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





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.




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.


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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Kerry’s youth celebrated at the Lee Strand/Kerry Garda Youth Achievement Awards

This year’s overall winner of the Lee Strand Kerry Garda Youth Achievement is Ryan Griffin from Waterville who was nominated by Mairead O’Sullivan from Killorglin Family Resource Centre. Ryan Griffin […]




This year’s overall winner of the Lee Strand Kerry Garda Youth Achievement is Ryan Griffin from Waterville who was nominated by Mairead O’Sullivan from Killorglin Family Resource Centre.

Ryan Griffin is a member of the Skellig Stars and was chosen to represent Kerry at the Special Olympics.
Ryan’s biggest hurdle is communication and he had to overcome this during his trip to Berlin for the big event.

Ryan has overcome his disabilities by focusing on all the great abilities he has. Ryan attends mainstream school in Coláiste na Sceilge where he is a very respected member of the School Community. He is a member of Kerry Stars and also Downs Syndrome Kerry.

Ryan has always had a keen interest in sport and even played with the local team in Waterville, but now Ryan thinks it’s too fast for him so he prefers to cheer them on from the side-lines.

Ryan has always been involved with the Community and they have never left him out. Ryan started out his athletics career with Skellig Stars and without them he would have gone to the Special Olympics and he has never forgotten when he came from.

Ryan and his family are very grateful to the local community in Waterville and the surrounding area for all the support they have given them over the years and especially now with the Special Olympics coming closer.

The whole community from Waterville to Mid-Kerry got behind Ryan, raising funds to help his family go to Berlin for 2 weeks. Ryan is now an inspiration to others to overcome difficulties and “go for gold”.

Ryan was the only representative from Kerry on this years Irish Special Olympics Team and in fact one of the Youngest Athletes on Team Ireland at only 16yrs of age, which was a great honour for him.
This in itself is a great achievement but it also shows his friends at Skellig Stars, Downs Syndrome Kerry and in the wider community that dreams do come true.

It took a lot of hard work and determination on Ryan’s behalf to make these dreams come true, not least the long journey he had to make from South Kerry to Dublin once a month since last January to train for the Special Olympics. He also trained weekly with the Skellig Stars.

At the 2023 Special Olympics in Berlin Ryan took part in the 100m run and the relay but his biggest achievement was winning the Silver Medal in the mini javelin. This showed others that overcoming difficulties can be possible and you can achieve your goals with hard work and determination, which Ryan has in abundance.

Local Merit Awards

Aliza Gul, Killarney
Joey McCarthy, Killarney
John O’Connor, Killarney
Nattagun Ryan, Killarney
Samuel Behal, Killarney
St Brendan’s Choir, Killarney

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Controversial finish to Cougar’s opening match of season

Basketball Ireland is to review the result Killarney Cougars opening match of the new Basketball season. The opening game of the season was  long and eventful The game was abandoned […]




Basketball Ireland is to review the result Killarney Cougars opening match of the new Basketball season.

The opening game of the season was  long and eventful

The game was abandoned with 1.48 seconds remaining in the second quarter with the court unplayable due to condensation, however Portlaoise Panthers plea to change venue was allowed by the officials.

The game continued an hour later in Portlaoise College despite the Killarney protest with the long delay to proceedings and the game already abandoned in the St Mary’s venue.

Panthers held the advantage through the second quarter  whan the game was abandoned following a series of bad slips and falls on the wet floor with just under two minutes remaining,  

Darius Hopkins heavy slip and fall that finally saw the game stopped.

The remainder of the game in in the new venue was completed without any competitive edge.

Cougars finished with a series of injuries to Bill Wiseman, Alex Fleming and Oleh Drahanchuk with the game conditions and long delays a contributing factor but the homeside won the contest. 

A final decision on the outcome of the game is expected by Basketball Ireland following a review of events.


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