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Education opportunity for Kerry farmers




Kerry Social Farming (KSF) is collaborating extensively with UCC and Skellig CRI in Cahersiveen, in devising and planning the NQF Level 6 ‘Certificate in Practice Support in Social Farming’.

The course is aimed at expanding training opportunities for both new and existing host farmers as part of the Kerry Social Farming initiative. The ‘Certificate in Practice Support in Social Farming’ was completed by 13 Kerry host farmers in 2020 and a further 15, a mixture of existing and new host farmers, in 2021. The feedback from farmers is very positive, both in terms of how it has helped their social farming practice and also how returning to education, many after a long break, has benefited their own personal development and self-confidence.

SKDP’s Joseph McCrohan said that this course supports all those engaged to understand the history and components of social farming and disability services.

“It supports farmers with communication styles and an opportunity to share and develop suitable activities on their farms that will benefit social farming participants,” he said. “Both the host farmers and their participants enjoy the benefits of the course and it helps support and strengthen the Social Farming initiative.”

The use of the online virtual world of study over the past academic year has pushed students to further develop their IT skills, along with their learning specific to the course content around social farming.


The course is taught by experienced teachers, many of whom have direct experience of working in social farming. The course examines a variety of topics, including learning how social farming operates both in Ireland and across Europe, the communities it serves and the outcomes it provides. The role of the environment, the farm setting and well-being and how they link to social farming practice are explored. The course features modules on law and the legal position around disability and equality, which provide a practical insight into the issues involved.

Communication is a key topic, with students learning about a variety of communications styles and how to build on their own existing strengths in a way which can improve the social farming experience. There is also a module on social inclusion which focuses on how groups and individuals may be excluded from society, and how social farming can provide opportunities leading to meaningful and sustainable social inclusion.

The course is now established as part of UCC’s Adult and Continuing Education (ACE) programme, see

KSF was established in 2013 to innovatively target both an increasingly marginalised farming community in the county, and offers choice to people with disabilities to engage with farm families and the farming community, in tandem with meeting their personal life choices and exploring new options within a rural community setting.

An information event on the 2021/2022 course, containing feedback from the successful students (farmers), will be held via Zoom on July 27 at 8pm. If you would like to hear more about the course and or to attend the information event please contact Joseph McCrohan, South Kerry Development Partnership CLG at 066 9472724 or email

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Eight month wait for a driving test in Killarney

A Killarney councillor is calling for action in an effort to reduce the driving test wait list in Killarney The current wait list for a test in Killarney sits at […]




A Killarney councillor is calling for action in an effort to reduce the driving test wait list in Killarney

The current wait list for a test in Killarney sits at eight months.

Cllr John O’Donoghue raised the issue at Monday’s full meeting of Kerry County Council.

He proposed that driving instructors should be employed to carry out the final test to reduce the current backlog.

At Monday’s meeting he asked that hat Kerry County Council would write to the Minister for Transport to ask him to consider giving driving instructors temporary powers to issue a temporary Driving Licence/Certificate of Competence to those on the waiting list for tests.

“The wait is currently far too long and the system is in danger of becoming completely overwhelmed,” he said.

“The huge waiting list for young drivers is well documented at this stage. In a case I am familiar with, a young person passed their theory test in January 2022 and he immediately applied for his mandatory 12 driving lessons. When these were completed, he applied for his driving test on the 2nd of December 2022. Some weeks ago, he still had not received an application to apply for his driving test. This wait is placing him and his family under considerable extra cost and stress which is completely unacceptable.”

In the course of his research into the matter Cllr O’Donoghue discovered that the next available date for a driving test in Killarney is May 25, 2024, while Tralee is June 3 2024.

“Bear in mind, these are only the dates on which you receive an invitation to book your test, the test itself will then be an estimated three to five weeks later.

“This is an appalling situation and one which needs to be rectified as a matter of urgency. I am proposing that driving instructors, which presumably are fully trained up on the rules of the road, be granted temporary powers to be allowed to issue temporary driving licences to young people. When the waiting list time has been reduced, I would still propose that these people sit the test as usual, but the current pressure needs to be alleviated as soon as possible. There is precedent as I believe that in the 1970s, a cohort in this country were issued driving licences without having sat a test as the wait time for the test was too long.”


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Ballymac charity vintage run on October 1

The Ballymac Vintage Club is hosting a classic car, tractor and Honda 50 run on October 1. The run will leave from and return to the Halfway Bar, Ballymac. Registration […]




The Ballymac Vintage Club is hosting a classic car, tractor and Honda 50 run on October 1.

The run will leave from and return to the Halfway Bar, Ballymac.

Registration begins at 9:30am and sets off at 11am.

“There will be two separate routes with one for tractors and the other for cars and motorbikes. Proceeds on the day are in aid of Castleisland Day Care Centre and we’ll have plenty of spot prizes to giveaway too in the morning,” said the club’s PRO Kieran Glover.


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