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Former Pretty Polly site to be transformed into major educational facility




By Michelle Crean

The former Pretty Polly site, which has been derelict for years, is to be transformed into a major state-of-the-art educational facility.

WELCOME NEWS: Education Minister Norma Foley has welcomed the news of today’s announcement that the green light has been given to milestone capital projects for Munster Technological University (MTU) and Kerry Education and Training Board’s College of the Future in Killarney.

LOCATION: Kerry TD Brendan Griffin with Minister Simon Harris at the Pretty Polly site in March.

Kerry Education and Training Board (KETB) has this morning (Monday) received approval to proceed to the next stage in developing a College of The Future (COTF) in Killarney.

The project proposed involves overhauling an existing factory site, including the existing on-site buildings and transforming it into a state-of-the-art campus.

The intention is to transform the existing site into a state-of-the-art campus to develop a Centre of Excellence in Hospitality Training, a Centre of Excellence for Renewable Energy and Sustainable Green Technologies and a Regional Centre of Excellence for Lifelong Learning.

The Killarney Campus will deliver training to 3,573 in the first year, 3,591 in year two and 3,609 in year three.

In addition, Simon Harris, Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science of Ireland, has confirmed Munster Technological University (MTU) has been given the go ahead to proceed to the next phase for the Kerry Campus Learner Centre under the Technological Sector Strategic Projects (TSSPF) Fund.

“These are two significant developments furthering the development of education in County Kerry," Education Minister Norma Foley said.

"I want to thank my Cabinet colleague Minister Harris who has engaged with me in securing these projects and also acknowledge the vision and input of both Kerry ETB and the MTU. By advancing these ambitious projects we will ensure that the technological and further education and training sectors in Kerry have access to state-of-the-art facilities that will drive economic growth and social development, expand digital teaching and learning facilities and create and expand key centres of excellence.”

Kerry TD Brendan Griffin, who brought Minister Harris on-site there last March and organised a meeting between him and Kerry ETB and Killarney hoteliers in the Dromhall, also welcomed the positive news.

The CEO of Kerry ETB, Colm McEvoy said that the announcement is "welcome" following the assessment of our Strategic Assessment Report for this proposal.

"Kerry ETB is delighted to get approval to proceed to the next phase in this process and develop a formal business case," he said.

“We are determined to bring this project to reality and work will commence immediately on developing the business case. When completed this new campus in Killarney, which is fully aligned with the organisations commitment to supporting life-long learning, will provide a regional and national FET campus of excellence that will benefit thousands of learners and support local, regional and national development.

"I wish to thank the Department for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science and SOLAS for their continued support of our vision for the future of further education and training across County Kerry.”

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Proinsias says farewell to Gaelscoil after 33 years

By Michelle Crean For over three decades one face has been constant at Gaelscoil Faithleann but today (Friday) it all changes as the school’s first and only Principal to date […]



By Michelle Crean

For over three decades one face has been constant at Gaelscoil Faithleann but today (Friday) it all changes as the school’s first and only Principal to date says a fond farewell.

It’s a day full of mixed emotions for Proinsias Mac Curtain who was appointed the school’s Principal on September 1, 1989.

Today, the school’s 245 children and staff will host a number of events at the school for him which are sure to stir a few emotions.

It follows a special Mass on Innisfallen Island on Saturday morning as 150 children, staff members, parents council and Board of Management members boarded a boat for the occasion. And the location was apt as the school is called after the island, Proinsias explained to the Killarney Advertiser.

“It was lovely, it was meaningful as the school is called after Innisfallen Island. I’ve been blessed with the school community down through the years. It was a pleasure to work with school staff and parents, Boards of Management – but the most important is the children. I’m proud of them and their achievements. They are great children and I’ll miss them.”

He said the school will be in great hands as Lisa Ni Iarlaithe, who has been at the school since 1991, takes over as Principal.

He also praised the hardworking staff.

“I’ll miss it but I’m comfortable to step back as the school is in excellent hands.”

Proinsias is originally from Tournafulla Co Limerick. He began his career as a teacher in Scoil Iognáid in the centre of Galway city, the largest Gaelscoil in the country at the time.

Shortly before he died his father Jerry, who loved to holiday for a few days a year in Killarney, had heard of a new school opening here and phoned Proinsias to tell him. The rest they say is history.

He says his love of Irish language was inspired by Tournafulla Primary School Principal Liam O Loineacháin and in St Ita’s College Abbeyfeale by Jim Tierney and the late Johnny Nelligan.

And although three decades is a long time, Proinsias says it flew by and that he has seen many changes over the years. The first is seeing the children of former pupils coming to school. The second is the advancement of technology – some good and some not so good!

“The biggest change was the growth of technology, the changeover to the whiteboard and the use of devices which makes it challenging for parents. It’s wonderful you can access so much, but there are advantages and disadvantages.”

He added a huge thanks to his wife Karen who supported him down through the years when he was out late at meetings, adding that she was “very patient”.

He also thanked Sean O Luanaigh.

“He has been my chairperson since the start and has been such a tremendous support, help and guidance down through the years.”

In retirement he plans to spend more time with his family including his three children Ruadhán, Meadhbh and Cormac.

He also plans to get more involved in Beaufort Tidy Towns as well as the Annals of Innisfallen project.

“It’s always been an interest of mine. I also plan to relax for a few weeks, make more time for family, and I look forward to playing more trad music, bee keeping, gardening and travel.”


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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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