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Chamber welcomes two-year strategy for NPWS

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The President of Killarney Chamber of Tourism and Commerce has welcomed the new two-year strategic action plan for the restructuring of the National Parks and Wildlife Service.

Niall Kelleher said, the plan contains a number of positive initiatives and innovative proposals that will be of enormous benefit to Killarney National Park.

He said the plan, which follows detailed independent reviews, features a timeline to implement a number of recommendations to make the NPWS a more resilient and effective executive agency capable of meeting the many challenges of the 21st century.

“The NPWS has a crucial role to play in Killarney with a very complex range of responsibilities, including the implementing of policies, conservation, enforcement, licensing, biodiversity, scientific advice and planning. The protection, conservation and, following the recent wildfires, restoration of the park is imperative and for the challenges to be properly met, the NPWS needs to be adequately structured, staffed and equipped,” Mr Kelleher said.

He noted that, as the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Darragh O’Brien, and Minister of State for Heritage and Electoral Reform, Malcolm Noonan, have stressed, the comprehensive internal redesign of the NPWS will result in a much stronger focus on customer service, outcomes and delivery for the public as well as more structured engagement with NPWS stakeholders.

Mr Kelleher said the fact that there will be a substantial €55 million investment in the implementation of the new plan indicates the absolute importance the Government is affording to the development and protection of the National Parks.

“I particularly welcome the fact that 60 new full-time jobs will be created immediately in the NPWS with the recruitment of conservation rangers and general operatives. It is equally encouraging that there is a longer-term plan to double the 400 staff currently employed by the service to meet future Irish and European biodiversity targets,” he said.

The Government is determined to have more NPWS staff available to work closely with communities, farmers and other stakeholders and to be in a position to cater for rapidly expanding visitor numbers.

The Chamber President acknowledged that there has been a significant investment in the provision of additional car parking and enhancement of established trails and walkways in Killarney National Park in recent years. He said specific funding must also be provided for the management of the deer population and the control of invasive species, such as rhododendron, and to help improve biodiversity in the large area of the 26,000-acre park damaged by the devastating wildfires.

He added the provision of education and outreach programmes to heighten awareness around biodiversity and to promote sustainable tourism was also a key objective that must be met.

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Last chance to enter Spa GAA’s fundraising draw

By Sean Moriarty There is just less than one week left to enter Spa GAA’s fundraising raffle. The ‘Cairde Spa’ draw takes place on Thursday night (February 2) the Spa’s […]

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By Sean Moriarty

There is just less than one week left to enter Spa GAA’s fundraising raffle.

The ‘Cairde Spa’ draw takes place on Thursday night (February 2) the Spa’s clubhouse at 7pm.

Funds raised will go towards the upgrade and development works planned over the next few years.

Guest of honour on the night is national GAA president Larry McCarthy and the Sam Maguire Cup will make an appearance too.

“Apart from ongoing and essential maintenance work, the club has a number of development projects in the pipeline. The money is being raised towards improving our grounds to provide top class facilities that can be used year-round, including car parking, perimeter fencing for pitches, ladies and juveniles dressing rooms, outdoor skills wall, player dug outs for senior and juvenile pitches, safety enhancements and lighting on the walking track, landscaping, scoreboard, viewing gallery to the sports hall, alignment of entrance to the grounds and a remembrance garden,” said Michael Cronin, Club Chairman.

“We are calling on everyone to get behind the fundraiser. Our vision is to provide top class grounds and facilities where everyone is welcome to use and participate fully in our activities, games and culture. In order to achieve this vision, we are setting out exciting new developments and investments in our facilities – and we need your support.”

There are 10 prizes up for grabs: 1st Prize: €15,000, 2nd Prize: €3,000, 3rd Prize: €2,000, 4th Prize: €1,000, 5th Prize: Two nights dinner and B&B at the Killarney Park Hotel, 6th Prize: €500 Voucher for Killarney Carpets & Furniture, 7th Prize: €300 Voucher for O’Sullivan’s Cycles, 8th Prize: €250 Voucher for Killarney Oils, 9th Prize: €150 Voucher for Killarney Hardware and 10th Prize: A signed Kerry jersey.

Tickets are €100 each and can be collected/returned at the clubhouse this Saturday (10.30am-12noon), Monday (7-8pm) or Wednesday (7-8pm), and tickets are also available online on spagaa.com.

Any queries contact Andy (087 2236754), Michael (085 8213027), Assumpta (087 6779292) or Deirdre (085 1216359) or any Club Officers.

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Marian Players excited to get back on stage

By Michelle Crean With a cast of over 50 it’s no small undertaking – but that won’t deter one panto group who are only too happy to get back on […]

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By Michelle Crean

With a cast of over 50 it’s no small undertaking – but that won’t deter one panto group who are only too happy to get back on stage this weekend.

It’s been two years since they staged a show due to COVID but the Marian Players Rathmore are rearing to go tomorrow night (Saturday) with their hilarious show ‘Dame Annie Goes West’.

A medley of comedy and colour, combined with music and dance, locals from both sides of the border have been working together to make it a great production.

“We’re very excited, we can’t wait! It’s great to be back,” Mary Hickey told the Killarney Advertiser.

“They [the cast] got together in October and they’re at it since.”

Val Moynihan is the “genius behind it”, she added, and it’s produced by her son Brian Hickey, and co-written with Eilish Coakley.

She said that they have loads working in the background also doing the stage curtains, lighting and making costumes amongst other tasks.

“It’s a pantomime without the pantomime in the background! It’s a whole community effort both sides of the border.”

Evening shows start at 7.30pm tomorrow (Saturday) and again Sunday (January 29) at 3pm.

Mid-week shows continue on Wednesday next (February 1) at 7.30pm, Thursday (February 2) at 7.30pm and also Saturday (February 4) at 7.30pm and Sunday (February 5) at 3pm.

The booking office (085 2031730) will be open every day from 2pm to 6pm to reserve seats and collect tickets and is located adjacent to the community centre, next to Christy’s Take Away.

Seats may be reserved over the phone too and paid for using a bank card. All proceeds are going to Kerry Parents & Friends Association.

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