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Niall Kelleher elected new Mayor of Killarney

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By Michelle Crean

Fianna Fáil Councillor Niall Kelleher has been elected the new Mayor/Cathaoirleach of Killarney Municipal District (KMD).

MAYOR: Fianna Fáil's Niall Kelleher has been elected the new Mayor/Cathaoirleach of Killarney.

He was voted in during the Annual General Meeting of the KMD held in County Buildings today (Monday). 

Kelleher replaces Labour Cllr Marie Moloney who held the role for the past year for the Killarney Municipal District. Councillors also elected Cllr John O'Donoghue (Independent) as Deputy Mayor/Leas Cathaoirleach for the Killarney Municipal District.

In her outgoing speech, Cllr Moloney praised her Council colleagues, groups she worked with and her family for their support over the past year.

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Marie Moloney's (left) term of office as Mayor of Killarney ended today (Monday). She is pictured with Mary G O'Sullivan (right) admiring the plaque to Janie McCarthy after it was unveiled on Mission Road last week. It was one of her last official duties as mayor. Photo: Michelle Crean

“It has been an absolute honour and privilege to have been elected Cathaoirleach of Killarney Municipal District and to act as mayor of a town I love so much," she said.

She added that she was proud of honouring two women during her term as mayor, Hannah Carey and Janie McCarthy, by unveiling plaques in the town.

She thanked the numerous organisations she has worked with; the 4th of July, Christmas in Killarney, St Patrick’s Day, Wander Wild, Rally of the Lakes, and groups such as the Soroptimists, the Rotary Club and Killarney Chamber.

“The respect that was shown to the office of mayor and to me personally was second to none. I want to say a sincere thanks to all the organisations I have worked with and participated with over the past year."

INCOMING MAYOR

Incoming mayor, Cllr Niall Kelleher, said that he had a number of key priorities for the year ahead including progressing works on the Killarney Bypass.

"I want to see work started and significant progress made during my 12 month term as mayor and the sooner the better," he said.

"I know that this is an aspiration shared by all my colleagues and indeed officials present. The message going out here today is "let's get the job done and let's get it done now."

Another of his ambitions, which he said he tabled as a motion last March, is to have the "magnificent" 12th century Annals of Inisfallen returned to Killarney "where they belong".

He said a renewed effort should be made to have the "priceless" Annals returned and he intends to set up a working group to liaise with the library in Oxford University where the Annals are currently housed.

"It would be an enormous privilege and economic boost to Killarney "even for the summer months".

"My promise to the people of Killarney - if it can be done, it will be done."

Litter is another issue he plans to focus on from introducing a coffee cup levy to an urgent focus on discarding of cigarette butts.

Looking forward for the year, he said that he fully intends to reintroduce the Mayor's Ball to raise "much needed" funds for local charities.

"I think it is a wonderful opportunity for us all and the community to gather together in a social setting to enjoy some laughs, get in a dance or two and support deserving causes.

"The only guarantee I will give you at this stage is that after two years of what we've been through, it certainly will not be a masked ball."

He added that he has six months left as his current position as President of Killarney Chamber of Tourism and Commerce, but that his "absolute priority" will be to represent the people of Killarney "to the best of my ability".

Council colleagues congratulated him on his new role saying that his priorities are "ambitious" and "achievable" but that he has the experience to see them through.

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Seven An Post staff retire

Seven well-known staff members at An Post Killarney celebrated retirement this week. The staff, Mary O’Sullivan, Joe Clifford, Paudie Cronin, Joe Coffey, Tom Ashe, Jerry McCarthy and Dan Murphy were […]

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Seven well-known staff members at An Post Killarney celebrated retirement this week.

The staff, Mary O’Sullivan, Joe Clifford, Paudie Cronin, Joe Coffey, Tom Ashe, Jerry McCarthy and Dan Murphy were treated to an night of celebration and reminiscing by the South Kerry branch of the Communication Workers Union of Ireland.

The retirees, their families and colleagues enjoyed an evening at ‘The Panoramic’ the newly named restaurant upstairs at Killarney Racecourse.

Ollie Favier, of the Shire fame has taken over responsibility for operating the coffee shop / restaurant at the racecourse.

“A beautiful venue and apt that Ollie’s father Dan RIP from Glenflesk, was also a long serving postman in the community,” said John O’Shea, the Union Secretary An Post Killarney.

“The night included music with Derry Healy and Rosie Healy and was attended by up to 80 people, under the attentive guidance of Sales and Marketing Manager Emma O’Connor and Ollie’s right hand man, Colin Daly

“The event the food and the atmosphere was a great success and credit to all Ollie’s staff for being great hosts. “

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Watch Video: Primary School Students share knowledge from Coffee Cup Project

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Killarney primary schools have joined the crusade against single use coffee cups this week by joining the Killarney Coffee Cup Project and declaring themselves single use coffee cup free. The Killarney Coffee Project is a community grassroots project aimed at eliminating single use coffee cups from Killarney town centre to protect Killarney National Park and the towns surroundings all in the name of conservation.

Alan Oliver, a local coffee shop owner, Lir Café, who is one of the participants of the project has said that he is “thrilled to see the project extend into the local schools. Teaching young people about why we should be moving away from a throw away culture is imperative to the continuous success of projects like this. Today’s young people are the future custodians of this town and so educating them on the importance of sustainability will ensure that Killarney and its National Park will be in safe hands for future generations.”

The schools involved in declaring themselves single use coffee cup free include Holycross Mercy, Gaelscoil Faithleann, Presentation Monastery, Glenflesk, Knocknanes, Coolick, Loreto, Lissivigeen and Tiernaboul. This follows on from the Killarney Coffee Cup Primary Schools Initiative which took place last November supported by Killarney Credit Union, the Kerry Biosphere, and the IKC3 project in MTU.

In November the 5th classes in the Killarney area were brought to Muckross School House and Killarney House for a 2-hour immersive environmental education experience around our connection to the Kerry Biosphere and citizen climate action. Here the students learned about our biosphere and how we as citizens and sustainable initiatives like the Killarney Coffee Cup Project can protect this Special Area of Conservation. Finally, they went outside to work with a park ranger, collecting acorns in leftover disposable compostable cups that the project had gathered from various businesses. They took these acorns back to their classrooms where they have planted and are caring for their oak tree. In 2024, these young oak tree seedlings will be planted back into the National Park.

The Killarney Coffee Cup Project is the 1st of its kind in the world, and it is something that belongs to all the citizens of the town. We all own this!

Want to hear from the future voices of our environment?

This week the Killarney Advertiser caught up with primary schoolers who have been busy learning all about protecting our amazing natural environment

Watch our video where the future eco-warriors share what they’ve learned about keeping our Killarney healthy and thriving! Here is to the next generation of environmental stewards!

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