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Drive-by birthday for 90-year-old Sheila

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By Michelle Crean

With beeping horns and traffic back to back - it certainly wasn’t the 90th celebrations one Headford lady had planned last Friday – but Sheila O’Leary certainly will remember it!

Sheila from Beheenagh, who has eleven children, 26 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren was hoping for a large family gathering in the Height Hotels in Killarney, where she celebrated her 80th in style. She was hoping to be joined by her sister Ana Nash from London who was due to travel over with 10 family members.

Unfortunately, due to the current COVID-19 restrictions, Sheila who lives at home with her son Fr Gerard, is ‘cocooning’ and thought there would be no way to mark the very special day.

However, her family had other plans and surprised with a ‘drive-by birthday’ instead as they beeped and waved before physically distancing in the yard of her home to sing ‘Happy Birthday’. The moment was captured on video on the day by her granddaughter Muiríosa O’Leary.

“The drive-by birthday idea was by her son Dan O’Leary,” Sheila’s grandson Padraig O’Sullivan told the Killarney Advertiser.

“She's cocooning at home but came out to the back door to blow out the candles of her cake which was made by her granddaughter and godchild Sheila.”

Video messages were compiled by her granddaughter Mary O’Sullivan which included loving words from her family, neighbours and friends, including her grandson Conor Dineen all the way from Dubai.

“We actually had to have one more blast of ‘Happy Birthday’ before we left the yard for her granddaughter Mary Lane who turned 32 the same day!”

For now a bigger celebration is postponed with the family hoping they can get-together in August or late September once the health restrictions are lifted.

[video width="288" height="640" mp4="https://www.killarneyadvertiser.ie/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/VID_20200404_114452.mp4"][/video]

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Headford man’s 1948 Jaguar the star of car run

A staggering 157 classic and vintage cars and motorcycles took part in the 12th annual Car and Honda 50 Run, organised by Ballymac Vintage Club on Sunday. The O’Riada’s Bar […]

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A staggering 157 classic and vintage cars and motorcycles took part in the 12th annual Car and Honda 50 Run, organised by Ballymac Vintage Club on Sunday.

The O’Riada’s Bar and Restaurant-based event raised money for the nearby Glanageenty Walkways and followed a new for 2022 route via Ballymac, Raemore, Knocknagoshel, Brosna, and Mount Eagle before the finish line in the Mart Yard in Castleisland.

Gerard Healy from Knockysheehan, Headford, Killarney had the oldest cars on the run.

He has owned his 1948 Jaguar Mark 4 saloon for the last seven years.

“This car was manufactured in Coventry after World War Two,” he said. “And it was then shipped to Ireland in kit form to avoid high import duty on complete cars. It was reassembled in Dublin and painted emerald green. This is a Sligo car, the first owner was a Miss Teresa Ferry, it was very unusual for a lady to own a car in those days.”

The car was then sold to a vicar and then a soldier before, somehow, ending up in The Netherlands. There it underwent a full restoration in 1999.

Gerard bought the car from a restorer called Roberto Verboon.

“I was proud to bring the car back to Ireland,” he added.

Thanks to generous support from local businesses and sponsors including O’Riada’s and BG Motors over €500 worth of spot prizes were handed out on the day.

Listry’s Tony and Kay Darmody were prize winners after judges were impressed with their Hillman Minx Convertible.

George Carey from Tralee won the motorcycle award with his finely turned out 1986 Honda 90.

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White Tailed Sea Eagles released into Killarney National Park

By Sean Moriarty Four White-tailed Eagle chicks have been released into the wild in Killarney National Park. The National Park is one of three locations in Munster as well as Lough […]

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By Sean Moriarty

Four White-tailed Eagle chicks have been released into the wild in Killarney National Park.

The National Park is one of three locations in Munster as well as Lough Derg and the lower Shannon Estuary where a total of 16 of the once extinct in Ireland birds have been released in recent days.

On Friday last, An Taoiseach, Micheál Martin was in Tarbert where a number of eagles were released into the wild as part of a project to re-establish a population of this iconic species in Ireland.

This was followed by a further release today (Tuesday) in Killarney National Park by the Minister of State for Heritage, Malcolm Noonan, TD, accompanied by the Norwegian Ambassador, Mari Skåre.

Also in attendance were a group of visiting Norwegians who were responsible for the collection of the eagle nestlings in Norway earlier this year.

These white-tailed Eagle chicks arrived in Kerry Airport last month as part of a long-term wildlife reintroduction project.

The four eagle chicks brought to Killarney National Park have been held in special aviaries in a remote part of the Park where they have been carefully looked after by National Parks and Wildlife Service staff.

“It has been wonderful to watch the release of the magnificent White Tail Eagles collected in Norway. The friendship between the people of Norway and the people of Ireland runs deep. The eagles we see fly free and strong in their natural habitat here today are spreading their wings as a result of the voluntary work of so many,” said Ambassador Skåre.

“Biodiversity is essential for all life on Earth. Yet we are seeing an extremely rapid loss of species world-wide. Through joint efforts we can halt this decline.”

As in previous years, the young eagles were collected under licence in Norway by the Norwegian Institute for Nature Research (NINA) and co-workers. All the birds were fitted with satellite tags in Ireland to enable their progress to be followed and their integration into the existing Irish breeding population monitored.

One of the first pairs of White-tailed Eagles to breed in Ireland was in Killarney National Park in 2013 and the pair have remained in the Park since, once again fledging a chick this year. Their nest is in a tree on an inaccessible cliff, but visitors may be lucky and catch a glimpse of the eagles soaring over the mountains or catching fish in one of the Park’s many lakes.

As they mature, these chicks will join and strengthen the small Irish breeding population that has become established since the reintroduction programme began in 2007. So far, 47 young eagles from Norway have been released over the last two years.

FLYING HIGH: One of the White-tailed Eagle chicks released into the wild in Killarney National Park on Tuesday.
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