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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.

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Fire warning in National Park

The National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) at the Department of Housing, Local Government and Housing has appealed to the public not to light fires or barbecues in public places […]




The National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) at the Department of Housing, Local Government and Housing has appealed to the public not to light fires or barbecues in public places this summer.

As they appeal to the public to exercise renewed care and responsibility when outdoors the National Parks and Wildlife Service has increased ground crews on fire patrol and has ramped up aerial monitoring with helicopters and drones.

Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage Darragh O’Brien TD said:

“If you notice a fire, please call the emergency services on 112 immediately. NPWS teams are upping their patrols to identify potential fire incidents and act quickly should one break out. However as we know, prevention is better than cure, and we’re asking all members of the public to avoid lighting fires in open areas.”

Minister of State for Heritage and Electoral Reform Malcolm Noonan TD commented further:

“Our National Parks and Nature Reserves, coastal sand dunes, mountains and upland areas, forests, meadows and urban parks are all places where we enjoy spending time in nature, but they are also home to our precious wildlife and their vulnerable young. This is a really important time of year for wildlife, especially vulnerable ground-nesting birds and mammals who are now rearing their young. We all want to get out and enjoy the good weather but let’s do it responsibly – without putting nature at risk.”

The Director General of the NPWS, Niall O Donnchú, has also asked for everybody’s cooperation to protect nature and said:

“While NPWS has increased ground crews and monitoring from the air this week, we still need to enlist your help to protect nature at this high risk time. We ask that members of the public not light fires or barbecues in any National Parks or Nature Reserves, or indeed in nature generally. We are also asking that the public be vigilant and report any fire activity without delay.”

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Killarney Looking Good Competition returns

Over three decades after it was first initiated, to help improve the aesthetic values of the town, the Killarney Looking Good Competition is back with a vengeance with a new […]




Over three decades after it was first initiated, to help improve the aesthetic values of the town, the Killarney Looking Good Competition is back with a vengeance with a new committee, new categories, new sponsors and a whole new approach.

When the project was first launched in 1991 it was a relatively low-key community event but it grew in importance with each passing year, culminating in some style when Killarney won the prestigious overall award in the national tidy towns competition in 2011.

After an enforced three-year absence since 2019, due to the pandemic, the competition has now been given a whole new lease of life and the 2023 version was officially launched this week by Mayor of Killarney, Cllr Niall Kelleher.

Awards will be presented in 26 different categories and high achievers in the business and residential community will be honoured at a gala prizegiving ceremony at the close of the tourist season.

This year two new categories are being introduced in memory of two remarkable people who played massive roles in keeping Killarney looking its best down through the years.

Yvonne Quill, who passed away last October, was the driving force behind the Killarney tidy towns campaign for several years and she was at the helm when the sought-after overall award was secured 12 years ago.

This year the Yvonne Quill Memorial Award will be presented to the volunteer of the year – a person who the adjudicators consider to be a standout contributor – in the overall effort to keep Killarney tidy.

Up to the time of his death in January 2020, Fr Michael Murphy was the public face of tidy towns and he played a huge part in Killarney, Kenmare and Sneem winning the overall national award in 2011, 2000 and 1987 respectively. Affectionately known as Fr Tidy, this year the Killarney Looking Good Competition will honour his memory with a special Pride of Place award.

In the business community, there will be awards for the best large and small commercial premises, best newly painted premises, best signage and the best retail award with prizes also for the most impressive hotel, public house, restaurant, café, guesthouse and best public building as well as the most improved premises.
In the residential categories awards will go to the best large and small estates, best private residence, best roadside garden, best floral display and best friendly planting award.

Other categories include a green hospitality award, a corporate special responsibility award, a restoration award, best school and a special biodiversity award.
Several highly commended awards will also be up for grabs and the winner of the prestigious overall award will be announced at the prizegiving ceremony.

The Killarney Looking Good Competition is organised by Killarney Chamber of Tourism and Commerce and Killarney Municipal District Council and the new committee comprises Sandra Dunlea – a daughter of the late Yvonne Quill – Kathleen Foley, John O’Mahony and Johnny McGuire who is spearheading the project.

MD O’Shea & Sons are the new overall sponsors of the competition and O’Mahony Media Ltd is the media sponsor.

The competition will run throughout the tourist season and businesses and residential areas will be monitored on an ongoing basis.

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