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Ministers condemn illegal fires and announce acceleration of Conservation Ranger recruitment

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Following their visit to the site of this weekend’s fire in Killarney National Park, Minister Darragh O’Brien TD and Minister Malcom Noonan TD have announced the accelerated recruitment of an additional 50 Conservation Rangers.
Both strongly condemned the illegal fires Kerry and Mayo, which damaged protected habitats and species, put communities and private property at risk and placed unnecessary additional burden on the emergency services.
Early estimations indicate that 2,500-3,000 hectares – approximately 50% of the terrestrial area, the total area of the park less the area of the lakes, has been impacted.
“While the exact cause of these events is still to be determined, wildfires do not occur naturally in Ireland,” Minister O’Brien said.
“The main cause of such conflagrations is thought to be the deliberate starting of fires without concern for the emergency services, the local wildlife, habitat, communities or even private property close by. And they are set knowing them to be illegal. The devastation this has caused cannot be overstated,” he said.
“The response on the ground has been an impressive combined effort between the Fire Service, the NPWS and the Air Corps which has thankfully resulted in the fire being brought under control.”
Minister Noonan added that “every year we see devastating fires across our island, started illegally by people who have zero regard for the consequences”.
“This weekend’s fires have destroyed the precious habitats of thousands of species and animals, rare and endangered birds, including Hen Harriers. We are in a climate and biodiversity emergency, and to deliberately destroy precious upland habitats in this way is absolutely criminal. I’m thoroughly devastated by what I’ve witnessed here today. The reckless and shameful deliberate setting of fires has enormous impacts on people as well as nature. My heart goes out to the communities who live in these areas and have to breathe in the smoke, the individuals and families whose property is put at risk, and of course to our emergency services who put themselves in the frontline. In the midst of a pandemic it is incredible that our emergency services are put in a position whereby their resources are pulled in this direction. In this regard I must express my appreciation for the Fire Service, An Garda Síochána, Killarney Water Rescue, the Air Corps, my National Park and Wildlife Service staff in Killarney and the local Meitheal who have worked tirelessly together to quench this fire,” he said.
NPWS CONSERVATION RANGERS
He added that he’s heartened to be able to announce that they’re doubling the intake of NPWS Conservation Rangers and accelerating the recruitment process.
“I’ll also be writing to colleagues across Government in key Ministries and appealing to them to work with us to end these all-too-frequent tragedies. In addition, the National Parks and Wildlife Service will be working with An Garda Síochána to investigate the cause of the fire and fully assess the damage. If anyone has any information about the fires in Kerry or Mayo, I appeal to you to contact your local NPWS office or the Gardaí.”
Section 40 of the Wildlife Acts 1976, as amended, prohibits the cutting, grubbing, burning or destruction of vegetation, with certain strict exemptions, from March 1 to August 31.
“I would like to take this opportunity to again express our deep appreciation for the Fire Service, National Parks and Wildlife Service staff, the Air Corps, An Garda Síochána, and the Civil Defence who work tirelessly and selflessly to battle these fires around the country year in and year out. It is incumbent on all of us as custodians of nature and the land to work together to find solutions to avoid this happening in the future,” Minister O’Brien said.
“It is very difficult to stop the spread of these fires once ignited given the sheer scale of land involved, coupled with the remote locations of much of the designated lands and the sporadic occurrence and dynamic nature of such fires. The NPWS staff remain ever-vigilant and remain in close liaison with both the Gardaí and the Fire Services.”

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Laura’s new look for Leaving Cert

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NEW LOOK: Laura Cronin, who is currently sitting her Leaving Cert, cut 14 inches off her hair for The Rapunzel Foundation.

By Michelle Crean

Rathmore’s Laura Cronin headed into her Leaving Cert exams this week with a whole new look after transforming her hairstyle for charity.

Laura, daughter of Una and Donal from Rathbeg, cut 14 inches off her hair for The Rapunzel Foundation.

As her long locks didn’t get cut over the last year Laura decided to get a good chop in Katelynn’s Hair Design in Rathmore instead, and use the left over hair to create wigs for sick children.

“I thought, rather than trim it I’d cut a lot off,” Laura, who hopes to study pharmacy in college, told the Killarney Advertiser. “I wanted to cut off a lot of it, I was sick of long hair. I said that if there’d be enough I’d donate it as it’d be a shame to see it on the floor.”

Laura said that hopefully it can make a child happy if it allows them to receive a specially made wig for their First Holy Communion, or a similar occasion.

“I’d encourage anyone who has long hair to think about what they could do with it.”

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€1m upgrade for Killarney store

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INVESTMENT: DV8 have invested €1m to update their store in the Killarney Outlet Centre. Pictured at the reopening were staff members: Clodagh McCarthy (Store Manager), Lorraine McGough (Assistant Manager), Anuka Altanson and Sarah Murphy. Photo: Don MacMonagle

A popular Killarney fashion shop, which reopened last week, securing up to 15 jobs, has had a facelift after a €1 million investment.

Leading fashion retailer DV8, which has a network of over 50 stores across Ireland, reopened its 4,000 square feet store in the Killarney Outlet Centre.

And customers admired the new look.

DV8 sells over 40 top fashion clothing brands as well as footwear and accessories in its stores and online at www.dv8fashion.com. The hip fashion house is well-known for its uber cool shop interiors and has dedicated customers across Ireland and the UK.

“We are delighted to be reopening our new store in Killarney and confident it will compliment the existing retail offering in the town, with DV8’s unique range of male and female clothing and footwear,” David Scott from DV8 said.

“We think local shoppers will enjoy the DV8 experience, including the top fashion brands and excellent customer service.”

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Kodaline to play stripped down Killarney gig

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By Michelle Crean

One of Ireland’s best known bands – who have had their recently released studio album streamed more than 60 million times – as well as reached 100 million YouTube views – are set to come to Killarney.

Kodaline will play their first ever stripped down fully acoustic tour on December 4 in the Gleneagle INEC Arena, which is part of a nationwide tour across the country.

Tickets went on sale yesterday (Friday) from the www.inec.ie.

‘One Day At A Time’ is the band’s fourth album, and adds a new chapter to a career that has already encompassed three number 1 albums in Ireland, two Top 5 albums in the UK, and more than a billion streams at Spotify. Kodaline approached the album with a streamlined process that took them back to their roots. The majority of the sessions revolved around the four band members alone in their modest recording space in Dublin, with bassist Jason Boland leading the production side of things.

CAREER

In 2019, Kodaline played some of the biggest shows of their career. At home in Dublin they sold-out two huge outdoor shows at St Anne’s Park, while a 10-date UK tour culminated with a packed show at London’s historic Roundhouse. Further afield, they hit festivals including Lollapalooza, Benicàssim and Open’er before becoming the first Irish band to headline the massive NH7 Weekender in Pune, India. Their extensive touring throughout Asia also included a headline set at Monsoon Music Festival in Vietnam plus dates in China, Japan, South Korea, The Phillippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Taiwan and Singapore.

“We’re excited to do our first ever stripped down fully acoustic tour, it’s something we’ve wanted to do for a long time and something that’s gonna be very special for us. Hope to see you guys there,” the band said.

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