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Killarney businesses contacted by billionaire’s tech company

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By Sean Moriarty

Tech billionaire Elon Musk’s Starlink satellite Internet service has already been in contact with home and business owners in the Killarney area offering a connection to the new service.

 

Starlink is SpaceX’s plan to build an interconnected Internet network with thousands of satellites, designed to deliver high-speed Internet to anywhere on the planet. The network is an ambitious endeavour, which SpaceX has said will cost about $10 billion or more to build.

Earlier this week it was reported that one of the last places in Ireland to get electricity and telephone connections - The Black Valley - could be one of the first in the world to get a satellite based broadband Internet connection - thanks to interest from the Tesla electric car founder.

However, potential customers who want to sign up for the service can do so by paying a monthly fee of around €80 on top of an initial €400 fee for a connection kit.

“If this brings Internet to the Black Valley, we don’t care where it comes from,” Patricia Deane, the manager of the McGillycuddy Reeks European Innovative Partnerships Project (EIPP), told the Killarney Advertiser.

"If this really is a possibility it should be explored without delay. The Black Valley community needs this basic infrastructure now more than ever and have been waiting a long time for help in getting working broadband delivered to the area. There are people in the Black Valley that don’t even have a mobile phone signal not to mind broadband. They are holding phones up to the window to take calls. In this day and age, with working from home and children home-schooling, broadband is a basic service.”

Kerry County Council has confirmed to the Killarney Advertiser that it is in talks with Starlink’s parent company Spacelink – the company that launched several satellites into space last summer – but remains tight-lipped on the finer details of the situation.

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Several businesses in Killarney have been contacted by the company after receiving emails inviting them to join the service. While there were initial concerns that the email was a scam, they have turned out to be genuine.

One Killarney business man - who did not want to be named - said he got an email from Starlink inviting him to subscribe to the service, adding he has no direct links to the Black Valley.

“It came to my business email, not my personal one,” he told the Killarney Advertiser. “I don’t know where they got it but it is genuine – we checked it out.”

Starlink claim its satellite service will be available worldwide later this year. The American firm is targeting rural areas across the world – places where mobile and landline coverage is impossible.

"Important to note that cellular will always have the advantage in dense urban areas. Satellites are best for low to medium population density areas," said Starlink Elon Musk late last year.

More tellingly he Tweeted: “Starlink is really meant for those who are least served.”

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Dancing classes set to unite communities

By Michelle Crean There’s no language barrier when it comes to dancing – which is why one local group is organising classes to unite communities. KASI, the Killarney Immigrant Support […]

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By Michelle Crean

There’s no language barrier when it comes to dancing – which is why one local group is organising classes to unite communities.

KASI, the Killarney Immigrant Support Centre, has teamed up with dance instructor John Moriarty to teach both Ukrainians and multiple cultures living in Kerry Irish set dancing steps from next week.

The first class will take place on Tuesday evenings, starting next week (September 27) at St Mary’s Parish Hall at 6.30pm and all are welcome to join.

The idea is to help Ukrainians living in Killarney and Kerry to come and have fun and get to know locals better, KASI coordinator, Marilyn Catapat-Counihan, explained to the Killarney Advertiser.

“We have a women’s group for all ages where we do crochet, sewing and art and crafts, where they can talk which is good. I had the music on and they were dancing. I asked if they would like to do dancing classes so I organised it with John Moriarty who is well known in Killarney.”

She added that the women are very excited to learn set dancing and get to know other people from the area.

“Sometimes when you meet new people the language can be a barrier and when you’re dancing everybody is moving. He will open it to everyone so there’ll be integration, it’s fun as well. They are all very excited.”

To find out more contact John on 086 1579381.

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Multiple Sclerosis Walk celebrates 20 years

By Sean Moriarty The rising cost of fuel is already having a negative effect on charity events with some limiting numbers. On October 9, the annual Multiple Sclerosis South Kerryv Walk […]

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By Sean Moriarty

The rising cost of fuel is already having a negative effect on charity events with some limiting numbers.

On October 9, the annual Multiple Sclerosis South Kerryv Walk takes place over the Old Kenmare Road.

First run in 2002, this year’s event will celebrate 20 years since its foundation but two years were lost as a result of the pandemic.

This year’s walk will be limited to 150 people – three coach loads – so event organisers can cut back on running costs.

It will only be possible to participate in this year’s event if walkers pre-register.

“Walkers must raise at least €40 to make it worthwhile,” organiser John O’Shea told the Killarney Advertiser.

“Spaces are limited, 150 people equals three coaches and we need smaller coaches to get into the start of the Old Kenmare Road as that is just a bog road. We have limited numbers for cost and operational reasons.”

Mr O’Shea thanked event sponsors O’Callaghan Coaches and The Gleneagle Hotel for their support of the event.

Registration forms can be obtained by calling John on 087 2348824.

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