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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.”



Country Queen Cliona Hagan to play Sneem Hotel

Get ready for a glamorous evening of country music as bombshell Cliona Hagan, one of Ireland’s most beloved country music stars, takes the stage at Sneem Hotel on Saturday, May […]




Get ready for a glamorous evening of country music as bombshell Cliona Hagan, one of Ireland’s most beloved country music stars, takes the stage at Sneem Hotel on Saturday, May 11, 9:00 PM.

Known for her powerful vocals, captivating stage presence, and chart-topping hits, Cliona Hagan promises to deliver a memorable performance that will have the audience on their feet and singing along all night long.
The concert, set against the stunning backdrop of Golden’s Cove at the Sneem Hotel, promises to be an unforgettable experience for country music fans of all ages. From heartfelt ballads to lively toe-tappers, Cliona Hagan’s versatile repertoire ensures there’s something for everyone to enjoy.
Tickets for the concert are priced at €25 and can be purchased at the door on the night of the event. Don’t miss your chance to see Cliona Hagan live in concert at Sneem Hotel on May 11th. Overnight hotel stay packages including dinner and concert tickets, bed and breakfast are also available!
For more information, please visit or contact 064 667 5100.


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Coffee morning for Kerry Cancer Support Group at the Royal

Killarney Royal is hosting a Charity Coffee Morning on April 19, in aid of the Kerry Cancer Support Group. Join the team at Killarney Royal from 10.30am-12pm where fresh coffee, […]




Killarney Royal is hosting a Charity Coffee Morning on April 19, in aid of the Kerry Cancer Support Group.

Join the team at Killarney Royal from 10.30am-12pm where fresh coffee, delicious homemade scones, pastries and treats await in the newly refurbished lobby and bar.

All guests attending will also have the chance to be entered into a raffle with a number of wonderful prizes on offer throughout the morning. Volunteers will also be on hand to accept donations, with all proceeds going to the Kerry Cancer Support Group.

“The Kerry Cancer Support Group work hard each day to provide an excellent service and are devoted to maintaining a warm, welcoming environment while ensuring that service users have immediate access to free programmes and resources. Killarney Royal are delighted to support this incredibly worthy charity,” said Brand Sales and Marketing Executive Aoibheann O’Leary.

All are welcome on the morning, with no pre-booking needed.


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