Connect with us


  Coffee Cup project wins national award




The Killarney Park and The Ross has been named the Overall Winner at the Pakman Awards 2023 for its outstanding work helping Ireland increase its waste recycling rates.

The community-led Coffee Cup Project was also awarded the Environmental Education and Awareness Initiative Award

Pictured at the 2023 Pakman Awards are from left Killian Tracey local independent bar owner Louise Byrne Sustainability Manager and Ciara Treacy Hotel Manager from The Killarney Park and The Ross which won the top prize the Overall Pakman award at the 2023 Pakman Awards. Photo: Naoise Culhane

Pictured at the 2023 Pakman Awards are from left Killian Tracey local independent bar owner Louise Byrne Sustainability Manager and Ciara Treacy Hotel Manager from The Killarney Park and The Ross which won the top prize the Overall Pakman award at the 2023 Pakman Awards. Photo: Naoise Culhane


The Killarney Park and The Ross set up the grassroots project called The Killarney Coffee Cup Project with the goal of eliminating single use coffee cups from Killarney town centre. This initiative has resulted in the elimination of almost 70,000 cups. This project endeavours to change behaviours and perceptions towards single use items and strives to promote a beneficial transition to a circular economy. The initiative was also nominated for the Community Recycling Initiative Award and the Innovation in Waste Resource Products or Services Award.

Repak’s Pakman Awards are held annually and celebrate Ireland’s recycling and waste management champions who lead the way in their commitments to sustainability and the environment. Winning a Pakman Award is one of the highest accolades an organisation, company, community group or individual can receive for their environmental and waste management efforts.

The 2023 Pakman awards, which took place on Thursday night at The Shelbourne Hotel in Dublin, saw representatives from leading businesses and community groups come together to recognise excellence in recycling and waste management. All category winners on the night were automatically put forward for the Overall Pakman Award.

Another highlight from this year’s awards saw three charities and community organisations, Naas Lions Club, Laura Lynn Foundation, and Dublin Simon Community receive a €1,000 donation each. Charities were nominated by attendees and pulled from a charity draw on the night.

Speaking at the 2023 Pakman Awards, Séamus Clancy, CEO of Repak said:
“We are delighted to celebrate an extraordinary group of environmental champions at the ninth annual Pakman Awards this evening. Each year, we continue to be inspired by the phenomenal efforts of those making a positive impact in waste management and mitigation procedures. Now, more than ever, it is important to champion sustainability, and tonight, our winners have truly shown us that the future is bright.

This year saw some of the highest quality entries we’ve ever had from companies, businesses, community groups and individuals, reflecting their commitment to help reach our future EU recycling targets and protect our planet for future generations.
The standard of this year’s entries was not only exceptional but serves as inspiration for others in how to deliver exemplary environmental practices. I would like to thank our sponsors, congratulate all the winners and finalists and extend a special congratulations to The Killarney Park and The Ross, the winner of the 2023 Overall Pakman Award.”



Fossa School says ‘bonjour’ to French classes



Fossa National School is giving its pupils a headstart in learning a new language.

The school signed up to Language Sampler scheme as part of the ‘Say Yes to Languages’ initiative in primary schools organised by Post Primary languages Ireland in 2021. This is the school’s third year running the module.

Hélène Olivier-Courtney, the school’s French teacher and director of French For All Killarney School of French, covers ten schools in Kerry over the three terms.

The success of the initiative relies on an all-school approach and the active involvement of class teachers and management.

“The whole staff in Fossa certainly helped make this new journey a special and enjoyable experience for the children as we learnt French through art, songs, games and food tasting! This year, we also organised a catwalk on our last day. Our sixth-class students will have such a head start before secondary school and most importantly will have develop curiosity interest and love for the language,” said Hélène.


Continue Reading


Opinion: Silent majority needs to stand up and call out far-right hate



By Chris Davies

Last Friday’s Dublin Riots should not have come as a surprise to anyone. It has been bubbling under the surface of Irish society for a good number of years now. The actions of a small minority last week was a culmination of years of racism, hatred and misinformation shared online by far-right groups.

Late on Friday night a disturbing WhatsApp voice note was doing the rounds on social media where a far-right actor could clearly be heard encouraging violence on the streets of Dublin. 

“’Seven o’clock, be in town. Everyone bally up, tool up…Any foreigner, just kill them”

Watching the Riots unfold on social media brought me back to when I was working in Dublin a number of years back. My morning commute from Skerries to the city centre involved a dart to Connolly Station followed by a short trip on the Luas to the Jervis. Every week, without fail, I would witness at least one racial slur or attack on someone who didn’t fit the narrow minded view of what an Irish person should look, dress or talk like. I don’t know if it is the eerie silence of public transport that seems to amplify the situation, but that’s where I found it to be most common. The abuse was usually perpetrated by a group of youths or someone who was clearly under the influence of drink or drugs. The victims were always of colour, often dressed smartly enough to presume they were on their way, or coming from work. A far cry from the perpetrators who you could tell were roaming aimlessly around the city looking for trouble.

While shameful to admit, I would often look on and watch the abuse unfold, only to spend the rest of my work day thinking about the poor person who was told to “F*&K off back to your own country”. I would sit at my desk questioning why I didn’t step in and say something. There were one or two occasions where I did step in and call it out, but not nearly often enough.  

This disgusting behaviour is much more visible in our cities. Since moving back to Killarney I wouldn’t witness as much direct abuse on the streets but working with the Killarney Advertiser I would be tuned in to local news and some of the comments I read on our social platforms are far worse than anything I witnessed during my time in Dublin.  

There is a significant group of people in Ireland that I would call the ‘silent majority’. We are not as outspoken on issues we care about. We tend to observe and consume the news quietly, and only speak of our support or disgust on certain issues in close circles, too afraid we might offend someone. The problem with this is that we are leaving these far-right groups unchallenged, to become louder, more aggressive and more hostile as seen last week. 

The past week Sinn Fein and the Social Democrats have been busy in the media expressing no confidence in Justice Minister Helen McEntee and Garda Commissioner Drew Harris but I would suggest that there is a large percentage of the Irish population that bears some of the responsibility. We witness racism in our communities and online every day and we need to start speaking up and calling it out. 

On the issue of immigration in Killarney, there is no doubt resources are being stretched and our tourism industry is suffering as a result of an influx of immigration. Locals have also raised concerns in relation to the placement of so many male international protection applicants in one setting and we only have to look back on the incident in Hotel Killarney last year where a number of men were involved in a harrowing stabbing incident to see how that played out.  

However, being concerned around immigration is not the same as anti-immigration. It is important to raise these issues with local representatives and Kerry TD’s but also to separate ourselves from far-right groups who are only interested in encouraging violence.  

The anarchy we witnessed last week should never be the answer and research shows it is completely unnecessary. Harvard University have looked at hundreds of protests over the last century, and found that non-violent campaigns are twice as likely to achieve their goals as violent campaigns and that it only takes around 3.5% of the population actively participating in the protests to ensure serious political change.

Let’s continue to protest peacefully for issues we believe in, but stand up and speak out against people and movements in our community that incite hate and violence. 

Continue Reading

Last News