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Hope of some sort of recovery in 2021 for Muckross House, Gardens and Traditional Farms

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By Donal Hickey, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Muckross House, Gardens and Traditional Farms

 

Like every other visitor-orientated operation, Muckross – a partnership between the State and a voluntary board of trustees - had a ‘challenging’ 2020, but there are hopes of some sort of recovery in 2021.

The outlook for the coach tour business and overseas visitors, however, is poor and many places will again be looking to Irish people to make up for these losses in some way.

In ‘normal’ years, between 110,000 and 120,000 people visit the House, and around 70,000 to the Farms.
Last summer in Killarney, we had a large influx of Irish people, families in particular, which compensated in part for the lack of other visitors and the year overall would be far worse only for that.
The immediate priority in Muckross is to recover from the adverse effects of COVID-19, to get the business moving again and to safeguard employment. The Muckross trustees employ around 65 people and at least as many more are taken on as seasonal staff.
The house was built in 1843 and, given its age, ongoing and expensive maintenance works are required.
The restaurant, craft shop, weaving, pottery, bookbinding, research library and farms are run by the trustees, but the trustees have no responsibility for the National Park.

PROJECTS

Most of the big projects by the trustees, in recent years, involved work to the House, including the restoration of all the windows and repairs to the roof and chimney at a cost of around €1.2m. Work was also done to the basement of the house, including the old laundry and servants’ dining hall, at a further cost of €0.47m.

A capital project currently nearing completion in the restoration of the old Victorian stables which also involves the provision of new toilets and refurbished offices upstairs.
In the next few years, the focus will switch to the Traditional Farms which were opened almost 30 years ago. Repair and maintenance work is needed there, especially to the old houses. That work would be phased over a number of a years. The schoolhouse was the last major project on the Farms, seven years ago.
The Farms will be open in 2021 and we hope that more visitor activities can take place there than was the case in 2020, when people were just allowed walk through the place. The level of activities on the Farms in 2021 will, of course, depend on what’s permitted under COVID-19 restrictions.
HOPE
I’d be hopeful of a general improvement in 2021, particularly in the second half of the year, and am confident Muckross will bounce back once ‘normality’ returns.
Major new capital projects are unlikely to begin in the short-term, however. Priorities include new and upgraded car parking facilities and the restoration of the glasshouses, which are well over 100-years-old.
But, ambitious plans for a multi-million Euro boating museum, based on the history and lore of the fabled Lakes of Killarney, have definitely been pushed further down the road by the present crisis.

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“I’m not fit enough”

How many of you have said or thought “I’m not fit enough” or even heard others say it? Quite frankly it grinds my gears. That mentality is going to hold you back. Change your “I’m not fit enough” to “I will get fit”. Break free from this limiting belief If you think you are not […]

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How many of you have said or thought “I’m not fit enough” or even heard others say it?

Quite frankly it grinds my gears. That mentality is going to hold you back. Change your “I’m not fit enough” to “I will get fit”.

Break free from this limiting belief
If you think you are not fit enough then you never will be, and let’s face it, you’ll never know if you’re fit enough to do something unless you do it! You can achieve so much, much more if you have the right mindset, and that this is a mental hurdle to overcome, not a physical one.
Everyone must start somewhere, and that can be as simple as aiming to sit a little less and move a bit more.
More gentle exercises that don’t require too much skill such as walking, and housework can help start you off slowly and build up gradually. You will still be making progress, physically and mentally, and will enjoy it more. A common mistake is trying to achieve too much, too soon. If exercising feels too hard, you will be put off.

Visualise success
Visualisation is an athletic tool that has been used for decades. By closing your eyes and imagining what it would look and feel like to achieve a goal or to complete an exercise, we can prepare ourselves physically and psychologically for the task at hand.

Certified fitness instructors add to the cost of your workout, but they can also add a lot of value. An expert can design a program based on your goals, show you how to use equipment, and provide tips on nutrition.

Log your workouts by recording distances, weights, and other objective milestones in your fitness journey, you will be able to see progress on paper. That record can come in handy when you are feeling uninspired or lethargic

Don’t over-promise. Having goals, even lofty ones, is key to anything you want to achieve in life. Make sure the bar is reachable—even if it means aiming for just 15 minutes on a bike—so you are not overwhelmed. Don’t forget to celebrate the small wins along the way!

Research on the placebo effect has focused on the relationship of mind and body. One of the most common theories is that the placebo effect is due to a person’s expectations. If a person expects a pill to do something, then it is possible that the body’s own chemistry can cause effects similar to what a medication might have caused.

For instance, in one study, people were given a placebo and told it was a stimulant. After taking the pill, their pulse rate sped up, their blood pressure increased, and their reaction speeds improved. When people were given the same pill and told it was to help them get to sleep, they experienced the opposite effects.

Meaning when you believe something, it can and will happen. That is the power of strong mentality.
If you keep thinking you are “not fit enough” then you will believe it, but if you start to change your way of thinking and change your mindset to “get fit”, you have made a huge step in the right direction. Take small steps to start new habits no matter how small they may be, and you will start to see some remarkable results.
If you would like help with any of your health and fitness goals please contact us at www.activate.ie

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Lack of street lights a concern

By Sean Moriarty Two roads in the wider Killarney area will not get any additional street lighting despite requests to install them by Cllr. John O’Donoghue. Mr O’Donoghue called on the council place extra lighting on the Muckross Road near the old Whitegates Hotel. “The area is considerably darker now and is presenting a serious danger […]

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By Sean Moriarty

Two roads in the wider Killarney area will not get any additional street lighting despite requests to install them by Cllr. John O’Donoghue.

Mr O’Donoghue called on the council place extra lighting on the Muckross Road near the old Whitegates Hotel.

“The area is considerably darker now and is presenting a serious danger to pedestrians crossing the road, particularly between Woodlawn Cross, and what was formerly the Whitegates Hotel,” he told a recent meeting of Killarney Municipal District.
The council said that the area was subject to a recent upgrade and that additional lighting would not be installed along this section of road on top of the 19 LED lights already placed there.”
“The lighting was installed, commissioned, light levels checked and provides adequate illumination to meet the relevant lighting design standards,” a council spokesperson told the meeting.
Mr O’Donoghue also called for a new street light to be placed on the junction where the L.3015 meets the slip road by Glenflesk National School: “to facilitate the safe passage of school children walking home during the Winter months.”
Kerry County Council reviewed the request but said: “This proposal would not comply with Kerry County Council’s Public Lighting Policy.”

COMMENT BY KILLARNEY ADVERTISER

While this Killarney Municipal District meeting took place hours before the horrific murder of Ashling Murphy in Tullamore, it drives home the importance that all our citizens are entitled to feel safe in their locality. The addition of a few extra street lights in the areas mentioned is not too much to ask.

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