The Killarney Advertiser’s campaign to have American philanthropist John McShain officially recognised for his contribution to the town is gaining momentum. Local residents, businesspeople and officials have all voiced their opinions in the past two weeks and we are pleased to report that the reaction so far has been overwhelmingly positive.
Historian Damien Switzer first called for McShain, who purchased and then returned for free a large section of what we now know as the National Park, to be acknowledged by renaming Killarney House & Gardens the John McShain Memorial Park. He also suggested erecting a statue in his honour. Since Damien’s article was published in Killarney Magazine, locals, many of whom had never heard of the Philadelphia native, have been united in their disbelief that McShain has not already been honoured.
We took to the streets of Killarney to find out what the people think.
Should Killarney House & Gardens be renamed John McShain Memorial Park? Should a statue be erected in McShain’s honour?
John Sheahan (Mayor of Killarney): What the Advertiser is saying is spot on. I definitely think a statue would be a suitable way of recognising what John McShain contributed to the people of Killarney. There’s no doubt that he was a very generous man and he should be remembered. It’s remiss of us not to have addressed this already. A statue at the house looking down at the lake would be very apt.
Kate O’Leary (proprietor of The Laurels Bar): Killarney House and Gardens is a veritable treasure. It is THE hidden gem of Killarney, a little oasis of calm in the heart of our vibrant town. What incredible vision John McShain had and I think it would be a wonderful expression of our gratitude to erect a statue in his honour. There are lovely recesses along Mission Road, any of which would be an ideal location for such for a tribute.
Paul O’Neill (President of Killarney Chamber of Tourism & Commerce): I read Damien’s article with great interest and speaking to people in town, he has really struck a chord with locals. I think that John McShain and the family certainly deserve recognition from Killarney for their incredible generosity. I probably wouldn’t like to change ‘Killarney House & Gardens’ but without a doubt we as a town should acknowledge in a very public way this invaluable gift.
Nicole Rodriguez (tourist from Rhode Island, USA): I had never heard of him but it sounds like he did a lot for the town. I think tourists from the States would like to see a fellow American honoured in Killarney. A statue would be nice!
Pat Dawson (General Manager, Killarney House & Gardens): I have read the article in last week’s Advertiser and I am glad that the story of John McShain is being shared with your readers. Currently, our guides provide visitors to Killarney House with details of the life and times of John McShain and his vision and generosity in making sure that the unrivalled landscapes of the Killarney Valley. The suggestion of having a bust or a statue of John McShain on display in or at Killarney House is one that I am sure our Department would look favourably upon and we would be happy to cooperate and support any local efforts to that end. The suggestion of re-naming the area around Killarney House is unlikely to be a runner, however. The entity which is the National Park, which includes the Muckross Estate and the Kenmare Estate, has an official status and I do not foresee any changes in that regard.
Micheál O’Donoghue (O’Donoghue Ring Hotels): I would be very much in agreement with honouring John McShain in Killarney. The ideal opportunity was when the Cherry Tree Walk was replanted but I strongly believe that there should be something to recognise his contribution.
David Neeson (local man): To be honest, I didn’t know who John McShain was until I read the article. I’d be strongly in favour of honouring him… I’m surprised there isn’t already something named after him. I do a lot of running down around the Demesne and I can’t imagine what the town would be like without the National Park.
Micheal Healy-Rae TD: I think a life size statue inside the Golden Gates would be a great way to recognise and honour him for what he gave to the town of Killarney.
The Michael Commins Country Shows are Killarney bound
The legendary Michael Commins Concert Shows are heading for the Gleneagle INEC on Monday and Tuesday night, August 29 and 30. For over a decade these shows have captivated audiences […]
The legendary Michael Commins Concert Shows are heading for the Gleneagle INEC on Monday and Tuesday night, August 29 and 30.
For over a decade these shows have captivated audiences in Galway and Mayo and this marks the first time they have travelled outside the western province.
Well known promoter, Tom Kelly from Ballina, who was manager of Brendan Grace for 27 years, and who also promotes the concerts of Johnny McEvoy, Mike Denver, Isla Grant, Dan McCabe and others, noticed the market for these country shows in recent years.
“The response of audiences to the Michael Commins Shows in the Salthill and Clayton Hotels in Galway and also in Claremorris and Westport has been phenomenal and I realised right away that these shows would have huge appeal outside the province,” Tom Kelly said.
“Where better a place to start outside of Connacht than in the famous Gleneagle INEC, the heart of Irish tourism and a huge venue for Country Music down through the years. We are being inundated with requests for tickets for both shows with people travelling to Kerry from all 32 counties on the island of Ireland, with some making the journey from England and Scotland and America as well.”
Michael is a journalist, radio and TV presenter from Mayo who for four decades has been promoting traditional Country Music across the western province and around the country through his newspaper columns.
His songs have been recorded by numerous artists including his great and cherished friend, the late Big Tom, along with a host of Irish singers as well as Leona Williams (ex-wife of Merle Haggard) and John Rex Reeves, nephew of the legendary Jim Reeves.
His concert shows have been described by Waterford singer, Paddy O’Brien, as the “most unique, authentic, down-to-earth and homely” country shows on the island of Ireland. The Killarney nights look set to deliver in style on Paddy’s summation of these amazing shows.
The show on Monday August 29, features Brendan Shine, Gerry Guthrie, Art Supple, Tony Kerr, Louise Morrissey, Lisa Stanley, PJ Murrihy, Matt Keane, Olivia Douglas, Aisling Rafferty, Ross Molloy, Paudie McAuliffe, Gavin Gribben, Noreen Ashe, and the Ryan Turner Band.
The Tuesday night sees another brilliant line-up featuring John Glenn, Declan Nerney, Sandy Kelly, Paddy O’Brien, Eddie Lee, Annmarie O’Riordan, Thomas McBride, Pat McKenna, Muriel O’Connor and Fran Curry, Mick Mulhern, Elle Marie O’Dwyer, Aoife Leonard, Matthew O’Donnell, Kevin Prendergast, Richard Mulligan, the Ryan Turner Band and Billy Condon.
Tickets are selling fast and are now available from the Gleneagle INEC box office (064 6671555), ticketmaster.ie, and from Patsy on 086 1551841.
And the Killarney Advertiser has two pairs of tickets for the Michael Commins Country Shows up for grabs.
To be in with a chance of winning a pair of tickets just answer the following question in the comments section by heading over to our Facebook page:
Name one of the female artists on the Michael Commins Concert Shows?
Beaufort GAA launch car raffle fundraiser
By Sean Moriarty Beaufort GAA is raffling a brand new Ford Focus to raise funds for a new winter training pitch. The club took delivery of the new car this […]
By Sean Moriarty
Beaufort GAA is raffling a brand new Ford Focus to raise funds for a new winter training pitch.
The club took delivery of the new car this week and the first tickets for the raffle were sold at Puck Fair.
Tickets are available from any member of Beaufort GAA at a cost of €25 each or three for €60.
The growing club needs new winter training facilities for its men’s, ladies and juvenile teams.
“We found that our current pitch was getting badly cut up in the winter and autumn and felt this new all-weather was the way to go,” club chairman, Neil Doherty, told the Killarney Advertiser.
“We started selling this week at Puck and so far the response has been very good.”
Ticket will remain on sale until next year with a draw date set for around Easter time.
The Michael Commins Country Shows are Killarney bound
The legendary Michael Commins Concert Shows are heading for the Gleneagle INEC on Monday and Tuesday night, August 29 and...
Beaufort GAA launch car raffle fundraiser
By Sean Moriarty Beaufort GAA is raffling a brand new Ford Focus to raise funds for a new winter training...
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