AN AIR of pageantry and fun is filling the town as preparations get underway for the third annual 4th of July Celebrations in Killarney. A wonderful weekend has been lined up for the run-up to this year’s festival.
The town will be awash with colour as up to 11,000 cycling enthusiasts descend upon Killarney for the 33rd Ring of Kerry Charity Cycle on Saturday, July 2.
On Sunday, July 3, Tipperary are in town to meet Kerry in the Munster Senior Football Championship final for the first time in 72 years. “They can expect a huge Killarney welcome as they take the place of our dear friends and neighbours from the Rebel County. (That is until at least 2pm when the ball is thrown in),” said a spokesperson.
On Monday, July 4, the third annual Killarney 4th of July Celebrations get underway. “Hopefully last year’s deluge will be a distant memory and the sun will shine upon us,” said Paul Sherry on behalf of the organisers.
“Preparations for this year’s celebration are at full tilt and this year’s offering is shaping up to be bigger, better and more colourful than ever before.”
This daylong celebration of America’s Independence is again being organised by a subcommittee of Killarney Chamber of Tourism & Commerce headed up by Diarmuid Leen and supported by Kerry County Council, Fáilte Ireland, IPB Insurance, Heineken Ireland, O’Donoghue Ring Hotel Group, The Henggeler – Moriarty Family and many others.
“The town of Killarney has a very longstanding association with the United States Of America. It spans decades and has been one of the building blocks for the town we have today, largely due to the number of Americans that visit annually,” Diarmuid Leen said.
“Every year we welcome thousands of American citizens to the South West but ultimately Killarney is the destination. This is why we in the Killarney Chamber Of Tourism & Commerce wanted to recognise and celebrate this cherished relationship and Killarney 4th of July Celebrations is the exciting result.”
Be up early because the 4th of July will commence with a 7am “Dawn Chorus” of the Star – Spangled Banner performed by a chorus drawn together from local choirs especially for the event. The ceremonial hoisting of the USA flag over the Town Hall will be an incredibly emotional event as huge numbers of our American visitors join with our Dawn Chorus and hold their state flags aloft and sing their national anthem with pride.
Down town Killarney will be transformed into Main Street USA and the town will come alive with street entertainment throughout the day. Watch out for The Wild West Troupe as they roam the town shooting up the place looking for an easy target or Bank to raid. Brass bands and can- can girls will perform on the streets and if you are feeling peckish don’t forget the celebration charity BBQ at 4pm at Scott’s Hotel Scott’s Street kindly sponsored by the Henggeler-Moriarty Family and Scott’s Hotel in aid of Kerry Cancer Support Group.
The big parade will commence at 8pm, making its way from the car park at the Killarney Outlet Centre and winding its way down College Street and Plunkett Street before culminating in Main Street USA alias Main Street Killarney for the mother of all parties.
DJ Niall Botty O’Callaghan will be the master of ceremonies and everyone is invited to stay on Main Street for the after-party.
No 4th of July Celebration would be complete without a spectacular fireworks display, which will round off the evening and light up the night sky over Killarney. The 4th of July committee are working hard to bring you this spectacle however the fireworks display is still subject to licence and is unconfirmed at this time.
Business owners are encouraged to participate in the celebration and decorate their premises accordingly; to this end USA flags are available for purchase from Kate O’Leary at The Laurels Public House Killarney.
Diarmuid Leen said: “This will be the biggest celebration of America’s Independence outside of America itself. We want to show our American visitors how truly appreciative we are of them and so we want the whole town to come out and celebrate with us. This is of course a celebration of all things American so wear your colours, bring your flags and join us on Monday 4th of July as Killarney becomes hometown USA just for a day.”
Kate O’Leary, president of Killarney Chamber of Tourism & Commerce thanked the event’s partners, Kerry County Council, Fáilte Ireland and IPB Insurance, who support this event bringing communities together through a community tourism initiative for the Diaspora. Kate also thanked sponsors O’Donoghue Ring Hotel Group, Heineken Ireland, The Killarney Park & Ross Hotels, The International Hotel, Scott’s Hotel, M D O’Shea's Ltd, and The Henggeler-Moriarty Family.
A full programme of events will be available throughout the town and on our Facebook page shortly.
Stars and stripes: Preparing for this year's Killarney 4th of July Celebrations, which will take place on Monday, July 4, were from left, Michael Moynihan, Heineken, Diarmaid Leen, Chairman, Organising Committee, Margaret Brosnan, Kerry Film Festival, Kate O’Leary, President, Killarney Chamber of Tourism & Commerce, Dermot Healy, Ollie Favier and his daughter Gracie-Mai Favier, Cllr Michael Gleeson, Mayor of Killarney Municipal Area, Paul Sherry, and Declan Murphy, Fáilte Ireland. PICTURE: VALERIE O'SULLIVAN
Killarney co-drivers to the fore at this weekend
Two Killarney-based co-drivers will contest this weekend’s Trackrod Rally Yorkshire, the fourth rounds of the British Rally Championship. The two-day event gets underway tonight (Friday) with one stage set to be run under the cover of darkness. On the startline will be Muckross man Noel O’Sullivan and Aghadoe’s Mikie Galvin. O’Sullivan, co-driver to Welshman Osian […]
Two Killarney-based co-drivers will contest this weekend’s Trackrod Rally Yorkshire, the fourth rounds of the British Rally Championship.
The two-day event gets underway tonight (Friday) with one stage set to be run under the cover of darkness.
On the startline will be Muckross man Noel O’Sullivan and Aghadoe’s Mikie Galvin.
O’Sullivan, co-driver to Welshman Osian Pryce, is the current leader of the series while Galvin, who reads pacenotes for fellow Killarney and District Motor Club member, West Cork’s Keith Cronin, is eighth after missing the opening round.
“The element of darkness certainly brings an additional challenge to all the crews, especially since most of us will not have done any night stages for some time, the most recent I did was in 2017 on the Ulster Rally,” Cronin noted.
The route layout reads like an extract from the itinerary of the World Championship counting RAC Rally of the 1980s, featuring familiar locations such as Dalby, Gale Rigg and Langdale, and it will be the Dalby Forest test that opens the competition shortly after 8pm tonight.
Meanwhile, Irish rallying returned last Sunday after the pandemic-enforced lay-off with the ‘Munster Car Club’s Cork 20’.
London-based Listry co-driver Shane Buckley was the best of the local entrants, guiding Daniel Cronin, Keith’s brother, to fifth overall.
Ger Conway and his driver Stephen Wright were just two places and 8.9 seconds behind in another Ford Fiesta RC2. It was Conway’s first taste of a RC2 car since he and Rob Duggan finished second overall on the 2018 Donegal International Rally.
“There is a taste of more after this,” said Ger after a trouble-free day.
Damien Fleming came close to making it four local co-drivers in the top 10. He and his driver Stephen McCann were 11th, just 16.6 off the leader board. They said it took a while to get used to the bumpy Irish tar after a recent trip to the Tour of Flanders in Belgium.
Education Minister officially opens The Mon’s new classrooms
A town primary school – which has a deep connection to Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty – has a whole new look which was officially opened today (Friday) by the Minister for Education. Norma Foley TD officially opened the newly constructed wing to the Presentation Monastery Primary School on New Road which will house two special needs classrooms, a multi-sensory room […]
A town primary school – which has a deep connection to Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty – has a whole new look which was officially opened today (Friday) by the Minister for Education.
Norma Foley TD officially opened the newly constructed wing to the Presentation Monastery Primary School on New Road which will house two special needs classrooms, a multi-sensory room and a general-purpose hall.
The project, which was funded by Department of Education along with money raised by the school as part of their ‘THE MON-ster Fundraiser’, was just one of three officially opened new additions to the school along with a special dedication of the school’s hall in honour of Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty, a past pupil of the school from 1909-1914.
Also, The Most Rev. Ray Browne, Bishop of Kerry, officially opened a three-classroom extension at the school’s present site which was opened in 1958 having moved from its College Street location which was opened in 1838 by the Presentation Brothers.
Former Supreme Court Judge Hugh O’Flaherty and Mrs Pearl Dineen the nephew and niece of Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty officiated over the dedicating of the school’s new hall to past pupil, Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty, in recognition of his heroic deeds during WWII.
O’Flaherty, who also taught at the school later, became better known for the role he played in World War II while at the Vatican leading over 6,500 prisoners of war, partisans and Jews to freedom to earn him the title of the ‘Vatican Pimpernel’, leading to the 1983 film ‘The Scarlet and the Black’ with Gregory Peck portraying the role of O’Flaherty.
A special outdoor classroom ‘Dotts Garden’, dedicated to the memory of Dorothy (Dott) Hennggler the 2011 Washington DC Rose who died at the family home in Baltimore from a brain tumour, was officially opened by Anne O’Shea (aunt of the late Dorothy), and Àine McMahon (cousin of the late Dorothy and BOM member). The outdoor classroom was beautifully decorated over the summer by artist Katríona Lynch.
Due to COVID restrictions, the main event took place outdoors with staff joined by a small group of pupils selected from each of the classes representing the student body along with members of the school’s Board of Management.
“Your achievements have been remarkable over the last number of months,” Minister of Education, Norma Foley, said today at the official opening.
“It is my wish going forward that the next year in education will be less complicated, less trying and less difficult one. I think school staff are deserving of that. We can put the COVID atmosphere behind us and we are moving positively along. We hope that in a few months we will talk about living in a post-COVID time. The story of Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty speaks of the calibre of students produced here, but it also speaks of the courage and bravery and vision that Kerry people can have in the most difficult and trying of times.”
School principal Colm Ó Suilleabháin, who is shortly moving on to St Oliver’s NS in Ballycasheen, was delighted to be in attendance to see the building come to fruition.
“It’s a fantastic culmination of hard work by the staff and the Board of Management, and we are delighted to see the school is fully equipped and resourced for the next generation of pupils from Killarney and beyond,” he said.
Killarney co-drivers to the fore at this weekend
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Education Minister officially opens The Mon’s new classrooms
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