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Killarney donations help buy a fire engine for Ukraine




By Sean Moriarty

Money raised at the Gala Store in the Courtyard on Upper College St last weekend will go directly towards the purchase of a fire engine in war-torn Ukraine.

The store is managed by Iryna Rudenko, whose home city of Sumy has been devastated by the war. She organised a fundraiser for her home country last Friday.

She raised €2,100 through the sales of tea and coffee at the store but she could not decide which one of the many worthy Ukrainian fundraisers she should support.

Meanwhile, members of Kerry Fire and Rescue have started a separate fundraiser. They want to raise €50,000 to buy a fire engine and deliver it to the Ukrainian border where its most needed.

The plan was devised at Tralee Fire Station but has since grown and has now expanded to stations all over the county including Killarney Fire Station.

When Iryna heard about the firefighters’ plan she knew immediately where the money her customers had donated should go.

Sumy is about five hours drive east of Kyiv and very close to the Russian border. On Monday of this week her home town suffered a heavy attack from Russian military, 21 people died, including two children. The city in the North Eastern corner of Ukraine is now one of many that has a dedicated humanitarian corridor linked to it in an effort to get civilians to safety.

“I would like to donate the €2,100 we raised at our Coffee Morning in Gala The Courtyard, Killarney last Friday for my fellow Ukrainians," she said.

"I was overwhelmed by the support and generosity of the people of Killarney and I reassured them that all monies raised would be donated to a very good cause, and I believe this is a very worthy cause and a fantastic idea.”

Iryna remains very concerned for family members in Ukraine. Her cousin and nephew signed up for the Ukrainian army at the start of the war two weeks ago. She knew one of the people killed in Monday’s attack on her city.

“There are two children in bad condition in hospital,” she added. “My best friend lives in Belgium and she lost family too.”

Trevor Kelliher of Tralee Fire Station that he contacted Pavlo Serdiuk who is a 23-year-old Ukrainian who was living and working in Cork as an apprentice plumber. Pavlo was recently on RTÉ news as he has headed home to help defend his home country.

“Pavlo has put us in touch with the local fire service in Ukraine who will receive equipment that is both donated and bought through this fundraising. Any help will be greatly appreciated and all money raised will be directly sent in forms of fire and rescue equipment to Ukraine with an official handover.”

Funds can be donated via GoFundMe: Help Ukraine Fire And Rescue with equipment.



Kerry rowing clubs flock to Killarney for the start of the coastal season

There was a fantastic spectacle of colour and rowing on Lough Leane last Sunday (June 16th) with the coastal rowing clubs of Kerry participating in the first ‘Head of the […]




There was a fantastic spectacle of colour and rowing on Lough Leane last Sunday (June 16th) with the coastal rowing clubs of Kerry participating in the first ‘Head of the Lake’ time-trial for coastal one-design boats.

The event, hosted by the local Flesk Valley Rowing Club, signalled the start of the summer season for clubs rowing the coastal ‘one-design’ boats.

It was fitting that on the weekend that the Killarney National Park celebrated the 60th anniversary of the opening of Muckross House to the public, that hundreds of people also flocked to the Flesk Valley shore to appreciate and enjoy the splendour of the park.

Speaking after the event, Flesk Valley chairman, John Fleming thanked all the Kerry clubs who supported this new event and congratulated all the first-time rowers taking to the water in a competitive event for the first time.
“We were delighted to welcome our neighbouring clubs Workmens’ and Fossa, and look forward to renewing rivalries with them again at the Killarney Regatta at the end of this month,” he said.

“We would also like to thank Mary B. Teahan, Andrew Wharton, Johanna King and the Kerry Coastal Rowing Association for all their support and encouragement, and Denis O’Leary for coordinating safety on the water.”
Flesk Valley would also like to thank the Killarney National Park, Leanes Tool Hire, Hegartys Shop and Muckross Rowing Club for their support.

“This was a great start to the coastal rowing season, and augurs well for the months ahead as clubs build towards the All-Ireland Coastal Rowing Championships to be held in Dingle at the end of August,” added the chairman.

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NPWS announces nature scholarships to mark ‘Muckross 60’

Director General of the National Parks and Wildlife Service, Niall O’ Donnchú, this week announced the inaugural ‘Muckross 60’ nature scholarships to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the opening of […]




Director General of the National Parks and Wildlife Service, Niall O’ Donnchú, this week announced the inaugural ‘Muckross 60’ nature scholarships to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the opening of Muckross House and Gardens to the public. The scholarships will be funded and managed by the National Parks and Wildlife Service.

Niall O Donnchú said, “Killarney and Muckross have a very special place in Ireland’s heritage legacy, and  such beautiful gems need constant care, nurturing and indeed protecting by future generations. In supporting these third level scholarships, the NPWS is building the knowledge base of the future to assist those generations in continuing to realise the full beauty and nature value of the very unique Muckross House and Gardens and Killarney National Park.”

Mr O Donnchú added: “Killarney has a long history of scholarship, research and frontier work on nature and that continues to this day in the management of Killarney National Park and Muckross House and Gardens. The endowment of these annual scholarships is a very clear attestation that this crucial work continues to be undertaken across our national park system and especially here in Killarney and Muckross. This work has been pioneering in respect of wildlife and nature research and indeed the reintroduction of endangered species and the discovery, even this year, of more.”

Minister for Education and Kerry T.D. Norma Foley also welcomed new scholarships to mark the 60th anniversary of Muckross House.

“Muckross House is one of the jewels in the crown of Kerry tourism and received almost one million visitors last year. These scholarships will further add to our understanding of this outstanding part of our national heritage,” she said.

Muckross House was built by the Herbert family, who were local landlords. They became very wealthy during the 18th century due to the working of the copper mines on the Muckross Peninsula. They commenced the building of the present Muckross House in 1839. It was completed in 1843 at cost of £30,000, just two years prior to the Great Irish Famine. The Herbert family hosted the visit of Queen Victoria to Muckross House in 1861 but later got into financial difficulties and lost the house in 1897.

It was then bought by Lord Ardilaun, a member of the Guinness family. He in turn sold it in 1911 to William Bowers Bourn, a wealthy Californian gold miner. Bowers Bourn gave it to his daughter Maud as a wedding gift when she married Arthur Rose Vincent, an Irish barrister who later became a Senator.

After Maude died from pneumonia in 1929, Arthur Rose Vincent decided to donate Muckross house to the Irish nation as a memorial to his wife. Muckross House was transferred to the state in 1932 with its 11,000 acre estate and became Ireland’s first National Park in 1933.

The park and gardens were opened to the public but the house remained closed until 1964 when it was reopened as a folk museum on June 14, 1964 following a campaign by people in Killarney.

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