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End of an era as Grady calls time on political career




By Sean Moriarty

Long-serving Killarney councillor Donal Grady will call time on his political career in the summer.

He made his announcement to step down at Monday’s full meeting of Kerry County Council.

Mr Grady was first elected to Killarney Town Council in 1999. He followed in the footsteps of his father John who was first elected in 1967. His brother Sean was the second member of the family to get elected. Both brothers served together for some time but with the abolition of Town Councils in June 2014 the family decided that Donal would go alone and that Sean would retire.

He subsequently won that seat and the following 2019 local election ensured there has been at least one member of the family elected in the county since 1967.

Donal said he has had many highlights in his 24 years in politics from securing houses for those in need of a roof over their head to more simple but equally important projects.

“I would love to see the skatepark finished before I go,” he told the Killarney Advertiser.

Grady pushed for this project from day one. Construction has been slightly delayed to the recent spell of rainy weather but it remains on target for a summer opening.

Donal’s son Martin, a key figure in his backroom team in recent years will be co-opted onto Kerry County Council at either the June or July full meeting of Kerry County Council.


Grady was born in Killarney and spent his childhood between Killarney and Kilcummin. He was schooled at both the Monastery in Killarney and Clashnagrane National School, Kilcummin before attending the now-defunct Technical College on New Street.

After college, he spent a few years working with Liebherr before switching to Killarney Urban District Council. That led to a job with Kerry Fire Service and he was eventually promoted to Station Officer in Killarney until his retirement in 2005.

“The fire service was my great love and although the work was hard and often heart-breaking, I found it very rewarding. I am very proud of the fact that my family are still involved in the fire service today,” he said previously.

His first foray into politics came in 1999, he retained his seat in 2004 and topped the poll in 2009.

“I followed in the footsteps of my late father John and my brother Sean; politics has always been in my blood,” he said.

He served one term as Mayor of Killarney between 2010 and 2011.

Donal has served on many projects in the Killarney region including the Killarney Looking Good Committee, the Killarney Drugs Liaison Committee and the Killarney Twinning Group.

“I have always been completely independent of the party political system and, as such, have always been free to express ideas and support or oppose proposals based solely on my own conscience and my own opinions,” he said.



Fossa School says ‘bonjour’ to French classes



Fossa National School is giving its pupils a headstart in learning a new language.

The school signed up to Language Sampler scheme as part of the ‘Say Yes to Languages’ initiative in primary schools organised by Post Primary languages Ireland in 2021. This is the school’s third year running the module.

Hélène Olivier-Courtney, the school’s French teacher and director of French For All Killarney School of French, covers ten schools in Kerry over the three terms.

The success of the initiative relies on an all-school approach and the active involvement of class teachers and management.

“The whole staff in Fossa certainly helped make this new journey a special and enjoyable experience for the children as we learnt French through art, songs, games and food tasting! This year, we also organised a catwalk on our last day. Our sixth-class students will have such a head start before secondary school and most importantly will have develop curiosity interest and love for the language,” said Hélène.


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Opinion: Silent majority needs to stand up and call out far-right hate



By Chris Davies

Last Friday’s Dublin Riots should not have come as a surprise to anyone. It has been bubbling under the surface of Irish society for a good number of years now. The actions of a small minority last week was a culmination of years of racism, hatred and misinformation shared online by far-right groups.

Late on Friday night a disturbing WhatsApp voice note was doing the rounds on social media where a far-right actor could clearly be heard encouraging violence on the streets of Dublin. 

“’Seven o’clock, be in town. Everyone bally up, tool up…Any foreigner, just kill them”

Watching the Riots unfold on social media brought me back to when I was working in Dublin a number of years back. My morning commute from Skerries to the city centre involved a dart to Connolly Station followed by a short trip on the Luas to the Jervis. Every week, without fail, I would witness at least one racial slur or attack on someone who didn’t fit the narrow minded view of what an Irish person should look, dress or talk like. I don’t know if it is the eerie silence of public transport that seems to amplify the situation, but that’s where I found it to be most common. The abuse was usually perpetrated by a group of youths or someone who was clearly under the influence of drink or drugs. The victims were always of colour, often dressed smartly enough to presume they were on their way, or coming from work. A far cry from the perpetrators who you could tell were roaming aimlessly around the city looking for trouble.

While shameful to admit, I would often look on and watch the abuse unfold, only to spend the rest of my work day thinking about the poor person who was told to “F*&K off back to your own country”. I would sit at my desk questioning why I didn’t step in and say something. There were one or two occasions where I did step in and call it out, but not nearly often enough.  

This disgusting behaviour is much more visible in our cities. Since moving back to Killarney I wouldn’t witness as much direct abuse on the streets but working with the Killarney Advertiser I would be tuned in to local news and some of the comments I read on our social platforms are far worse than anything I witnessed during my time in Dublin.  

There is a significant group of people in Ireland that I would call the ‘silent majority’. We are not as outspoken on issues we care about. We tend to observe and consume the news quietly, and only speak of our support or disgust on certain issues in close circles, too afraid we might offend someone. The problem with this is that we are leaving these far-right groups unchallenged, to become louder, more aggressive and more hostile as seen last week. 

The past week Sinn Fein and the Social Democrats have been busy in the media expressing no confidence in Justice Minister Helen McEntee and Garda Commissioner Drew Harris but I would suggest that there is a large percentage of the Irish population that bears some of the responsibility. We witness racism in our communities and online every day and we need to start speaking up and calling it out. 

On the issue of immigration in Killarney, there is no doubt resources are being stretched and our tourism industry is suffering as a result of an influx of immigration. Locals have also raised concerns in relation to the placement of so many male international protection applicants in one setting and we only have to look back on the incident in Hotel Killarney last year where a number of men were involved in a harrowing stabbing incident to see how that played out.  

However, being concerned around immigration is not the same as anti-immigration. It is important to raise these issues with local representatives and Kerry TD’s but also to separate ourselves from far-right groups who are only interested in encouraging violence.  

The anarchy we witnessed last week should never be the answer and research shows it is completely unnecessary. Harvard University have looked at hundreds of protests over the last century, and found that non-violent campaigns are twice as likely to achieve their goals as violent campaigns and that it only takes around 3.5% of the population actively participating in the protests to ensure serious political change.

Let’s continue to protest peacefully for issues we believe in, but stand up and speak out against people and movements in our community that incite hate and violence. 

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