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High tech interpretive centre officially unveiled

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A stunning new exhibition aimed at educating visitors on every aspect of the town and its world-famous park has been officially unveiled at the iconic Killarney House.

The new interpretative centre, Gateway to Killarney National Park, is a must-see for locals and tourists alike and offers a wonderfully immersive insight into all things Killarney. The history, the great people who lived here and our park’s unique eco-system, it’s all covered in this spectacular, high tech attraction, which is located on the upper floor of the house. Trust us: it really has to be seen to be believed.

The official opening was attended by a number of notable guests, including cousins of John and Mary McShain and the Viscount de Vesci, Tom DeVessey, who is a nephew of the last Earls of Kenmare.

Speaking at the ceremony, General Manager of Killarney House and Gardens Pat Dawson paid tribute to the work of former Park Superintendent Dan Kelleher.

“Dan was able to reassure the McShains that the State would take care of the property that they wanted to be in public ownership – including Ross Castle, Innisfallen Island, the lakes and this property here at Killarney House and Gardens,” Mr Dawson said.

“Without Dan’s professional and reassuring advice to the McShains, who knows what might have transpired and we might all be on the outside of the Golden Gates looking in instead of being here to enjoy and appreciate the gift that the McShains have given us.”

He also thanked former minister Jimmy Deenihan for the role he played in redeveloping the previously disused Killarney House.

“At a difficult time for our country, (Jimmy Deenihan) ring-fenced the necessary funding, with the support of the then Minister for Tourism and now our Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, to allow for the commencement and completion of a €10million restoration and refurbishment programme at Killarney House and Gardens.”

Sr Pauline McShain, John and Mary McShain’s only child, was unable to attend but she passed on a message from her home in the USA.

“With much joy and deep appreciation, I am writing this today to celebrate the long-awaited opening of Killarney House. This house holds great meaning to our family. Many years ago, my parents chose to spend the remainder of their lives here in this town enchanted by the natural beaut of Ireland, and the delightful spirit and humour of its people.

“My father, John McShain, a dedicated and often overworked contractor, came to Killarney to relax and fins solace among the mountains and lakes. This haven, however, became more than a break from his busy life. The people of Killarney opened their doors to my parents, and they soon found a home filled with friends and family thousands of miles from America.

“I wish I could be there today to see the transformation of our family home, but we are all there in spirit.”

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Life-long supporter to be honoured

By Michelle Crean There’ll be a very special launch tomorrow afternoon (Sunday) as one club dedicate a new boat to a loyal supporter. Muckross Rowing Club are inviting all members, past and present, friends and supporters to the boathouse for the boat launch at 2.30pm. “We are delighted to honour and name our new Janousek Coxed […]

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By Michelle Crean

There’ll be a very special launch tomorrow afternoon (Sunday) as one club dedicate a new boat to a loyal supporter.

Muckross Rowing Club are inviting all members, past and present, friends and supporters to the boathouse for the boat launch at 2.30pm.

“We are delighted to honour and name our new Janousek Coxed Quad, sponsored by the Cahernane House Hotel, after Kathleen Murphy, a dedicated supporter of our club,” Shona O’Sullivan from the club, who is also Kathleen’s granddaughter, said.

“Kathleen is always supportive of our club fundraisers and has been selling the Muckross Lotto tickets since day one. Every year Kathleen’s enthusiasm and love for the club is especially shown from the shore at Killarney Regatta, as she is all decked out in the yellow of Muckross.”

She added that Kathleen’s family are also very active members of the club and she enjoys listening to their stories from the boathouse and regattas.

“We hope to see you all there to honour and thank Kathleen, a life-long supporter of our club.”

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Killarney man wins most-coveted trophy in sheepdog trials

By Sean Moriarty Kilcummin farmer Tom O’Sullivan – one of the main organisers of last month’s Sheep Dog Trials in Fossa – has become the first Kerry man to win the biggest award in the sport. Tom is the chairman of the Killarney sub-committee and was a member of the 15-strong Irish team that participated […]

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By Sean Moriarty

Kilcummin farmer Tom O’Sullivan – one of the main organisers of last month’s Sheep Dog Trials in Fossa – has become the first Kerry man to win the biggest award in the sport.

Tom is the chairman of the Killarney sub-committee and was a member of the 15-strong Irish team that participated in the international sheepdog competition in Aberystwyth in Wales last weekend.

A total of 60 competitors, 15 each from Ireland, England, Scotland and Wales, contested the biggest event in sheepdog trials on Friday to Sunday last.

After getting through the qualifiers on Friday and Saturday, Tom and his dog Northhill Tess, fended off the challenges of the other top-15 qualifiers to win the International Supreme Champion award.

Not alone is he the first Kerry man to win the competition, which has been running since 1947, he is just the fifth Irishman to do so and the first from Munster.

“The qualifying course was similar to Killarney,” he told the Killarney Advertiser.

However, Sunday’s final was much more difficult. His dog had to round up a flock of sheep at the left hand side of the course. Then Northhill Tess, under the guidance of Tom, had to round up a smaller flock and bring them to the same holding pen. When finished, five of the sheep were wearing red collars and Tom had to instruct his dog to separate them and bring them to a separate holding area.

“It is the biggest trophy in sheep dog trailing,” he added. “Everyone who trains a dog does so for this day. It is mind blowing. My family are very proud, they know the time and the work involved preparing for this.”

The standard at the Killarney event last month was evident in Wales last weekend. The Killarney winner, Peter Morgan and his dog Moss, ran Tom to a very close second.

His son Peter Og won the Young Handlers award and Team Ireland were declared the overall winners based on aggregate scores in the final 15.

Tom arrived home to Kilcummin on Monday night to a traditional homecoming bonfire.

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