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Cathal chosen as grand marshal for Killarney parade




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.


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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MTU hosts Active Ageing Festival at Kerry Sports Academy

Young students got to share their learning skills while an older group showed patience and experience during the ‘Active Ageing Festival’. Held in Munster Technological University last week the event, […]



Young students got to share their learning skills while an older group showed patience and experience during the ‘Active Ageing Festival’.

Held in Munster Technological University last week the event, in conjunction with Kerry Recreation and Sports Partnership (KRSP), saw 150 people engaged with a busy schedule of activities, facilitated by the students and staff of the Department of Health and Leisure Studies.

Dr Barry Moynihan, Consultant Geriatrician in University Hospital Kerry opened the event with an informative talk on the importance of movement as we age.

Many community organisations and networks were represented on the day such as HSE, Baile Mhuire, Kerry Library, Kerry Call, SeanChairde, Centre of Smart Ageing, Probus and Age and Opportunity.

Activities such as Pickleball, Bowls, Better Balance Better Bones, Dance and Yoga were also showcased.

Gearoid O’Doherty, coordinator of the KRSP, highlighted the need for more community-based activities for older adults across Kerry and the role of the partnership in supporting this development.

It is hoped that other venues across the county can facilitate a similar event in the future.

MTU lecturer and event coordinator Eimear Foley, spoke of the mutual benefit that this day provided to both participants and students.

“The real-life experience afforded to the students is immense, with involvement in planning, delivering and evaluation of the event to the fore.”

Within their course, the concept of being active across the lifespan is embedded and this opportunity for the students to engage in real life learning is paramount. Older people can generate community-based learning experiences not only for themselves but also for the young. Many of the participants commented on the professionalism, warmth and enthusiasm of the students, whilst the students were delighted with the patience shown to them and ease of conversation with the participants.

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Killarney to feature on TG4’s Country Music show

By Sean Moriarty A song about Killarney – once made famous by local Country Music hero Dermot Moriarty – will feature on TG4 tomorrow night (Tuesday). The second series of […]




By Sean Moriarty

A song about Killarney – once made famous by local Country Music hero Dermot Moriarty – will feature on TG4 tomorrow night (Tuesday).

The second series of the Irish channel’s County Music show ‘Viva Ceol Tire’, which highlights emerging Country Music talent in Ireland, airs every Tuesday night at 9.30pm.

The next programme will feature Donegal singer David James’ version of ‘Oh Killarney’.

The programme was filmed entirely on location in Killarney including Torc Waterfall, Ladies View Moll’s Gap and Kate Kearney’s Cottage.

“The song was written by Dennis Allen. However, it was a hit for Dermot Moriarty in the 1980s. The first time I heard it I loved it and I was thrilled with the reaction my version has got,” James, who is from the small village of Killean in Donegal, told the Killarney Advertiser.

“It’s pretty rural but I love it. I’ll be in Country Music 10 years this May. My first gig was in the local GAA hall for my aunt’s 50th birthday. I was 14 and I’ve been at it ever since.”



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