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How Liebherr came to be in Killarney




'The Liebherr Story', a new book on the history of Liebherr Container Cranes in Killarney, is due for general release on March 21.

BOOK: Tom Foley an employee of the Liebherr Container Crane factory for 46 years from 1963 until 2009 has written the book on the plant's history.

FIRST DAY: An artist's impression on what the first day of construction might have looked like back in 1958.

Written by Tom Foley, the book - which will be formally launched at an open event in the Hotel Europe & Resort on
Monday, March 20 - tells the story of how Liebherr came to be at a time when Killarney was still a rural backwater.

Tom began employment with Liebherr as a Trainee Fitter/Welder in 1963. After two years in this position, he progressed through several management positions, including Works Organisation Manager and Human Relations Manager. He retired in 2009, after 46 years of service with the company.

The book talks of the importance of Liebherr to the people of Killarney and beyond. It is packed with detail, rich with humour and full of anecdotes. It is a book about the people of Liebherr, written by someone who was there for almost half a century.

Liebherr Container Cranes Ltd., founded in Kirchdorf an der Iller in Southern Germany in 1949, is one of the largest construction equipment manufacturers in the world and also operates from a base in Killarney.

The Liebherr Group includes over 140 companies across all continents. In 2021, it employed more than 49,000 staff and achieved combined revenues of over €11.6 billion.

The Killarney Advertiser, with assistance from Liebherr Container Cranes, has been given permission to publish an excerpt from the new books.


"Michael, a local boy, was pedalling his way to school that day. His curiosity was aroused by unusual activity opposite the entrance to Killarney Golf Club.

A big man was trying to open a gap in the fence with a spade. Nothing unusual about that, except for the way he was dressed.

An expensive suit, shirt and tie did not seem appropriate attire for the task at hand.

Also, Michael wondered why the group of onlookers seemed unwilling to help. Even more puzzling, a bulldozer, with its engine running, was standing idle nearby.

Michael rested on his bike for a few minutes, one foot on the road and the other on a pedal, trying to make sense of the strange proceedings. Soon, the big man stepped back and allowed the bulldozer to finish the task. Perhaps the job was a bit too much for him?

Michael, now realising he was going to be late for school, scratched his head with bewilderment and moved on.

He decided to invent a more credible tale to explain his lateness.

His teacher was an understanding man. However, he wasn’t going to test his patience by spinning him a story that seemed a little bit too far-fetched.

When Michael arrived at school, no excuse was needed. Word had spread like wildfire that the Germans had arrived. Everything now made sense.

The name of the man with the spade was Hans Liebherr, and he had been performing a ceremonial opening of the site for his new factory.

Rumours that the Germans were coming had abounded in recent months. Now, on this chilly February morning of 1958, the strange activity at Gortroe proved they were well-founded."

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Killarney twinned with Italian town

By Sean Moriarty It has taken 10 years but the Italian town of Casperia is now an official twin town with Killarney. The idea to twin the picturesque town near […]




By Sean Moriarty

It has taken 10 years but the Italian town of Casperia is now an official twin town with Killarney.

The idea to twin the picturesque town near Rome was first mooted by the old Killarney Town Council.

However, when town councils were discontinued in 2014 the task was handed over to Killarney Town Twining Association and was supported by the elected Killarney Municipal District members of Kerry County Council.

A delegation from the association and the council visited Casperia in 2019 to sign the Italian side of the twining agreement.

The pandemic further delayed the process but on Thursday last Killarney Mayor Niall Kelleher and Casperia Mayor Marco Cusso met to formally sign the charter in Killarney.

“This was honouring a commitment made by the former town council to establish a twinning under European guidelines back in 2014,” said association chairman Sean Counihan.

“Unfortunately the town councils were abolished and Killarney Town Twinning Association pursued the matter.

“We are delighted that the municipal authority saw fit to move the beautiful town of Casperia near Rome from association status to full twinning with Killarney.

“We deeply appreciate the members’ positivity in honouring the former Town Council’s decision.”

The signing between the two mayors took place over the St Patrick’s Festival weekend when Killarney Town Twining Association also welcomed groups from other towns like Pleindfeld in Germany and Concord, North Carolina, USA.


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Music and fun at Fossa Rambling House

By Sean Moriarty The Fossa Two Mile branch of Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann held its first Rambling House night of music and dance on Saturday night. Their return to the stage […]




By Sean Moriarty

The Fossa Two Mile branch of Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann held its first Rambling House night of music and dance on Saturday night.

Their return to the stage was timed to coincide with the St Patrick’s weekend celebration and also marked the first big event at the Castlerosse Park Resort since it re-opened on Thursday night following its winter break.

As well as a feat of Irish music, dance and poetry, Fossa-based Ukrainians gave performances in their native language too.

“What a great night we had at our CCÉ Rambling House last Saturday night,” Chairman Tim Kissane said.

“There are so many people to thank that we apologise in advance if we miss anybody out. Firstly, to the management and staff Castlerosse Park Resort for hosting our event and the wonderful service they provided.

“To our very talented stalwart musicians Mike Jack, Noreen and Maura who entertained us all so well from start to finish.

“To all our guest performers, from The Racing Pigeons to the Biddy Group and all the singers, musicians and storytellers in between go raibh mile maith agaibh. Special mention to our Ukrainian singers who performed two songs in their native language for us on the night. Thank you to all our members and supporters and to Fear an Tí, Mick Myers agus Bean an Tí, Theresa Kissane who kept the night flowing. Our fireplace display was kindly lent to us by the Beaufort Pioneers and adorned with ‘things of old’ from Brendan O’Sullivan.”


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