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Hotel spearheads eco-tourism project




By Michelle Crean

A new eco project - Ireland's first hospitality urban farm - has launched in Killarney.

Over the past year, while society has been forced to hit pause, the team at O’Donoghue Ring have been busy behind the scenes - and came up with Killarney Urban Farm, Ireland's first hospitality urban farm, growing salads, herbs and vegetables for bars, restaurants and hotels in Killarney with the objective to curtail food miles.

The ultimate pandemic pivot, Killarney Urban Farm has transformed the space formerly a late night bar to a natural, earthy and innovative space in the heart of the town centre. With cutting-edge research and development, patented technologies, and a leading multidisciplinary team saw a lush and leafy installation complete with exclusive Green Towers, designed to produce high-quality food on a hyper-local level.

First tested by NASA in the 1990s, tower farms are vertical growing systems that feed and water plants through ‘w’ - a technique whereby roots hang suspended in the air while nutrient-rich water is distributed in the form of a fine mist, with the O’Donoghue Ring Collection becoming the first non-residential unit to house the Green Towers in Kerry.

Beehives were also introduced to produce some of the finest honey for the properties in Killarney, from the floral nectar of the neighbouring Killarney National Park.


“The tower farms will contribute to the group’s sustainability efforts by allowing the culinary team to grow their own produce just steps away from the kitchen, for a truly authentic ‘Farm to Plate’ experience. Not only do these elegant growing systems use 90% less water than traditional farming and produce 30% more plant yield, they also reduce transportation distances, packaging and waste,” Gemma Ring, Director of the O’Donoghue Ring Collection, said.

To celebrate the launch, John O’Leary, Culinary Director of The Killarney Plaza Hotel & Spa, part of the O’Donoghue Ring Collection, has created a unique offering that will be launching in November which invites guests on a guided tour to explore the technology that powers the farm, savour a taste of a plethora of fresh organic ingredients along with picking up some exclusive cooking tips and techniques. There will be tastings of dishes and a signature cocktail that encompasses everything the towers represent – hyper-local freshness, sustainability and innovation. The tour is followed by a 4-course sustainable tasting menu at The Tan Yard restaurant featuring ingredients produced by the towers.

The Killarney Plaza is now a certified member of The Green Hospitality Programme Ireland (GHP), has been awarded the Eco-Label and is currently in the process of receiving its 50 Shades Greener certification. As a member, the group has pledged its commitment to minimising social and environmental impact. The O’Donoghue Ring Collection is a proud member of the Killarney Hotels Sustainability Group, a signed charter between 22 local, independent hotels who collectively work together to reduce the environmental impact of the industry’s services and activities.

Other ongoing initiatives led by the group’s internal Green Team include the ambition to create a paperless workplace, the championing of food sustainability by sourcing from local producers with the inclusion of 10km Local Legacy dishes with all food on the dish sourced from within 10km of the restaurant, foraging their own produce and the introduction of e-chargers at the Killarney Plaza Hotel & Spa and Killarney Avenue Hotel.

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Marian Players excited to get back on stage

By Michelle Crean With a cast of over 50 it’s no small undertaking – but that won’t deter one panto group who are only too happy to get back on […]




By Michelle Crean

With a cast of over 50 it’s no small undertaking – but that won’t deter one panto group who are only too happy to get back on stage this weekend.

It’s been two years since they staged a show due to COVID but the Marian Players Rathmore are rearing to go tomorrow night (Saturday) with their hilarious show ‘Dame Annie Goes West’.

A medley of comedy and colour, combined with music and dance, locals from both sides of the border have been working together to make it a great production.

“We’re very excited, we can’t wait! It’s great to be back,” Mary Hickey told the Killarney Advertiser.

“They [the cast] got together in October and they’re at it since.”

Val Moynihan is the “genius behind it”, she added, and it’s produced by her son Brian Hickey, and co-written with Eilish Coakley.

She said that they have loads working in the background also doing the stage curtains, lighting and making costumes amongst other tasks.

“It’s a pantomime without the pantomime in the background! It’s a whole community effort both sides of the border.”

Evening shows start at 7.30pm tomorrow (Saturday) and again Sunday (January 29) at 3pm.

Mid-week shows continue on Wednesday next (February 1) at 7.30pm, Thursday (February 2) at 7.30pm and also Saturday (February 4) at 7.30pm and Sunday (February 5) at 3pm.

The booking office (085 2031730) will be open every day from 2pm to 6pm to reserve seats and collect tickets and is located adjacent to the community centre, next to Christy’s Take Away.

Seats may be reserved over the phone too and paid for using a bank card. All proceeds are going to Kerry Parents & Friends Association.

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Arbutus furniture to feature on RTÉ tonight

By Sean Moriarty A Killarney furniture restorer’s work will feature on RTE’s ‘Nationwide’ tonight for the second time. Since James Flynn retired from the ESB, he has devoted his time […]




By Sean Moriarty

A Killarney furniture restorer’s work will feature on RTE’s ‘Nationwide’ tonight for the second time.

Since James Flynn retired from the ESB, he has devoted his time to tracing the history of Killarney’s Arbutus furniture industry.

He restores pieces that he finds in online auctions all over the world.

The Arbutus Tree, sometimes called the Killarney Strawberry Tree, is more prevalent in Killarney National Park than any other region in the country.

In October 2020, the Ross Road man discovered a games table for sale in Boston. The rare piece of handcrafted furniture that dates from just after the famine era, was returned to Killarney in March 2021 by Mr Flynn.

In June last year Mr Flynn and his furniture collection featured on Nationwide and tonight (Friday) his segment on the Arbutus furniture industry will get a second airing.

“RTÉ Nationwide contacted me to say they are giving the Nationwide programme on the Killarney Arbutus Furniture a repeat showing,” he told the Killarney Advertiser.

“It really highlights the world famous industry that was in 1800s and up to 1952.”

The programme will be broadcast at 7pm tonight, and will feature handcrafters from all over Ireland. This will include around seven minutes with James.”


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