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Fire believed to have started accidentally

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“Entire National Park at risk from unrepairable fire damage” - local wildlife expert says

By Sean Moriarty

Forrest fires in Killarney National Park are putting the entire park and Muckross House at risk - well-known local nature lover and Mangerton resident Frank Lewis said this week.

22 firefighters from Killarney and Killorglin Fire Stations battled the flames - which could be seen from miles around - for more than eight hours.
The blaze, which destroyed 100 acres of scrublands near Torc Waterfall and the locally known Cardiac Hill, is believed to have started on the Old Kenmare Road, a popular hiking route, on the northern face of Mangerton Mountain, and quickly spread to the Torc Waterfall area.

Once the fire was contained near the summit of Mangerton, firefighters left for a short break and returned later on Saturday morning for a further three hours.
County fire officials and local Gardai are still investigating the cause of the fire.

The burning of dead grasslands is legal between September 1 and February 28. Farmers burn commonage to facilitate the growth of new grass for livestock grazing purposes.

However, Friday night’s inferno was not on commonage land and unconfirmed reports suggest it was caused by a irresponsibly discarded cigarette butt or the remains of a picnic or barbecue.

“If this fire spread any further in it could have taken out the entire tree cover of the national park, it could have taken out a place like Muckross House,” Mr Lewis, the presenter of Radio Kerry’s Saturday Supplement, said. “Controlled burning of land is for the benefit of everyone, and back in the day the Herbert Estate staff would burn certain parts every five years in a controlled way. But these wildfires are irresponsible and it is only a matter of time before the damage done will take generations to repair.”

Scrubland on the mountain top can grow as high as one metre and according to local sources this is adding to the fire risk. Locals believe that by extending the burning season in to the middle of March and by allowing annual burning of the same areas would reduce the risk of fires getting out of control.

They also believe that this would solve the roaming deer issues on main roads through the National Park.

“Deer want to graze on fresh grass and it is no longer available on high ground,” added a source who did not want to be named. “If the land was burned once a year it would reduce the risk and fresh grass would grow on the mountain top so the deer would not roam on the roads.”

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Local author’s debut book makes Late Late Toy Show

Killarney art psychotherapist Katie O’Donoghue was delighted to spot her first children’s book on last Friday’s Late Late Toy Show! ‘The Little Squirrel Who Worried’ was written and illustrated by Katie, and published by Gill Books in July. With almost every eye in Ireland on the Toy Show every year, children’s authors, illustrators and publishers […]

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Killarney art psychotherapist Katie O’Donoghue was delighted to spot her first children’s book on last Friday’s Late Late Toy Show!

‘The Little Squirrel Who Worried’ was written and illustrated by Katie, and published by Gill Books in July.

With almost every eye in Ireland on the Toy Show every year, children’s authors, illustrators and publishers compete for a much-coveted spot on the set. Aware that her book had been sent to Ryan, but not having heard anything from RTÉ, Katie was thrilled to see it in a prominent position. It was a wonderful surprise to discover ‘The Little Squirrel Who Worried’ had been placed in the front row of the book corner. There, it had a little chair of its own and was even embraced by a cuddly toy.

It was visible many times over the course of the evening, particularly during the book discussion, an incredibly proud moment for first-time author Katie.

“I have to admit, when I saw ‘The Little Squirrel Who Worried’ cradled in the teddy’s arms, I may have jumped up and down with excitement,” Katie told the Killarney Advertiser.

What began as a lockdown project while Katie was living in London and missing her family in Kerry, is providing comfort to children around the world.

Using a gentle story with gorgeous illustrations, Little Squirrel and his forest friends teach young people a variety of simple coping techniques.

“These skills will benefit children their entire lives and the book is even helpful for adults who are prone to worrying and overthinking,” she added.

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No 2021 return for Killarney on Ice

By Michelle Crean Fans of the ice will be disappointed to hear that Killarney on Ice will not return for a second year. Following its huge popularity year on year since returning to Killarney in 2015, the promoters of Killarney on Ice are disappointed to confirm that they are unable to operate again this year. […]

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By Michelle Crean

Fans of the ice will be disappointed to hear that Killarney on Ice will not return for a second year.

Following its huge popularity year on year since returning to Killarney in 2015, the promoters of Killarney on Ice are disappointed to confirm that they are unable to operate again this year.

Rising case numbers, uncertain COVID-19 restrictions, and insurance challenges have been the main drivers behind the decision not to open, according to the company.

As Kerry’s only festive ice rink, the facility has brought much fun and life to the town over the years, attracting thousands of people from all over the county, and indeed the whole country, with many families coming to stay overnight in Killarney and enjoying all that this great town has to offer.

As well as friends and families coming to skate, schools, youth clubs, sports teams and employees of local companies use the group booking discount rate to plan sessions on the ice, and Killarney on Ice would like to thank them all for their continuing loyalty.

“We sincerely hope to be back better and stronger in 2022, and we look forward to welcoming all of our valued customers,” Tim O’Donoghue, the promoter of the rink, told the Killarney Advertiser.

“In the meantime, we wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year.”

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