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Local historian and author opens new chapter on Milltown

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IT PROMISES to be a night of memories and nostalgia in Milltown on Friday, July 14, when a memoir of life in the mid-Kerry village is published and launched by a local retired teacher and historian. Gwin for the Blue by Pat McKenna from Milltown recounts the happenings and characters of his native place in the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s and is a lively and entertaining read.

Recounting stories and anecdotes from the first twenty years of his life, the memoir charts an Ireland barely recognisable to the young people of today and tells of life in a rural village from the War years to the Swinging Sixties. The self-published book is described as a tribute to local people who survived the ups and downs of life “in spite of dungeon, fire and sword”.

Pat’s stories include references to local landmarks like the Godfrey Estate and the formidable last member of that landed gentry family, Miss Phyllis, as well as recollections of the railway line through Milltown, school sports days, and the dominant position of the Catholic Church at the time.

Pat McKenna was born in Milltown in 1943 and was educated locally. Having graduated from University College Dublin, he became a secondary school teacher and taught in Dublin, Tralee and Africa before retiring to his native village.

“This memoir deals with my memories of Milltown from 1943 to 1963. It has stories from my childhood and tells of what life was like in the locality in those years. In the 1950s there were huge changes locally with the opening of the Liebherr factory as a major new employer, the closure of many branch railway lines, and the replacement of the street fair by the cattle mart,” said Pat.

“I hope it will bring back memories for people and I hope everyone will enjoy it. At the launch in the Muintir na Tíre Hall on 14th, we will share memories over a cup of tea, hopefully, and I would encourage all my neighbours and friends and anyone with an interest in local history to come along.”

The book is beautifully illustrated with photographs taken by Tralee photographer, Michael Diggin and includes images of Milltown landmarks like Killagha Abbey, the White Church, the local Mass Rock, the Bridewell, and Spout Lane, which was the 12th century road between north and south Kerry. There are also historical images of life in the community including events like the Corpus Christi Procession and local social occasions.

Gwin for the Blue by Pat McKenna will be launched at the Muintir na Tíre Hall, The Square, Milltown, on Friday, July 14, at 8pm by local author Owen O’Shea, and all are welcome.

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Relief as indoor dining finally resumes

By Michelle Crean After almost 500 days of closures the sense of relief was evident this week as restaurants, cafés and bars were finally allowed to welcome customers back in. Some had reopened for outdoor dining previously to help keep their businesses afloat but it was back to normal on Monday. According to the new […]

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By Michelle Crean

After almost 500 days of closures the sense of relief was evident this week as restaurants, cafés and bars were finally allowed to welcome customers back in.

Some had reopened for outdoor dining previously to help keep their businesses afloat but it was back to normal on Monday.

According to the new rules as set out by Fáilte Ireland and the Government, in order for customers to access indoor service, they must show proof that they are fully vaccinated or have recovered from COVID-19 in the past six months. Those who are not yet vaccinated can only be served outside.

A maximum of six people aged 13 and over are allowed per table and it’s advised that face coverings be worn when not at the table, there is no time limit, customers can only eat or drink at a table and not at the bar or counter, and one person must give their details for contract tracing purposes. Live music and dancing is not allowed.

The Killarney Advertiser spoke to a number of businesses this week and overall the feeling was relief that they can finally get back to normal service but the issue of staffing still remains.

Brian Murphy from Courtney’s Bar said he was feeling nervous.

“I’m feeling nervous as we don’t have enough staff,” he said. “It’s a Monday so hopefully we can cope. Things will settle down and we’ll find a level we are all happy with.”

At the Porterhouse Restaurant Lee O’Callaghan said “It’s great to be back open and have people coming into the restaurant”.

“Hopefully we have a long season after being closed for so long.”

Staff at Reidy’s, Ellen Shannon, Rory Carroll and Jack Sweeney, added that they’re delighted to return to indoor dining.

“Hopefully we get back to normal soon and to brighter days ahead.”

At Jimmy Brien’s Bar in Fair Hill, customers echoed the same sentiments about being finally open.

“We are delighted to be back,” Danjoe Aherne said.

“We appreciate everything Alan Breen has done for us. We’re glad to be back home again!” Charlie Buckingham said.

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Killarney hospitality avoids worst of water shortage crisis

By Sean Moriarty. The Killarney hospitality sector avoided the worst of the water shortages that affected 55,000 across the county following a major water break from the Lough Guitane Water Treatment Plant to Sheheree Reservoir on the Central Regional Water Supply Scheme on Tuesday night. As the Killarney Advertiser closed for press yesterday evening (Thursday), the water supply was […]

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By Sean Moriarty.

The Killarney hospitality sector avoided the worst of the water shortages that affected 55,000 across the county following a major water break from the Lough Guitane Water Treatment Plant to Sheheree Reservoir on the Central Regional Water Supply Scheme on Tuesday night.

As the Killarney Advertiser closed for press yesterday evening (Thursday), the water supply was slowly coming back to normal in the areas most-affected by the burst.

Kerry County Council placed mobile water tankers in several of these areas including the Rock Road Car Park, Fossa School, Firies Church Yard and Farranfore GAA grounds and Barraduff Community Centre.

These will remain in place until supply has been fully restored to all areas.

Irish Water are slowly refilling the Sheheree Reservoir and releasing water back into the network in a controlled manner to avoid further rupturing pipes due a sudden increase in pressure.

According to Irish Water, “an estimated 55,000 could have been impacted by the burst main in recent days” with the biggest impact felt in Tralee.

Killarney Hotels and bars escaped the worst of the crisis.

Bernadette Randles, chair of the Kerry Branch of the Irish Hotel Federation said that Killarney Hotels were not affected by the breakage.

The majority of Muckross Road hotels, including Ms Randles’ Dromhall Hotel are on the same pipeline.

Her brother Thomas runs the Randles Court Hotel next door but is on a different water line and he did not suffer a break in his water supply either.

“I woke up on Wednesday morning in fright,” she told the Killarney Advertiser. “Water is your worst nightmare, so much depends on it from guests’ showers to cooling equipment in the bars, cooking and washing. Several hotels in Killarney have their own wells. We weren’t affected and that means The Brehon, Castle Ross, and Gleneagle and more were not affected. Thomas next door was not affected and he is on a different line to us.”

Special arrangements were made to ensure hospitals and nursing homes were not left without water during the repair work.

Killarney’s Vaccination Centre also remained operational throughout.

Fianna Fáil’s Councillor Michael Cahill who has been highlighting the issue of interrupted water supply throughout Mid and South Kerry for years, has warned that the continuous water mains issue in the county could result in negative publicity for the tourism industry.

“How can we expect visitors to return or recommend our county as a destination if their basic human needs are not met? Planning Permissions for locals are affected by lack of sewerage capacity in a given area. Both these issues must be dealt with immediately,” he said.

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