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Killarney falls to mid-table in IBAL litter rankings

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‘Clean’ Killarney now 22nd among 40 towns and cities

The latest survey by Irish Business Against Litter (IBAL) shows Tralee and Killarney both retaining their 'Clean' status, in 14th and 22nd spots respectively in the ranking of 40 towns and cities.

Killarney was previously in 13th position. The study - the 20th year of the IBAL litter surveys - reveals PPE litter is on the decrease, but the prevalence of coffee cups on our streets warrants action such as a levy, says IBAL.

The An Taisce report said Killarney was a "consistently strong performing town".

"As the main tourist season kicks in there were no heavily littered sites in Killarney. Examples of top ranking sites were N22 Tralee Approach Road, the residential area of Pinewood Drive and Beech Road Car Park – this was particularly well presented and maintained. With a little extra effort, a couple of sites could easily get the top litter grade e.g., Main Street and New Street."

The An Taisce report for Tralee stated that it was "A very good result for Tralee, one of its best ever in the IBAL league".

"The paving along Dominick Street and The Mall looks great, creating a very fresh impression and greatly enhancing the overall appearance of both areas. Other examples of top ranking sites included Christ the King Park, a couple of the approach roads and MTU (Munster Technological University). By far the most heavily littered site was Market Street, with heavy levels of alcohol-related litter, cigarette butts and other food related items.

Two-thirds of the 40 towns and cities surveyed were found to be clean, among them Naas, which retained its position atop the rankings, ahead of Letterkenny and Cavan.

Overall litter levels showed a decrease on last year, with a dramatic fall of 50% in the number of sites within towns deemed to be ‘litter blackspots’.

REACTION

While Killarney has been declared Clean to European Norms in the latest Irish Business Against Litter (IBAL) League, it is nevertheless disappointing that the town has slipped from 13th place to 22nd in the overall rankings and, clearly, there is a need for everybody to make an extra effort in relation to litter control, Niall Kelleher, President, Killarney Chamber of Tourism and Commerce, said.

"It is noted that the adjudicators concluded that several sites surveyed very narrowly missed out on receiving the top grade so it is clear that there is not a huge amount of effort required to tackle the few niggling problems that have been presented.

"It is obvious that Killarney, in some ways, has become a victim of its own success as the enormous surge in visitor numbers since the pandemic restrictions have been lifted has created massive footfall on the streets and, unfortunately, when more people gather, there is always a greater risk of an increase in litter.

"Having said that, there is clearly a need for action and the Killarney Chamber of Tourism and Commerce is ready and willing to work in unison with the Killarney Municipal District Council and the Killarney Looking Good Committee to address the problems highlighted by the IBAL judges."

He said that while there is merit in asking people to bring their litter home with them, to ensure it is disposed of properly, we must all remain realistic and realise that not everybody will adhere to that request.

"It is important, therefore, that a sufficient number of litter bins are provided on the streets and approach roads to give people the opportunity to discard of their rubbish in a responsible manner. The possibility of introducing a levy in respect of disposable coffee cups, as recommended by the IBAL adjudicators, should certainly be explored. Chamber is aware that some outlets in Killarney already have an cup return incentive in place but we would encourage others to follow suit. In the meantime, an urgent course of action is required to tackle the problems associated with the careless disposal of cigarette butts which has been highlighted, in no uncertain terms, by IBAL.

"That might involve encouraging businesses to provide more suitable methods for their customers to dispose of cigarettes butts or encouraging Killarney Municipal District Council to increase its efforts to keep the streets litter free."

Everybody in Killarney will remember the magnificent contribution made by local man Dermot O’Connor who was a key part of a team that kept the streets litter free on his daily patrol prior to his retirement in 2020, Mr Kelleher added. "It might take more than one man to replace Dermot but if that is what is required, then so be it and the council needs to act without delay.

"When it comes to personal responsibility in relation to litter control, education is key but, unfortunately, it would appear that many people are slow learners in that regard so the necessary resources to keep Killarney looking its best must be provided. Killarney Looking Good and Tidy Towns volunteers will do what they can but, ultimately, the responsibility for keeping the streets litter free remains with the municipal authority.

"It is important to stress that outdoor staff supervisor Noel O’Leary and his crew are doing magnificent work but Killarney, as the country’s premier tourist town, needs realistic resources if it is to maintain the standards expected of it."

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Muckross Rowing Club members on Irish teams for two major regattas

  Six members of Muckross Rowing Club will compete for Ireland in two upcoming international events. Rowing Ireland this week announced the Irish squads for the Coupe de la Jeunesse […]

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Six members of Muckross Rowing Club will compete for Ireland in two upcoming international events.

Rowing Ireland this week announced the Irish squads for the Coupe de la Jeunesse Regatta.

Daniel Fleming and Ian Coffey have both been selected for the Under 19 Irish squad to race at the Coupe de la Jeunesse Regatta for European junior rowers. The Coupe de la Jeunesse Regatta, involving 16 European countries, will be held over from over three days, August 9-11 in Racice, Czechia.

Four Under 23 university rowers from the Muckross club have also been selected as part of the Senior Irish squad for the Home International Regatta this month.

Niamh Coffey (University of Limerick), Patrick Buckley (University of Limerick), Finn O’Sullivan (University of Limerick) and Ethan O’Neill (University College Cork Rowing Club) will take on the ‘Triple Crown’ event of rowing, competing for Ireland against crews from England, Scotland and Wales.

The Home International Regatta will be held on Saturday, July 27 in Strathclyde, Scotland.

All six Muckross rowers have earned their green jerseys following a lengthy and testing trial series on land and water which began in Autumn 2023 and culminated in final water trials at the end of June.

“Muckross Rowing Club sends its best wishes to the very talented Muckross oarsmen and women and all their crewmates as they fly the flag for Ireland this summer. The talented group build on a successful record in the sport,” said club PRO Tim O’Shea.

Niamh Coffey is a multiple Irish and University Championship winner and has previously represented Ireland in the Under 23 European Championships.

In 2022, O’Neill rowed at Junior level at the Home International event and won a gold medal as part of the Irish quadruple scull crew in the 500m sprint event.

Both Buckley and O’Sullivan continue to compete at the highest level nationally with the University of Limerick Rowing Club,  and join the Irish squad for the first time this year.

The international selections come at an exciting time before the Olympic Regatta in Paris, where Zoe Hyde (Tralee Rowing Club) will be among the largest Irish rowing contingent of 16 rowers to contest an Olympic Games.

Killorglin native Zoe has previously rowed for both Killorglin and Muckross rowing clubs and will race the Women’s Double event for Ireland with Alison Bergin (Fermoy Rowing Club) in Paris.

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Valuable role of Kerry cancer support charity recognised nationally

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Cancer support charity Recovery Haven Kerry has been recognised for its vital role in supporting cancer patients and their families at a national ceremony in Dublin.

The renowned cancer support house was one of 16 such centres across Ireland that were presented with plaques to acknowledge their full membership of the National Cancer Control Programme (NCCP) Alliance – a group made up of voluntary and charity organisations delivering support services directly to cancer patients and their families. An additional 10 associate member charities were also honoured, including Kerry Cancer Support Group.

The Alliance advocates for, and supports, the development of integrated pathways between the cancer centres, acute hospitals, community cancer support services and primary care services. All members’ development is in line with the values of Sláintecare, seeking to provide assurance to healthcare professionals that these organisations are working to an agreed standard as set out in Best Practice Guidance published by the NCCP. 

Speaking after the ceremony, which was held at Dublin’s Farmleigh Estate, Recovery Haven Kerry Chairman, Tim McSwiney, explained that being compliant with the Best Practice Guidance for Community Cancer Support Centres is a true mark of quality. 

“It offers us a yardstick to measure what we are doing against the standards required. As a result, healthcare professionals have more confidence in referring people to our services. We are very proud to be a member of the Alliance,” he said.

Recovery Haven Kerry was represented at the event by centre manager, Gemma Fort and Client Services Co-Ordinator, Siobhan MacSweeney and were presented with their plaque by NCCP Lead for Cancer Survivorship, Louise Mullen, Clinical Lead for Psycho-Oncology Dr Helen Greally, and Minister of State at the Department of Health, Colm Burke. 

The event was also used as an opportunity to announce funding of €3m for the NCCP’s Alliance of Community Cancer Support Centres and Services through Budget 2024. The NCCP is currently in the process of distributing these funds which will directly and positively impact the delivery of services for patients and families nationally.

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