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Muckross House opens a new chapter in its history

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Minister Michael Ring, Rory D'Arcy, back row, Frank Lewis, Trustee, Pat Dawson, Regional Manager, NPWS, Ann Tangney, Head Guide, Muckross House, Cllr Michael Gleeson, Trustee, Trevor Donnelly, NPWS, Bernard Collins, Trustee, Geraldine Rosney, Vice Chair Trustees, Michael Larkin, Trustee, Marcus Treacy, Trustee, Senator Paul Coughlan, Trustee, MEP Sean Kelly, Padruig O'Sullivan, NPWS Ranger Base, Michael O'Shea, Trustee, Adam Larragy, NPWS, and Denis Reidy, Manager Muckross House. PICTURE: VALERIE O’SULLIVAN

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A NEW era in the running of historic Muckross House, Killarney, has been ushered in with the signing of a fresh agreement for the running of the leading tourist attraction between the State and a local board of trustees.

Rory D’Arcy, chairman of the board of trustees, welcomed what he described as a new development in the partnership with the National Parks and Wildlife Service. The partnership has been in operation for more than 50 years.

Michael Ring, Minister of State for Regional Economic Development, signed on behalf of the State and Mr D’Arcy signed on behalf of the trustees.

The board of trustees of Muckross House is a voluntary body with charitable status. The trustees share a common interest in the preservation of Muckross House in particular, as well as in the history and folk life of Kerry.

The board works in close cooperation with the Department in the care and upkeep of Muckross House.

At the prompting of the first board of trustees, led by the late Dr Frank Hilliard, Muckross House opened to the public as a folk museum on June 14, 1964. Since then, the board of trustees has been involved in the management of this magnificent House.

This latest agreement, which covers the next five years, continues the successful partnership approach built up by the State and previous boards. Mr D’Arcy said it is a fine example of what can be achieved with the goodwill and endeavour of the community working in conjunction with the State.

“This is a historic day for the Trustees and this agreement further emphasises our commitment to safeguarding the historic fabric of Muckross House for future generations,” he said.
“It is the start of a new era and that commitment is emphasised by the ongoing Capital Works Programme which includes the refurbishment of the windows.”

Minister Ring said: “Looking back, the founding members of the Trustees of Muckross House deserve enormous credit for their foresight and initiative at a time when economic development and the promotion of a quality tourist product in this State was at a very modest level indeed. “With the new agreement that we have signed today, I am confident that a framework for the successful continuation and further development of this partnership is in place.

“This agreement will ensure the management and preservation of Muckross House to the highest standards and the promotion of Muckross House and its ancillary facilities as a State Heritage facility.”

Visitor numbers to the house last year were 129,000, a number which has steadily increased over the last number of years.
 


 
Minister Michael Ring, Rory D'Arcy, back row, Frank Lewis, Trustee, Pat Dawson, Regional Manager, NPWS, Ann Tangney, Head Guide, Muckross House, Cllr Michael Gleeson, Trustee, Trevor Donnelly, NPWS, Bernard Collins, Trustee, Geraldine Rosney, Vice Chair Trustees, Michael Larkin, Trustee, Marcus Treacy, Trustee, Senator Paul Coughlan, Trustee, MEP Sean Kelly, Padruig O'Sullivan, NPWS Ranger Base, Michael O'Shea, Trustee, Adam Larragy, NPWS, and Denis Reidy, Manager Muckross House.
PICTURE: VALERIE O’SULLIVAN

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Killarney co-drivers to the fore at this weekend

Two Killarney-based co-drivers will contest this weekend’s Trackrod Rally Yorkshire, the fourth rounds of the British Rally Championship. The two-day event gets underway tonight (Friday) with one stage set to be run under the cover of darkness. On the startline will be Muckross man Noel O’Sullivan and Aghadoe’s Mikie Galvin. O’Sullivan, co-driver to Welshman Osian […]

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Two Killarney-based co-drivers will contest this weekend’s Trackrod Rally Yorkshire, the fourth rounds of the British Rally Championship.

The two-day event gets underway tonight (Friday) with one stage set to be run under the cover of darkness.
On the startline will be Muckross man Noel O’Sullivan and Aghadoe’s Mikie Galvin.

O’Sullivan, co-driver to Welshman Osian Pryce, is the current leader of the series while Galvin, who reads pacenotes for fellow Killarney and District Motor Club member, West Cork’s Keith Cronin, is eighth after missing the opening round.

“The element of darkness certainly brings an additional challenge to all the crews, especially since most of us will not have done any night stages for some time, the most recent I did was in 2017 on the Ulster Rally,” Cronin noted.

The route layout reads like an extract from the itinerary of the World Championship counting RAC Rally of the 1980s, featuring familiar locations such as Dalby, Gale Rigg and Langdale, and it will be the Dalby Forest test that opens the competition shortly after 8pm tonight.

Meanwhile, Irish rallying returned last Sunday after the pandemic-enforced lay-off with the ‘Munster Car Club’s Cork 20’.

London-based Listry co-driver Shane Buckley was the best of the local entrants, guiding Daniel Cronin, Keith’s brother, to fifth overall.

Ger Conway and his driver Stephen Wright were just two places and 8.9 seconds behind in another Ford Fiesta RC2. It was Conway’s first taste of a RC2 car since he and Rob Duggan finished second overall on the 2018 Donegal International Rally.

“There is a taste of more after this,” said Ger after a trouble-free day.
Damien Fleming came close to making it four local co-drivers in the top 10. He and his driver Stephen McCann were 11th, just 16.6 off the leader board. They said it took a while to get used to the bumpy Irish tar after a recent trip to the Tour of Flanders in Belgium.

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Education Minister officially opens The Mon’s new classrooms

A town primary school – which has a deep connection to Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty – has a whole new look which was officially opened today (Friday) by the Minister for Education. Norma Foley TD officially opened the newly constructed wing to the Presentation Monastery Primary School on New Road which will house two special needs classrooms, a multi-sensory room […]

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A town primary school – which has a deep connection to Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty – has a whole new look which was officially opened today (Friday) by the Minister for Education.

Norma Foley TD officially opened the newly constructed wing to the Presentation Monastery Primary School on New Road which will house two special needs classrooms, a multi-sensory room and a general-purpose hall.

The project, which was funded by Department of Education along with money raised by the school as part of their ‘THE MON-ster Fundraiser’, was just one of three officially opened new additions to the school along with a special dedication of the school’s hall in honour of Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty, a past pupil of the school from 1909-1914.

Also, The Most Rev. Ray Browne, Bishop of Kerry, officially opened a three-classroom extension at the school’s present site which was opened in 1958 having moved from its College Street location which was opened in 1838 by the Presentation Brothers.

Former Supreme Court Judge Hugh O’Flaherty and Mrs Pearl Dineen the nephew and niece of Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty officiated over the dedicating of the school’s new hall to past pupil, Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty, in recognition of his heroic deeds during WWII.

O’Flaherty, who also taught at the school later, became better known for the role he played in World War II while at the Vatican leading over 6,500 prisoners of war, partisans and Jews to freedom to earn him the title of the ‘Vatican Pimpernel’, leading to the 1983 film ‘The Scarlet and the Black’ with Gregory Peck portraying the role of O’Flaherty.

OUTDOOR CLASSROOM

A special outdoor classroom ‘Dotts Garden’, dedicated to the memory of Dorothy (Dott) Hennggler the 2011 Washington DC Rose who died at the family home in Baltimore from a brain tumour, was officially opened by Anne O’Shea (aunt of the late Dorothy), and Àine McMahon (cousin of the late Dorothy and BOM member). The outdoor classroom was beautifully decorated over the summer by artist Katríona Lynch.

Due to COVID restrictions, the main event took place outdoors with staff joined by a small group of pupils selected from each of the classes representing the student body along with members of the school’s Board of Management.

“Your achievements have been remarkable over the last number of months,” Minister of Education, Norma Foley, said today at the official opening.

“It is my wish going forward that the next year in education will be less complicated, less trying and less difficult one. I think school staff are deserving of that. We can put the COVID atmosphere behind us and we are moving positively along. We hope that in a few months we will talk about living in a post-COVID time. The story of Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty speaks of the calibre of students produced here, but it also speaks of the courage and bravery and vision that Kerry people can have in the most difficult and trying of times.”

School principal Colm Ó Suilleabháin, who is shortly moving on to St Oliver’s NS in Ballycasheen, was delighted to be in attendance to see the building come to fruition.

“It’s a fantastic culmination of hard work by the staff and the Board of Management, and we are delighted to see the school is fully equipped and resourced for the next generation of pupils from Killarney and beyond,” he said.

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