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MayFest got the season off to a flying start at Killarney Racecourse




Killarney Racecourse Ambassador Bryan Cooper enjoying Killarney Races. Dominck Walsh


Pictured at Killarney Races on Sunday were Tralee punters Eric Boylan Sean Rutland Kelvin Reidy and Paul Lenihan. Photo: Don MacMonagle

Pictured at Killarney Races on Sunday were Edyta Hernas and Con Duggan from Killarney. Photo: Don MacMonagle

Des Grace and his grandaughter Hannah Garvey from Tralee County Kerry pictured at Killarney Races Family Fun Day on Sunday Photo: Don MacMonagle

Enjoying the bubble fountain at Killarney Races Family Day on Sunday were Daniel Thelma and Katie O'Donoghue from Killarney.Photo: Don MacMonagle

Pictured at Killarney Races on Sunday were Gillian O'Keeffe and Elaine Kelly from Killarney. Photo: Don MacMonagle

MayFest at Killarney Racecourse took place on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, kicking off the season at the popular track in great style.

Sunday was an all jump racecard with the feature race being the Tote Killarney National, won in impressive fashion by Pont Aval. Sean O'Keefe rode a patient race, making steady headway before racing away after the last fence. This was the final leg of Willie Mullins' treble on the card.

The opening day of the festival was also Family Day which saw record-breaking crowds, where The Art House got all the kids involved in the activities on offer and Racecourse Ambassador Bryan Cooper was on hand to meet all the upcoming junior jockeys in attendance.

Shecouldbeanything won the Easy Clean Tourist Attraction Mares Hurdle (Listed). On her previous start, she won at the Punchestown Festival, while before that she was sixth in the Jack De Bromhead Mares' Novices Hurdle at Cheltenham. Shecouldbeanything is a quality mare and looks to have a bright future ahead of her. The valuable Oyster Tavern Handicap Hurdle went the way of Mighty Tom, who is trained by Kerry native Cian Collins. The Galway Hurdle is the next big target for the horse.

Monday was an evening meeting, all jump racing again with the feature race being the An Riocht Steeplechase won by Saint Sam, who is likely to receive an entry in the Galway Plate and there is plenty more improvement to come from this six year-old. Willie Mullins went one better on Monday and enjoyed a fantastic four-timer. Absurde, a €260,000 purchase from France, made a successful start over hurdles and looks to be an exciting prospect.

Tuesday closed MayFest in fine style with an all-flat card and beautiful sunshine. Trainer Joseph O’Brien won the opening three races on the card, completing the feat in the Fesco Maiden aith Arniemac at 4/1. The feature race The Irish Stallion Farms EBF Fillies Race was won in dramatic style with Ma Belle Artiste winning by just a head in the end to beat the 2/1 favourite in the race Impact Warrior.

Chairman of Killarney Races, Billy O’Sullivan said: “What a start to the season here at Killarney Races, a great few days were enjoyed by all. There was a real sense of community, lots of families enjoying the facilities and top-class racing, it was superb. Now it’s onwards and upwards for our July Festival."

With three more festivals to look forward to in July, August and October if you haven’t been it is well worth checking out, visit where you can book tickets, hospitality, group packages, club membership and more.

Photos by Domnic Walsh and Don McMonagle

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Fire warning in National Park

The National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) at the Department of Housing, Local Government and Housing has appealed to the public not to light fires or barbecues in public places […]




The National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) at the Department of Housing, Local Government and Housing has appealed to the public not to light fires or barbecues in public places this summer.

As they appeal to the public to exercise renewed care and responsibility when outdoors the National Parks and Wildlife Service has increased ground crews on fire patrol and has ramped up aerial monitoring with helicopters and drones.

Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage Darragh O’Brien TD said:

“If you notice a fire, please call the emergency services on 112 immediately. NPWS teams are upping their patrols to identify potential fire incidents and act quickly should one break out. However as we know, prevention is better than cure, and we’re asking all members of the public to avoid lighting fires in open areas.”

Minister of State for Heritage and Electoral Reform Malcolm Noonan TD commented further:

“Our National Parks and Nature Reserves, coastal sand dunes, mountains and upland areas, forests, meadows and urban parks are all places where we enjoy spending time in nature, but they are also home to our precious wildlife and their vulnerable young. This is a really important time of year for wildlife, especially vulnerable ground-nesting birds and mammals who are now rearing their young. We all want to get out and enjoy the good weather but let’s do it responsibly – without putting nature at risk.”

The Director General of the NPWS, Niall O Donnchú, has also asked for everybody’s cooperation to protect nature and said:

“While NPWS has increased ground crews and monitoring from the air this week, we still need to enlist your help to protect nature at this high risk time. We ask that members of the public not light fires or barbecues in any National Parks or Nature Reserves, or indeed in nature generally. We are also asking that the public be vigilant and report any fire activity without delay.”

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Killarney Looking Good Competition returns

Over three decades after it was first initiated, to help improve the aesthetic values of the town, the Killarney Looking Good Competition is back with a vengeance with a new […]




Over three decades after it was first initiated, to help improve the aesthetic values of the town, the Killarney Looking Good Competition is back with a vengeance with a new committee, new categories, new sponsors and a whole new approach.

When the project was first launched in 1991 it was a relatively low-key community event but it grew in importance with each passing year, culminating in some style when Killarney won the prestigious overall award in the national tidy towns competition in 2011.

After an enforced three-year absence since 2019, due to the pandemic, the competition has now been given a whole new lease of life and the 2023 version was officially launched this week by Mayor of Killarney, Cllr Niall Kelleher.

Awards will be presented in 26 different categories and high achievers in the business and residential community will be honoured at a gala prizegiving ceremony at the close of the tourist season.

This year two new categories are being introduced in memory of two remarkable people who played massive roles in keeping Killarney looking its best down through the years.

Yvonne Quill, who passed away last October, was the driving force behind the Killarney tidy towns campaign for several years and she was at the helm when the sought-after overall award was secured 12 years ago.

This year the Yvonne Quill Memorial Award will be presented to the volunteer of the year – a person who the adjudicators consider to be a standout contributor – in the overall effort to keep Killarney tidy.

Up to the time of his death in January 2020, Fr Michael Murphy was the public face of tidy towns and he played a huge part in Killarney, Kenmare and Sneem winning the overall national award in 2011, 2000 and 1987 respectively. Affectionately known as Fr Tidy, this year the Killarney Looking Good Competition will honour his memory with a special Pride of Place award.

In the business community, there will be awards for the best large and small commercial premises, best newly painted premises, best signage and the best retail award with prizes also for the most impressive hotel, public house, restaurant, café, guesthouse and best public building as well as the most improved premises.
In the residential categories awards will go to the best large and small estates, best private residence, best roadside garden, best floral display and best friendly planting award.

Other categories include a green hospitality award, a corporate special responsibility award, a restoration award, best school and a special biodiversity award.
Several highly commended awards will also be up for grabs and the winner of the prestigious overall award will be announced at the prizegiving ceremony.

The Killarney Looking Good Competition is organised by Killarney Chamber of Tourism and Commerce and Killarney Municipal District Council and the new committee comprises Sandra Dunlea – a daughter of the late Yvonne Quill – Kathleen Foley, John O’Mahony and Johnny McGuire who is spearheading the project.

MD O’Shea & Sons are the new overall sponsors of the competition and O’Mahony Media Ltd is the media sponsor.

The competition will run throughout the tourist season and businesses and residential areas will be monitored on an ongoing basis.

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