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Killarney is flying the purple flag high

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At Killarney Garda Station for the unveiling of the Purple Flag were from left, Paul O'Neill, Chairperson of Purple Flag Killarney Working Group, John Anthony O'Sullivan, Sergeant Ken O'Sullivan, Eileen O'Connor, Tim O'Donoghue, Assumpta Sweeney, David Fitzgerald and Sergeant Dermot O'Connell. Picture: Eamonn Keogh

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ONCE again Killarney has stepped up to the mark and retained its Purple Flag status. There was a full assessment of Killarney's night-time economy in August and the town has passed the test with flying colours. Purple Flag is the international accreditation for town centres in the evening and at night from 5pm to 5am. Like a Blue Flag, centres that achieve the required standards of 30 criteria can fly the flag.

Paul O'Neill, chairman of the Purple Flag Working Group, expressed his gratitude to a real team effort within the business and wider community: “There really was a fantastic buy-in from the whole town during the adjudication. I have to thank everyone that helped make it a successful examination.

“The assessors received a warm Killarney welcome wherever they went. Management and staff were knowledgeable and informative. We have a few little areas to work on for future improvement but that's something to work towards,” he said.

The assessors were particularly impressed with Killarney House and Gardens and remarked that it will be a major asset in offering a variety of evening services.

“It is another feather in the cap for the town and reinforces what we already know, that Killarney provides facilities, attractions and a unique atmosphere to be enjoyed by locals and visitors alike,” Paul added.

The Killarney Purple Flag working group is a joint initiative between the Chamber of Tourism & Commerce and Kerry County Council. Killarney is one of 18 towns in Ireland to attain a Purple Flag. The annual Purple Flag weekend takes place from 7th to 9th October and will feature a family fun day in the town centre on Saturday 8th October.

“We want to celebrate the success of retaining our Purple Flag status with everyone. It's a bit of fun for the family so we invite everyone to Main Street from 3pm to 6pm on Saturday 8th next,” said Paul.
 


 
Above: The Purple Flag team pictured with the award at Killarney Garda Station.
PICTURE: EAMONN KEOGH

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Therapy dog begins first day of school

By Michelle Crean A four-month-old puppy is the latest addition to school life at one local secondary school and his homework is to help students and staff. On Wednesday, there was great excitement as therapy dog Zoomer joined the school community at St Brigid’s on New Road – the second post primary school in the county […]

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By Michelle Crean

A four-month-old puppy is the latest addition to school life at one local secondary school and his homework is to help students and staff.

On Wednesday, there was great excitement as therapy dog Zoomer joined the school community at St Brigid’s on New Road – the second post primary school in the county to welcome such a dog.

It’s part of the My Canine Companion (MCC) charity which has a number of therapy dogs in schools across the country.

Deirdre Horgan from MCC paid a visit to schools looking for families for the charity’s socialisation programme. ​​​​​​

Zoomer is a mix of a sheepdog and a poodle and Deirdre’s dog Fifi is his mother.

In May Fifi had 10 puppies all named with the letter ‘z’. Just recently Fossa National School welcomed Zoomer’s sister Zazu to their classrooms, and puppy Zoro went to the CBS in Tralee.

The dogs not only provide comfort and support to pupils and students with Autism but to all in the school.

“There is an increasing body of research to support the benefit of a dog in school,” Ber O’Connor, a teacher in St Brigid’s, said.

Zoomer will be under the guidance of Ms O’Connor and some Transition Year students who will undertake a specific training programme for the therapy dog.

“The dog will be based in different rooms around the school but will have a timetable of interactions. We hope Zoomer settles in well and brings joy to many of our students lives. You can follow all the updates of Zoomer’s life on Instagram by following @zoomersbk or his TikTok account ‘zoomerthepuppy’.

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Brian James secures much sought after award

A local business is celebrating receiving a very special accolade – beating off stiff competition from UK and Irish retailers – by taking home the title of ‘Menswear Independent of the Year 2021’. Brian James, whose business is located on Main Street, secured the award at the internationally acclaimed Drapers Independents Awards in London last […]

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A local business is celebrating receiving a very special accolade – beating off stiff competition from UK and Irish retailers – by taking home the title of ‘Menswear Independent of the Year 2021’.

Brian James, whose business is located on Main Street, secured the award at the internationally acclaimed Drapers Independents Awards in London last week.

The highly respected and sought after Drapers Awards celebrate the very best of independent fashion retail and Brian James saw off exceptionally tough competition from other menswear stores to bring home this much coveted award.

Brian James were announced the winners at a celebratory luncheon in The Hilton London Bankside amongst fashion industry leaders and were presented with the iconic Drapers mannequin bust to much applause.

Commenting that Brian James has been a destination for fashion-conscious shoppers for more than 15 years, the judges praised Brian James’ strong “roster of brands” and said that it “offers an aspirational experience in Killarney”.

“Killarney is an incredible town to trade in – it is a brand in itself, offers the best of everything to those that are lucky to live here and an unbeatable experience for those that visit,” Brian O’Shea, who founded and runs Brian James for the last 15 years, said. “This award recognises Brian James and Killarney as a superior shopping destination town. Brian James and the other superb retailers in Killarney are an important piece of the jigsaw – the Park, the lakes and mountains, the hotels, restaurants and bars… it is the whole picture which guarantees the experience is first class.”

He added that his team are a key element of the experience at Brian James.

“My sincere thanks go to each of the team as without them we could not provide the customer experience and service we aim to ensure each and every time. Brian James’ success is also down to the partnerships we have developed over time with key international brands. On the store itself, of course we have relocated to our new super store on Main Street and more than doubled our floor space. Although it has been great to be able to design and create this stunning space to enhance the customer experience, it also allowed us to add more brands to our menswear mix. This year we will have added Hugo Boss and Eden Park to our familiar brands such as Tommy Hilfiger, Calvin Klein, Gant, Barbour, Bugatti and Farah. The new space also plays host to ladies collections from Tommy Jeans, Calvin Klein, Diesel and Superdry and this is an exciting new element we are really enjoying too!”

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