Connect with us


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.

Continue Reading


Better late than never Christmas present for St Francis Special School

By Sean Moriarty St Francis Special School received a very late Christmas present this week – a specially adapted bike for the pupils to use. Husband and wife team Ciaran […]




By Sean Moriarty

St Francis Special School received a very late Christmas present this week – a specially adapted bike for the pupils to use.

Husband and wife team Ciaran and Karen Dwyer, directors of Guerin Engineering and Pumps Ltd in Kilcummin, presented the special adapted bicycle to the staff and pupils at the Beaufort school on Tuesday.

After seeing an online request last December that the school needed the bike, they decided to gift one.

They contacted Glencar Medical, a Dublin-based firm that specialises in the supply of equipment to schools like St Francis, and ordered the bicycle.

However, nothing is straightforward in the current climate, Brexit, COVID and war all contributed to a delay in getting the bike to Ireland. Once it was in Dublin there were further delays in sourcing the special straps that St Francis’ children need to ride the bike safely.

It all came to a happy ending this week when the Dwyers were finally able to present their Christmas present to the school.

“We saw this request and we contacted the school and said we wanted to buy one, they told us where to get one, and we ordered it,” Karen told the Killarney Advertiser.

“We had it paid for by the end of the year but then it took three months to get it into the country. It took more time to import the specialist parts. The costs were increasing but we did not mind at all.”

Continue Reading


Jordan Lee to tell his story to the county’s schools

Paralympian Jordan Lee will share his experiences with schools all over Kerry. The Killarney man has embarked on a countywide tour ‘Jordan’s Drive’ in association with Kelliher’s Garage, a series […]




Paralympian Jordan Lee will share his experiences with schools all over Kerry.

The Killarney man has embarked on a countywide tour ‘Jordan’s Drive’ in association with Kelliher’s Garage, a series of informal talks on his achievements and how he overcame his disability to reach the top of his chosen sport.

The 21-year-old was born with a foreshortened left arm known as amniotic band syndrome but has enjoyed a successful sports career which included representing Ireland at the Tokyo Olympics last summer.

Now he wants to share his story and inspire other students to follow their dreams.

His tour started last week at Colaiste na Sceilge in Cahersiveen and over the next few weeks, depending on his training schedule, will visit schools in Firies, Milltown, and Killarney.

“Don’t be afraid of people with disabilities or different backgrounds,” he said. “A few years ago there was only typical people in classrooms – you never came across people with disabilities or from various different countries. It is a lot more mixed now. I want to inspire people to treat everyone on the same level.”

‘Jordan’s Drive’ is made possible thanks to his role as a brand ambassador for Kelliher’s Garage, dealer principal, Tim Kelliher explained to the Killarney Advertiser.

“Having got to know Jordan so well over the last couple of years we have come to realise how much of an inspiration he is so we decided to ask him to hop into his Toyota CHR Hybrid and bring his story out into the highways and byways of the Kingdom,” he said.

“Headlined ‘Jordans Drive’ and organised by my marketing team headed by Yvonne McMahon they have travelled to many of the schools around Kerry from Cahersiveen to Beaufort, Killorglin and with other dates planned for Firies and Milltown to name but a few. He has spoken his many words of wisdom to the children who have been in awe of the journey and his achievements, and we at Kelliher’s Garage are delighted and proud to have him as our brand ambassador.”

Continue Reading


Last News