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Golf club honours founding members on 125th anniversary

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Junior Minister Brendan Griffin TD was on hand to launch commemorative plaques for Killarney Golf and Fishing Club as they celebrate their 125th anniversary. The launch took place at Killarney House and Gardens as the history of Killarney Golf Club is inextricably intertwined with the story of the Earls of Kenmare, and in particular Lord Castlerosse.

Historically, both locations have benefitted from the generosity of benefactors such as the McShain family, Lord Castlerosse, and Beatrice Grosvenor, who in generously donating their estates to the Irish Republic, have ensured that many generations to come will have the absolute pleasure of visiting and viewing these beautiful locations.

While the primary mission of Killarney Golf and Fishing Club is what it says in its name - to promote golf and fishing – the club are very conscious in celebrating its anniversary that they not only celebrate the present but also mark the past by erecting these commemorative plaques. In this way, the story of the men and women who founded Killarney Golf and Fishing Club and the story of its various locations will not be forgotten and will live on in present and future memories.

The names of all the founder members are on a plaque and will be displayed permanently in Killarney Golf and Fishing Club. Relatives of the Downing Brothers, represented by Creagh Downing and Lady Tucker, and Ellen O’Connell, represented by Katie and Clare O’Connell, who were involved in the founding of the club.

Lady Tucker was a founder member of the club and she was also a scratch golfer - both activities would not have been the norm for the majority of women at that time. As part of Killarney Golf Club’s 125, the Ladies Club, in consultation with Ellen and Lady Tucker’s family, re-designated the Lake Cup as the Ellen Lady Tucker Cup which was awarded to the best net score in Handicap 18 and under on this year’s Lady Captain’s Day.

Paddy McCarthy and his family and Mary Shanahan were also presented with a commemorative plaque. Killarney Golf Club was located on Paddy McCarthy’s land (Deerpark) from 1893-1936 and the clubhouse of Killarney Golf Club was located in Brú na Páirce which is the property of Mary Shanahan.

Pat Dawson of Killarney House and Gardens was presented with a plaque to acknowledge the involvement of Valentine Browne, the 6th Earl of Kenmare, in establishing Killarney Golf and Fishing Club at its current lakeside location at Mahony’s Point in 1939. Valentine Browne was better known as Lord Castlerosse and is quoted as saying, “When anyone sees Killarney, even if he is the basest heretic, he must believe in God”.

Lord Castlerosse found it necessary to find a new location for Killarney Golf Club due to the fact that the land agent for that part of the Kenmare Estate located at Deerpark and comprising of the then Killarney Golf Club was instructed by receivers to obtain a proper market rate for the letting of the lands.

The lands at that time in 1936 were let to Killarney Golf Club at a peppercorn rent of just 1 shilling per annum and, following a review, it was decided that the rate should rise to £75 per annum. This was a massive and potentially ruinous increase, and one that the then membership of some 130 could not afford. After all they were only paying 1 guinea per annum as their subscription, which in total amounted to £136 and 10 shillings.

Thanks to the vision of these men and women, Killarney Golf and Fishing Club found a new home on the shores of Lough Lein. This vision has made the club what it is today, with all its rich history and breath-taking scenery, and we look forward to what the next 125 years will bring.

Pic: Valerie O'Sullivan.

 

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Musician Liam O’Connor back and busier than ever

By Sean Moriarty Local musician Liam O’Connor has gone from zero to hero following the lifting on the ban on live music as a result of pandemic restrictions. On Saturday he played his first gig in over 18 months, next Friday he will release a new single, and before that he will play a special gig […]

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By Sean Moriarty

Local musician Liam O’Connor has gone from zero to hero following the lifting on the ban on live music as a result of pandemic restrictions.

On Saturday he played his first gig in over 18 months, next Friday he will release a new single, and before that he will play a special gig in London.

Liam and his family played at the Kerry County Council organised ‘ANSEO’ concert in North Kerry that was run to coincide with the Listowel Harvest Festival last weekend.

It was his first live show since he played at St Brendan’s College, Killarney when he shared the stage with special guest, former Irish rugby coach, Joe Schmidt. That event took place on March 11, 2020, the night before the country entered its first COVID-19 lockdown.

The ‘ANSEO’ series of concerts signalled the return of live music in Kerry and the O’Connor family shared the stage with other local musicians like Tim O’Shea and his Afro Trad Ireland group.

“People were delighted, they were mad for it, they were obviously missing it,” Liam told the Killarney Advertiser. “But they are not letting go just yet, they are still a bit hesitant.”

This Sunday Liam heads to London were he will help Dan Tim O’Sullivan steer sheep over Southwark Bridge (see page 36 for more on this story).

To cap an exceptionally busy period for the local accordion player, he has joined forces with Moya Brennan of Clannad fame. Brennan and O’Connor will release a new single – ‘Strong in Numbers’ on Friday next, October 1.

They previously performed together at a concert in the Friary in 2017.

“It was such a positive experience for all of us we just had to repeat it,” he added. “So not only have we done this recording of ‘Strong in Numbers’ but we are planning to do the Friary again later this year. After that, I wouldn’t rule anything out.”

Meanwhile, the ‘ANSEO’ series visits Killarney on Sunday night.

The Fair Hill car park will host two shows featuring: The Gleneagle Concert Band; Pauline Scanlon with Mick Galvin; The Small Hours; The Rising; Cathal Flaherty and Truly Diverse.

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Coach operators plead for Government aid in budget

By Sean Moriarty   A Killarney tour operator has called for the Government to provide further financial aid for the industry in light of an uncertain 2022 season. He described to an Oireachtas Joint Committee on Tourism, Culture, Arts, Sports and Media on Wednesday how a coach with just two American tourists and two staff […]

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By Sean Moriarty
 

A Killarney tour operator has called for the Government to provide further financial aid for the industry in light of an uncertain 2022 season.

He described to an Oireachtas Joint Committee on Tourism, Culture, Arts, Sports and Media on Wednesday how a coach with just two American tourists and two staff is currently touring Ireland.

Representatives from the Coach Tourism and Transport Council of Ireland (CTTC) including Mike Buckley of Kerry Coaches, were invited to outline the detrimental impact COVID-19 has had on the coach tour industry.

Mr Buckley said he and his industry colleagues were desperate to highlight that Ireland was open for business and that the empty coach was an attempt by tour operators to prove how far they are willing to go to get this message out there.

“There is a reticence by people who travel in large numbers, people are not buying,” he told the meeting.

“There is anecdotal evidence that one coach operator is touring Ireland with two passengers, a driver and a tour guide.”

Mr Buckley said he was grateful for the previous support the industry had received but that funding stems back to the summer of 2020 and they were not included in the July 2021 round of funding.

That money was put towards existing loans on buses and coaches and has now dried up.

“It was like putting a bandage over a major bleed or haemorrhage,” he added.

The CTTC said that the coach industry contributed €215 million to the economy in 2019, the last year full figures are available for.

“Shops, cafes, hotels, attractions are hugely dependent on coach tours,” he added.

Kerry Coaches, in peak times, employ up to 114 drivers and tour guides.

“We are down to a skeleton staff,” he added.

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