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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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Festive jumpers and a Kerry jersey brings fundraiser to €10k

By Michelle Crean Jumpers have helped to raise almost €10k so far – but now it’s a very special jersey which could drive the fundraising numbers up! A Kerry football […]

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By Michelle Crean

Jumpers have helped to raise almost €10k so far – but now it’s a very special jersey which could drive the fundraising numbers up!

A Kerry football jersey signed by the 2022 All-Ireland winning team is up for grabs via a fundraising link once a donation is made to the Presents for Palliative fundraiser.

On Friday eight local schools including Holy Cross Mercy, Killarney Community College, Presentation Monastery, Lissivigeen, St Brendan’s College, St Brigid’s, St Francis Special School, and St Oliver’s
swapped their uniforms for their most colourful festive gear with funds going to help the amazing services in the Palliative Care Unit/Kerry Hospice Foundation.

“The day took place across the schools involved last Friday (December 2) and looks like it has been a success,” teacher Elaine Moynihan from St Brendan’s College told the Killarney Advertiser.

“The donations from the schools are still being counted but students look to be on their way towards making their goal of €10k.”

The iDonate ‘Fundraising For Kerry Hospice Foundation’ has been very helpful in this regard, she added.

“Anyone who donates via the link and leaves their name will be in with a chance to win a Kerry jersey signed by the 2022 All-Ireland winning team which will be presented to them before Christmas by a couple of members of the team.

“This was organised by the students involved in the fundraiser as a way to say thanks, and give back, to the members of the community who have gotten involved in the event – the link is live until December 18 and the draw will be made the following day.”

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Killarney punter secures €50,000 in EuroMillions draw

A lucky Killarney punter got an early Christmas present when they scooped €50,000 in the EuroMillions ‘Ireland Only Raffle’. The winning ticket, sold in the Lidl supermarket on the Tralee road, was […]

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A lucky Killarney punter got an early Christmas present when they scooped €50,000 in the EuroMillions ‘Ireland Only Raffle’.

The winning ticket, sold in the Lidl supermarket on the Tralee road, was valid for Tuesday night’s special draw.

The Killarney winner was one of 10 who each secured the €50,000 windfall.

“The National Lottery can reveal that three players in Dublin, three players in Cork and one player in Kerry, Roscommon, Kildare and Wexford all scooped the special raffle prize which was the seventh of 12 draws in the National Lottery’s ’12 Draws of Christmas’ promotion,” said a National Lottery statement.

The eighth draw will take place tonight (December 9) where 10 more players are guaranteed to win the amazing prizes.

Meanwhile, a player in Belgium scooped the EuroMillions Jackpot prize worth an astonishing €142,897,164.

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