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Food Hub expansion to create 162 jobs




By Michelle Crean

The expansion of a local food hub is set to create 162 jobs - both direct and indirect - as well as contribute an estimated €9m in new income to the Kerry economy over the next three years.

EXPANSION: Cllr Jimmy Moloney (Cathaoirleach of KCC) Minister Norma Foley Cllr Fionnan Fitzgerald (Cathaoirleach of Castleisland-Corca Dhuibhne MD) and Martin Brosnan (Project Manager) pictured at the The Kerry Food Hub located in Firies.

Kerry based not-for-profit community project Kerry Food Hub - the vision of local farmer David Gleeson - made the announcement on Friday as Martin Heydon TD turned the sod.

The Firies based centre - which was established in 2016 and has enjoyed one hundred percent uninterrupted occupancy since opening - will now grow from four 1,000sq ft units employing 35 people to 14, 1,000sq ft units, delivering the growth in jobs from a €2m Enterprise Ireland investment.

The development of a B2B Artisan Marketplace online platform will also link artisan producers with buyers in 4-star and 5-star hotels and restaurants in Killarney, one of the highest tourist footfall locations in the country.

“This major investment in the local economy signifies confidence within the indigenous artisan industry of Ireland," David Gleeson, Chairman and Founder, said.

"Nurturing and developing embryonic food production talent to a point where that same talent can move onto bigger and better things is our goal. And to date we consider ourselves highly successful in achieving that goal. Without support from Enterprise Ireland this expansion project may not have been realised."


He added that the initiative has been supported by the local community, North East West Kerry Development, Kerry County Council, Kerry Group and Clann Credo.

"This €2m investment will ensure the hub acts as a key source of employment within a local community that has experienced significant population growth but has lacked economic development.”

Martin Heydon TD added that it was "another notable milestone as we move to a robust re-localised focus on food and the agriculture supply chain".

"Digital transformation reshapes the market relationship by creating new bridges between independent local artisan food producers and buyers. I am confident the combination of dedicated food-grade production space and the B2B eCommerce Marketplace will inspire opportunities and develop the next generation of producers in the region, delivering national impacts for the sector.”

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Start clocking up those ‘Kingdom Kilometres’

With an increase in daylight hours there’s no better time to clock up the ‘Kingdom Kilometres’ on foot or by cycling along the county’s two new Greenways. The recently opened […]




With an increase in daylight hours there’s no better time to clock up the ‘Kingdom Kilometres’ on foot or by cycling along the county’s two new Greenways.

The recently opened Kingdom of Kerry Greenways between Tralee and Fenit and between Listowel and Abbeyfeale are already proving hugely popular with locals and visitors to Kerry.

Representatives of the tourism Industry, local public representatives, travel writers and influencers gathered in Kerry on Monday to experience the exciting new tourist attractions and welcome the arrival of the longer daylight hours as the clocks changed over to summertime.

Sarah Hanrahan, a social media influencer who posts about Irish travel and has more than 100,000 Instagram followers, described the experience.

“Ireland has some of the most amazing outdoor spaces. For a lot of my followers and other people, connecting with green spaces has become much more important to their overall sense of well-being as well as their health and fitness. It’s been really gorgeous to experience the Tralee to Fenit, and Listowel to Limerick Kingdom of Kerry Greenways; a fantastic trip sampling the warm hospitality of Kerry and a great reminder of the active holiday options that are right on our doorstep.”

The new purpose-built trails provide an accessible and inclusive experience for visitors of all abilities.

Mayor of Tralee, Cllr Mikey Sheehy and the Mayor of Listowel, Cllr Aoife Thornton, said that the greenways offer an exceptional recreational amenity for everyone to enjoy.

“The greenways are situated in some of Kerry’s most scenic landscapes and offer spectacular and safe off-road facilities for people of all ages to enjoy as the landscape comes into bloom. They also offer warm hospitality at the trail head towns of each route.”

Visit to find out more.


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St Patrick’s Day parade winners announced

Killarney Valley Classic and Vintage Club has won the sought-after overall award in recognition of their colourful and action-packed entry to this year’s St Patrick’s Day parade in Killarney. Delighted […]



Killarney Valley Classic and Vintage Club has won the sought-after overall award in recognition of their colourful and action-packed entry to this year’s St Patrick’s Day parade in Killarney.

Delighted club representatives were presented with the Seán O’Keeffe Perpetual Trophy – in memory of the former Mayor of Killarney and parade stalwart – at a gala presentation of prizes in the International Hotel, Killarney on Tuesday night.

The award for the Best Interpretation of the Theme, which was Killarney: Experience More, went to the Wander Wild Festival who received the Michael Courtney Perpetual Trophy which is dedicated to the memory of another former mayor of the town who spearheaded the annual St Patrick’s Day celebrations for many years.

The John ‘Killer’ O’Callaghan Perpetual Trophy for the Best Sporting Entry was won by Killarney Athletic AFC and the Peter Irwin Memorial Trophy for the Best Marching Group and Cultural/Arts Entry went to Millstreet Pipe Band.

The Best Sports Club was Spa GAA, the Best Children’s Group prize was won by Kilcummin Comhaltas and the Best New Entry was Killarney Rugby Football Club.

There was an international flavour to the Best Musical Entry which was scooped by the Glenridge High School Marching Band from New Jersey.

The prize for the Best Voluntary Group went to the Kerry Stars Special Olympics Club, the Best School Award went to the Fiona Crowley Stage School and the Best Activity Group was deemed to be Scorchers Cheerleading Club.

The Most Entertaining Entry went to the Killarney Tidy Towns group, the prize for the Most Original Entry was won by Liebherr Container Cranes and the Most Imaginative Entry in the parade was the Art House, Killarney.

The Most Stylish Entry prize was awarded to the Ukrainian community whose representative said they were delighted to play a part in Ireland’s national holiday and thanked the people of Killarney for the warm welcome they have received.

Other prizes presented on the night included the Best Window Display which went to Christy Healy’s on New Street who were celebrating 100 years in business on St Patrick’s Day, while the Europe Hotel and Resort won the Best Green-Themed Building prize.

The judges for the parade were Br Pat Lynch, Guardian, Franciscan Friary, Pam Brosnan, Killarney Musical Society and Denis McMahon.

The awards were presented by Killarney St Patrick’s Festival Chairman Paul Sherry, Mayor of Killarney Cllr Niall Kelleher, Killarney Chamber of Tourism and Commerce Senior Executive Bridget O’Keeffe, and parade grand marshal Cathal P Walshe.

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