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Killarney businesses lead the way to protect local  environment

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Killarney to become the first town in Ireland to be single use coffee cup free

The move to reusables is estimated to remove over 1 million single use coffee cups from the town annually.

The Killarney Coffee Cup Project was launched today as it announced plans to make Killarney Ireland’s first single use coffee cup free town. The decision to move to a reusable takeaway system has been taken following an agreement by 25 local independent coffee shops and 21 hotels.

It is estimated that it will remove over one million single use coffee cups from the town annually, or 18.5 tonnes of waste. The local independent coffee shops and hotels will no longer offer single use coffee cups from 31 July.

Killarney is recognised globally as Ireland’s leading tourist town with its surrounding National Park and UNESCO Biosphere as key attractions. Recent voluntary park clean-ups revealed that one of the most common forms of waste found in the Killarney National Park was single use coffee cups.

Recognising the negative impacts this waste was having on the local environment, the local coffee shops collectively agreed that action was required. It is hoped that this new measure will have a visible impact on litter in the town and its surrounding environment.

While the new measures primarily promote the use of consumers’ own reusable cups, those that do not have a reusable cup will not be left without access to takeaway coffee. The participating coffee shops have also agreed to introduce a collective deposit system by partnering with 2GoCup.

The partnership enables customers to purchase a reusable cup for a €2 deposit which is refundable when the cup is returned at any of the participating locations in Killarney or at 350 existing locations nationwide.

The decision coincides with the introduction of the ‘Latte Levy’, an impending 20c tax on single use coffee cups. The introduction of a reusable model ensures that the price of takeaway coffee will remain the same in the town for consumers.

Commenting on the move, Killian Treacy, owner of LUNA deli + wine, and spokesperson for the group, said: “We are delighted to be in a position to make Killarney single use coffee cup free. This was a really brave decision by our local coffee shops, but it is something that we are really excited by, particularly given we are the first town to introduce this measure. We believe other towns will soon follow suit when they see the positive impact this will have on Killarney.

“We are already seeing a lot of customers bringing their reusable coffee cups into our shops and believe Killarney is ready for this change. The decision has been taken for the collective good of the town by removing 18.5 tonnes of waste per year while also ensuring that the cost of takeaway coffee remains the same for our customers. We are really excited by this change and are proud that Killarney is leading the way with this important initiative.

“We have all benefitted from having the Killarney National Park on our doorstep. It is a fantastic, free resource that locals access daily as well as being a major draw for tourism. We view this move as an opportunity for us to give something back by removing a significant source of litter from the National Park.”

Minister of State with responsibility for Public Procurement, eGovernment and Circular Economy, Ossian Smyth TD, said: “It’s great to see the town of Killarney taking the initiative. Killarney’s economy is tied to its beautiful natural environment and this scheme will reduce litter, save money on disposable cups for the businesses and save the public from paying the cup levy.”

Each of the participating coffee shops and hotels have agreed to sign up to the project on a 12-month basis. Customers can find out more about the project in any of the participating coffee shops or hotels or on their respective social media accounts.
The project has been supported by local partners including the Killarney Chamber of Tourism and Commerce, Kerry County Council, 2GoCup, Killarney Credit Union, WanderWild Festival and AIB.

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30 years of Innisfallen Island MassThe annual special concelebrated Mass on Innisfallen Island takes place next week.

Next Friday (June 21), members of the public are invited to attend the Mass taking place at 6.30pm. Now in its 30th year, the Mass was originally an idea by […]

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Next Friday (June 21), members of the public are invited to attend the Mass taking place at 6.30pm.

Now in its 30th year, the Mass was originally an idea by Geoffrey O’Donoghue who sadly died four years after it began.

“There was an Augustinian Monastery on Innisfallen Island and the people, including priests and monks and they say Brian Boro, went out there to study. The lake, Lough Lein is called ‘The Lake of Learning’,” said his wife Mary who carries on the tradition in his memory.

“My husband Geoffrey was a descendent of the O’Donoghues and he wanted to have Mass on the island. The O’Donoghues built Ross Castle and owned the lands and the lake surrounding it which was later donated by John McShane to the people of Killarney. He [Geoffrey] asked one of the friars and one day he got a call from the OPW that there would be a plaque unveiled to John McShane and they asked if the Mass could coincide with it. It was attended by Sr Pauline, John McShane’s daughter.”

She added that all the public are welcome to attend. Boats, which will have a nominal fee to cover their costs, will be carrying passengers out from 4pm onwards.

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Photo of “hidden gem” wins Camera Club’s latest competition

A photograph of one of Killarney’s hidden beauty spots was deemed the winner of Killarney Camera Club’s most recent competition. Th standard was high throughout all categories but in the […]

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A photograph of one of Killarney’s hidden beauty spots was deemed the winner of Killarney Camera Club’s most recent competition.

Th standard was high throughout all categories but in the Novice category, Iryna Halaieva’s photograph of O’Sullivan’s Cascade was deemed the winner.

“A waterfall is my favourite waterbody and long exposure is my favourite photographic technique,” she said. “I do my best to have as many waterfalls as possible in my photo collection. I heard a lot about O’Sullivan’s Cascade and wanted to visit that hidden gem of Kerry. So, shortly before our club competition I went with a friend to Tomies Wood to photograph it. It was a dream come true for me.”

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