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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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Comedy drama ready for the stage

By Michelle Crean Get out your diary and book in these December dates as Dochas Drama Group is ready to take to the stage. What does a hypochondriac, a grumpy […]




By Michelle Crean

Get out your diary and book in these December dates as Dochas Drama Group is ready to take to the stage.

What does a hypochondriac, a grumpy father and a confused visitor to the dentist, all have in common? You’ll have to come along to the Killarney Avenue Hotel on Monday, December 12, Tuesday 13 and Wednesday 14 at 8pm to find out.

The popular drama group will present their three new comedies featuring the work of playwrights Brian Bowler, Ger Madden and Mary Quirke.Come along for a night filled with fun and laughter. Just the right beginning to the festive season. Doors open at 7.15pm and tickets are available at the door. All tickets; adults, seniors, students and children are €10. Don’t miss a great night out.


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Teens theory is a national winner

Watch out Dallas as three local students are ready to take their science theory and blow the competition out of the water. Liam Waldron, Rachel Griffin and Luke O’Sullivan, Sixth […]



Watch out Dallas as three local students are ready to take their science theory and blow the competition out of the water.

Liam Waldron, Rachel Griffin and Luke O’Sullivan, Sixth Year students from Killarney Community College, were named SciFest STEM Champions 2022 for their Group Theoretic Approach to Pythagoras’ Theorem.

The national finals of SciFest Ireland were held at the Marino Conference Centre in Dublin last Friday and they were attended by finalists from across Ireland.

The amazing trio will now go on to represent Ireland at the Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair (Regeneron ISEF) which will be held in Dallas, Texas in May 2023.

The students secured their place at the national final after they won the overall prize at the SciFest regional competition at MTU Kerry in May this year.

Their project takes possibly one of the most well-known theorems that everyone remembers from school, Pythagoras’ Theorem. It provides an alternate proof of it, while also highlighting how right-angled triangles naturally provide a link between two coordinate systems and how this special case can naturally recreate the Pythagorean Theorem.

Supported by Intel Ireland and Boston Scientific, SciFest was set up 17 years ago by Sheila Porter and her husband George.

It is the largest, most inclusive STEM fair programme for second-level students in Ireland.

“The aim of SciFest has always been to develop a love of STEM and of inquiry-based learning and every year it is refreshing to see how the students of today continue to love and enjoy immersing themselves in science, technology, engineering and maths,” Sheila Porter, SciFest CEO, said.

“As SciFest grows each year, we grow more excited to see what new experiments and technologies are thought of and created. This year, students have shown incredible innovation in how STEM can make a positive impact on society, with initiatives in farming, space exploration and healthcare.”

Each year SciFest awards a ‘Teacher of Excellence’ and this year Máire Spillane was the recipient for her work with Luke, Rachel and Liam. She accompanied them to both finals and could not be prouder of this huge achievement at national level.

Killarney Community College held a whole school assembly to congratulate the SciFest champions in school and the SciFest STEM Champions 2022 were met with rapturous applause from all students and staff.

Ms Spillane spoke about the importance of STEM subjects and acknowledged the fact that Killarney Community College offers all students the opportunity to study all four of the disciplines, Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths and how our students are encouraged to submit projects every year into SciFest. It may be a competition run by science teachers, but in KCC cross-curricular co-operation by teachers of all subjects, is practiced on a daily basis.

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