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Kerry’s award-winning beaches are making waves

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Good news for Kerry beaches.

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APPLAUSE rang out today as it was announced that Kerry’s beaches have again maintained their excellent standard with the awarding of 14 Blue Flags for 2016 by An Taisce – The National Trust for Ireland.

The Irish Blue Flag jury made the announcement of the accolades today. The flags are awarded to beaches and marinas which comply with a specific set of criteria relating to water quality, information provision, environmental education and beach management. Beaches must also comply with EU bathing water directives to secure a Blue Flag.

Kerry has gained an additional Blue Flag this year with Fenit Harbour and Marina being included on the list to bring the total number of flags in the county to 14. The county now has two more Blue Flags than in 2013. Last year, Rossbeigh regained its flag following repairs carried out after storm damage the previous year.

Blue Flags have been awarded to Ballybunion North, Ballybunion South, Ballyheigue, Banna, Fenit, Magherabeg, Ventry, Inch, Rossbeigh, Kells, White Strand (Caherciveen), Ballinskelligs and Derrynane. In addition Fenit Harbour and Marina was awarded a Blue Flag for the 2016 season.

A Green Coast Flag has been awarded to Béal Bán Beach in Ballyferriter. Green Coast Flags are awarded where there is promotion and facilitation of coastal clean-up initiatives and where there are improvements in Ireland’s coastal environment.

The cathaoirleach of Kerry County Council, Cllr Pat McCarthy, said: “Blue Flags are an indicator of the quality of our beach environment and it is encouraging that Kerry is continuing to set a high standard, adding one new Blue Flag to the total in Kerry this year.”

The chief executive of Kerry County Council, Moira Murrell, said: “These flags are a result of a collaborative approach between Kerry County Council, local community groups and beach users who work together to maintain our beautiful beaches and bathing waters.
‘Kerry County Council invests tremendous effort in formulating strategies to keep County Kerry at the top of the Blue Flag Programme, and will continue to invest the necessary resources to ensure the sustainable management of the magnificent beaches along the Kerry coast.”

The director of services, John Breen, appealed to all beach users to ensure they leave no litter on the beaches of Kerry or damage the wonderful coastal areas in any way so that we can maintain and improve on our Blue Flag complement.

“As Kerry is the premier tourist county in Ireland, Kerry County Council has a responsibility to ensure that the beaches and infrastructure are presented to holidaymakers in the most attractive manner possible. The same applies to the people of Kerry who avail of the natural amenity that our beaches provide.”

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Lee Strand awarded Gold in Sustainability Programme

Lee Strand was recognised once again for their exceptional performance and commitment to sustainability with Gold Membership at the Origin Green 2022 awards. Origin Green is Ireland’s food and drink […]

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Lee Strand was recognised once again for their exceptional performance and commitment to sustainability with Gold Membership at the Origin Green 2022 awards.

Origin Green is Ireland’s food and drink sustainability programme led by Bord Bia – The Irish Food Board. Gold Membership is awarded to companies who demonstrate an exceptional annual performance on their sustainability targets.

“We are delighted Lee Strand is recognised once again with the prestigious Origin Green Gold Membership for our commitment to sustainability,” Gearoid Linnane, CEO said.

“In Lee Strand environmental management and sustainability are key elements of our business model, from launching 100% renewable cartons, to reducing water usage and energy efficiency. This is a great achievement by our sustainability team who are continually striving for higher levels of environmental excellence. We would also like to thank Veronica Kennelly from the Munster Technological University who assisted Lee Strand in the development of our Origin Green plan.”

Origin Green continues to evolve to ensure Bord Bia is helping Irish food and drink companies to remain up to date with the evolving needs of trade customers and their consumers, globally. With the introduction of the Origin Green credits system in early 2022, it is now easier to identify members who are performing at a high level or excelling in their sustainability performance.

To retain ongoing membership of Origin Green, companies must subsequently submit an annual review to demonstrate clear progress against the established targets and initiatives set. This annual review is subject to an independent third-party review by their verification authority Mabbett. This ensures minimum programme requirements are consistently met and maintained. Companies receive credits for their performance in areas such as raw material sourcing; water and energy efficiency; waste reduction; packaging; and social sustainability. Origin Green has established five different membership tiers based on company size and turnover, so that a real diversity of industry is reflected in the overall Gold Membership.

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Shock at the death of “wonderful community activist”

There was a great sense of shock over the weekend when new of the death of Yvonne Quill, a Tidy Towns champion and wonderful community activist, became known. Yvonne, from […]

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There was a great sense of shock over the weekend when new of the death of Yvonne Quill, a Tidy Towns champion and wonderful community activist, became known.

Yvonne, from Barleymount and formerly of the Cafe, College Street, passed away following a short illness on Friday. Requiem Mass takes place this morning (Monday) at 11am in The Prince of Peace Church, Fossa, followed by burial in Aghadoe Lawn Cemetery.

Killarney Chamber of Tourism and Commerce President Niall Kelleher said she will be very fondly remembered as an incredibly dedicated woman, a strong personality who led by example and spearheaded the town’s Tidy Towns committee with such passion for over 25 years.

He recalled that her proudest day was when, as chairperson of the Killarney Looking Good Committee, she inspired Killarney to the prestigious overall national award in 2011 which had proved so elusive prior to that.

“Yvonne led by example and she never asked anyone to do something she wouldn’t do herself. You would seldom see her without the yellow bib, playing her part and showing us all what needed to be done to give Killarney the edge,” Mr Kelleher said.

“While winning the overall prize was something special, Killarney has never been far from the top and it has won a gold medal almost every year which is testament to Yvonne’s great ability to organise, her steely determination and her unrivalled ability to rally the troops,” he added.

The Chamber President also remembered her as a great businesswoman, a master baker and confectioner whose café on College Street was a must-visit for a whole generation of Killarney people and visitors.

“Yvonne Quill has left a great legacy in her home town. We thank her for what she has done, we’ll remember her incredible work ethic and we’ll ensure her name will live on in Killarney by continuing the commitment to the Tidy Towns initiative.”

Johnny McGuire, a member of the executive of Killarney Chamber of Tourism and Commerce, who worked alongside Yvonne at the helm of the Tidy Towns committee, said she was a born leader who inspired the whole community and always led by example.

“Killarney would never have won the All-Ireland Tidy Towns award without her. She was the inspirational captain of the winning team. Yvonne worked night and day and, when it came to Tidy Towns, there was no downtime for her,” Mr McGuire said.

“Her commitment to the cause brought her into every school and every housing estate in Killarney. Working closely with the late Fr Michael Murphy, her great friend, Kathleen Foley, and others, they really put Killarney in contention for the top awards every year. The name Yvonne Quill was known and respected in Tidy Towns circles throughout the entire country – she really was a legend and everything she turned her hand to,
she succeeded. Killarney will miss her,” he added.

She will be deeply missed by her husband John, children Peter, Sandra and Sean, her son-in-law Peter, daughter-in-law Mairéad, grandchildren Anna, Jake, Ted, Abby and Luke, sister Angela Mulvey, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, and extended family, friends, neighbours and the community.

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