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Cathal chosen as grand marshal for Killarney parade

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A well-known and much loved community volunteer has been given the honour of leading this year's St Patrick's Day parade.

Cathal Walshe (76), a retired member of An Garda Síochána, has devoted his whole life to voluntary community work and to helping and supporting others.

He will also be allocated the VIP berth on the reviewing stand on Main Street.

A native of Galway city, Cathal was a Garda in Killarney from 1970 until his retirement in 2003, working initially on the beat and as the patrol car driver before he joined the scenes of crime team and, finally, becoming Juvenile Liaison Officer. And it was the latter role, working closely with schools throughout south and east Kerry, that gave him the most job satisfaction.

Graduating from Templemore in 1966, prior to transferring to Killarney he spent three months based in Castleisland and three years in Farranfore.

In terms of his commitment to community life, Cathal has no equal as he spends almost all of his time helping local organisations, charities and community groups in any way he can.

Cathal has been the PRO for the hugely successful Ring of Kerry Charity Cycle for an astonishing 40 years and he has played a huge part in the event by helping to raise a whopping €18.6 million for various charities.

He cycled the event himself on 19 occasions but, these days, he leaves that task to his son, Enda, who is becoming a Ring of Kerry veteran in his own right.

The highly coveted role of grand marshal for this year's St Patrick's Festival Parade Killarney, is Cathal Walshe, honouring his incredible volunteer work for more than 40 years in the town of Killarney. Photo: Valerie O'Sullivan

Cathal also sets the questions and fills the role of quizmaster for numerous fundraising table quizzes and he spearheaded the annual quiz for the Irish Pilgrimage Trust, which has been running for 20 years.

Many years ago Cathal launched the Killarney Sports Stars Awards which he ran for 13 years, honouring the area’s great achievers in the various sporting arenas, both nationally and locally.

Other events Cathal has been closely associated with over the years include the establishment of the Torc Youth Club and Woodlawn Youth Club. He is a member of the board of management at Gaelscoil Faithleann, PRO for both the Kerry Hospice and the Darkness into Light walk and he is also very involved with the Kerry Comfort for Chemo organisation.

A passionate sports fan, Cathal is also an officer with the Gleneagle Pitch and Putt Club and he is a GAA season ticket holder, seldom missing a Kerry game no matter where they are playing.

He also served on Killarney Town Council for nine years but retired from active politics in 2014 and he had a stint as chairman of the Killarney Drugs Liaison Committee.

Cathal, the father of two boys, Finbarr and Enda, and a grandfather of four, married Tralee native June Moriarty in 1970 but, sadly, his life-long companion passed away in August 2020.

HONOUR

He said he considers it a wonderful honour to be asked to be grand marshal for the parade and he is really looking forward to the occasion.

“I love being involved in the community and I’m a firm believer in the old saying that life is like an echo in that what you give you get. It’s never too soon to do an act of kindness because you never know how soon it could be too late,” said Cathal who was honoured with a Radio Kerry-Fexco Kerry Hero award last Christmas.

Remarkably fit and full of energy, despite having fought his own battle with serious illness last year, undergoing major surgery and chemotherapy for bowel cancer, Cathal said his recipe for a great life is physical exercise, a good diet, sleep without medication, retaining a sense of humour and remembering that life itself dictates that there will be days when you will laugh and days when you will cry.

St Patrick’s Festival Chairman, Paul Sherry, said Cathal is a most worthy recipient of the honour of leading the parade in Killarney given what he has done for the town and its people for over half a century.

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Promoting Killarney as a business and conference destination

Two prominent Killarney businesses were in Frankfurt this week to promote Ireland and Kerry as an ideal place to host business conferences. The Europe Hotel and Resort and Killarney Convention […]

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Two prominent Killarney businesses were in Frankfurt this week to promote Ireland and Kerry as an ideal place to host business conferences.

The Europe Hotel and Resort and Killarney Convention Centre attended IMEX Frankfurt 2024 in Germany this week to promote the island of Ireland for corporate meetings and incentive travel ~

Tourism Ireland – together with Fáilte Ireland and Tourism Northern Ireland, as part of the ‘Meet in Ireland’ team – is showcasing Ireland as a world-class Business Events destination to thousands of buyers who organise international meetings and incentive travel.

IMEX Frankfurt is one of the leading global exhibitions for Business Events i.e., the corporate meetings, events and incentive travel industry. Thirty-five tourism companies specialising in Business Events from around the island of Ireland – including The Europe Hotel & Resort and Killarney Convention Centre were on the ‘Meet in Ireland’ stand at IMEX.

Around 1,900 commercial meetings will be conducted with global meeting and incentive travel planners this week, which will, in turn, deliver Business Events for Ireland from around the world worth millions of euro in 2024 and beyond. Tourism Ireland’s goal is to enable thousands of commercial Business Events meetings this year – connecting our tourism partners from Ireland with overseas buyers to grow Business Events and support businesses across the island.
According to the latest CSO figures for overseas tourism, Ireland welcomed almost 1 million Business Tourists, for the 12 months from April 2023 to March 2024.

“IMEX Frankfurt is a key event in the industry calendar and an extremely important platform for us to promote the island of Ireland as a premier destination for Business Events. Business travel is high value and often midweek and off season by its nature, thereby aligning with Tourism Ireland’s strategy to grow overseas tourism revenue outside of the peak summer season,” said, Siobhan McManamy, Tourism Ireland’s Director of Markets, said:

“We are delighted to have 35 tourism companies from across the island of Ireland with us at this year’s IMEX Frankfurt. They’re engaging in almost 1,900 commercial meetings and showcasing the best of Ireland to influential meeting and incentive travel planners from around the world.”

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One way traffic system mooted for St Oliver’s National School

The Killarney Advertiser understands that a one-way traffic management system will be introduced at St Oliver’s National School. The plan remains subject to confirmation by Kerry County Council and other […]

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The Killarney Advertiser understands that a one-way traffic management system will be introduced at St Oliver’s National School.

The plan remains subject to confirmation by Kerry County Council and other statutory bodie. It is  understood that the system will be trialled at the beginning of the new school year in September.

The area is subject to serious traffic congestion during school drop-off and pick-up times every day.

Over 650 pupils and 80 staff attend the school every day. New housing developments in the area have added to traffic congestion.

Cllr Martin Grady has being pushing for enhanced road safety measures at the school since his co-option to the council in September 2023.

“The issue has worsened in recent years with Woodlawn, Rookery Road and Ballycasheen having more domestic property developments which brings with it more road activity,” Grady told the Killarney Advertiser.

“I’ve seen first-hand several accidents occur when dropping and collecting my children from the school. It needs a safe solution by means of a drop off- pick up point or a traffic management system put in place.

“It is unfair on all stakeholders involved. I will keep working on this until results are achieved in the interest of everyone’s safety. “

The lack of urban school bus services, not just at St Oliver’s but at all schools is adding to Killarney’s traffic woes.

“I would like to see school bus services return for all students, in both urban and rural schools, this service was a massive loss, it would greatly reduce the volume of traffic on our roads and mitigate the risk of accidents and near misses,” added Cllr Grady.

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