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Historical podcast of Killarney launched

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By Sean Moriarty

A whole new understanding of what Killarney was like in the early 20th Century will be revealed in a brand new podcast.

TOURIST OFFICE: This is where Jer 'Gaze' O'Connell worked at the turn of the last century. Photo: Switzer Archive

PODCAST: British Army recruiter Jer 'Gaze' O'Connell is mentioned in the new Killarney podcast. Photo: Switzer Archive

COLLEGE ST: 'Down the Cobbled Lanes' takes its name from the way the streets of Killarney looked in the early 20th Century. Photo: Switzer Archive

Put together by the Muckross House Research Library the historical project is spearheaded by Dr Patricia O’Hare, staff at Muckross Library, and broadcaster J.J. O’Shea.

It takes listeners on a journey down memory lane and explores life in Killarney in the early 20th Century.
Over the course of several months in 1985 an oral history project was undertaken by two members of the Trustees of Muckross House, Tadgh O’Sullivan of Kerry Mineral Waters and Paddy MacMonagle of Killarney Printing Works, who endeavoured to record their early memories of life in Killarney town.

The recordings took place in the kitchen of Paddy’s house on Countess Road, with the assistance of Ned Myers, Manager of Muckross House.

“As might be expected of home-made recordings of that time, the sound is not always of a very high quality. However, the recordings do provide us with valuable glimpses of life in Killarney in the early 20th Century. Extracts from the recordings will be uploaded as a series of podcasts, entitled ‘Down the Cobbled Lanes’ over the coming months,” Dr Patricia O’Hare said.

In the first podcast listeners learn of the former whereabouts of the British Army recruiting office in the town and of the efforts made by local boys to fly the tricolour over Main Street in the period leading up to the War of Independence.

Local historian Damian Switzer was one of the first to listen to the podcast. He says that the recordings mention several shops on Henn St (now Plunkett St) in the early 1990s.

Over one of these shops were rooms that were offered for rent and one of them was rented by the British Army and used by army recruiter Jer 'Gaze' O'Connell.

“He was nicknamed 'Gaze' because he worked for Gazes [tour operators in College Street, Henry Gaze & Sons Tourist Office] and he was a tour guide. He played the bugle and his bother Timothy rowed boats for Hazes on the Gap trips. Jer was a World War One veteran and the British Army recruiting officer for World War One is mentioned in the piece.”

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Volunteers wanted for street collection

By Michelle Crean October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and local volunteers are keen to not only raise awareness but also funds. Kathrina Breen, Eleanor O’Doherty and Kathleen O’Shea who […]

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By Michelle Crean

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and local volunteers are keen to not only raise awareness but also funds.

Kathrina Breen, Eleanor O’Doherty and Kathleen O’Shea who have been supporting the Irish Cancer Society for many years are delighted to be able to get back to their Pink Ribbon street collection in Killarney town next Friday (October 7).

They are the only group in the country doing the collection as many fundraisers have moved online since the pandemic struck.

“We’re the only town in Ireland doing it this year,” Kathrina, who feels it’s important to keep a street collection going, told the Killarney Advertiser.

“We haven’t done it in two years since before COVID. I pushed to do it as it raises a lot of money. People have been supporting this for years, this money goes towards breast detection equipment, information leaflets in doctors surgeries and towards cancer grants.”

In 2021, donations helped 254 breast cancer patients with free transport to and from 2,380 chemotherapy appointments by volunteer drivers, 154 patients received 514 nights of end-of-life care from Night Nurses and 3,430 enquiries were made about breast cancer through the Freephone Support Line 1800 200 700 and at 13 Daffodil Centres across the country.

And she added that they’re looking for a few volunteers to help out on the day.

“If anyone would like to help they can contact me on 087 2612992.”

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Calls for Council to acquire vacant Rock Road properties

By Sean Moriarty There are calls to make two vacant properties on Rock Road available to Kerry County Council’s housing inventory. The two cottages, one either side of the entrance […]

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By Sean Moriarty

There are calls to make two vacant properties on Rock Road available to Kerry County Council’s housing inventory.

The two cottages, one either side of the entrance to St Finan’s Hospital, are vacant for some time.
Cllr Maura Healy-Rae raised the issue at a recent Killarney Municipal District meeting.

“Regarding two vacant houses at the entrance to St Finan’s on Rock Road which appear to be vacant for a significant period of time. One of the properties is in the ownership of the HSE. I requested that Kerry County Council would liaise with the HSE with a view to potentially acquiring this house,” she told the Killarney Advertiser after the meeting.

“I stressed that it is important that the local authority exhaust all possibilities when it comes to providing more houses, particularly properties located within the town of Killarney where the need and demand for housing is critical.”

Kerry County Council said it would get the Vacant Homes Officer to contact the owner of the privately owned bungalow.

“They will inform the property owner that there is funding available under various schemes and grants to aid the return of this property to habitable use. Such schemes include the Repair and Lease Scheme and the recently launched Croí Cónaithe vacant property grant,” said a Council official.

Cllr Healy-Rae added: “I requested that KCC would liaise with the HSE with a view to potentially acquiring this house.”

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