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‘I want to be a mayor that is representative of the wider community’

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PARKING and traffic management in Killarney are among issues Killarney Municipal District’s new mayor highlighted as he took office this morning.

As he donned the chain of office, Councillor Niall Kelleher also pledged to focus on the need for improved safety at the Upper Lewis Road junction leading to the Killarney Bypass road, an issue on which Killarney Advertiser has also strongly campaigned. This along with a number of other junctions such as Madam’s Hill, Coolcaslagh and Pike Hill, all need to be made safer, he said.

Councillor Kelleher, who is three years in to his first term as an elected representative, said he believes he now has the knowledge to be able to approach the role from a different perspective.

“I welcome the new chain of office which is representative of the entire municipal district and it's important because the town of Killarney and the hinterland, stretching to our other towns of Castleisland, my own native Rathmore and the wider communities, co-exist and are very much interlinked in our daily lives, whether through sport, through music, through work or through socialising,” said Cllr Kelleher.

“I want to be a mayor that is representative of this wider community and to further promote inclusivity and dialogue among all groups, both commercial and voluntary.”

Councillor Kelleher said he looked forward to working with groups such as the Chamber of Tourism & Commerce in Killarney, the Chamber in Castleisland, Rathmore Community Council and with the many community, voluntary and sporting organisations in the towns and villages of the Killarney Municipal District.

“This is important as it's only through dialogue and sharing each other's experiences and motivations that we all move forward together, working for the greater good of our community as a whole,” said Cllr Kelleher.

“We have a special and unique district and I believe we are the well placed to achieve many things but we need to constantly strive to build on this and make our community the best place to grow up in, to be educated in, to work in, to do business in and to grow old in.”

Buildings like the Aras Phádraig and the Pretty Polly site are of unique importance to the town, said Mayor Kelleher. “I want to ensure that these sites are developed and life brought back into them and creating employment for our town,” he said.

“My own town of Rathmore needs major development to one make it brighter, both during the day in its appearance and at night and we need a vastly upgraded public lighting system there to entice business back onto our Main Street and to reopen some of the units closed during the recession.

“Castleisland has many similar difficulties in that there are many vacant units. We need to introduce a rates incentive scheme for non-competing new businesses and proactively deal with the long-term parking difficulties on the Main Street as well as the lack of a proper infrastructure to allow safe turning around at the top of the town.”

Cllr Kelleher is also in favour of broadcasting council meetings on the Internet. “As we haven't been able to deliver this, for a variety of reasons, I'm hoping to bring our meetings into the heart of communities we represent,” he said.
“Instead of meeting in the same place all the time, I believe we should also go out into the community and meet the people, by hosting at least one meeting in our three towns and also for example at our airport where we can sit down with the stakeholders to see how we can help to promote this vitally important asset in our municipal district.

“I'm not afraid to work hard and I'm passionate about the work I do. I am never afraid to speak my mind but I won’t speak for the sake of it and if I feel it’s for the betterment of the people and the area we live in, I shall continue speaking out for the people and raising their concerns.”
 


 
Above:
Mayor of Killarney, Cathaoirleach of Killarney Municipal District, Cllr Niall Kelleher (FF) and his stepdaughter Portia Gor.
PICTURE: DOMNICK WALSH

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Kerry rowing clubs flock to Killarney for the start of the coastal season

There was a fantastic spectacle of colour and rowing on Lough Leane last Sunday (June 16th) with the coastal rowing clubs of Kerry participating in the first ‘Head of the […]

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There was a fantastic spectacle of colour and rowing on Lough Leane last Sunday (June 16th) with the coastal rowing clubs of Kerry participating in the first ‘Head of the Lake’ time-trial for coastal one-design boats.

The event, hosted by the local Flesk Valley Rowing Club, signalled the start of the summer season for clubs rowing the coastal ‘one-design’ boats.

It was fitting that on the weekend that the Killarney National Park celebrated the 60th anniversary of the opening of Muckross House to the public, that hundreds of people also flocked to the Flesk Valley shore to appreciate and enjoy the splendour of the park.

Speaking after the event, Flesk Valley chairman, John Fleming thanked all the Kerry clubs who supported this new event and congratulated all the first-time rowers taking to the water in a competitive event for the first time.
“We were delighted to welcome our neighbouring clubs Workmens’ and Fossa, and look forward to renewing rivalries with them again at the Killarney Regatta at the end of this month,” he said.

“We would also like to thank Mary B. Teahan, Andrew Wharton, Johanna King and the Kerry Coastal Rowing Association for all their support and encouragement, and Denis O’Leary for coordinating safety on the water.”
Flesk Valley would also like to thank the Killarney National Park, Leanes Tool Hire, Hegartys Shop and Muckross Rowing Club for their support.

“This was a great start to the coastal rowing season, and augurs well for the months ahead as clubs build towards the All-Ireland Coastal Rowing Championships to be held in Dingle at the end of August,” added the chairman.

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NPWS announces nature scholarships to mark ‘Muckross 60’

Director General of the National Parks and Wildlife Service, Niall O’ Donnchú, this week announced the inaugural ‘Muckross 60’ nature scholarships to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the opening of […]

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Director General of the National Parks and Wildlife Service, Niall O’ Donnchú, this week announced the inaugural ‘Muckross 60’ nature scholarships to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the opening of Muckross House and Gardens to the public. The scholarships will be funded and managed by the National Parks and Wildlife Service.

Niall O Donnchú said, “Killarney and Muckross have a very special place in Ireland’s heritage legacy, and  such beautiful gems need constant care, nurturing and indeed protecting by future generations. In supporting these third level scholarships, the NPWS is building the knowledge base of the future to assist those generations in continuing to realise the full beauty and nature value of the very unique Muckross House and Gardens and Killarney National Park.”

Mr O Donnchú added: “Killarney has a long history of scholarship, research and frontier work on nature and that continues to this day in the management of Killarney National Park and Muckross House and Gardens. The endowment of these annual scholarships is a very clear attestation that this crucial work continues to be undertaken across our national park system and especially here in Killarney and Muckross. This work has been pioneering in respect of wildlife and nature research and indeed the reintroduction of endangered species and the discovery, even this year, of more.”

Minister for Education and Kerry T.D. Norma Foley also welcomed new scholarships to mark the 60th anniversary of Muckross House.

“Muckross House is one of the jewels in the crown of Kerry tourism and received almost one million visitors last year. These scholarships will further add to our understanding of this outstanding part of our national heritage,” she said.

Muckross House was built by the Herbert family, who were local landlords. They became very wealthy during the 18th century due to the working of the copper mines on the Muckross Peninsula. They commenced the building of the present Muckross House in 1839. It was completed in 1843 at cost of £30,000, just two years prior to the Great Irish Famine. The Herbert family hosted the visit of Queen Victoria to Muckross House in 1861 but later got into financial difficulties and lost the house in 1897.

It was then bought by Lord Ardilaun, a member of the Guinness family. He in turn sold it in 1911 to William Bowers Bourn, a wealthy Californian gold miner. Bowers Bourn gave it to his daughter Maud as a wedding gift when she married Arthur Rose Vincent, an Irish barrister who later became a Senator.

After Maude died from pneumonia in 1929, Arthur Rose Vincent decided to donate Muckross house to the Irish nation as a memorial to his wife. Muckross House was transferred to the state in 1932 with its 11,000 acre estate and became Ireland’s first National Park in 1933.

The park and gardens were opened to the public but the house remained closed until 1964 when it was reopened as a folk museum on June 14, 1964 following a campaign by people in Killarney.

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