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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."



Killarney and District Motor Club members honoured by Motorsport Ireland

By Cormac Casey Several members of Killarney and District Motor Club were honoured at the Motorsport Ireland awards lunch in Dublin on Wednesday. The highlight of the event is the […]




By Cormac Casey

Several members of Killarney and District Motor Club were honoured at the Motorsport Ireland awards lunch in Dublin on Wednesday.

The highlight of the event is the announcement of the sport’s top awards.

Kilkenny’s Jack Brennan (19) was named Young Rally Driver of the Year, while Wexford native Jack Byrne was named Young Racing Driver of the Year and the International Driver of the Year award went to recently crowned FIA Junior World Rally Champion, William Creighton.

Muckross-based co-driver Noel O’Sullivan was presented with his Irish Tarmac Rally Championship winning trophy.

This year saw the introduction of the Motorsport Ireland President’s Awards which celebrate the achievements of  clubs and organisations.

Killarney and District Motor Club won in the innovation category for their work with their KDMC 2 initiative thanks to the efforts of the club’s vice chairman Mike O’Shea.

Rally Rescue teams were also recognised and the club’s Mike Cleary picked up an award for his role he played in what was a difficult year for rescue crew operators.

Tom O’Riordan, who looks after ambulance procurement on the club’s events, was presented with an FIA Volunteer Pin by Motorsport Ireland President Aiden Harper.

Killarney Advertiser Journalist Sean Moriarty was presented with an award for best use of of PR and media in 2023.


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Kerry Mental Health and Wellbeing Fest ‘thank you’ event at Brehon

Participation in the 2023 Kerry Mental Health and Wellbeing Fest has grown by more than 100% since 2020 with 98% of those who gave feedback saying they would attend similar […]




Participation in the 2023 Kerry Mental Health and Wellbeing Fest has grown by more than 100% since 2020 with 98% of those who gave feedback saying they would attend similar events again in 2024.

Feedback from more than 100 people who attended this year’s Fest events from 7th to 14th October was positive with 91% stating they were satisfied.
The Kerry Mental Health and Wellbeing Fest is held annually over the course of a week to highlight World Mental Health Day on October 10.
It aims to raise awareness of the available supports and services in Kerry as well as empower people to engage with the ‘Five Ways to Wellbeing’ through offering a dynamic and interactive programme of events.
99% percent of respondents, most of whom identified as female, said they would recommend the Fest to friends next year. Some key notes for improvement included a request for more events with wider variety throughout the county.
The Chair of the Interagency Steering Group, John Drummey from Kerry Mental Health Association, said: “We wish to extend a heartfelt thanks to event organisers, community groups, businesses, funders and partners that facilitated the Fest’s dynamic and interactive programme of events in 2023. We are encouraged to see such growth in numbers attending the Fest events with a 50% increase from 2022. We are already making plans for the Fest from 5 to 12t October 2024 and we are looking forward to building on this year’s successes. That said, there is always room for improvement and we would welcome suggestions for new events and activities.”
Many of the event organisers attended a ‘thank-you’ event at the Brehon Hotel, Killarney, courtesy of the Kerry Volunteer Centre to coincide with the annual International Volunteer Day, December 5.
The Kerry Mental Health and Wellbeing Fest was organised by an interagency steering group made up of local agencies that support wellbeing in our community.
The organising committee is a collaboration between Connecting for Life Kerry, Healthy Kerry, Kerry County Council, Kerry Recreation & Sports Partnership, the HSE, NEWKD, SKDP, Kerry Mental Health Association, Jigsaw Kerry, Munster Technological University/Kerry, KDYS, Kerry Volunteer Centre and Family Resource Centres throughout the county.

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