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Killarney photographer front and centre of Presidential visit

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By Michelle Crean

A Killarney photographer was one of the first in the country to capture American President Joe Biden as he stepped onto Irish soil on Wednesday afternoon.

Julien Behal pictured in front of Air Force One after it landed in Dublin Airport on Wednesday.

UP CLOSE: Photographer Julien Behal from Woodlawn was within touching distance of United States President Joe Biden as he met with members of the public at Dublin Airport on Wednesday.

Julien Behal from Woodlawn was front and centre of the action as he was the official photographer during the Irish leg of the Presidential visit.

The 46th President of the United States of America arrived to Belfast on Tuesday as part of the 25th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement.

On Wednesday he travelled to Dublin Airport where he was greeted by family and friends of US Embassy staff at the Fire Station, by Taoiseach Leo Varadkar TD, Ambassador of the United States to Ireland H.E. Claire Cronin, and Ambassador of Ireland to the United States H.E. Geraldine Byrne Nason.

But it was Julien who got the first glimpse as the president descended Air Force One.

Julien, who now lives in Dublin, runs Julien Behal Photography and regularly works for the Department of Foreign Affairs.

With a team of six they covered the three-day visit to Ireland with Julien covering the airport and then sorting through thousands of images taken by the photographers each day before sending them to world media agencies such as Reuters.

And it's not his first time photographing Biden as Julien was hired as the official photographer during his visit to Ireland in 2015 when he was Vice President.

"It's such an honour, a good privilege to be asked," Julien told the Killarney Advertiser this week.

"I was at the airport on an elevated stand and it was lashing. It was just like the movies. They come off the back of the plane and they all stand in different directions around the plane. Then there's a big motorcade. It's blink and you miss it."

Next Julien was in the fire station where the US President greeted waiting guests.

"I got very close to him, I could have put my hand out and touched him, but I wouldn't have done that."

In March 2020 Julien's company got the Royal seal of approval when it was also chosen as the only agency to officially photograph the Royal visit and were subsequently distributed to Sky News, the BBC, ITV and other news outlets.

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Seven An Post staff retire

Seven well-known staff members at An Post Killarney celebrated retirement this week. The staff, Mary O’Sullivan, Joe Clifford, Paudie Cronin, Joe Coffey, Tom Ashe, Jerry McCarthy and Dan Murphy were […]

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Seven well-known staff members at An Post Killarney celebrated retirement this week.

The staff, Mary O’Sullivan, Joe Clifford, Paudie Cronin, Joe Coffey, Tom Ashe, Jerry McCarthy and Dan Murphy were treated to an night of celebration and reminiscing by the South Kerry branch of the Communication Workers Union of Ireland.

The retirees, their families and colleagues enjoyed an evening at ‘The Panoramic’ the newly named restaurant upstairs at Killarney Racecourse.

Ollie Favier, of the Shire fame has taken over responsibility for operating the coffee shop / restaurant at the racecourse.

“A beautiful venue and apt that Ollie’s father Dan RIP from Glenflesk, was also a long serving postman in the community,” said John O’Shea, the Union Secretary An Post Killarney.

“The night included music with Derry Healy and Rosie Healy and was attended by up to 80 people, under the attentive guidance of Sales and Marketing Manager Emma O’Connor and Ollie’s right hand man, Colin Daly

“The event the food and the atmosphere was a great success and credit to all Ollie’s staff for being great hosts. “

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Watch Video: Primary School Students share knowledge from Coffee Cup Project

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Killarney primary schools have joined the crusade against single use coffee cups this week by joining the Killarney Coffee Cup Project and declaring themselves single use coffee cup free. The Killarney Coffee Project is a community grassroots project aimed at eliminating single use coffee cups from Killarney town centre to protect Killarney National Park and the towns surroundings all in the name of conservation.

Alan Oliver, a local coffee shop owner, Lir Café, who is one of the participants of the project has said that he is “thrilled to see the project extend into the local schools. Teaching young people about why we should be moving away from a throw away culture is imperative to the continuous success of projects like this. Today’s young people are the future custodians of this town and so educating them on the importance of sustainability will ensure that Killarney and its National Park will be in safe hands for future generations.”

The schools involved in declaring themselves single use coffee cup free include Holycross Mercy, Gaelscoil Faithleann, Presentation Monastery, Glenflesk, Knocknanes, Coolick, Loreto, Lissivigeen and Tiernaboul. This follows on from the Killarney Coffee Cup Primary Schools Initiative which took place last November supported by Killarney Credit Union, the Kerry Biosphere, and the IKC3 project in MTU.

In November the 5th classes in the Killarney area were brought to Muckross School House and Killarney House for a 2-hour immersive environmental education experience around our connection to the Kerry Biosphere and citizen climate action. Here the students learned about our biosphere and how we as citizens and sustainable initiatives like the Killarney Coffee Cup Project can protect this Special Area of Conservation. Finally, they went outside to work with a park ranger, collecting acorns in leftover disposable compostable cups that the project had gathered from various businesses. They took these acorns back to their classrooms where they have planted and are caring for their oak tree. In 2024, these young oak tree seedlings will be planted back into the National Park.

The Killarney Coffee Cup Project is the 1st of its kind in the world, and it is something that belongs to all the citizens of the town. We all own this!

Want to hear from the future voices of our environment?

This week the Killarney Advertiser caught up with primary schoolers who have been busy learning all about protecting our amazing natural environment

Watch our video where the future eco-warriors share what they’ve learned about keeping our Killarney healthy and thriving! Here is to the next generation of environmental stewards!

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