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New winning team for Killarney Race Company




It’s certainly a case of winner alright at Killarney Race Company where a top class new team has been appointed to spearhead on track and off course developments into the future.

The progressive board of directors, under chairman Gerard Coughlan, has announced the appointment of a new Racing Manager, a new Financial Controller and a new Conference and Events Manager to build on the facility’s strengths and to implement a number of exciting new developments to maximise the potential of the scenic course.

“Our new team will bring real focus going forward and we have very high expectations. It is a very exciting time for all involved,” Mr Coughlan said.

The new Racing Manager, Philip O’Brien, is no stranger to the world of horseracing as he has enjoyed a very successful career as an amateur and professional jockey.

A native of Rathkeale, Co Limerick, he received his jockey’s licence at the age of 16 and rode well over 100 winners in a career in the saddle that saw him compete in the 2002 Aintree Grand National and at Cheltenham on a number of occasions.

An Equine Science graduate from the University of Limerick and an established horse trainer, Philip insists there isn’t a racecourse in the world that can match the natural beauty of Killarney and he said the team at the Ross Road facility has worked tirelessly to ensure the course is in pristine condition for the July and August racing festivals.

“The potential for future development is absolutely enormous and there is plenty of scope to move forward,” he said.

“The Board of Directors has put great faith in the new team and we will certainly work hard to bring Killarney Racecourse to new heights,” Philip said.

The new Financial Controller, Jennifer Pyne, also brings great experience to the racecourse following a very successful career in high-level finance.

A Commerce and Spanish graduate from University College Cork, she spent four years with Curran and Moore Accountants in Killarney and the past nine years with Monex Financial Services in Killarney.

“Working with Killarney Race Company is a wonderful challenge and it’s great to be part of a new team with some very exciting plans in the pipeline,” said Jennifer, a native of Killarney who is married to Derek. They have two children, Ollie (3) and one-year-old Alice.

Megan Daly Tyrell, the newly appointed Conference and Events Manager, has been at the cutting edge of the industry for many years and she has spent the past seven years managing key accounts for the INEC and Killarney Convention Centre

Megan was responsible for submitting the successful tender for the Irish citizenship ceremony which attracted thousands of people to Killarney last May and, in fact, that contract is for two ceremonies a year for two years.

Involved in the hospitality industry since she was 14 years of age, she previously worked in the former Malton Hotel – now the Great Southern Killarney – and The Brehon Hotel and her speciality is attracting high-end conference and events business to town.

A mother of an eight-year-old boy, Joseph, Megan said there is huge potential to further develop the facilities and the offering at Killarney Racecourse and the possibilities for the short and long-term future are limitless.

“The backdrop is just spectacular and the whole place is under-ultilsed. My intention is to make it the go-to destination in Killarney for events and conferences,” she said.

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Eight month wait for a driving test in Killarney

A Killarney councillor is calling for action in an effort to reduce the driving test wait list in Killarney The current wait list for a test in Killarney sits at […]




A Killarney councillor is calling for action in an effort to reduce the driving test wait list in Killarney

The current wait list for a test in Killarney sits at eight months.

Cllr John O’Donoghue raised the issue at Monday’s full meeting of Kerry County Council.

He proposed that driving instructors should be employed to carry out the final test to reduce the current backlog.

At Monday’s meeting he asked that hat Kerry County Council would write to the Minister for Transport to ask him to consider giving driving instructors temporary powers to issue a temporary Driving Licence/Certificate of Competence to those on the waiting list for tests.

“The wait is currently far too long and the system is in danger of becoming completely overwhelmed,” he said.

“The huge waiting list for young drivers is well documented at this stage. In a case I am familiar with, a young person passed their theory test in January 2022 and he immediately applied for his mandatory 12 driving lessons. When these were completed, he applied for his driving test on the 2nd of December 2022. Some weeks ago, he still had not received an application to apply for his driving test. This wait is placing him and his family under considerable extra cost and stress which is completely unacceptable.”

In the course of his research into the matter Cllr O’Donoghue discovered that the next available date for a driving test in Killarney is May 25, 2024, while Tralee is June 3 2024.

“Bear in mind, these are only the dates on which you receive an invitation to book your test, the test itself will then be an estimated three to five weeks later.

“This is an appalling situation and one which needs to be rectified as a matter of urgency. I am proposing that driving instructors, which presumably are fully trained up on the rules of the road, be granted temporary powers to be allowed to issue temporary driving licences to young people. When the waiting list time has been reduced, I would still propose that these people sit the test as usual, but the current pressure needs to be alleviated as soon as possible. There is precedent as I believe that in the 1970s, a cohort in this country were issued driving licences without having sat a test as the wait time for the test was too long.”


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Ballymac charity vintage run on October 1

The Ballymac Vintage Club is hosting a classic car, tractor and Honda 50 run on October 1. The run will leave from and return to the Halfway Bar, Ballymac. Registration […]




The Ballymac Vintage Club is hosting a classic car, tractor and Honda 50 run on October 1.

The run will leave from and return to the Halfway Bar, Ballymac.

Registration begins at 9:30am and sets off at 11am.

“There will be two separate routes with one for tractors and the other for cars and motorbikes. Proceeds on the day are in aid of Castleisland Day Care Centre and we’ll have plenty of spot prizes to giveaway too in the morning,” said the club’s PRO Kieran Glover.


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