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Castlemaine Village Fair Day to be revived




A revival of Castlemaine Fair Day will take place tomorrow (Sunday) in memory of the late John O’Donoghue with proceeds going to charity.

The location of the Sheep Fair will be in Griffin's Car Park and it will get underway from 10am.

The event and its proceeds, organised by Castlemaine Events Committee, will be in aid of Kerry Hospice whilst there will also be an auction on the day where the donation of animals is welcome.

Funds raised from the auction will go towards The Palliative Care Unit at University Hospital Kerry (UHK) who provide exemplary care and attention to their patients. A raffle with some wonderful spot prizes will be on offer courtesy of sponsorship, and bucket collections will also be in operation throughout the event.

John O’Donoghue who was known all over, resided in the heart of Castlemaine village. He was born on January 21, 1965 which ironically happened to coincide with a staging of the old Castlemaine Fair Day so it felt appropriate to mark John’s lifetime love of attending fairs and being an integral part of the farming community by bringing back the old fair day in his honour and with it celebrate old traditions, customs and beliefs in the locality.

“The fair day was an annual event in Castlemaine but it died out in the '90s," John’s daughter, Cathy, said.

"John was known by many particularly for his work ethic, humour and honesty. When people mention any dealings they had with him, it is always with a smile on their face and they will all tell you that it was always a good deal they had with him. John loved to attend the fair days throughout the county and was well known as the custom of attending the fairs was passed onto John from his father Denis. Attending the fairs was not only enjoyable but also important to my father as he liked to keep up traditions. You would always be sure to get a bit of traditional luck back in the form of change from my father too with a deal."

She added that both she and his good friend Pat O'Keeffe felt a fair day was a lovely way to celebrate John’s life whilst also raising money for Kerry Hospice due to his passion for farming.

It was a huge shock to John, his family and friends when he was diagnosed with terminal bowel cancer in May 2019. His life was cut short as seven months after that he died in the Palliative Care Unit on January 13 2020.

"Almost everyone has been affected by cancer in some way or another and are familiar with the Kerry Hospice in UHK. The care and support provided from the palliative care team was so amazing that it feels very right to give something back and I hope that we can raise as much money as possible on the day for such a wonderful service here in the heart of Kerry. It is great to have the Castlemaine Events Committee on board to help with the planning of the event. We are very lucky to have such a team in a small village."
If this event runs successfully, she added, they would love to see it as an annual event.

"Not only does it help raise money for the wonderful service of the Kerry Hospice it will also help keep my father’s memory alive.”

All queries surrounding the fair day can be directed to Castlemaine Events Committee by contacting 087 2549116 and further information is also available on the committee’s Facebook page.

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Start clocking up those ‘Kingdom Kilometres’

With an increase in daylight hours there’s no better time to clock up the ‘Kingdom Kilometres’ on foot or by cycling along the county’s two new Greenways. The recently opened […]




With an increase in daylight hours there’s no better time to clock up the ‘Kingdom Kilometres’ on foot or by cycling along the county’s two new Greenways.

The recently opened Kingdom of Kerry Greenways between Tralee and Fenit and between Listowel and Abbeyfeale are already proving hugely popular with locals and visitors to Kerry.

Representatives of the tourism Industry, local public representatives, travel writers and influencers gathered in Kerry on Monday to experience the exciting new tourist attractions and welcome the arrival of the longer daylight hours as the clocks changed over to summertime.

Sarah Hanrahan, a social media influencer who posts about Irish travel and has more than 100,000 Instagram followers, described the experience.

“Ireland has some of the most amazing outdoor spaces. For a lot of my followers and other people, connecting with green spaces has become much more important to their overall sense of well-being as well as their health and fitness. It’s been really gorgeous to experience the Tralee to Fenit, and Listowel to Limerick Kingdom of Kerry Greenways; a fantastic trip sampling the warm hospitality of Kerry and a great reminder of the active holiday options that are right on our doorstep.”

The new purpose-built trails provide an accessible and inclusive experience for visitors of all abilities.

Mayor of Tralee, Cllr Mikey Sheehy and the Mayor of Listowel, Cllr Aoife Thornton, said that the greenways offer an exceptional recreational amenity for everyone to enjoy.

“The greenways are situated in some of Kerry’s most scenic landscapes and offer spectacular and safe off-road facilities for people of all ages to enjoy as the landscape comes into bloom. They also offer warm hospitality at the trail head towns of each route.”

Visit to find out more.


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St Patrick’s Day parade winners announced

Killarney Valley Classic and Vintage Club has won the sought-after overall award in recognition of their colourful and action-packed entry to this year’s St Patrick’s Day parade in Killarney. Delighted […]



Killarney Valley Classic and Vintage Club has won the sought-after overall award in recognition of their colourful and action-packed entry to this year’s St Patrick’s Day parade in Killarney.

Delighted club representatives were presented with the Seán O’Keeffe Perpetual Trophy – in memory of the former Mayor of Killarney and parade stalwart – at a gala presentation of prizes in the International Hotel, Killarney on Tuesday night.

The award for the Best Interpretation of the Theme, which was Killarney: Experience More, went to the Wander Wild Festival who received the Michael Courtney Perpetual Trophy which is dedicated to the memory of another former mayor of the town who spearheaded the annual St Patrick’s Day celebrations for many years.

The John ‘Killer’ O’Callaghan Perpetual Trophy for the Best Sporting Entry was won by Killarney Athletic AFC and the Peter Irwin Memorial Trophy for the Best Marching Group and Cultural/Arts Entry went to Millstreet Pipe Band.

The Best Sports Club was Spa GAA, the Best Children’s Group prize was won by Kilcummin Comhaltas and the Best New Entry was Killarney Rugby Football Club.

There was an international flavour to the Best Musical Entry which was scooped by the Glenridge High School Marching Band from New Jersey.

The prize for the Best Voluntary Group went to the Kerry Stars Special Olympics Club, the Best School Award went to the Fiona Crowley Stage School and the Best Activity Group was deemed to be Scorchers Cheerleading Club.

The Most Entertaining Entry went to the Killarney Tidy Towns group, the prize for the Most Original Entry was won by Liebherr Container Cranes and the Most Imaginative Entry in the parade was the Art House, Killarney.

The Most Stylish Entry prize was awarded to the Ukrainian community whose representative said they were delighted to play a part in Ireland’s national holiday and thanked the people of Killarney for the warm welcome they have received.

Other prizes presented on the night included the Best Window Display which went to Christy Healy’s on New Street who were celebrating 100 years in business on St Patrick’s Day, while the Europe Hotel and Resort won the Best Green-Themed Building prize.

The judges for the parade were Br Pat Lynch, Guardian, Franciscan Friary, Pam Brosnan, Killarney Musical Society and Denis McMahon.

The awards were presented by Killarney St Patrick’s Festival Chairman Paul Sherry, Mayor of Killarney Cllr Niall Kelleher, Killarney Chamber of Tourism and Commerce Senior Executive Bridget O’Keeffe, and parade grand marshal Cathal P Walshe.

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