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Kerry receives the most blue flag awards




The high standard of the coastal environment in Kerry has been acknowledged with the awarding of 15 Blue Flags for Kerry beaches and coastal amenities for 2022 - the highest number in the country.

Kerry has retained its current 14 Blue Flags, including 12 at beaches and one each at the Portmagee Seasonal Pontoon (operated by Kilrush Maritime Ltd) and Fenit Marina as well as regaining the Blue Flag at Ballybunion North, bringing the total to 15.

The decision of the International Blue Flag jury was announced today (Friday) and sees the following beaches and marinas awarded Blue Flags for 2022:

Rossbeigh, Ballybunion South, Ballybunion North, Ballyheigue, Fenit, Maherbeg, Kells, Doire Fhíonáin (Derrynane), White Strand, Baile an Sceilg (Ballinskelligs), Banna, Fionntrá (Ventry), Inch, Fenit Marina and Portmagee Seasonal Pontoon.

Five Green Coast Awards have been presented for Waterville, Ballinskelligs, Béal Bán, Castlegregory and Littor beaches.

Cathaoirleach of Kerry County Council, Cllr Jimmy Moloney warmly welcomed the announcement as a very significant acknowledgement of the quality of beach environments in Kerry.

"Blue Flags are a very important internationally recognised indicator of the quality of a beach environment, and it is encouraging that Kerry is emerging as the national leader in this regard."

Cllr Moloney added that the awarding of the Blue Flags is a result of a collaborative approach between Kerry County Council, local community groups and beach users who work together to maintain the county's beautiful beaches and bathing waters.

"The Local Authority invests tremendous effort and resources in keeping County Kerry at the top of the Blue Flag list and will continue to ensure the sustainable management of the magnificent beaches along the Kerry coast," Director of Services, John Breen, added.

"We would appeal to all beach users this summer to continue to be responsible by acting responsibly and leaving nothing behind on the beach except their footprints."



Roger and Brendan really into the SWING of things

A Killarney man who has been living in the US for over 30 years has maintained a very strong connection with his hometown through a novel golfing tournament which involves […]




A Killarney man who has been living in the US for over 30 years has maintained a very strong connection with his hometown through a novel golfing tournament which involves a regular challenge against local players.

Roger O’Sullivan, originally from Loreto Road and a member of the Rainier Golf and Country Club in Seattle, has linked up with another Killarney man, Brendan Keogh of SWING Golf, on several occasions to bring a group of golfers from the Seattle club to play a number of Kerry and Irish courses.

They compete for the Cider Cup which is their own unique take on the Ryder Cup.

In 2010 Roger led a group of 18 golfers from the US to play in Ireland and they repeated the journey and the adventure again in 2012, 2014 and 2017.

They had another trip planned in 2020 but that was cancelled due to Covid but they returned again in 2022 and a group of 44 golfers were back in Killarney in recent weeks to test their skills on the Kerry courses and against local players.

“Since we first started doing this in 2010 we have had 102 different golfers travel from Seattle,” Roger explained.
“I met Brendan Keogh on one of my visits home and he travelled to Seattle, at my request, and organised sponsorship at my golf club.

“Since then our trips have been expertly organised by SWING Golf who book us preferential tee-times, set up the schedule and coordinate our bus drivers. We have never had an issue or anything to worry about. Being friendly with Maurice O’Donoghue, we have always stayed at Scott’s Hotel,” he added.

The US visitors take on local players when in Killarney and this year there was 100 golfers playing on the Killeen course on the first day of their visit.

“The support of the locals has been incredible and I wouldn’t do this without them,” said Roger.
“There have been numerous friendships made over the last 14 years. We have supported a local charity on every trip and for the last two it has been the palliative care unit at University Hospital Kerry. This year we raised €5,100,” he said.

A former student at St Brendan’s College, Roger’s parents were Tony and Juliette O’Sullivan and his father was the head chef in the Gleneagle Hotel for over 20 years before the family purchased Danesfort Lodge at Woodlawn Cross on the Muckross Road.

Roger has been married for 20 years to Amy from Tampa, Florida and they have one daughter, Gracie.
Brendan Keogh joined SWING in the early days of its operation as financial operations manager, working alongside the late Paddy O’Looney.

A member of Killarney Golf and Fishing Club for 40 years, he is the current CEO and he will have served 33 years next September.

SWING, the brainchild of former Kerry Group chief, Denis Brosnan, markets and promotes the premier golf clubs in the south west and also runs an incoming golf agency.

Records show that the company has booked over 350,000 rounds of golf in the south west alone but it also facilitates golfers wanting to play elsewhere in the country.

The company’s senior team of Brendan, Eileen O’Sullivan and Tommy Pierce have 60 years of experience bringing golfers to these shores.

Killarney has been a huge beneficiary as it is a base for most visiting golfers while on the Kerry part of their trip. The locals like seeing the high spending golfers arrive in April for a season than runs until mid October.
2024 is busy and it is also looking positive for 2025.


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Killarney Toastmasters Celebrates 20 Years

Killarney Toastmasters Celebrates 20 Years




Over 30 members, past and present, gathered last Tuesday in The Dromhall Hotel to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the founding of Killarney Toastmasters club.

Several founder members were present including Frank O’Sullivan and Bernadette Noonan, who are still current members of the club.
Members embrace the core values of Toastmasters International which are “respect, integrity, service and excellence”.
This year Killarney Toastmasters welcomed eight new members of various nationalities, who have brought many talents with them to this international club.
Outgoing president Anthony Walsh said: “I am heartened by the progress of new members and, following the success of the current year, I am looking forward to a bright future for the club.”
Anthony passed the chain of office on to incoming President Ann Hannan, who is very excited about leading the club in the year that Toastmasters International celebrates its 100th Anniversary.


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