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No visitors, but there’s new life at Kennedy’s Pet Farm

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NEW KID ON THE BLOCK: Max Kennedy, son of Jerry and Tracy Kennedy, pictured holding a one day old baby kid.

By Michelle Crean

New life is springing into action at one of the county's most loved pet farms - but it'll be a while yet before the public get to meet the new additions.
Kennedy's Pet Farm, located on the Killarney/Cork road, is a popular destination for a day out for families from across the county and beyond - but like most places, COVID has put a halt to that.

For now, as like every other year, the seasonal business is closed to the public, however, the usual March start won't be going ahead either due to the current pandemic.

The animals, which include donkeys, ponies, horses, cows, sheep, goats, deer, birds including ducks, geese, pheasants, doves, pigeons and guinea hens of course are oblivious to what the world is currently going through - but will most likely miss the human visitors over the coming months.

The pet farm side of the business was founded in 1991 by Diarmuid and Noreen Kennedy. It's now run by their son Jerry and his wife Tracy, and the couple's two children Max (2) and Molly (7) are helping to take care of the animals.

Originally a dairy farm, the family's love of pets grew into a small business, and after a Compulsory Purchase Order halved the farm, they later decided to focus on running the pet farm full-time.

And to say it was a success is an understatement. Thousands enjoy a day out every year at the seasonal business which normally opens after St Patrick's Day right through to late October.

Jerry explained this week to the Killarney Advertiser that they're hopeful that once COVID numbers decrease they can reopen in the summer to visitors.

"Every time we plan anything the rug gets pulled from under you," Jerry said. "Normally we get 35 to 40 weeks out of the season. Last year we missed Paddy's Day and all the school tours."

A difficult year, the family had no option but to stay closed as the COVID outbreak occurred just as they were getting ready to reopen. With eight full-time staff in the high season and a number of part-time seasonal workers, they had to make speedy adjustments as the lockdown was lifted.

"We got to open for 10 weeks. We got some of the busy season, families looking for a day out but we had to restrict the times from 10am to 1pm and 1.30pm to 4pm to separate people out. Seating had to be taken out of the coffee shop and we had to switch to a take away option."

And he added that "the costs of running a business are still there" as all the animals need feeding every day.
"There's also an investment in reopening to get it right - this idea of half opening isn't right. Half doing something - you're doing more damage."

He added that "the animals are getting on fine" but will miss the visitors in the coming months.

And Jerry added that regular messages are sent to the family from the public to find out how the animals are doing.
"On Facebook we're getting lots of messages, people asking how the animals are. We're hopeful we'll get back soon."

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Killarney centre stage for Pride Festival

The award-winning Kingdom Pride in Kerry festival is back next week and Killarney will take centre stage. Kingdom Pride will be celebrated in towns all across the county from July […]

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The award-winning Kingdom Pride in Kerry festival is back next week and Killarney will take centre stage.

Kingdom Pride will be celebrated in towns all across the county from July 17 to 21.

The organisation’s flagship Party in the Park event will be held again in Killarney House and Gardens, following the Pride march in the town centre on July 20.

This year, in solidarity with the people of Palestine, Kingdom Pride in Kerry is inviting the people of Kerry to come to show their unity by bringing Palestinian flags and kites to the march, and to the Party in the Park.

“Pride is a protest for human rights all over the world. Here in the Kingdom, we have been so lucky to receive tremendous community support from our allies and supporters, and we see the struggle for liberation of all peoples as a united cause,” said Daniel Quirke, chairperson of the organising committee.

“Our events have always welcomed everyone, regardless of gender, orientation, religion, or nationality. We truly believe that together we can create positive change through caring for and loving one another. This year is no exception, and we look forward to helping to highlight the Palestinian cause, and to bringing people together to keep generating positive change for all people.”

Events will take place in Cahersiveen, Listowel, Killorglin, Tralee and Dingle, and include an Irish comedy night with Áine Gallagher, an Irish-language movie screening, yoga, sea swimming, poetry and storytelling, bowling, pitch and putt, a lively drag night at the INEC, and plenty more for people of all ages.

“We do our best to keep tickets as low-cost as possible, and we have lots of events that are totally free to attend. It is important to us that people can share Pride with us, regardless of income. Especially with the rise of the cost of living putting a strain on people’s pockets.” added the chairperson.

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A weekend of Live Music, Fun and Entertainment, at FleskFest 2024

The organisers of the annual FleskFest have “a tremendous line-up, with a weekend full of entertainment to suit all” for the July 18 to 20 event. “It promises to be […]

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The organisers of the annual FleskFest have “a tremendous line-up, with a weekend full of entertainment to suit all” for the July 18 to 20 event.

“It promises to be the festival weekend of the summer, an event you don’t want to miss out on. Last year’s Festival was a fantastic memorable experience for our community, a time to get together and celebrate,” said festival PRO Seán Daly.

Organised by Glenflesk GAA, FleskFest 24 will take place at the Barraduff Community Field next week.
There will be a fully licensed bar in the Fest Marquee, some amazing live music on The Big Stage, food trucks and much more.
Glenflesk GAA club’s biggest fundraiser of the year includes a new-for-2024 Texas Holdem Poker Tournament on Thursday night.
Weekend highlights include old-time waltzing, jiving and polka sets with Paudie McAuliffe and Paudie Coffey Band on Friday,
On Saturday, the new Well Flesk event will take place.
“A morning of self-care and wellness at Flesk Fest featuring masterclasses in yoga, pilates, mindfulness, spinning, fitness sessions, workouts, firewood sauna and ice pods with a range of experienced and qualified instructors,” added Daly.
Leading local musician Johnny Courtney and Friends, Sam and Ina, The O’Donoghue Sisters, Reigning All Ireland Champions Glenflesk Ballad Group, and The Border Boys will take to the Big Stage over the weekend.
Sunday is Family Fun Day with children’s entertainment and disco and the All-Ireland Hurling Final Live on the Big screen followed by music with Thingamajig.
The festival will finish with a Sunday evening session with the Meadhbh Walsh Band.

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