’Donoghue will be honoured at a ceremony to be held in Muckross House, Killarney on Wednesday, December 14 at 4pm.

The Order of Inisfallen is the highest honour Killarney can bestow and the awards scheme is administered by Killarney Chamber of Tourism and Commerce and Kerry County Council.

Entrepreneur Donal Ring is the founder of Munster Joinery and the O'Donoghue Ring Collection. He and his brother, Patrick, established Munster Joinery in 1973 with a small operation at their family home in Ballydesmond, on the Kerry-Cork border.

The company has grown to become one of the largest manufacturers of windows and doors in Europe and next year Munster Joinery will celebrate a landmark 50 years in business.

The family-run company employs 1,800 people with a further 900 on the payroll in the UK.

With operations in Ireland, north and south, and the United Kingdom, the hugely progressive company has a 960,000sq ft production facility on an 80-acre site in Ballydesmond with another 280,000sq ft plant on a 28-acre site in Wellesbourne in the UK. Both plants serve the Irish, European and international markets.

Close on 50 years after setting up the business, Donal Ring is still at the helm and continues to oversee all aspects of the business.

In 1978, Donal and his wife, Noreen, purchased the property then known as the East Avenue Hotel – now the 66-bedroom Killarney Avenue Hotel.

Noreen’s brother, Michael O’Donoghue, joined his sister and brother-in-law in the hospitality business and became one of its most successful and respected operators for over 40 years.

In 1986 Michael launched Revelles nightclub in the East Avenue and attracted many top acts, from Johnny Logan to Sinitta, to perform there while countless marriages and relationships can be traced back to a chance first encounter in Revelles.

The company expanded in 1989 with the purchase of the former Imperial Hotel which is now known as the Killarney Towers Hotel with 182 bedrooms.

Also in 1989, Michael developed a hugely successful business in his birthplace of Castleisland with the building of the 52-bedroom River Island Hotel.

The flagship town centre Killarney Plaza Hotel and Spa opened in 2002 with 198 bedrooms.

Michael was at the helm as managing director of the O'Donoghue Ring Collection until his recent retirement and the O'Donoghue Ring Collection is now one of the largest employers in Kerry.

He is and always has been a stalwart supporter of hospitality and all things Killarney.

Michael also led the town’s relationship with tour companies who have brought a vast amount of business to Killarney and Kerry.

Donal and Michael also expanded into the UK hospitality market with Centre Island Hotels which now has hotel properties based in Liverpool, Manchester and Birmingham.

PRAISE

Mayor of Killarney, Cllr Niall Kelleher, said both Donal Ring and Michael O’Donoghue are prime examples of what can be achieved in life through hard work, sheer determination and a solid business plan and they have set a great example for future generations to follow.

“The employment they have created in Kerry over five decades has been incredible and, given the ongoing success and growth of both Munster Joinery and the O'Donoghue Ring Collection, it shows no sign of abating,” he said.

“Through their hotels they have certainly helped to put Killarney and Kerry on the map, both nationally and internationally, and it is wonderful to see that, even with the enormous success they have enjoyed, they both have their feet very much on the ground,” the mayor added.

Cairde Chill Áirne Chairman, Conor Hennigan, said he is looking forward to Donal and Michael being inducted into the Order of Inisfallen as they are both very worthy and popular recipients.

“Collectively, Killarney Municipal District Authority and Killarney Chamber of Tourism and Commerce are delighted to bestow Killarney’s highest honour on these two fine gentlemen and to recognise them for the tremendous contribution they have made,” he said.

The Cairde Chill Áirne Order of Inisfallen awards scheme was established in 2005 to recognise outstanding contributions by people to the economic development of the town and its tourism industry.
Previous recipients include actor Michael Fassbender, former Taoiseach Enda Kenny, industrialist Isolde Liebherr, Charles, the former Prince of Wales and now King of England, entertainer Daniel O’Donnell, tour operators Brian Stack, Linda Roberts and Brian McColgan, travel writer Susan Poole, former ministers John O’Donoghue and Jimmy Deenihan and tourism official Margaret Cahill.

Inisfallen Island is one of Killarney’s best-known and most historic heritage sites. It began as a place of healing and became a major centre of learning where the Annals of Inisfallen, the oldest contemporary source of the history of Munster, were scripted.

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Credit Union launch a new collaboration with Gilroy’s Green Energy Ltd.

Building on recent success the Credit Unions of Kerry and West Limerick have launched a new collaboration with Gilroy’s Green Energy Ltd. Gilroy’s Green Energy Ltd specialise in Photovoltaic (PV) […]

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Building on recent success the Credit Unions of Kerry and West Limerick have launched a new collaboration with Gilroy’s Green Energy Ltd.

Gilroy’s Green Energy Ltd specialise in Photovoltaic (PV) Solar systems that generate electricity, battery storage, air to water heat-pumps and much more.
Gilroy’s work with customers to receive the SEAI once-off grant towards the purchase and installation of solar photovoltaic (PV) systems and heat pumps for your home.
Collaborating with Kerry and West Limerick Credit Union expands the finance options available to Gilroy’s Green Energy Ltd customers to help finance new PV Solar Panel installations. Loan rates will be directly linked to the property BER starting from 4.7%(4.89APR) for an “A” rated BER.
Martin Gilroy; CEO with Gilroy’s Green Energy Ltd said: “We are delighted to officially launch this collaboration with the Credit Unions of Kerry and West Limerick. Customers have already reaped the benefits on recent installation projects after contacting their local Credit Union. Having a direct link to local Credit Unions allows us to guide customers to affordable financing options based on the specific installation quotation we provide at very competitive rates.“
Speaking on behalf of the Kerry and West Limerick Credit Unions, Ashley Fitzgerald added: “We are delighted to have Gilroy’s Green Energy Ltd come on board as part of our Greener Homes Loan offering. Home Energy Upgrade have become a prominent concern and talking point among members in recent months, by Credit Unions having a direct link with Gilroy’s Green Energy Ltd allows both sides to make referrals and seek the best finance option for members. We are working hard building relationships with Green Energy Ltd providers as we want to ensure our members can avail of the best loan rates for all upgrade works.”
Credit Unions across Kerry and West Limerick. Abbeyfeale Credit Union, Cara Credit Union, Killarney Credit Union, Listowel Credit Union and Rathmore and District Credit Union can be reached via: www.creditunion.ie
Gilroy’s Green Energy Ltd can be contacted on 066-7115920, email info@gilroys.ie or for more information visit www.gilroys.ie.

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Racegoers Club to host Cheltenham Preview Night

Killarney Racegoers Club will host its annual Cheltenham Preview Night in Corkery’s Bar on March 7. Admission is free and this year’s chosen beneficiary is the Killarney Branch of St […]

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Killarney Racegoers Club will host its annual Cheltenham Preview Night in Corkery’s Bar on March 7.

Admission is free and this year’s chosen beneficiary is the Killarney Branch of St Vincent De Paul Society.
The expert panel includes professional punter Paddy Wilmott, leading jockey Conor McNamara, up-and-coming Kerry-based trainer Eoin McCarthy and local bookmaker Brendan Tyther with Vince Casey acting as the event’s compere.

“There is no admission fee but a raffle on the night for dual membership of Killarney Racegoers Club for the year, which includes 13 days racing and many reciprocal days to other race meetings,” said Mr Casey.

The Cheltenham Festival begins on March 12.

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