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Killarney to celebrate Independence Day in style




American-style razzmatazz, the likes of which has never been seen in Kerry before, will ensure Killarney is a riot of colour and excitement for this year’s eagerly awaited 4th July celebrations.

This will be the landmark 10th year of the festival which will be more spectacular than ever before and the proof of that can be found in the incredibly packed and exciting programme of events lined up.

Festival Chairman, Diarmuid Leen, Killarney Chamber of Tourism and Commerce Events Manager Katy Jacobi and their dedicated committee of volunteers have organised a wonderful celebration to mark Independence Day which, this year, will see great entertainment and fun-filled activities not only on Tuesday, July 4 but also on Monday, July 3.

An open invitation has been extended to everyone to celebrate America’s big holiday in Killarney which is a town with a very close association with the US for generations.

The great celebrations will include a gala and colourful parade through the streets, open air concerts and music sessions, an outdoor screening of a movie classic, a bumper street party and so much more.


The festival will get off to a rocking start on Monday, July 3 when hugely popular local band Truly Diverse will perform at an open air concert at Killarney House and Gardens from 9.00pm to 9.45pm and that will be followed at 10.00pm by an open air screening of the smash hit movie Mamma Mia with the audience invited to singalong to all the favourite ABBA hits.

The gates of Killarney House and Gardens will open from 8.30pm and tickets for the free admission event, which are in huge demand, are available from Eventbrite.

The Independence Day festivities on July 4 will get underway, appropriately, with the traditional raising of the American flag at the town hall with the Mayor of Killarney and the President of Killarney Chamber of Tourism and Commerce presiding at 3.00pm.

The ceremony will be followed by a musical performance by the Three O’s who will deliver a string of finger-clicking classics at Kenmare Place from 3.15pm with all the old favourites from Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole, Dean Martin and Elvis Presley on the playlist.

Main Street, Killarney will take on a distinctive downtown Manhattan vibe all afternoon with the Statue of Liberty and Uncle Sam forming a perfect backdrop and selfie props as patrons can enjoy the atmosphere with an interactive drum show while street entertainers, balloon artists and face painters will be roaming the streets.

The local sheriff has been tipped off to expect an influx of colourful cowboys on the Tuesday afternoon but he expects them to be on their best behaviour as they join in the fabulous Independence Day party.


Brass bands will be performing on the streets from 6.00pm, a lively DJ will get the street party going from 6.45pm and at 7.00pm will be the great highlight of the Killarney’s 4th of July celebrations with a big parade winding its way through the streets.

It will feature spectacular floats, marching bands, cheerleaders, Disney characters, leather-clad motorcyclists on their dream machines and colourful flag bearers and it really is a visual feast that should not be missed.

The parade will be led by visiting American footballers all the way from Georgia Tech and in attendance will be their star kicker, Castleisland native David Shanahan, a former Kerry minor footballer.

And the celebrations won’t end there as a Beat on the Street, with DJ Brendan Fuller, will keep partygoers on their toes as Killarney soaks up the unique atmosphere of Ireland’s greatest 4th July festival.

The celebrations are organised by Killarney Chamber of Tourism and Commerce with the support of Kerry County Council, Fáilte Ireland and the National Parks and Wildlife Service and with the generosity of sponsors Heineken, Killarney Park Hotel, Great Southern Hotel Killarney, O’Donoghue Ring Collection, GMIB, Reidy’s, The Grand and others.

Anybody over the age of 18 available to volunteer at the festival, assisting with stewarding and marshalling duties, is asked to contact the 4th of July committee on 087-6437596.


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One of Killarney’s great motorsport legends passes awayBy Cormac Casey

Dermot O’Sullivan, of Ardshanavooly, Killarney, sadly passed away this week. This popular Killarney businessman started in motorsport in 1968 participating in tarmac and forestry rallying and later in hot rod […]




Dermot O’Sullivan, of Ardshanavooly, Killarney, sadly passed away this week.

This popular Killarney businessman started in motorsport in 1968 participating in tarmac and forestry rallying and later in hot rod racing.

A high point in his motorsport career was competing on the 1982 Circuit of Ireland in his Datsun Sunny, at a time when competitors had no pacenotes, relying on sheer wit and skill.

In 2005, after a 23-year gap, he returned to rallying in a Talbot Sunbeam competing in the Killarney Historic Rally with his son Paul in the navigator’s seat, and competed in various events till 2009.

Whenever the glory of days of Kerry rallying are discussed in local pubs during the wee hours, it was certain that Dermot’s name would be mentioned. He had a sideways style of driving that kept every spectator entertained.

As much a flamboyant competitor behind the wheel of his Datsun, his ability to tell a good story was equally entertaining.

As a young motorsport enthusiast, I waited with anticipation each week as Dermot called to the ‘Advertiser’ office in Woodlawn to placing his weekly advert, to hear his animated description of his exploits on the rallying stages. As time went on, the stories never faded, and I always enjoyed our encounters.

Dermot establishing a successful chainsaw and lawnmower business in the 1970’s, down Pawn Office Lane, off High Street, Killarney. In true entrepreneurial spirit he saw a gap in the market, soon after establishing O’Sullivan’s Cycles as one of the first to introduce bike rental to Killarney, a business venture that is still successful today under the guidance of the current O’Sullivan generations.

A true character and an absolute gentleman. May he rest in peace.

Our sincere condolences to wife, Mary, sons Paul, Derry and David, daughters-in-law Barbara, Denise and Fiona, grandchildren Megan, Luke, Kate and Ciara and his great granddaughter Ava, his sisters Breda and Maureen and brother John, brother-in-law Bill, sister-in-law Ann, nieces, nephews, relatives, neighbours, and many great friends.


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Kerry’s youth celebrated at the Lee Strand/Kerry Garda Youth Achievement Awards

This year’s overall winner of the Lee Strand Kerry Garda Youth Achievement is Ryan Griffin from Waterville who was nominated by Mairead O’Sullivan from Killorglin Family Resource Centre. Ryan Griffin […]




This year’s overall winner of the Lee Strand Kerry Garda Youth Achievement is Ryan Griffin from Waterville who was nominated by Mairead O’Sullivan from Killorglin Family Resource Centre.

Ryan Griffin is a member of the Skellig Stars and was chosen to represent Kerry at the Special Olympics.
Ryan’s biggest hurdle is communication and he had to overcome this during his trip to Berlin for the big event.

Ryan has overcome his disabilities by focusing on all the great abilities he has. Ryan attends mainstream school in Coláiste na Sceilge where he is a very respected member of the School Community. He is a member of Kerry Stars and also Downs Syndrome Kerry.

Ryan has always had a keen interest in sport and even played with the local team in Waterville, but now Ryan thinks it’s too fast for him so he prefers to cheer them on from the side-lines.

Ryan has always been involved with the Community and they have never left him out. Ryan started out his athletics career with Skellig Stars and without them he would have gone to the Special Olympics and he has never forgotten when he came from.

Ryan and his family are very grateful to the local community in Waterville and the surrounding area for all the support they have given them over the years and especially now with the Special Olympics coming closer.

The whole community from Waterville to Mid-Kerry got behind Ryan, raising funds to help his family go to Berlin for 2 weeks. Ryan is now an inspiration to others to overcome difficulties and “go for gold”.

Ryan was the only representative from Kerry on this years Irish Special Olympics Team and in fact one of the Youngest Athletes on Team Ireland at only 16yrs of age, which was a great honour for him.
This in itself is a great achievement but it also shows his friends at Skellig Stars, Downs Syndrome Kerry and in the wider community that dreams do come true.

It took a lot of hard work and determination on Ryan’s behalf to make these dreams come true, not least the long journey he had to make from South Kerry to Dublin once a month since last January to train for the Special Olympics. He also trained weekly with the Skellig Stars.

At the 2023 Special Olympics in Berlin Ryan took part in the 100m run and the relay but his biggest achievement was winning the Silver Medal in the mini javelin. This showed others that overcoming difficulties can be possible and you can achieve your goals with hard work and determination, which Ryan has in abundance.

Local Merit Awards

Aliza Gul, Killarney
Joey McCarthy, Killarney
John O’Connor, Killarney
Nattagun Ryan, Killarney
Samuel Behal, Killarney
St Brendan’s Choir, Killarney

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