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Killarney’s An Óige hostel wins prestigious Experts Choice Award



SUCCESS: Killarney International Hostel has won the Best of Killarney award at the 2019 ExpertsÕ Choice Awards: Pictured were: Sinead O'Connell, Fiona Curnow, Paul Huggett, John Claffey (Manager) and JC Brosnan. Photo: Michelle Crean

By Michelle Crean

Killarney International Hostel were big winners at the recent 2019 Experts’ Choice Awards after walking away with the Best of Killarney award.

Now in its fourth year, the Experts’ Choice Awards is much sought after in the travel industry as awards are based on professional expert reviews. Fewer than two percent of hotels and hostels worldwide receive a prestigious Experts Choice award.

The hostel is owned and operated by An Óige – Irish Youth Hostel Association and this week Manager John Claffrey, who has run the business for the past 27 years, said they are thrilled with the news.

“It’s always great to get nominated for an award but to win one is even that bit more special,” he told the Killarney Advertiser.

“What makes these awards even more special is that they’re based on the reviews of industry experts so they obviously found our hostel to be of top quality and a great experience which is exactly what we always want to hear.”

The hostel itself is housed in an 18th century mansion and set of 75 acres of gardens and forest overlooking the mountains and Killarney National Park. It is considered one of An Óige’s most environmentally friendly hostels as almost all waste produced by the hostel is recycled or composted.

The hostel, located just off the Fossa road, opened in 1959, with an ethos of bringing groups, including disadvantaged children from urban areas to the countryside for a break, John explained.

“We open eight months of the year and cater for 137 in the high season. We cater for groups only during the low season for four months.”

It isn’t the first time that the hostel has received acclaim as it was previously shortlisted in the Top 5 ‘Favourite Irish Hostels’ as voted for by the readers of TNT Magazine in 2012.

He added a huge thanks to everyone involved in running the business including the dedicated staff.

“It’s nice to be recognised and we thank everyone involved.”











Killarney postcode V93 home to the county’s most-expensive properties

With properties both for rent and for sale in short supply, prices in the Killarney area have remained strong. In fact, houses with the V93 eircode were, once again, the […]




With properties both for rent and for sale in short supply, prices in the Killarney area have remained strong.

In fact, houses with the V93 eircode were, once again, the most expensive homes in Kerry over the past 12 months according to data published by the CSO Residential Property Price Index. The report shows that in the year to December 2023, the average cost of buying a home in Kerry was €242,000 up 5% from the previous year’s figure of €230,000
Nationally that figure now stands at €327,000.
The average house price within the V93 eircode region was €284,000, 17% approx. above the average price for a home within the county.
With supply levels at an all time low and with very little new construction in the pipeline, there is little sign of this changing in the immediate term.

Commenting on the market, Ted Healy of DNG, has expressed concern with the low volume of properties available for sale at present.
‘We have lots of interested buyers seeking property in the Killarney area but unfortunately, we cannot satisfy the demand at present. The past 12 months has seen us securing sales in record time for record levels.”

DNG Ted Healy will be launching a new development of townhouses in the Woodlawn area to the market in the coming months and report that demand is exceptionally high.
The expect these properties to sell out in record time.
And with construction due to commence shortly on another scheme of detached houses on Muckross Road, it is looking like a busy year ahead.
However, this will not be enough to satisfy the demand at present. Properties within the V93 area are highly sought after and in very short supply, resulting in strong prices being achieved.
So is now a good time to sell your property? Yes, according to DNG Ted Healy who is actively seeking properties for sale to satisfy their ever expanding list of buyers.


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500,000 coffee cups prevented from going to landfill in Killarney

The team behind Killarney’s ban on single-use cups is launching an adult education programme later this year. Since its inception in July last year (up to December 31), 506,000 cups […]




The team behind Killarney’s ban on single-use cups is launching an adult education programme later this year.

Since its inception in July last year (up to December 31), 506,000 cups have been prevented from going to landfill or becoming litter in Killarney National Park.
Additionally, the scheme has saved 872,413 litres of water and 279 trees.
The decision to ban single-use cups was underpinned by complaints that some of Killarney’s most visited beauty spots were being polluted and studies of clean-ups in the National Park revealed that one of the most common forms of waste recovered was single-use coffee cups.
With this in mind, the team behind the project, in conjunction with the Munster Technology University, will launch an adult education programme.
Late last year secondary school students attended a series of workshops in Killarney House hosted by the Killarney Coffee Cup project.
The session began with the task of matching the common items of litter to the time it takes for them to decompose.
The items ranged from crisp packets, banana skins and single-use coffee cups. The aim of this activity was to highlight the importance of minimising waste and litter, to protect the unique Biosphere Reserve that is Killarney National Park.
The plan now is to roll out a series of workshops aimed at adults with support from the National Parks and Wildlife Service.
“This is still in the very early stages,” said project lead Louise Byrne who is also the Sustainability Manager at The Killarney Park and The Ross hotels. “Why should we care?”
Byrne cited a recent article by The Guardian newspaper in Britain.
“The entire lifecycle of disposable cups, from raw material extraction to production and transportation, requires significant energy, contributing to environmental degradation. The slow decomposition of disposable cups, especially those with plastic linings, can lead to the release of microplastics into the environment and on the off chance that your disposable cup winds up in waste bound for incineration, that process can release pollutants into the air,” said a report on coffee cup waste by the Kent School of Business and published in the London newspaper.
Byrne believes there is still far too much litter, including coffee cups, ending up disposed of in the National Park and this is one of the key drivers behind the new adult education programme.
Meanwhile the scheme won two more awards this week. Eco Hero group at the Outsider Magazine gave the scheme its Eco Hero award and the scheme won the Green Transformation Award at the Green Awards.

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