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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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Artists invited to showcase work at Wine and Art night

It’s back – and not before time – the hugely popular Killarney Rotary Club evening of Wine and Art will return this November. The pandemic enforced its absence and now […]

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0240356_Rotary_Club_President__Rayla_Tadjimatova.jpeg

It’s back – and not before time – the hugely popular Killarney Rotary Club evening of Wine and Art will return this November.

The pandemic enforced its absence and now every effort is being made to make up for lost time.

Widely regarded as one of the social highlights of the year in Killarney, this year’s gathering will take place in the Great Southern Killarney on Wednesday, November 30, commencing at 7.15pm.

Tickets, which will be available at the door, are priced at €20 and all proceeds raised on the night will go to deserving local charities and community organisations.

Over the years the evening of wine and art has raised tens of thousands of Euro for great causes and the 2022 proceeds will be of enormous benefit to the chosen groups.

This year, once again, the event is being held in association with Daly’s SuperValu and supported by Killarney Brewing and Distilling Company.

Rotary Club President, Rayla Tadjimatova, has appealed to all artists who might like to showcase their work on the night to get in touch with club members, as soon as possible, to guarantee inclusion.

“We are reaching out not only to artists who have supported the event in the past but to any new artists who wish to take the opportunity to place their work in front of a very appreciative local audience of up to one thousand people on the night,” she said.

Those interested should email killarneyrotaryclub@gmail.com as soon as possible.

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Gardai seek whereabouts of missing Kerry teen

Gardaí are asking the public for their help in locating a 15-year-old teenager. Nicolas O’Sullivan has been missing from Ballyvelly, Tralee, since Monday (October 3). He is described as being […]

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Gardaí are asking the public for their help in locating a 15-year-old teenager.

Nicolas O’Sullivan has been missing from Ballyvelly, Tralee, since Monday (October 3).

He is described as being approximately 6ft in height, of a slim build with brown hair and green eyes. When last seen Nicolas was wearing grey tracksuit bottoms and a black hoody top. He was also carrying a black bag.

Anyone with information on Nicolas’ whereabouts is asked to contact Tralee Garda Station on 066 710 2300, the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111, or any Garda Station.

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