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Killarney branches out for world record bid

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Tree huggers: Launching ÔKillarney Celebration of TreesÕ which includes an attempt to create a world record-breaking tree hug, are Pat Dawson, Regional Manager, National Parks & Wildlife Service, Duncan Stewart, Eco Eye TV series, who launched the festival, Tom Roche, Just Forests, Carmel Brosnan, organising committee, Johnny McGuire, Killarney Chamber of Tourism & Commerce. PICTURE: VALERIE O'SULLIVAN

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Tree huggers: Launching ‘Killarney Celebration of Trees’ which includes an attempt to create a world record-breaking tree hug, are Pat Dawson, Regional Manager, National Parks & Wildlife Service, Duncan Stewart, Eco Eye TV series, who launched the festival, Tom Roche, Just Forests, Carmel Brosnan, organising committee, Johnny McGuire, Killarney Chamber of Tourism & Commerce.
PICTURE: VALERIE O'SULLIVAN
 


 
GO ON, show your love for trees by giving one a big hug. A four-day celebration of trees in Killarney will include an attempt to create a record-breaking tree hug. The event, which was launched today, will take in the restored Killarney House & Gardens on Friday, May 20, as part of the Celebrations of Trees event, which runs from Thursday, May 19, to Sunday, May 22.
The tree hug will involve students from local schools in the Killarney area as well as local businesses and visitors.
TV personality and architect Duncan Stewart, who revealed details of the event at the launch in the Killarney Plaza Hotel, praised the timely series of activities to raise awareness of trees. “We must start to sustainably manage all our natural resources for future development,” he said.
“The Killarney Celebration of Trees weekend is all about helping people to understand and appreciate the priceless contribution trees make to the quality of all our lives.”
Carmel Brosnan of the organising committee said the “mega tree hug” on May 20 will involve Killarney school students as well as local businesses and visitors. “Everyone is welcome to participate. Assembly points will be announced on a dedicated website www.killarneycelebrationoftrees.com,” said Carmel.
Other tree-related activities will include talks on trees by author and tree expert Thomas Pakenham and award-winning Chelsea Flower Show garden designer Mary Reynolds.
Guided walks around Killarney National Park, the State’s oldest National Park, will also take place daily.
The main event on Saturday, May 21, will be the ‘Sound of Wood’ concert in St Mary’s ‘Church of the Sloes’ (Church of Ireland), featuring soprano and harpist Marina Cassidy, Killarney School of Music and performers from the Academy of Irish Music and Dance at the University of Limerick.
The newly refurbished Killarney House & Gardens is the setting for a talk by Duncan Stewart, who produces the Eco Eye TV series, and Fr Sean McDonagh, a leading campaigner on climate change and biodiversity, on Sunday, May 22 – UN International Day of Biological Diversity.
The weekend will culminate in the creation of the ‘Killarney Declaration on Nature’, which local businesses will be asked to sign up to.
The declaration aims to embed a mentality of sustainable development in the economic fabric of the Killarney area and encourage eco-tourism.
“I am delighted to launch this timely series of activities to raise awareness of trees and I would encourage all economic interests in the greater Killarney area to adopt the ‘Killarney Declaration on Nature’ as a means of ensuring sustainable development and quality eco-tourism for future generations,” said Duncan Stewart.
The weekend is being organised by Just Forests in association with the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Killarney National Park, Killarney Tidy Towns, Killarney Chamber of Tourism & Commerce and the Trustees of Muckross House.
Cinema Killarney will host the Irish cinema premiere of ‘Nature is Speaking’ a series of short films featuring Robert Redford, Liam Neeson and Julia Roberts on Thursday, May 19.
Killarney Public Library is the venue for Just Forests very popular development education exhibition Wood of Life, which makes “local and global” links on Ireland’s reliance on tropical forests.
Killarney Outlet Centre will host a fascinating exhibition of the world’s most commercial timbers. The ‘World Timber Collection’ consists of 850 wood samples from all over the world (with their original hand-written labels) and was developed by Viscount Powerscourt in 1930 and this will be the first time the collection has been on public display for many years.
For further information on all events and how you can register for the tree hug, visit the dedicated website at: www.killarneycelebrationoftrees.com

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Weird and wonderful insurance policies

As it is January I thought I would start the year on a light hearted note. Lloyds of London is an insurance marketplace founded in a London coffee shop over 300 years ago. Today it is the world’s leading market for specialist insurance, from large maritime risks to space satellites. Here are some of the […]

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As it is January I thought I would start the year on a light hearted note.

Lloyds of London is an insurance marketplace founded in a London coffee shop over 300 years ago. Today it is the world’s leading market for specialist insurance, from large maritime risks to space satellites.

Here are some of the more interesting and obscure insurance policies put in place over the years.
· David Beckham insured his legs with Lloyds for £100m in 2006

· Dolly Parton has insured her 40dd breasts for £3.8m

· Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards hands are insured for $1.6m

· Michael Flatleys legs were insured for $47 Million. The policy was only in effect when he was touring and forbade him from dancing except on stage.

· James Dean took out a life policy for $100,000 just a week before his tragic death at the age of 25

· The actor Richard Burton purchased a 69.42 carat diamond from Cartier for $1.1 Million in 1969 as a gift for Elizabeth Taylor. It was the world’s most expensive diamond at the time. Once Lloyds had insured the diamond they specified that Taylor should wear it in public for only 30 days a year and even then be protected by security guards. The diamond was sold in 1978 for an estimated $5 Million which would equate to roughly $19 Million today.

· According to novelist and inventor Arthur C Clarke, director Stanley Kubrick wanted to take out insurance with Lloyds to protect himself against losses in the event that extra-terrestrial intelligence was discovered before his movie, ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’ was released. Lloyds refused to quote for this one.

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Kerry to feature in new TG4 documentary on Wild Atlantic Way

Three episodes of a new ten-part TG4 series on the Wild Atlantic Way were filmed in County Kerry. The series, which started last Wednesday night this week, and continues every Wednesday for the next nine weeks, follows the Wild Atlantic Way from Donegal to Kerry. In this series ‘An Cósta Thiar’, presenter Áine Ní Bhreisleáin gains […]

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Three episodes of a new ten-part TG4 series on the Wild Atlantic Way were filmed in County Kerry.

The series, which started last Wednesday night this week, and continues every Wednesday for the next nine weeks, follows the Wild Atlantic Way from Donegal to Kerry.

In this series ‘An Cósta Thiar’, presenter Áine Ní Bhreisleáin gains an insight into the culture, challenges and benefits of living by the Atlantic and to find out if seawater still flows through the veins of its coastal communities.

On her travels, Áine will meet with the people of the coast, both young and old. She will spend time in the company of people who live and work by the sea, learning more about the attraction of these areas, and this life, through their eyes, stories and experiences. She will meet those communities and people who have a strong affinity with the coast and the sea, through new businesses, traditional livelihoods, recreational activities, ecology, birdwatching, eco-tours, swimming, boats (of all kinds) and more.

Áine began her journey at home in Gaoth Dobhair and heads to the wilds of Árainn Mhóir on the second leg of journey.
The third show platforms south Donegal while in week 4, Áine heads to the beautiful Achill Island.

Half way through her journey from Donegal to Kerry, Áine is in Carna in Conamara while in the the sixth programme, Áine continues her journey on the Galway coast, this time in Cois Fharraige

Áine visits Inis Oírr in the seventh programme, the smallest of the three Oileán Árainn, to explore how life has changed for islanders in recent generations through fishing, farming, tourism and sport.

In programme eight, Áine continues her journey, heading for the West Kerry coastline this time around, rowing with a local musician, Breanndán Ó Beaglaoich, a boatbuilder Eddie Hutch and even All-Ireland champions in Cumann Rámhaíochta an Daingin. She investigates the attraction of sea swimming for local women with local group ‘Snámh for the Soul’ goes foraging and paddleboarding with a woman who lives and breathes the sea and all it has to offer, Susan Feirtéar.

In the penultimate programme, Áine continues on her journey around the Corca Dhuibhne coast, exploring the history of trade in An Daingean with Brenda Uí Shúilleabháin and how the coast inspires artists with the talented Tomáisín Ó Cíobháin. She takes a class with local yoga instructor, Ails Ní Chonchúir and heads out to sea with local guide, Eoghan Ó Slatara, to learn about the islands on the west Kerry coast and she tastes some local seafood but she has to cook it first at the Dingle Cookery School.

Áine ends her journey in Uíbh Ráthach, in South Kerry. She gains a different perspective on the sea while snorkling with Gráinne Ní Ailín from Sea Synergy and surfing with Cian O’Connor, explores the long history of this coastal community from the time of the Milesians with poet and historian, Paddy Bushe, and learns about the Seine boat with a local TikToker, Séaghan Ó Suilleabháin, better known as The Kerry Cowboy, and is there a better way to finish her journey than a first visit to the majestic Sceilg islands?

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