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Over 50 new jobs at Hilliard’s as new Killarney business opens




One of the most iconic and distinguished retail brands in Killarney’s long and proud commercial history is to be revived as part of an exciting new business venture due to open its doors in the coming days.

SIGN OF THE TIMES: Project manager Tony Ladden (left) and master craftsman Gene Evans reinstating the iconic Hilliard’s store sign on Main Street. Photo: Valerie O'Sullivan

Hilliard’s – the name chosen for a vibrant new restaurant and cocktail bar on 6/7 Main Street – will have huge significance for a whole generation of people in Killarney given the major influence the Hilliard family had in the area for well over a century and a half.

The official opening has been planned for Friday, July 8 but there is some suggestion of a sneak-peak this coming weekend.

The unveiling of the back to the future brand is particularly appropriate given that the new development, undertaken by the Sheahan Group, located on the exact site of the former R Hilliard and Sons department store which remains a landmark building on the town’s main retail thoroughfare.

The new venture will bring the number of people employed by the Sheahan Group to over 500 with more than 50 new jobs being created at Hilliard’s.

Members of the Hilliard family are thrilled that the name and building will again become central to the commercial life of Killarney town.

The House of Hilliard, established in 1848, is synonymous with enduring quality, craftsmanship and style. For 148 years, Hilliard’s traded as a department store, attracting well-heeled shoppers to sample an unrivalled selection of fine, handmade wares, from haberdashery to drapery and footwear.

The thread of masterful crafting will be sewn through the new Hilliard’s experience, from signature cocktails and small plates to delicious mains, comprising the freshest local ingredients, in a space thoughtfully designed to be welcoming and inviting.

Hilliard’s today, as before, has a family business at its core. The new team will be led by executive chef Diarmuid Murphy, head chef Rory Gabriel, mixologist Ariel Sanecki and operations manager Siobhan Whelan.

The striking feature original sign at the top of the building’s exterior, dating back to 1917, has been painstakingly restored by master craftsmen to ensure the business remains true to its roots at the beating heart of Killarney town.

Originally commissioned by John Hilliard, who consulted with the Irish language department in UCC, it was the first Irish language façade in Killarney and the first use of the word ‘Teoranta’ on any sign of its kind on a shopfront.

Hilliard’s, the stylish elder sister of JM Reidys, will add significantly to Main Street’s rich and colourful history while ensuring a bright future.

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Proinsias says farewell to Gaelscoil after 33 years

By Michelle Crean For over three decades one face has been constant at Gaelscoil Faithleann but today (Friday) it all changes as the school’s first and only Principal to date […]



By Michelle Crean

For over three decades one face has been constant at Gaelscoil Faithleann but today (Friday) it all changes as the school’s first and only Principal to date says a fond farewell.

It’s a day full of mixed emotions for Proinsias Mac Curtain who was appointed the school’s Principal on September 1, 1989.

Today, the school’s 245 children and staff will host a number of events at the school for him which are sure to stir a few emotions.

It follows a special Mass on Innisfallen Island on Saturday morning as 150 children, staff members, parents council and Board of Management members boarded a boat for the occasion. And the location was apt as the school is called after the island, Proinsias explained to the Killarney Advertiser.

“It was lovely, it was meaningful as the school is called after Innisfallen Island. I’ve been blessed with the school community down through the years. It was a pleasure to work with school staff and parents, Boards of Management – but the most important is the children. I’m proud of them and their achievements. They are great children and I’ll miss them.”

He said the school will be in great hands as Lisa Ni Iarlaithe, who has been at the school since 1991, takes over as Principal.

He also praised the hardworking staff.

“I’ll miss it but I’m comfortable to step back as the school is in excellent hands.”

Proinsias is originally from Tournafulla Co Limerick. He began his career as a teacher in Scoil Iognáid in the centre of Galway city, the largest Gaelscoil in the country at the time.

Shortly before he died his father Jerry, who loved to holiday for a few days a year in Killarney, had heard of a new school opening here and phoned Proinsias to tell him. The rest they say is history.

He says his love of Irish language was inspired by Tournafulla Primary School Principal Liam O Loineacháin and in St Ita’s College Abbeyfeale by Jim Tierney and the late Johnny Nelligan.

And although three decades is a long time, Proinsias says it flew by and that he has seen many changes over the years. The first is seeing the children of former pupils coming to school. The second is the advancement of technology – some good and some not so good!

“The biggest change was the growth of technology, the changeover to the whiteboard and the use of devices which makes it challenging for parents. It’s wonderful you can access so much, but there are advantages and disadvantages.”

He added a huge thanks to his wife Karen who supported him down through the years when he was out late at meetings, adding that she was “very patient”.

He also thanked Sean O Luanaigh.

“He has been my chairperson since the start and has been such a tremendous support, help and guidance down through the years.”

In retirement he plans to spend more time with his family including his three children Ruadhán, Meadhbh and Cormac.

He also plans to get more involved in Beaufort Tidy Towns as well as the Annals of Innisfallen project.

“It’s always been an interest of mine. I also plan to relax for a few weeks, make more time for family, and I look forward to playing more trad music, bee keeping, gardening and travel.”


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Start clocking up those ‘Kingdom Kilometres’

With an increase in daylight hours there’s no better time to clock up the ‘Kingdom Kilometres’ on foot or by cycling along the county’s two new Greenways. The recently opened […]




With an increase in daylight hours there’s no better time to clock up the ‘Kingdom Kilometres’ on foot or by cycling along the county’s two new Greenways.

The recently opened Kingdom of Kerry Greenways between Tralee and Fenit and between Listowel and Abbeyfeale are already proving hugely popular with locals and visitors to Kerry.

Representatives of the tourism Industry, local public representatives, travel writers and influencers gathered in Kerry on Monday to experience the exciting new tourist attractions and welcome the arrival of the longer daylight hours as the clocks changed over to summertime.

Sarah Hanrahan, a social media influencer who posts about Irish travel and has more than 100,000 Instagram followers, described the experience.

“Ireland has some of the most amazing outdoor spaces. For a lot of my followers and other people, connecting with green spaces has become much more important to their overall sense of well-being as well as their health and fitness. It’s been really gorgeous to experience the Tralee to Fenit, and Listowel to Limerick Kingdom of Kerry Greenways; a fantastic trip sampling the warm hospitality of Kerry and a great reminder of the active holiday options that are right on our doorstep.”

The new purpose-built trails provide an accessible and inclusive experience for visitors of all abilities.

Mayor of Tralee, Cllr Mikey Sheehy and the Mayor of Listowel, Cllr Aoife Thornton, said that the greenways offer an exceptional recreational amenity for everyone to enjoy.

“The greenways are situated in some of Kerry’s most scenic landscapes and offer spectacular and safe off-road facilities for people of all ages to enjoy as the landscape comes into bloom. They also offer warm hospitality at the trail head towns of each route.”

Visit to find out more.


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