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Iconic White-tailed Eagles arrive in Munster 

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23 iconic White-tailed Eagles arrived in Kerry Airport on Friday as part of a long-term wildlife reintroduction project that is being led by the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) at the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage.

A QUICK PEEK: Eamonn Meskall Regional Manager National Parks and Wildlife Service showing Peter Jones a quick peak of a White-tailed Eagle chick that arrived in Kerry Airport on Friday. Photo: Valerie O'Sullivan

PRECIOUS CARGO: Members of the National Parks and Wildlife Service and Dept of Agriculture checking the 23 White-tailed Eagle chicks that arrived in Kerry Airport on Friday. Photo: Valerie O'Sullivan

The Eagle chicks were collected this month from nests in west-central Norway and transported by plane to Kerry, and will be reintroduced to the wild after six to eight weeks in purpose built flight cages where they will be cared for and monitored by NPWS staff, before being released at four Munster sites in August.

This significant biodiversity initiative is part of a long-term scientific collaboration to restore a native and once-extinct bird to Irish skies and will see the release this year of the young eagles at four sites across Munster, including Killarney National Park, along the River Shannon, the lower Shannon estuary, and a site in Waterford.

As they mature, these chicks will join and strengthen the small Irish breeding population that has become established since the reintroduction programme began in 2007.

EXCITING

“This is an incredibly exciting and technically complex project whose success depends on the collaboration of many groups, including our NPWS teams, local farmers, conservationists and communities, the Norwegian Authorities and many other partners in Norway," Minister for Heritage and Electoral Reform, Malcolm Noonan TD, said.

"Their collective efforts over many years have brought us to this point. I’d like to pay tribute to all involved and acknowledge their commitment to making this project a success, now and in the years to come. White-tailed eagles are magnificent birds and, as top predators, they also play a key role in the functioning of ecosystems. Having been driven to extinction in the 19th Century as a result of human actions, this reintroduction project is delivering real impact for the species. Despite the many challenges that remain, 2021 will mark the rare success of three Irish-born chicks fledge from a single nest on Lough Derg. I was privileged to release six of these stunning creatures last year in Kerry and I can honestly say that watching them soar through the skies on their first Irish flight is a memory that will stay with me for the rest of my life. I’d like everyone in Ireland to have the opportunity to observe this once-extinct species in its natural habitat.”

SUCCESS

Last year 10 eagles were released along the River Shannon. Nine survived their first year, and currently they are dispersed at a number of locations in Ireland, and one is in Scotland. Previously, one hundred young White-tailed Eagles were released in Killarney National Park between 2007 and 2011. Birds from these releases subsequently dispersed widely throughout Ireland with first breeding in 2012 on Lough Derg, Co. Clare.

Since then a small breeding population of eight to 10 pairs have successfully fledged over 30 chicks, with an additional five chicks likely to fledge into the wild in Munster in the next few weeks. Indeed, this year one nesting pair on Lough Derg has produced three chicks, which are due to fledge shortly. This is uncommon, even in the very extensive wild populations in Norway.

VULNERABLE

Some Irish-bred eagles are now reaching maturity and starting to breed in the wild themselves. However, a scientific review of the reintroduction project indicated the small population is still vulnerable to mortality factors such as illegal poisoning. The breeding population was also negatively impacted by Avian Influenza in 2018 and storm Hannah in 2019, and indeed, adverse weather this year when pairs were on the nest. Thus, this supplementary release is required to bolster the existing population.

Young eagles have been collected under licence in June 2021 by the Norwegian Institute for Nature Research (NINA) and co-workers. The birds will be tagged, including with satellite tags, before release to allow the project to monitor their progress and their integration into the existing Irish breeding population.

 

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Katie celebrates 20 years in business

If you enjoy what you do, sure it’s not work at all – and that has been the case for Katie Hickey who has been in business locally for two decades. For the past 20 years Katie has been successfully running Sheer Beauty which is now located at 1 Hogans Lane (Hillary’s Lane). 

 She […]

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If you enjoy what you do, sure it’s not work at all – and that has been the case for Katie Hickey who has been in business locally for two decades.

For the past 20 years Katie has been successfully running Sheer Beauty which is now located at 1 Hogans Lane (Hillary’s Lane).



She said that it was a milestone she felt she may not reach on more than one occasion after coming through a pandemic, a recession, a re-location, and three maternity leaves.

However, she said that the loyalty of her clients over the years have given her great encouragement.

“Sincere thanks to my clients past and present who, without doubt, have been the reason I kept going,” Katie said.

Originally located in Fleming’s Lane for 19 years, Katie then re-located her business to Hogan’s Lane in Norma’s Flair for Hair.

“The beauty industry has evolved so drastically over the past 20 years. For me it is keeping things simple and enjoyable. Realising a client’s needs may not be the treatment itself but the time you give to them. Through the years you get to know your clients so well and some beautiful friendships have developed. I hope my clients have gained from me what I have from them. I have so many people I would like to thank and I will personally, but without doubt my husband Andrew and my family, 20 years in business would not have been achieved.

“

She has remained loyal to the brands she has carried over the years including Lycon Waxing, Aviva Tanning, Shellac and Jessica Manicure and Pedicure.

“I was also delighted to bring on board the fabulous facial range that is Killarney Organic. Killarney has been incredibly kind to me. I’m so proud to be part of such a wonderful community. If the past 19 months have proved anything for business it is together we are stronger.”

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County Board open to GAA museum proposals

By Sean Moriarty The Kerry County GAA Board said it would operate “an open door policy” for any plans to build a GAA museum in the county. There have been talks at a political level to build such a museum in Kerry with political rivals in Killarney and Tralee both pushing for it to be built […]

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By Sean Moriarty

The Kerry County GAA Board said it would operate “an open door policy” for any plans to build a GAA museum in the county.

There have been talks at a political level to build such a museum in Kerry with political rivals in Killarney and Tralee both pushing for it to be built in their home town.

Before he retired from politics in April, Michael Gleeson was campaigning to build a GAA and cultural museum on the grounds of Fitzgerald Stadium.

His campaign goes back several years before the recession set in, with a €0.5 million bridging loan secured from Croke Park along with funding from Fáilte Ireland. That funding was lost with the onset of the recession before 2010.

Tim Murphy, the outgoing chairman of the Kerry County Board, has confirmed to the Killarney Advertiser that no approaches have been made to the County Board at executive level during his five year stint at the helm.

However, he said the Board would be open to such approaches provided there is sound financial planning behind the project in place.

“The first and most important aspect is the capital funding and my understanding is there needs to be Fáilte Ireland funding in place first,” he told the Killarney Advertiser. “If it gets up and running, there needs to be very clear talks with all stakeholders so everyone knows each others expectations. A museum attracts footfall, but it costs a lot of money to run. We would offer an open door policy to all proposals but funding, first from a capital point of view and then from an operational point of view, will need to be in place.”

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