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One Killarney man’s 25-year Pretty Polly mission

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Jerry O’Grady, former director of Pretty Polly in Killarney and a member of the board of trustees, has welcomed Kerry ETB’s decision to develop the site into a third level education building.

He was there when the factory closed in 1996 and returned when Pretty Polly’s parent company tried to make a second go of it.

He oversaw the sale of the site to Killarney Town Council under the strict caveat that the premises would be used “For the purposes of benefiting the general community of Killarney and its surrounding area”.

O'Grady was part of a three man group of trustees that also included the UK based Group Financial Controller Sam Sturgis and fellow former Pretty Polly Director, the late Tom O’Donohoe.

This week’s news is a very welcome development, he explained.

“There were a number of false dawns and disappointments while the fabric of the building and its facilities rapidly deteriorated,” he said.

“But all’s well that ends well and we are greatly heartened by Minister Harris’s announcement of the planned transformation of the Pretty Polly property into a Kerry ETB third level National Centre of Excellence for the hospitality and related sustainable energy industries," he said.

“Great credit is due to all involved in the Kerry Education and Training Board and the Local Authorities in arriving at this exciting and progressive plan. It is most appropriate that Ireland’s tourism capital should become the home for the industry’s future sustainable development.

"How gratifying to see that the long-running Pretty Polly property saga is finally coming to what appears to be a most welcome and very satisfactory conclusion."

Pretty Polly Timeline

1967 Pretty Polly opens in Killarney leading to a peak of 1,200 jobs

1991 Pretty Polly’s Global Operation bought out by Sara Lee

1996 Factory closes

1995 Factory offered to Irish Industrial Agency (IDA) in an effort to attract a new operation

1996 – 2000 A board of trustees actively promote the buildings to IDA

1999 Sara Lee, Pretty Polly’s parent company, returns offering 300 jobs

2005 Sara Lee closes

2005 Ownership transfers back to board of trustees

2006 A medical products firm creates 50 jobs on the site

2006 Killarney Town Council purchases factory from Board of Trustees

2009 Building emptied for final time with the closure of the medical firm

2015 Killarney Municipal District elected members apply pressure to Kerry County Council executives to do something with the site

2017 Plans to develop both the former Denny factory in Tralee and Pretty Polly in Killarney to get funding as part of the Town and Village Renewal Scheme.

2018 BNP Paribas fails to find a buyer on behalf of Council (crucially, before the 2019 local elections)

2021 In March the Council revealed it is to build houses on a portion of the sprawling acre site

2021 In May local councillor Marie Moloney, a board member of Kerry Education and Training Board reveals that the ETB are actively interested in the site as a potential training centre

2022 Kerry ETB announce plans to build a training centre on the site

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Credit Union launch a new collaboration with Gilroy’s Green Energy Ltd.

Building on recent success the Credit Unions of Kerry and West Limerick have launched a new collaboration with Gilroy’s Green Energy Ltd. Gilroy’s Green Energy Ltd specialise in Photovoltaic (PV) […]

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Building on recent success the Credit Unions of Kerry and West Limerick have launched a new collaboration with Gilroy’s Green Energy Ltd.

Gilroy’s Green Energy Ltd specialise in Photovoltaic (PV) Solar systems that generate electricity, battery storage, air to water heat-pumps and much more.
Gilroy’s work with customers to receive the SEAI once-off grant towards the purchase and installation of solar photovoltaic (PV) systems and heat pumps for your home.
Collaborating with Kerry and West Limerick Credit Union expands the finance options available to Gilroy’s Green Energy Ltd customers to help finance new PV Solar Panel installations. Loan rates will be directly linked to the property BER starting from 4.7%(4.89APR) for an “A” rated BER.
Martin Gilroy; CEO with Gilroy’s Green Energy Ltd said: “We are delighted to officially launch this collaboration with the Credit Unions of Kerry and West Limerick. Customers have already reaped the benefits on recent installation projects after contacting their local Credit Union. Having a direct link to local Credit Unions allows us to guide customers to affordable financing options based on the specific installation quotation we provide at very competitive rates.“
Speaking on behalf of the Kerry and West Limerick Credit Unions, Ashley Fitzgerald added: “We are delighted to have Gilroy’s Green Energy Ltd come on board as part of our Greener Homes Loan offering. Home Energy Upgrade have become a prominent concern and talking point among members in recent months, by Credit Unions having a direct link with Gilroy’s Green Energy Ltd allows both sides to make referrals and seek the best finance option for members. We are working hard building relationships with Green Energy Ltd providers as we want to ensure our members can avail of the best loan rates for all upgrade works.”
Credit Unions across Kerry and West Limerick. Abbeyfeale Credit Union, Cara Credit Union, Killarney Credit Union, Listowel Credit Union and Rathmore and District Credit Union can be reached via: www.creditunion.ie
Gilroy’s Green Energy Ltd can be contacted on 066-7115920, email info@gilroys.ie or for more information visit www.gilroys.ie.

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Racegoers Club to host Cheltenham Preview Night

Killarney Racegoers Club will host its annual Cheltenham Preview Night in Corkery’s Bar on March 7. Admission is free and this year’s chosen beneficiary is the Killarney Branch of St […]

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Killarney Racegoers Club will host its annual Cheltenham Preview Night in Corkery’s Bar on March 7.

Admission is free and this year’s chosen beneficiary is the Killarney Branch of St Vincent De Paul Society.
The expert panel includes professional punter Paddy Wilmott, leading jockey Conor McNamara, up-and-coming Kerry-based trainer Eoin McCarthy and local bookmaker Brendan Tyther with Vince Casey acting as the event’s compere.

“There is no admission fee but a raffle on the night for dual membership of Killarney Racegoers Club for the year, which includes 13 days racing and many reciprocal days to other race meetings,” said Mr Casey.

The Cheltenham Festival begins on March 12.

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