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Call of the Wild – wet weather included!

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The inaugural ‘Call of the Wild’ autumn gathering in Killarney National Park last weekend, was a resounding success as up to one hundred people came to witness nature at its best.

NEVER MIND THE WEATHER: Children Tom Fee (left) and Liam Glover enjoying the Children's Autumn Scavenger Hunt at Knockreer Killarney National Park as part of the National Park and Wildlife Services (NPWS) ‘Call of the Wild’ autumn gathering weekend. Photo: Valerie O'Sullivan

Hugh O'Donoghue from Glencar at the 'Call of the Wild' autumn gathering discussion session of the typical working life of NPWS Conservation Rangers. Photo: Valerie O'Sullivan

WEATHERING THE STORM: Children with Siobhan McAllister Knockreer Education Centre taking shelter in the woods in the Children's Autumn Scavanger Hunt at Knockreer Killarney National Park as part of the National Park and Wildlife Services (NPWS) ‘Call of the Wild’ autumn gathering weekend. Photo: Valerie O'Sullivan

DEER WATCHING: Niamh Duignan and her son Conor enjoying the Dawn Watch at Knockreer Killarney National Park as part of the National Park and Wildlife Services (NPWS) ‘Call of the Wild’ autumn gathering weekend. Photo: Valerie O'Sullivan

DEER WATCHING: Niamh Duignan and her son Conor enjoying the Dawn Watch at Knockreer Killarney National Park as part of the National Park and Wildlife Services (NPWS) ‘Call of the Wild’ autumn gathering weekend. Photo: Valerie O'Sullivan

GET THOSE BROLLIES READY: Rain and wind didn't deter enjoyment of the Dawn Watch at Knockreer Killarney National Park ‘Call of the Wild’ autumn gathering weekend. From left: Loreto O'Leary Martin Ashe Creag Power Tara Monaghan and Lynn Cooney. Photo: Valerie O'Sullivan

GET THOSE BROLLIES READY: Rain and wind didn't deter enjoyment of the Dawn Watch at Knockreer Killarney National Park ‘Call of the Wild’ autumn gathering weekend. From left: Loreto O'Leary Martin Ashe Creag Power Tara Monaghan and Lynn Cooney. Photo: Valerie O'Sullivan

GET THOSE BROLLIES READY: Rain and wind didn't deter enjoyment of the Dawn Watch at Knockreer Killarney National Park ‘Call of the Wild’ autumn gathering weekend. From left: Loreto O'Leary Martin Ashe Creag Power Tara Monaghan and Lynn Cooney. Photo: Valerie O'Sullivan

GET THOSE BROLLIES READY: Rain and wind didn't deter enjoyment of the Dawn Watch at Knockreer Killarney National Park ‘Call of the Wild’ autumn gathering weekend. From left: Loreto O'Leary Martin Ashe Creag Power Tara Monaghan and Lynn Cooney. Photo: Valerie O'Sullivan

CALM BEFORE THE STORM: The dawn appears followed by thunder and lightning at the Dawn Watch at Knockreer Killarney National Park as part of the National Park and Wildlife Services (NPWS) ‘Call of the Wild’ autumn gathering weekend. Photo: Valerie O'Sullivan

LEADING THE WAY: Conservation Ranger Padruig O'Sullivan National Park and WIldlife Services leading the Dawn Watch at Knockreer Killarney National Park as part of the National Park and Wildlife Services (NPWS) ‘Call of the Wild’ autumn gathering weekend. Photo: Valerie O'Sullivan

DARKNESS: Sean Forde Conservation Ranger with National Park and WIldlife Services leading the Night Watch at Knockreer Killarney National Park as part of the National Park and Wildlife Services (NPWS) ‘Call of the Wild’ autumn gathering weekend. Photo: Valerie O'Sullivan

LEADING THE WAY: Conservation Ranger Padruig O'Sullivan National Park and WIldlife Services leading the Dawn Watch at Knockreer Killarney National Park as part of the National Park and Wildlife Services (NPWS) ‘Call of the Wild’ autumn gathering weekend. Photo: Valerie O'Sullivan

LISTENING: Karen Sheehan and Corrie O'Flahery at the 'Call of the Wild' autumn gathering discussion session of the typical working life of NPWS Conservation Rangers. Photo: Valerie O'Sullivan

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SPLASHING ABOUT: Alice Pyne (left) Evie Doolan Ollie Pyne and Jessie Doolan enjoying the Children's Autumn Scavenger Hunt at Knockreer Killarney National Park as part of the National Park and Wildlife Services (NPWS) ‘Call of the Wild’ autumn gathering weekend. Photo: Valerie O'Sullivan

RAIN RAIN GO AWAY: Rain no problem to children taking shelter in the woods enjoying the Children's Autumn Scavanger Hunt at Knockreer Killarney National Park as part of the National Park and Wildlife Services (NPWS) ‘Call of the Wild’ autumn gathering weekend. Photo: Valerie O'Sullivan

IN MEMORY: Divisional Manager Killarney National Park Eamonn Meskell delivered the Inaugural 'Paudie O’Leary Lecture' at Killarney House Auditorium showing a set of images that Paudie had presented to him. Paudie was the Head Conservation Ranger at Killarney National Park and sadly passed away unexpectedly in August 2012. His gentle presence has left a huge void among his peers and people of Killarney. Photo: Valerie O'Sullivan

HONOURING PAUDIE: At the Inaugural Paudie O’Leary Lecture were members of the late Paudie O'Leary’s family. To honour Paudie’s memory Divisional Manager Killarney National Park Eamonn Meskell (standing second left) delivered the Inaugural Paudie O’Leary Lecture at Killarney House Auditorium showing a set of images that Paudie had presented to him. Front row from left: Sinead O'Leary Bríd O'Leary and Geraldine O'Leary. Back row from left: Danny O'Keeffe (District Conservation Officer NPWS) Eamonn Meskell Muireann O'Leary Mary Horan Noreen O'Sullivan and Eileen Moran. Photo: Valerie O'Sullivan

Sitting from left: Geraldine O'Leary wife of the late Paudie and former colleagues Dan Kelleher and Paddy O'Sullivan. Photo: Valerie O'Sullivan

INTRIGUED: Tom Fee is intrigued as he listens for clues during the Children's Autumn Scavenger Hunt at Knockreer Killarney National Park as part of the National Park and Wildlife Services (NPWS) ‘Call of the Wild’ autumn gathering weekend. Photo: Valerie O'Sullivan

Divisional Manager Killarney National Park Eamonn Meskell (sitting centre) delivered the Inaugural Paudie O’Leary Lecture at Killarney House Auditorium showing a set of images that Paudie had presented to him. Sitting from left: Peter O'Toole Paschal Dower John O'Connor. Standing: Tim Burkett and Brendan O'Shea. Photo: Valerie O'Sullivan

DISCUSSION: As part of 'Call of the Wild' autumn gathering there was a discussion session of the typical working life of NPWS Conservation Rangers chaired by Chief Executive Kerry County Council Moira Murrell (first left) at Muckross School House. Also pictured from left: NPWS Conservation Rangers Mary Sheehan Padrúig (Brac) O'Sullivan and Sean Forde. Photo: Valerie O'Sullivan

TAKING A BREAK: Children taking a break at the Autumn Scavenger Hunt at Knockreer Killarney National Park as part of the National Park and Wildlife Services (NPWS) ‘Call of the Wild’ autumn gathering weekend. Photo: Valerie O'Sullivan

The rain and thunder didn’t deter the enjoyment of the many activities led by a team of dedicated and passionate Conservation Rangers led by Danny O’Keeffe, District Conservation Officer, NPWS.

Autumn in Killarney National Park, in particular the month of October, is considered the most amazing time to observe the Irish Red deer activity during the annual rutting season. The renowned native Irish Red deer are the largest and only native species with a continuous presence in Ireland since the end of the last Ice Age (c.10,000 BC).

The audible bellows and tribal behaviour is fascinating. More than one hundred people, some travelling long distances for Saturday and Sunday morning's Dawn Watch, led by Conservation Ranger NPWS, Padruig O’Sullivan, were treated to a fascinating performance by the Irish Red deer stags as they gathered their hinds in Knockreer Estate.

REMEMBERING PAUDIE

The weekend also featured the Inaugural Paudie O’Leary Lecture. Paudie was the Head Conservation Ranger at Killarney National Park, and sadly passed away unexpectedly in August 2012. His gentle presence has left a huge void among his work colleagues, family and people of Killarney. His knowledge and love of the National Park was incredible. To honour Paudie’s memory, Divisional Manager Killarney National Park, Eamonn Meskell, delivered the Inaugural Paudie O’Leary Lecture at Killarney House Auditorium. In a very personal delivery, Eamonn showed a set of images taken by Paudie of his life and work in Killarney National Park. Members of Paudie’s family attended the lovely event including his wife, Geraldine O’Leary, daughters, Sinead O'Leary, Bríd O'Leary, Muireann O'Leary, family members, Mary Horan, Noreen O'Sullivan, and Eileen Moran. His former work colleagues, Peter O'Toole, Paschal Dower, John O'Connor, Tim Burkett and Brendan O'Shea, Dan Kelleher, Paddy O’Sullivan and Áine Ní Shúilleabháin.

Children attending the Scavenger Hunt at Knockreer Education Centre, though drenched, had a fantastic time collecting and identifying fallen leaves and nuts.

The Autumn Night Watch led by Conservation Ranger NPWS Sean Forde, drew a dedicated group of people, they were shown native bats, Sika hinds and stags, and listened to bellowing of the Irish Red stag.

Sunday's discussion group at Muckross School House, was facilitated by Chief Executive Kerry County Council, Moira Murrell, and Conservation Rangers NPWS, Mary Sheehan, Padruig O’Sullivan and Sean Forde, disused their work within the 10,000 hectares encompassing Killarney National Park, covering a diverse range of subjects, the importance of ecology, preserving the ancient oak and yew woodlands - the most extensive covering of native forest of international importance, the famous Lakes of Killarney, the future of the Park and changes of their roles over the past 40 years.

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Wine, art and lots of catching up at popular fundraiser

By Michelle Crean Spirits were high and the atmosphere electric at this year’s Wine & Art Night which had a huge attendance on Wednesday night. Over 50 exhibitors gathered in […]

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By Michelle Crean

Spirits were high and the atmosphere electric at this year’s Wine & Art Night which had a huge attendance on Wednesday night.

Over 50 exhibitors gathered in the Great Southern Killarney as the Killarney Rotary Club’s fundraising event – which is one of the biggest in the town each year – was back after a COVID break.

During the afternoon the artists and crafters, many who travelled from all over Kerry, Clare, Cork and even Waterford this year, organised their display for the event. Later that evening there were a lot of familiar faces but also some new people who absolutely loved the evening.

There were many wines available to taste as well as cheese and breads at the event which is run in conjunction with Daly’s SuperValu, Killarney and Killarney Brewing Company.

“There was a huge attendance and everybody was in good spirits to be back to normal,” President of Rotary, Rayla Tadjimatova, said.

“Many of the patrons were buying some art as Christmas presents and the members of Rotary were delighted to be kept busy packing these. A portion of all art sales goes to the fundraiser. One local young man, who is only 16, exhibited his beautiful photographs of local scenic areas. There was an auction of donated works of art and a Kerry Jersey. All one hundred percent of the proceeds from this auction goes to the fundraiser.”

Mike Neeson entertained the crowd on arrival and right until the end of the night.

“Mike is a great supporter of our events and we would like to thank him for keeping everybody entertained.”

The Irish Pilgrimage Trust ran the raffle and they had some wonderful hampers and gifts to be won.

Beneficiaries from this year’s event are: Coolick NS, Gaelscoil Faithleann NS, Knockanes NS, Holy Cross Mercy NS, St Francis Special School, Kerry Stars, Killarney Athletic AFC, and Killarney Cougars Basketball Club.

She thanked everybody for attending and everyone for their help organising the event.

Some, she added, had never been before and said they did not know what exactly the night involved but will definitely be back again next time as it was “so enjoyable”.

“We hope the money raised will help the beneficiaries to proceed with projects,” she said.

“We are delighted for Rotary to be able to help these charities, community groups and schools through our fundraising event.”

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Comedy drama ready for the stage

By Michelle Crean Get out your diary and book in these December dates as Dochas Drama Group is ready to take to the stage. What does a hypochondriac, a grumpy […]

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By Michelle Crean

Get out your diary and book in these December dates as Dochas Drama Group is ready to take to the stage.

What does a hypochondriac, a grumpy father and a confused visitor to the dentist, all have in common? You’ll have to come along to the Killarney Avenue Hotel on Monday, December 12, Tuesday 13 and Wednesday 14 at 8pm to find out.

The popular drama group will present their three new comedies featuring the work of playwrights Brian Bowler, Ger Madden and Mary Quirke.Come along for a night filled with fun and laughter. Just the right beginning to the festive season. Doors open at 7.15pm and tickets are available at the door. All tickets; adults, seniors, students and children are €10. Don’t miss a great night out.

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