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Killarney snapper calls time on 47-year career

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By Sean Moriarty

After nearly 50 years on the beat, legendary local press photographer Michelle Copper Galvin has finally decided to hang up her camera.

This week marks her final few days as a news photographer and her attendance at last Sunday’s Kerry v Laois Ladies Football match at Fitzgerald Stadium ended an unbroken stint that stretches all the way back to 1977.

She started her career with the Cork Examiner in 1974 and after four years with that publication she returned to Killarney where she has worked as the local media snapper ever since.

Best known for her role with The Kerryman, Michelle has also supplied many of the photographs that have appeared in the Killarney Advertiser over the last 40 years.

Michelle’s beat covered all of East, South and Mid Kerry, but she was best known for her work on the streets of her home town.

“The biggest change for me was the switch to digital,” Michelle told the Killarney Advertiser this week. “It became a simpler process from the camera to the computer and straight on to a page – ending negatives and processing film.”

Her favourite tasks were anything to do with sport and politics and memories include witnessing Munster Rugby defeating the All Blacks in that famous 1978 match in Thomond Park.

She is also a huge Kerry GAA fan but given the choice she would prefer a day out in Thomond Park over Fitzgerald Stadium.

“I have had a great career, I have met some wonderful people and very privileged to go to places that I went,” she said. “I have been blessed to work with some great editors who helped and guided me.”

Michelle is looking forward to spending more time with husband Dermot, who she says is her "number one supporter”, daughters Caoimhe, Grainne and son Diarmuid, their partners and her three grandchildren.

Dermot is currently based in London and Michelle played a crucial role in promoting the activities of the Kerry Association London as a result of her direct connections with the city.

“I will have more time to go to London now,” she added. “My children and grandchildren are all based on the island [of Ireland] so I am looking forward to seeing more of them too.”

She will have more time to attend Munster Rugby matches at home and abroad with no prior commitments that need covering on a local front.

She loves France and will spend more time in her favourite foreign country especially if trips coincide with Munster’s European Rugby Champions Cup games.

Michelle is not giving up on photography totally however, and says she will continue to take photos "of things I love and what interests me”.

Friends and colleagues in the Kerry media honoured her contribution to the industry with a special dinner in Tralee’s Ashe Hotel on last night (Thursday).

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Volunteers wanted for street collection

By Michelle Crean October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and local volunteers are keen to not only raise awareness but also funds. Kathrina Breen, Eleanor O’Doherty and Kathleen O’Shea who […]

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By Michelle Crean

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and local volunteers are keen to not only raise awareness but also funds.

Kathrina Breen, Eleanor O’Doherty and Kathleen O’Shea who have been supporting the Irish Cancer Society for many years are delighted to be able to get back to their Pink Ribbon street collection in Killarney town next Friday (October 7).

They are the only group in the country doing the collection as many fundraisers have moved online since the pandemic struck.

“We’re the only town in Ireland doing it this year,” Kathrina, who feels it’s important to keep a street collection going, told the Killarney Advertiser.

“We haven’t done it in two years since before COVID. I pushed to do it as it raises a lot of money. People have been supporting this for years, this money goes towards breast detection equipment, information leaflets in doctors surgeries and towards cancer grants.”

In 2021, donations helped 254 breast cancer patients with free transport to and from 2,380 chemotherapy appointments by volunteer drivers, 154 patients received 514 nights of end-of-life care from Night Nurses and 3,430 enquiries were made about breast cancer through the Freephone Support Line 1800 200 700 and at 13 Daffodil Centres across the country.

And she added that they’re looking for a few volunteers to help out on the day.

“If anyone would like to help they can contact me on 087 2612992.”

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Calls for Council to acquire vacant Rock Road properties

By Sean Moriarty There are calls to make two vacant properties on Rock Road available to Kerry County Council’s housing inventory. The two cottages, one either side of the entrance […]

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By Sean Moriarty

There are calls to make two vacant properties on Rock Road available to Kerry County Council’s housing inventory.

The two cottages, one either side of the entrance to St Finan’s Hospital, are vacant for some time.
Cllr Maura Healy-Rae raised the issue at a recent Killarney Municipal District meeting.

“Regarding two vacant houses at the entrance to St Finan’s on Rock Road which appear to be vacant for a significant period of time. One of the properties is in the ownership of the HSE. I requested that Kerry County Council would liaise with the HSE with a view to potentially acquiring this house,” she told the Killarney Advertiser after the meeting.

“I stressed that it is important that the local authority exhaust all possibilities when it comes to providing more houses, particularly properties located within the town of Killarney where the need and demand for housing is critical.”

Kerry County Council said it would get the Vacant Homes Officer to contact the owner of the privately owned bungalow.

“They will inform the property owner that there is funding available under various schemes and grants to aid the return of this property to habitable use. Such schemes include the Repair and Lease Scheme and the recently launched Croí Cónaithe vacant property grant,” said a Council official.

Cllr Healy-Rae added: “I requested that KCC would liaise with the HSE with a view to potentially acquiring this house.”

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