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Fr Tom calls time after more than 50 years in the priesthood

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FAMILY: At the Golden Jubilee celebration Mass for Fr Tom Looney at the Prince of Peace Church Fossa last June were from left: James Looney, Fr Donal Looney, Mary Looney, Fr Tom Looney and Sean Looney. Picture: Eamonn Keogh

By Sean Moriarty

Tributes have been paid to Canon Tom Looney who has announced his retirement from the priesthood after over 50 years of service.

Fr Tom served as the parish priest of Fossa since 2015 but his contribution to Killarney life stretches from London to Peru and back.

He announced his retirement via the Prince of Peace Church’s parish newsletter which, due to the current crisis, is only published online.

Fr Tom will turn 75 later this year but the double cancer survivor will continue to play a scaled-back role both in the parish and in the Diocese of Kerry.

“After my 41 years of Priestly Ministry in Kerry Diocese together with 10 years Overseas’ Mission in London and Peru I take this opportunity of expressing my sincerest míle, míle buíochas to all who have inspired, encouraged, accompanied and supported me since 1962 when I entered St Patrick’s College, Maynooth,” he said. “To all of you here in Fossa I offer my heartfelt gratitude and in particular since my surgery, Golden Jubilee and recovery journey last year.”

Last June he and his family celebrated his 50th anniversary in the priesthood.

After leaving St Patrick’s College in Maynooth his first role was as a chaplain to Irish Immigrants in the Wembley area of North London.

He is one of the founding members of the Killarney-London Reunion, another association that celebrated its 50th anniversary last year.

Cllr Donal Grady is another longstanding member of the same organisation.

“He was, and still is, highly respected over there. He did some wonderful work, not just for Kerry emigrants but for Irish immigrants as a whole,” Cllr Grady told the Killarney Advertiser.
Fr Tom was the guest of honour at the Killarney-London Reunion in the Crown Hotel Cricklewood last October.

“I would like to wish Fr Tom all the best on his retirement,” said long-time Killarney-London Reunion committee member Noel O’Sullivan. “We had the pleasure of having Fr Tom at our 50th-anniversary dinner in Cricklewood last October and I would like to thank him for all he has done for the reunion over the years. As a founding member, he has made an enormous contribution to Kerry life in London.”

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NPWS survey to find out impact of fires

By Michelle Crean The National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) has commissioned a comprehensive survey on the impact of fires over the past four decades – in particular Killarney National Park in April. The tender, worth €300,000, and named ‘Study on the Impact of Fires On The Biodiversity of Killarney National Park’, seeks to find […]

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By Michelle Crean

The National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) has commissioned a comprehensive survey on the impact of fires over the past four decades – in particular Killarney National Park in April.

The tender, worth €300,000, and named ‘Study on the Impact of Fires On The Biodiversity of Killarney National Park’, seeks to find out the biological impacts of the fires in the 26,000 acre park.

The fires in April burned from Friday night on April 23 until around 12pm the following Monday when they were finally brought under control.

Parts of the Park were scorched resulting in flora and fauna being wiped out. Some fires came as close as 10 metres to a church and school in the Black Valley area.

Fires raged near Tomies Wood and fire crews from five different districts quenched fires near the properties under threat. A real threat was for The Oak Woods but fire fighters managed to avert danger.

The fire is believed to have begun on the Kenmare Road area escalated by the strong winds.

“The purpose of this tender is to commission a comprehensive survey of the impacts, and the chrono-sequence of fire recovery or otherwise, on lands burned over the past four decades, as well as surveys in unburned areas, in order to assess the biological impacts of the fires, in particular the fire of April 2021, on the biodiversity of Killarney National Park,” an NPWS spokesperson told the Killarney Advertiser.

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Killarney spin will bring comfort to patients

By Michelle Crean Ahead of this year’s ladies only 54321 Challenge a number of spinathons are taking place, including in Killarney town. Sunday, August 15 a group of 10 ladies plan a spinathon day in Killarney ahead of their four day epic adventure from Thursday, August 19 to Sunday 22. This year due to COVID […]

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By Michelle Crean

Ahead of this year’s ladies only 54321 Challenge a number of spinathons are taking place, including in Killarney town.

Sunday, August 15 a group of 10 ladies plan a spinathon day in Killarney ahead of their four day epic adventure from Thursday, August 19 to Sunday 22.

This year due to COVID restrictions the 54321 team will run with two teams of five people, all female – who are raising funds for one single charity – Comfort for Chemo Kerry.

Their four day challenge will include a cycle the Ring of Kerry on day one (Thursday 19), a climb up Carrantuohil on day two (Friday 20), a cycle from Killarney to the foot of Cnoc Na Tobair and then climb Cnoc Na Tobair on day three (Saturday 21) finishing off with a cycle of the Skellig Ring on day four (Sunday 22).

In advance of the ninth annual challenge they will first participate in the spinathons at various locations to help raise much needed funds for this year’s chosen charity.

The first of the spinathons will take place on Saturday, July 31 in Listowel, Killorglin, Dingle, Cahersiveen. On the day volunteers will take to the spinning bikes from 10am to 5pm in different locations around these towns.
This will be followed by Killarney on Sunday, August 15, and Tralee on Saturday, August 28.

When choosing this year’s charity, organisers contacted a past participant and a dear friend, Mairead Dunphy from Glencar who is currently on her own journey with cancer.

“We wanted to show our support to Mairead and knowing that she would like to support those who have supported her on her journey so far, she had already being looking at ideas to raise much needed funds for Comfort for Chemo Kerry,” TJ O’Connor said.

“Please support Comfort for Chemo Kerry by giving what you can.”

For more information about the spinathons go to www.54321challenge.org or the Comfort for Chemo Kerry Facebook page for online donation information.

There’s also a GoFundMe page: ‘Comfort for Chemo Kerry – 54321 Challenge 2021’ which has a €20,000 target set up.

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