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Comparisons between the sale of the Conor Pass and Killarney National Park

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Seán Kelly, MEP for Ireland South, has urged the Irish Government to take action and purchase the stunning land and forestry on Kerry's Conor Pass to create a national park.

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The site, which includes four lakes - Pedlar’s Atlea, Beirne, and Clogharee - along with a beautiful waterfall and mature forest, presents a unique opportunity for the government to show leadership in nature restoration.

The expansive site, bordered on the west by the Owenmore river, offers breath-taking views over Dingle Town, Brandon Bay, and the majestic Atlantic Ocean. Currently, the land attracts thousands of walkers and tourists each year, making it an ideal location for a national park that can benefit both nature conservation and Ireland's tourism industry. The site approximately 1,000 acres of land and nearly 400 acres of valuable forestry.

Killarney-based Kelly said: Killarney’s tourism has benefited massively from a national park, so there can be tangible economic benefits beyond just the significant benefits for biodiversity. We have discussed nature restoration intensively over the last number of months and this is a golden opportunity for the government to show leadership and dispel some of the damaging rhetoric that was associated with that debate.”

"Conor Pass has already garnered international attention, with foreign buyers expressing interest in just a few days. If the government were to submit a bid, it would be better to do it sooner rather than later. A holistic and long-term view should be taken into account for consideration, but I really do think a serious assessment should be carried out."

Kelly called on the government to show leadership and seize this golden opportunity to create a national park on the Conor Pass. The purchase of this picturesque land and forestry would not only enrich Ireland's natural landscape but also send a strong message about the country's commitment to nature conservation and sustainable tourism.

FRIENDS OF THE EARTH

Meanwhile Friends of the Irish Environment have appealed to the owner of lands at the Connor Pass in County Kerry to gift the lands to the State ‘in the tradition of Killarney National Park’. Killarney National Park was previously the Muckross Estate, and its 105 square kilometres was gifted to the nation by US Senator Vincent Bourne in 1932.

“The opportunity to have a national Park in one the most rugged and magnificent parts of Ireland is one that it would be a shame to miss. We established five national parks in the last 20 years of the 20th century – including Charles Haughey’s opening of the Wicklow National Park in 1986 – but we have established none since the turn of the century,” said FIE Director Tony Lowes.

“The €10 million price 1400 acres was a ‘American fantasy’ at €7000 an acre. He pointed out that although the final price is still not known, four times this area was added to the Wicklow National Park in 2016 where the asking price was €2.5 million.

As the owner is returning to the United States, Mr. Lowes said that even if he was unable to gift the entire holding to the State a “meeting of minds over a combination of charitable donations and tax advantages could be arranged with good will on both sides.”

On Newstalk he addressed the issue of the €10 million being better spent on social housing in the area, as suggested by Deputy Healy Rae, pointing out that the “multiple values of nature conservation were poorly understood,”

“It is not simply that tourism thrives in areas where we have our national parks with an economic vitality that is clearly seen in Killarney, but proper land management can only be assured by ownership,”

He told Newstalk: “If allowed to regenerate properly, you would find that birds and creatures of all kinds would flock to it, including tourists. The skies would fill and the rivers would again be full of fish, as they once were before.”

“If you drive the Connor Pass now’, Mr. Lowes, who used to live in the area, said, “You will see that the rare ungrazed areas are lush and thick with vegetation, slowly evolving into scrub which will one day become native forest. Those areas over grazed by sheep are held together by the thinnest layer of grass.”

“It not simply that proper land management would bring back our native flora and fauna, but our coastal waters are green with algae blooms right now. This is driven in part by the impact of the nutrients in the sheep faeces. While overgrazing is not the only cause of our coastal dead zones, algae growth driven by these fertilising faeces decay. This exhausts the oxygen, ultimately resulting in dead zones with the death of fish, shellfish, and other aquatic organisms,”

FIE has written to the owner, Michael Noonan, encouraging him to engage with the Government.

“In the long term, these modest beginnings could form the basis of a wider and more significant Park, stretching from Mount Brandon to Dingle.”

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Three Peaks Challenge to raise funds for Down Syndrome Kerry

This year’s Three Peaks Challenge, organised by Killarney Cycling Club will raise funds for Down Syndrome Kerry. The June 15 event,  the only one day cycle event Down Syndrome Kerry […]

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This year’s Three Peaks Challenge, organised by Killarney Cycling Club will raise funds for Down Syndrome Kerry.

The June 15 event,  the only one day cycle event Down Syndrome Kerry is associated with this year, promises to be a fabulous day of cycling and fun!.

The 100km route challenges the stronger cyclists and the 75km route gives cyclists the chance to become familiar with Moll’s Gap which is part of the Ring of Kerry route.
The cycle sets out from Killarney, heading out the Cork Road. The 75km route (one peak) turns right at Loo Bridge for Kilgarvan and onto Kenmare, while the 100km route, (three peaks) heads over the county bounds to Ballyvourney, onto The Top of Coom and then Kenmare. Both routes continue on over Moll’s Gap, passing through the picturesque Ladies’ View and back into Killarney, where all participants will be treated to a burger and drink at the finish line.

“We will guarantee plenty of laughs and refreshments along the way, there are two routes available; 100km or 75km, to meet all abilities, covering some of the most beautiful landscapes in Ireland. This is the perfect warm-up for anyone thinking of doing the Ring of Kerry cycle this year or anybody looking for a really well run sportive with great craic compulsory,” Chairperson of Killarney Cycling Club, Kevin Murphy.

All cyclists who register online will be entered into a raffle for some great spot prizes kindly donated by our sponsors, winners collecting their prize at the finish line.

Down Syndrome Kerry’s goal is to help people with down syndrome to make their own futures as bright and independent as possible by providing them with education, support and friendship every step of the way.
Funds raised from this cycle will help Down Syndrome to continue to provide vital services such as speech and language therapy, occupational therapy and job coaching to their members.
As Down Syndrome Kerry do not receive any government funding, they are totally dependent on your support to continue to make these services available to those who need them.
You can register for the cycle which is €40 for Cycling Ireland members, €20 for accompanied under 16’s on event master:- https://eventmaster.ie/event/dW04CnGSwV

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BAR 1661 is teaming up with Pig’s Lane for a night of cocktail mastery

BAR 1661, the winners of Ireland’s Bar of the Year 2022, are taking up temporary residency in Killarney’s first underground hotspot, Pig’s Lane for one night only on May 21. […]

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BAR 1661, the winners of Ireland’s Bar of the Year 2022, are taking up temporary residency in Killarney’s first underground hotspot, Pig’s Lane for one night only on May 21.

The dynamic team at Dublin’s BAR 1661, who have recently taken their talents to venues in Sweden, London, and the famous Dead Rabbit Bar in New York, are now hitting the road to Killarney for an epic takeover event.

Staunchly Irish and fiercely independent, BAR 1661 have two goals in mind; to introduce the world to Poitín and lift Irish cocktail culture to fresh heights.
Headed up by their founder Dave Mulligan, the Dublin team will transform Pig’s Lane on College Street for one night only. Since opening just a few months ago, Pig’s Lane has been raising the bar in Kerry with its cocktails, whiskey and wine offering. Kicking off at 6pm, experience a curated selection of Poitín-infused cocktails, featuring a bespoke rendition of BAR 1661’s drinks menu.

The crew will also serve up their unique take on the classic Irish Coffee with their Belfast Coffee, steeped with cold brew coffee, top-quality Irish Poitín, and rich demerara syrup. Guests will be able to chat with the team, get some insider knowledge on how to elevate their own cocktail-making skills, as well as learn insider tips on how to blend flavours to satisfy their own palette.

Two-time World Championship Mixologist and Drinks Development Manager for the O’Donoghue Ring Collection and Pig’s Lane, Ariel Sanecki said of the upcoming takeover: 

“We are very excited to welcome one of Ireland’s leading bars, BAR 1661, for an exclusive collaboration with us here at Pig’s Lane. This takeover is a great opportunity for people to meet with innovative mixologists who will be crafting bespoke creations right in front of them! We look forward to welcoming guests on the night, to what promises to be an epic event, featuring premium drink producers and unforgettable flavours.”

Before the takeover starts, drinks aficionados can join Dave for an intimate Poitín Masterclass. Attendees are invited to explore the diverse landscape of Poitín, accompanied by fascinating insights into its vibrant history and contemporary revival.

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