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Killarney man’s new website supports local retailers

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SPEND LOCAL: Local man Anthony Fee has set up spendlocal.ie to help support local businesses get back on their feet.

By Michelle Crean

A Killarney native currently living in Madrid isn't forgetting the locals and created a website to support local businesses as they get back on their feet post-COVID-19.

Anthony Fee developed spendlocal.ie at weekends during lockdown to enable retailers to get online quickly, easily and at low cost without the need to develop a full costly website.

With a Degree in Computer Engineering from UL and experience working in Limerick as a Software Engineer before moving to Spain, Anthony says the site is like "a virtual retail tour of the town".

It also brings local retailers together within a single marketplace therefore ensuring that their shops can always be found by potential customers, Anthony explained to the Killarney Advertiser.

"In Madrid, we were under strict lockdown from the middle of March as Spain was one of the hardest hit countries," he said. "As with many around the world, I was both extremely grateful and inspired by the work done by frontline workers right from the beginning of the pandemic. I wanted to see if there was something that I could do to help the situation after the pandemic and so I came up with the idea of spendlocal.ie."

Shop owners can register their business within a few minutes by providing contact details, opening hours and some general information about themselves.

"They also provide a nice photo of their shop which is displayed on their virtual shop page. Spendlocal.ie also invites retailers with existing websites to join the local marketplace. Shops can provide a link to an existing website and this is added to their virtual shop page. This can be accessed by potential customers that visit the virtual shop page."

Shop owners can then decide to register products which are displayed when a customer visits.

Spendlocal.ie also provides a Click & Collect service where customers can order their products online earlier in the day and collect them from the shop when the order has been prepared.

"This also has the advantage of reducing queues during busy periods."

Spendlocal.ie is currently offering a six-month free trial to the first 20 shops to register on the website.

And due to travel restrictions Anthony says that unfortunately, his young daughter hasn’t met her uncles and cousins yet due to the lockdown.

"We are hoping to have a reunion in Killarney before Christmas!"

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Better late than never Christmas present for St Francis Special School

By Sean Moriarty St Francis Special School received a very late Christmas present this week – a specially adapted bike for the pupils to use. Husband and wife team Ciaran […]

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By Sean Moriarty

St Francis Special School received a very late Christmas present this week – a specially adapted bike for the pupils to use.

Husband and wife team Ciaran and Karen Dwyer, directors of Guerin Engineering and Pumps Ltd in Kilcummin, presented the special adapted bicycle to the staff and pupils at the Beaufort school on Tuesday.

After seeing an online request last December that the school needed the bike, they decided to gift one.

They contacted Glencar Medical, a Dublin-based firm that specialises in the supply of equipment to schools like St Francis, and ordered the bicycle.

However, nothing is straightforward in the current climate, Brexit, COVID and war all contributed to a delay in getting the bike to Ireland. Once it was in Dublin there were further delays in sourcing the special straps that St Francis’ children need to ride the bike safely.

It all came to a happy ending this week when the Dwyers were finally able to present their Christmas present to the school.

“We saw this request and we contacted the school and said we wanted to buy one, they told us where to get one, and we ordered it,” Karen told the Killarney Advertiser.

“We had it paid for by the end of the year but then it took three months to get it into the country. It took more time to import the specialist parts. The costs were increasing but we did not mind at all.”

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Jordan Lee to tell his story to the county’s schools

Paralympian Jordan Lee will share his experiences with schools all over Kerry. The Killarney man has embarked on a countywide tour ‘Jordan’s Drive’ in association with Kelliher’s Garage, a series […]

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Paralympian Jordan Lee will share his experiences with schools all over Kerry.

The Killarney man has embarked on a countywide tour ‘Jordan’s Drive’ in association with Kelliher’s Garage, a series of informal talks on his achievements and how he overcame his disability to reach the top of his chosen sport.

The 21-year-old was born with a foreshortened left arm known as amniotic band syndrome but has enjoyed a successful sports career which included representing Ireland at the Tokyo Olympics last summer.

Now he wants to share his story and inspire other students to follow their dreams.

His tour started last week at Colaiste na Sceilge in Cahersiveen and over the next few weeks, depending on his training schedule, will visit schools in Firies, Milltown, and Killarney.

“Don’t be afraid of people with disabilities or different backgrounds,” he said. “A few years ago there was only typical people in classrooms – you never came across people with disabilities or from various different countries. It is a lot more mixed now. I want to inspire people to treat everyone on the same level.”

‘Jordan’s Drive’ is made possible thanks to his role as a brand ambassador for Kelliher’s Garage, dealer principal, Tim Kelliher explained to the Killarney Advertiser.

“Having got to know Jordan so well over the last couple of years we have come to realise how much of an inspiration he is so we decided to ask him to hop into his Toyota CHR Hybrid and bring his story out into the highways and byways of the Kingdom,” he said.

“Headlined ‘Jordans Drive’ and organised by my marketing team headed by Yvonne McMahon they have travelled to many of the schools around Kerry from Cahersiveen to Beaufort, Killorglin and with other dates planned for Firies and Milltown to name but a few. He has spoken his many words of wisdom to the children who have been in awe of the journey and his achievements, and we at Kelliher’s Garage are delighted and proud to have him as our brand ambassador.”

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