Connect with us


Council interested in acquiring land at St Finan’s Hospital




IT HAS dominated the landscape of Killarney since 1853 yet the imposing St Finan’s Hospital is now lying idle. News that Kerry County Council is in talks with the Health Service Executive about acquiring land at the former psychiatric hospital begs the question – what will be done with the this imposing Victorian building itself?

The potential of this centrally located and spacious facility must be harnessed for the good of the community and Killarney’s economy.

At the council’s recent monthly meeting, Kerry Independent Alliance Cllr Michael Gleeson asked the council to give an update on the Sir Thomas Deane-designed hospital and its lands.

Cllr Gleeson said the hospital should be kept in public ownership, suggesting it could be used for apartments for single people or elderly couples, or as a day-care centre for people with Alzheimer’s.

Part of the land could be used to solve the traffic crux at the Lewis Road/Killarney bypass unction while the site could also benefit Killarney’s recreational life, Cllr Gleeson told the council.

Meanwhile, Fianna Fáil’s Cllr Michael Cahill has suggested that a tourism training college be located in the building.

Killarney Advertiser columnist Anne Lucey noted that the former hospital building would be ideal for use as a catering college. “I have long argued we need a hotel cum catering college in Killarney, a bit like a Swiss college of catering,” she wrote.

Kerry County Council has met with the HSE a number of times in relation to the availability of surplus HSE lands. The council received correspondence from the HSE about St Finan’s at the end of June, and the local authority has formally indicated a strategic interest in land at the campus. “There are very few who would wish to see the building transferred to private ownership,” said Cllr Gleeson, adding: “I do not want to see St Finan’s end up in private hands.”

Above: St Finan's Hospital. Picture: MacMonagle, Killarney



Valuable role of Kerry cancer support charity recognised nationally



Cancer support charity Recovery Haven Kerry has been recognised for its vital role in supporting cancer patients and their families at a national ceremony in Dublin.

The renowned cancer support house was one of 16 such centres across Ireland that were presented with plaques to acknowledge their full membership of the National Cancer Control Programme (NCCP) Alliance – a group made up of voluntary and charity organisations delivering support services directly to cancer patients and their families. An additional 10 associate member charities were also honoured, including Kerry Cancer Support Group.

The Alliance advocates for, and supports, the development of integrated pathways between the cancer centres, acute hospitals, community cancer support services and primary care services. All members’ development is in line with the values of Sláintecare, seeking to provide assurance to healthcare professionals that these organisations are working to an agreed standard as set out in Best Practice Guidance published by the NCCP. 

Speaking after the ceremony, which was held at Dublin’s Farmleigh Estate, Recovery Haven Kerry Chairman, Tim McSwiney, explained that being compliant with the Best Practice Guidance for Community Cancer Support Centres is a true mark of quality. 

“It offers us a yardstick to measure what we are doing against the standards required. As a result, healthcare professionals have more confidence in referring people to our services. We are very proud to be a member of the Alliance,” he said.

Recovery Haven Kerry was represented at the event by centre manager, Gemma Fort and Client Services Co-Ordinator, Siobhan MacSweeney and were presented with their plaque by NCCP Lead for Cancer Survivorship, Louise Mullen, Clinical Lead for Psycho-Oncology Dr Helen Greally, and Minister of State at the Department of Health, Colm Burke. 

The event was also used as an opportunity to announce funding of €3m for the NCCP’s Alliance of Community Cancer Support Centres and Services through Budget 2024. The NCCP is currently in the process of distributing these funds which will directly and positively impact the delivery of services for patients and families nationally.

Continue Reading


‘More Precious Than Gold’ book launch



At the official book launch of ‘More Precious Than Gold: My enduring connection with John McShain – the man who built Washington’ by Alice O’Neill-McLoughlin at Killarney House, was Minister of State for Nature, Heritage and Electoral Reform, Malcolm Noonan, T.D.

Alice was born the eldest of eleven children into an Irish farming family in Rosbercon, New Ross, County Wexford. In 1978, she was awarded a scholarship from John McShain- the iconic builder, philanthropist, devout Catholic with Derry ancestry, responsible for many famous American landmarks, including the Jefferson Memorial and the Pentagon.

Her book records the lifelong personal correspondence Alice exchanged with ‘The Man Who Built Washington.’ His philanthropy extended to the Irish people in the bequeathing to the State of Killarney House and the surrounding thousands of acres incorporating the Lakes, Ross Castle, and Innisfallen Island. In 2019, Alice had the honour of inducting John McShain into the Irish America Hall of Fame in her home town of New Ross in the presence of his relatives from Philadelphia and Derry. This is a tale of altruism, of gratitude, of faith and of a life lived in the pursuit of excellence.

Alice also donated her treasured correspondence of letters from John McShain for the archive at Killarney House. Also in attendance were Members of the Ignatius A. O’Shaughnessy family, who was founder of The Globe Oil and Refining Company – and part of a consortium of wealthy American businessmen who were going to purchase the lakes of Killarney as a Country Club in the 1950’s.

Continue Reading

Last News