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Coffee cup scheme brings unprecedented positivity to Killarney





The recently launched Killarney Coffee Cup initiative has brought unprecedented positivity to Killarney.

Alice Thompson Brehon Hotel Killarney and Alan Oliver Lir Cafè handing in their disposable coffee cups in Killarney town centre. Phot: Valerie O'Sullivan

A meeting between scheme organisers and Ossian Smyth the Minister of State with responsibility for Public Procurement, eGovernment and Circular Economy heard how the project has been well-received locally and nationally.

Killarney became the first town in Ireland to be single use coffee cup free in July.

The scheme will remove over 1 million single use coffee cups from the town annually.

The Killarney Coffee Cup Project was launched in July and since then it has generated massive publicity and good will for the town and surrounding areas.


This week’s meeting heard that the PR drive behind the project reached over 6 million people.

This doesn’t take into account the social media: views for Paschal Sheehy’s RTE report were 470,000 views across Tik Tok and Instagram.

“Our recent PR campaign has not only brought well-deserved exposure to Killarney but also resulted in a valuation that reflects the undeniable benefits the PR for being part of the project brings to small businesses that often don't receive such recognition,” said Louise Byrne, one of the projects organisers.

“Our accomplishments have not gone unnoticed. The level of publicity the project has received really highlights the importance of what we are doing. Considering the effects of climate change we are seeing every day when we turn on the news, people are really ready to welcome an initiative that they can easily get involved in by making a simple manageable change to their daily behaviour.”

The organisers hired a dedicated PR firm to manage publicity and to promote the scheme locally and internationally.

Drury said they have never worked on something that travelled this strongly and positively – for Killarney to get this level of profile and positivity for doing the right thing is extraordinary and will likely never happen again,” added Ms Byrne.

“Journalists very rarely want to cover ‘old news’ – for the likes of Newstalk Breakfast, RTÉ News at One and the Daily Mail to be interested in covering this well after the launch demonstrates how strongly this has landed. And that isn’t because we have PRd well rather it is because it is just an incredible thing that a collective of businesses have bravely decided to do.”

Since the July launch , more and more business have come on board to support the scheme.

“On the first night we started with 14 businesses and as we stand here today, we can proudly say that we've grown to over 50 businesses, a testament to the power of collaboration,” added Ms Byrne.

“As we started out we as a group expressed that we were initially concerned about the amount of participants and the communications piece. It is worth noting that we have exceeded expectations.”

The organisers have been contacted by the Global Destination Sustainability movement.

“This is an international recognition of our efforts. The GDS movement has a yearly index of sustainable destinations, and the project has been added to this year's application for Kerry. They have contacted us to be submitted to their annual awards that recognises initiatives that are paving the way for a sustainable world, and it's an honour to be considered,” she added.

“But the reach of our initiative goes beyond Killarney. Dingle, Tralee, and other county councils have expressed interest in implementing our model countywide. This validates that our impact isn't limited to our local community, but has the potential to create a ripple effect across regions, which we saw when we were contacted by other county councils and even two international destinations.”


“This initiative is ground-breaking, with its scope and target effects reaching farther than we expected. While challenges are inevitable, there are teething problems with any new venture, they are opportunities for growth and improvement,” said Byrne.

“Furthermore, the idea was proposed to create a training video for businesses and staff. This should include the best practices and learnings into a comprehensive training video that benefits both you and your staff when it comes to implementing the project effectively. It should include the why’s and how’s of the project based on your collective learnings and feedback.

“We need to do an inventory of cups that were ordered by all businesses to date and what is currently in stock. This will be done to ensure that we are maximising the deposit system and not always ordering more cups. It was noted that hotels often offer take away breakfast to tourists and there is a risk that the cups go away on buses and aren’t returned.”

“Communicating with travel agents and the bus drivers is key to ensure that this issue is resolved. Again if the message is that this is a whole of Killarney initiative and standard practice, it will be more accepted.”

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Massive Park Road housing development given green light

A private developer has been given planning permission to build 249 new residential units at Upper Park Road. The development, which will be built on a recently cleared site near […]




A private developer has been given planning permission to build 249 new residential units at Upper Park Road.

The development, which will be built on a recently cleared site near An Post’s sorting office, will include a variety of properties from five-bed houses to single apartments, along with a crèche and over 500 car spaces and over 300 bike spaces.

The development has been welcomed by local councillor Martin Grady.

“Killarney has a massive housing shortage so this is very positive. It will retain young families in the area, stimulating economic growth,” he said. “After 17 years of different planning applications it’s finally coming to fruition.”

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Ballydribeen residents living in fear due to anti-social behaviour

Residents in the Ballydribeen are living in fear as a result of increased anti-social behaviour in the estate. Several serious incidents in the estate have resulted in several Garda visits […]




Residents in the Ballydribeen are living in fear as a result of increased anti-social behaviour in the estate.

Several serious incidents in the estate have resulted in several Garda visits in the last week.

Local councillor Martin Grady told the Killarney Advertiser that residents are “living in fear” as a result of very serious incidents in the last week alone.

One house in the estate was badly damaged when fire crackers were placed inside a letter box.

Another house had its windows smashed in over the weekend.

“It’s a major problem,” added Grady after meeting residents there earlier this week.

One of the most serious incidents occurred on Tuesday night.

A passing motorists had rocks thrown at his car while driving along the bypass whch is adjacent to the estate.
Taking to social media, local primary-school teacher Pádraig O’Sullivan posted:

“Travelling home tonight, at 11.05pm on the Killarney side of the bypass our car was hit by a rock – not a pebble – from the Ballydribben side , which hit the passenger door.

“It was centimetres away from hitting the window where my father, who is visually impaired, was sitting.

“This could have caused catastrophic permanent injury to him.

“The Killarney Garda were on the scene within three minutes.

“They can’t be patrolling the bypass all night.

“It comes down to parenting. You should know where your children are at this hour and be able to teach them what’s funny and what ruin a person’s life or cause a fatal crash.“

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