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Marie meets: The Wander Wild Team

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Wandering wild in our very own National Park is a gift that keeps on giving with every season. An outdoor enthusiast's playground with endless activities and spectacular scenery in every direction.

An expanse of rugged, mountainous country that sweeps down to 'our' world-famous Lakes of Killarney. Renowned for our warmth and hospitality all over the world, the non-profit, Wander Wild Festival, in its third year, is a credit to the volunteers and an asset to tourists and locals alike. This month, I met up with Pat Chawke and Paul O'Neill to hear how the preparations for one of our first festivals of 2024.

What exactly is the Wander Wild Festival?
“Wander Wild is a unique adventure and wellness festival with over 100 activity-filled events set amongst the lakes and mountains of the 25,000-acre Killarney National Park [a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve] where Killarney Town is the festival’s ‘Base-Camp’” Pat explained. “Our programme is built with sustainability at its core, activities are experienced in a nature-positive way and throughout the festival people have the opportunity to learn new ways of being and living more sustainably. This year's festival, supported by Fáilte Ireland and sponsored by Nature Valley will place between March 22-24,” Paul continued.

So tell me, what should one expect during the festival?
“Great Craic!!” Paul replied. “There are also over 100 different events and activities in the Reeks, the Park, the Town and other locations. We provide a bus to every activity outside town and encourage people to leave their own cars at home” Paul said. “We also provide volunteering opportunities during the festival. During the day, people are in the outdoors, at the wellness hub, urban orienteering, enjoying music and chatting in Basecamp or discovering on the food trail” Pat continued.

It sounds like a lot of coordination. Is it a difficult event to schedule?
“Yes,” Pat replied as he took a deep breath. “The festival is like a business. We have to be involved in setting goals, drawing up a budget, securing venues, booking activity providers and artists, developing and executing a marketing plan, sourcing funding and sponsorship, developing a safety plan, coordinating volunteers, ensuring that each event has adequate insurance, manage permissions and licences required from the local authority, the Gardaí, the NPWS, the Fire Officer and plan for inclement weather etc”.

I'd imagine the festival contributes to the local economy.
“In the long term, the festival positions Killarney as the Great Outdoors capital of Ireland and highlights the enormous range of activities that are available, most of them year-round. In the past, Killarney has made a good living from accommodating visitors who sat on a bus and drove around the ring of Kerry,” Paul explained. “The next generation of visitors will want to have more active experiences. In the short term, local activity providers are contracted to provide activities and accommodation providers, cafes, bars, supermarkets etc. all benefit from the spending power of festival attendees. Wander Wild is also about sustainability” Pat replied.

Who is responsible for the creation of this wonderful Wander Wild Festival?
“Wander Wild is a Chamber of Tourism & Commerce festival and has a committee of volunteers that give up an incredible amount of their time for free, from as early as September to April every year, to plan and execute the festival. We work very closely with Kerry County Council, NPWS, the Gardaí and the Reeks Forum to ensure that all elements of the festival are delivered safely and with little negative impact on our environment. Fáilte Ireland has been incredibly supportive of the festival and Brand Killarney. The festival is not for profit and any surplus generated is invested back into the festival” Pat replied.

Does the Festival connect with the youth of Killarney at all?
Wander Wild has a very important educational remit as part of our mission. We want to heighten awareness of the very special environment that we are fortunate to live in. We have workshops with the 5th years from the town's schools covering issues such as biodiversity, responsible use of the Park, Mindfulness, the importance of the outdoors to mental health and other topics. We have also arranged for talks in the schools from individuals with special formative stories to tell.

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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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