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Mayor urged to act on Killarney Advertiser’s McShain Campaign

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Mayor of Killarney John Sheahan has been urged by fellow councillors to engage with the relevant authorities as the Killarney Advertiser’s campaign to see the McShains suitably honoured continues to gather pace.

The idea to recognise the generous American couple, who came to own a large part of Killarney National Park before returning it to the State for virtually nothing, was first floated in these pages by our resident historian Damien Switzer earlier this summer. Since then, a wave of support has swept across Killarney with many of our readers left wondering why such measures haven’t already been taken in the years since John and Mary died.

Cllr Maura Healy-Rae joined the Killarney Advertiser’s McShain Campaign two weeks ago and she broached the topic at the latest Killarney Municipal District Meeting.

“We’re all well aware of the contribution the McShain family have made to the success of Killarney town as a whole and the tourist destination that it is,” she said. “I’m asking the members for their support on this. There are a variety of things that could be done. I’m not saying what is the best way to do it – it could be a bust, a monument, or renaming the park… But I would ask Kerry County Council to engage with the relevant agencies so that something meaningful, respectful and appropriate can be done.”

Former mayor Niall Kelleher pointed out that during his tenure he oversaw efforts to have John McShain posthumously inducted into the Order of Innisfallen, but the plans never materialised as Sr Pauline McShain, John and Mary’s daughter, was unable to travel back to Ireland due to ill health. He was still hopeful that a relative, possibly a first cousin of Sr Pauline’s, would be able to accept the Order of Innisfallen in the McShain’s honour.

While Cllr Kelleher said he hoped that those plans would eventually come to pass, he clarified that he is also in favour of other ways of honouring John McShain. He then called on the new mayor, as first citizen of Killarney, to take the lead on the issue.

Mayor Sheahan agreed, saying: “I think we’re all in the same mind about this. The McShains have done us a great service; you couldn’t put a price on it. It’s the least we can do.”

Cllr Michael Gleeson suggested the idea of inviting submissions from the public to determine what might be an appropriate method of paying tribute to the philanthropic pair.

Cllr Brendan Cronin, meanwhile, offered a dissenting voice on one of the suggestions, namely the idea of renaming Killarney House & Gardens ‘McShain Park’.

“My understanding and my knowledge is that the sentiments of the McShain family were that (Killarney House & Gardens) would be available there for the public,’ he said. “If we’re talking about renaming it, I believe the grounds should be considered ‘The People’s Park’. That’s what they wanted."

Cllr Healy-Rae responded to that point, saying: “Yes, it was given to the people, but the people want to recognise them.”

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Local author’s debut book makes Late Late Toy Show

Killarney art psychotherapist Katie O’Donoghue was delighted to spot her first children’s book on last Friday’s Late Late Toy Show! ‘The Little Squirrel Who Worried’ was written and illustrated by Katie, and published by Gill Books in July. With almost every eye in Ireland on the Toy Show every year, children’s authors, illustrators and publishers […]

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Killarney art psychotherapist Katie O’Donoghue was delighted to spot her first children’s book on last Friday’s Late Late Toy Show!

‘The Little Squirrel Who Worried’ was written and illustrated by Katie, and published by Gill Books in July.

With almost every eye in Ireland on the Toy Show every year, children’s authors, illustrators and publishers compete for a much-coveted spot on the set. Aware that her book had been sent to Ryan, but not having heard anything from RTÉ, Katie was thrilled to see it in a prominent position. It was a wonderful surprise to discover ‘The Little Squirrel Who Worried’ had been placed in the front row of the book corner. There, it had a little chair of its own and was even embraced by a cuddly toy.

It was visible many times over the course of the evening, particularly during the book discussion, an incredibly proud moment for first-time author Katie.

“I have to admit, when I saw ‘The Little Squirrel Who Worried’ cradled in the teddy’s arms, I may have jumped up and down with excitement,” Katie told the Killarney Advertiser.

What began as a lockdown project while Katie was living in London and missing her family in Kerry, is providing comfort to children around the world.

Using a gentle story with gorgeous illustrations, Little Squirrel and his forest friends teach young people a variety of simple coping techniques.

“These skills will benefit children their entire lives and the book is even helpful for adults who are prone to worrying and overthinking,” she added.

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No 2021 return for Killarney on Ice

By Michelle Crean Fans of the ice will be disappointed to hear that Killarney on Ice will not return for a second year. Following its huge popularity year on year since returning to Killarney in 2015, the promoters of Killarney on Ice are disappointed to confirm that they are unable to operate again this year. […]

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By Michelle Crean

Fans of the ice will be disappointed to hear that Killarney on Ice will not return for a second year.

Following its huge popularity year on year since returning to Killarney in 2015, the promoters of Killarney on Ice are disappointed to confirm that they are unable to operate again this year.

Rising case numbers, uncertain COVID-19 restrictions, and insurance challenges have been the main drivers behind the decision not to open, according to the company.

As Kerry’s only festive ice rink, the facility has brought much fun and life to the town over the years, attracting thousands of people from all over the county, and indeed the whole country, with many families coming to stay overnight in Killarney and enjoying all that this great town has to offer.

As well as friends and families coming to skate, schools, youth clubs, sports teams and employees of local companies use the group booking discount rate to plan sessions on the ice, and Killarney on Ice would like to thank them all for their continuing loyalty.

“We sincerely hope to be back better and stronger in 2022, and we look forward to welcoming all of our valued customers,” Tim O’Donoghue, the promoter of the rink, told the Killarney Advertiser.

“In the meantime, we wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year.”

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