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Marie meets: Father Kieran O’Brien celebrates 20 years as a Killarney priest 

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Celebrating 30 years of service in any line of work might well reward recognition in the form of 'glitz and bling' or perhaps a night on the tiles with friends!

It is important to celebrate longevity for many reasons, including the dedication, continuity and commitment, to improve and motivate, and the ability to change over three decades, within our society and the community of Killarney. I was delighted, after much persuasion, to score an opportunity to chat with Fr Kieran O'Brien, on his 30th anniversary of being ordained a priest in 1993, where 18 of those years, have been served the people of Killarney!

Have you always wanted to be a priest Fr Kieran?
"I come from a very ordinary family Marie. A home where three generations lived, my grandmother, my parents and five children, me being the middle child. There were no expectations for me to become a priest. I have great memories of sitting in the same seat at Sunday mass each week with my family. I had one uncle and two granduncles who were priests so there were always great religious values amongst us all at home. I was never an alter server but I gained financially as well as spiritually when I served for my uncle, Fr Humphrey McMahon's (RIP) masses when he'd return on holiday (he passed one year after my ordination). It came as no surprise to my family when I left for Maynooth, at the age of 18. My parents worked hard to put us all through education. It was especially hard times as my father had lost his job just before I began in Maynooth. There were 80 students in my class, and 300 in the college when I arrived. I lodged at the college for 6 years and made many friends, most of which still reside in parishes throughout Ireland, so was delighted to have the opportunity to reunite in Maynooth, to mark our 30th year in the priesthood recently".

Did you always stay in Kerry?
"The Diocese of Kerry spreads as far as West Cork and Kerry has a foreign mission too but I'm a home bird, Marie, so all of my posts have been in Kerry. I began in Killarney in 1993 before moving to Dingle in 1999. I then went to Ballyferriter in 2003 for two years before heading home to Tralee in 2005 and returned to Killarney in 2012, where I've stayed since".

What is your most memorable moment throughout your career?
"Getting Killarney!! It meant so much to me, it still does now. I was one of 6 hopefuls. I was ordained in Killarney's Cathedral by Bishop Diarmuid O'Suilleabhain, and my parents were married here, 60 years ago, Brendan (RIP) & Margaret O'Brien. Out of college, I had all the academics but not the practical. I was the youngest priest to start out of those six and I am now the administrator of Killarney parish today. I have learned from my experiences and my mistakes. Overall I have been blessed to spend over half my career in this parish. Killarney is a wonderful community to be part of. I have already married two out of 8 children that I baptised when I arrived. These were extra special occasions for me.

Outside of the day job, what do you enjoy in your spare time?
"I enjoy sports of all kinds and played with Austin Stacks when I was younger. I also loved handball as a child and play twice a week with Spa GAA".

What gives you the energy to keep going?
"I suppose I am on a journey with the people of the parish all the time. I get huge rejuvenation from visiting the schools I am assigned to, Loreto, Tiernaboul and Lissivigeen National Schools. I love to answer the children's questions, especially from those preparing for sacraments. I have great memories of the parish priest visiting my school as a child and the break it gave from schoolwork!"

What is the most difficult part of being Fr Kieran O'Brien?
Definitely, the sorrow when a loved one is lost. You worry and hope you will say the right thing. I found it hard to serve my own father's funeral but it was also something I considered a huge honour.
I also find it difficult when colleagues change parish. The notice is three weeks. Any change is difficult, changing house, changing jobs and the adaptations that are incurred.

What do you think are the biggest challenges of the 21st century?
"Fear is the main challenge for the lack of priests going forward. The church plays a huge part in the many joyous as well as sorrowful milestones throughout life. It is difficult to cover a number of parishes and communities, instead of one, all the while sustaining the energy to celebrate and empathise accordingly. I worry will our churches not always be open if we do not have the manpower to sustain them.

What is your message for Christmas 2023?
Christmas is a homecoming, even for me! Once all my masses are said, I am at the same table where I have always been in Tralee. When all the masses are said, I conveniently arrive moments before the turkey is carved!!
Christmas is a joyous time of year. For some, it can be more painful as every year brings about changes in our lives. Rest, and cherish the moments, and the time spent with loved ones over the festive season, and I hope the New Year brings health and many blessings to everyone for the year ahead.

Congratulations on your 30 years of service Fr Kieran O'Brien. It was a no-brainer to take his celebratory portrait by the most impressive and 'blingiest' location in Killarney, the Tree of Light!

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Gleeson Dental now offering facial aesthetics

Gleeson Dental, located on St Anthony’s Place, is now offering facial aesthetics. It is the latest offering from the town centre practice. Dr Susan Gleeson graduated as a general dental […]

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Gleeson Dental, located on St Anthony’s Place, is now offering facial aesthetics.

It is the latest offering from the town centre practice.

Dr Susan Gleeson graduated as a general dental surgeon 27 years ago.

She previously worked in England and Cork before returning home to Killarney in 2009 to take over her father’s dental practice with her sister Katie.

“More recently, I decided to pursue my keen interest in facial aesthetics. Hence, I embarked on an intensive training course,” she told the Killareny Advertiser.
“This mentorship is under the guidance of Dr Sheila Li, a Harley Street based dentist with over 10 years’ experience in facial aesthetics. Every year following an interview process, Sheila takes on six trainees and I was lucky enough to get this amazing training opportunity.”
The course is a year-long process involving in-depth learning and hands-on clinical training days in Dr Sheila’s Harley Street clinic.
The course, also, extends to treatment planning cases with Dr Sheila, thus allowing access to her vast knowledge when planning treatments for Dr Gleeson’s patients.
“Therefore, I am now able to offer a vast array of facial aesthetic treatments at Gleeson Dental. These treatments include the use of Botox to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. In addition to this, Botox has a wide range of additional applications, including the treatment of tooth grinding, headaches, gummy smiles, neck bands and excessive underarm sweating,” she added.
Dermal filler treatments are, also, available to treat issues related to volume loss while skin booster treatments such as Sunekos and Profhilo can be used to regenerate and rehydrate tired looking skin.
Facial aesthetics may conjure up images of over-filled expressionless people but Susan hopes to change people’s view of it.

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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 […]

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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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