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Father and daughter receive housing from Peter McVerry Trust



NEW HOME NEW HOPE: Spencer Wheeler, one of the new tenants who moved into the Peter McVerry Trust’s housing units in Killarney. Photo: Graham Seely/Peter McVerry Trust

“We were in a constant limbo land of uncertainty”

By Michelle Crean

One father and his young daughter are now feeling safer and more secure after receiving one of 15 housing units from the Peter McVerry Trust in Killarney town.

Spencer Wheeler says that he and his daughter “were in a constant limbo land of uncertainty” but now have “a safe” space to call their own.
The charity, which is working in partnership with Kerry County Council, said it is working to increase housing pathways for people experiencing homelessness in the county.

The national housing and homeless charity has delivered 15 social housing units in Killarney housing over 30 people.

"We are delighted to be able to help meet the housing needs of people impacted by homelessness in Kerry," Pat Doyle, CEO of Peter McVerry Trust, said.

"We have been working closely with the Council to understand the need that exists locally and how best we can be of support to people in the county. We are now working on developing housing pathways to ensure people can exit hostels and B&Bs and get the wraparound supports they need once housed. All our tenants will receive ongoing support from our dedicated Housing With Supports team who are available to them 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”

On Friday last, official figures released by the Department of Housing showed a decrease of 13 percent in the number of people accessing emergency accommodation in Kerry to 113 people.

“The challenge is to grow the number of homes we can provide and in particular the number of one-bedroom homes, as they are the type most needed, yet are the hardest to come by. We are looking at any possible opportunities, including long-term vacant buildings, commercial properties that can be converted to residential, or vacant sites with planning permission. We’d encourage anyone that has a property, which would be suitable for social housing in Killarney or Tralee, to contact us so that we can secure more housing options to help tackle homelessness in Kerry.”


Spencer added that before living in his new two-bedroom apartment he was in a homeless hostel with his daughter in Tralee for approximately a year and a half.

“We were in a constant limbo land of uncertainty. It all happened really quickly, we received a letter from the Council saying we had been referred to the Peter McVerry Trust. I had never even heard of it beforehand.

“Being in a hostel, it was very hard for me to go out and actually look for work, so now we have a safe area, I can actually get out there and start to get a bit more work. The fact that we have somewhere which is ours where we can close the door, and she can do whatever she wants and relax, without having to worry about other people coming into the kitchen and things like that, is really nice for her. She has her own room here as well, which she is starting to mess up!”


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Shock at the death of “wonderful community activist”

There was a great sense of shock over the weekend when new of the death of Yvonne Quill, a Tidy Towns champion and wonderful community activist, became known. Yvonne, from […]




There was a great sense of shock over the weekend when new of the death of Yvonne Quill, a Tidy Towns champion and wonderful community activist, became known.

Yvonne, from Barleymount and formerly of the Cafe, College Street, passed away following a short illness on Friday. Requiem Mass takes place this morning (Monday) at 11am in The Prince of Peace Church, Fossa, followed by burial in Aghadoe Lawn Cemetery.

Killarney Chamber of Tourism and Commerce President Niall Kelleher said she will be very fondly remembered as an incredibly dedicated woman, a strong personality who led by example and spearheaded the town’s Tidy Towns committee with such passion for over 25 years.

He recalled that her proudest day was when, as chairperson of the Killarney Looking Good Committee, she inspired Killarney to the prestigious overall national award in 2011 which had proved so elusive prior to that.

“Yvonne led by example and she never asked anyone to do something she wouldn’t do herself. You would seldom see her without the yellow bib, playing her part and showing us all what needed to be done to give Killarney the edge,” Mr Kelleher said.

“While winning the overall prize was something special, Killarney has never been far from the top and it has won a gold medal almost every year which is testament to Yvonne’s great ability to organise, her steely determination and her unrivalled ability to rally the troops,” he added.

The Chamber President also remembered her as a great businesswoman, a master baker and confectioner whose café on College Street was a must-visit for a whole generation of Killarney people and visitors.

“Yvonne Quill has left a great legacy in her home town. We thank her for what she has done, we’ll remember her incredible work ethic and we’ll ensure her name will live on in Killarney by continuing the commitment to the Tidy Towns initiative.”

Johnny McGuire, a member of the executive of Killarney Chamber of Tourism and Commerce, who worked alongside Yvonne at the helm of the Tidy Towns committee, said she was a born leader who inspired the whole community and always led by example.

“Killarney would never have won the All-Ireland Tidy Towns award without her. She was the inspirational captain of the winning team. Yvonne worked night and day and, when it came to Tidy Towns, there was no downtime for her,” Mr McGuire said.

“Her commitment to the cause brought her into every school and every housing estate in Killarney. Working closely with the late Fr Michael Murphy, her great friend, Kathleen Foley, and others, they really put Killarney in contention for the top awards every year. The name Yvonne Quill was known and respected in Tidy Towns circles throughout the entire country – she really was a legend and everything she turned her hand to,
she succeeded. Killarney will miss her,” he added.

She will be deeply missed by her husband John, children Peter, Sandra and Sean, her son-in-law Peter, daughter-in-law Mairéad, grandchildren Anna, Jake, Ted, Abby and Luke, sister Angela Mulvey, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, and extended family, friends, neighbours and the community.

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Jim awarded for life-long service to the community

By Michelle Crean Listry local Jim O’Shea was honoured last week as members of the community council presented him with an award for his life-long service to the community. Jim […]




By Michelle Crean

Listry local Jim O’Shea was honoured last week as members of the community council presented him with an award for his life-long service to the community.

Jim received the O’Shea Award for 2022 at a meeting of Directors of Listry Community Council held on September 21.

Jim has been involved in Athletics from a very early age both as a competitor and administrator.

He was very much involved with Community Games in Milltown/Listry as organiser and coach. He was also involved with the Farranfore Maine Valley Athletic Club since its foundation.

Over the years Jim has competed in athletic events, mainly high jump and long jump, both in Ireland and abroad.

Recently he travelled to Derby in the UK in the British Masters Championship and won Gold in the 100 metres and Long Jump and finished second in the High Jump.

Jim, who is a very modest man, was actively involved with Listry Community Council as a volunteer driver for Meals on Wheels and for his commitment to keeping our community litter free by organising a number of litter picking days each year.

Always interested in fitness, Jim often came along to the Listry Seniors Social day and led the group in gentle exercises.

“Jim is a very worthy recipient of the O’Shea Award 2022 and we thank him for a lifetime of service to others,” Tony Darmody, Chairman, said.

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