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Reeks District launches new branding and website




Kerry’s Reeks District – selected as one of the top places in the world to visit by Rough Guides in 2019 – has launched its next step for increasing visitor numbers to the region with new branding, a new website and new photography.

The website is much expanded from the region’s previous online presence and showcases the Reeks District’s amazing natural amenities from MacGillycuddy’s Reeks to the Blue Flag beaches of Inch and Rossbeigh, as well as amazing things to see and do in the region.

It also gives local businesses the tools to market themselves to a wider audience under the umbrella of the ultimate Reeks District guide. The web solution is based on a new trend in the tourism industry where travel booking engines are bypassed by locals coming together to create booking and enquiry systems with great functionality and a sleek user interface, but without fees being paid to a third, private party.

Photography for the project was undertaken by a group of landscape, architecture, interior and fashion photographers. The shoot took place over more than 30 locations across 10 days and the photographers were briefed to show the Reeks District exactly as it is, in its full glory, regardless of rainy days and stormy winds. ‘Models’ for the shoot were local enthusiasts, passionate about the activities they partake in.

The launch, which also sees a rebranding of the Reeks District’s Visitor Centre in Killorglin’s Library Place and a new visitor map, is part of a three-year project that began in 2021 and is aimed at radically increasing the Reeks District’s tourism market share and providing long-term sustainable growth, particular in the shoulder seasons of spring and autumn.

As a not-for-profit organisation, funding for the three-year improved marketing drive has come from a number of sources, including membership subscriptions. In 2021, 20-plus local business owners came together to help the programme, providing investment that will total some €500,000 by the end of this initial three-year project in 2024. Funding from other sources, including the Department of Rural and Community Development, LEADER, Kerry County Council and Failte Ireland have also been secured.The project is also supported by the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection and sponsored by Killorglin Community Council.

Tourism is seen as a valuable area of growth for the Reeks District. Like many other regions, visitor numbers suffered during the Covid-19 crisis and the new marketing efforts will help build on the pre-pandemic success of the region following its 2018 re-brand from Mid Kerry.

“The new branding and website provide the next chapter in Reeks District’s development and is aimed at solidifying and improving our position as an emerging destination and one of Ireland’s best-kept secrets, providing sustainable tourism growth particularly in the shoulder seasons," Chair of the Reeks District, Jens Bachem, said.

“With phase one of our three-year plan now reaching completion, we can move onto our second and third phases that include further product development, search engine optimisation, event activation, communications and additional content. Internally our aims are to foster increased cooperation between our members via sharing of resources, knowledge and best practice, so we can continue to improve tourism revenue over the coming years.”

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Wildflowers are not always simple to grow

By Debby Looney, gardening expert There is nothing quite like the low, humming sound of insects in the garden. I always find the different pitches of the buzzing fascinating, from […]




By Debby Looney, gardening expert

There is nothing quite like the low, humming sound of insects in the garden. I always find the different pitches of the buzzing fascinating, from the drone of a big, furry bumble bee to the high pitched whirring of hoverflies.

And wasps always seem to have a dangerous sound – it is unique to them, in any case. It is possible to help pollinators into your garden at almost any time of the year, solitary bees such as bumbles and leafcutter bees, will come out of hibernation on a sunny December day if there are some heather flowers nearby. tulips, hyacinths, crocus and snowdrops provide sustenance in early spring, along with shrubs such as hamamelis, daphne, viburnum and willow. In April, the small flowers of the field maple attract many insects, as do the large trumpet shaped flowers of rhododendrons and azaleas. Wildflowers are now beginning to bloom, and they are the subject of today’s column!

While it seems counterintuitive, wildflowers are not always simple to grow, especially as we mean ‘pretty meadow blooms’ as opposed to ‘weeds’! Creating an area for wildflowers takes some preparation. Most important is that it is a weed free area. Kill off any grass or weeds before sowing, either by using conventional weedkillers, or by laying down a sheet of black polythene or weed suppressant. Make sure any seeds which germinate are removed also, and that problematic plants such as rushes, are dug out. Most importantly, ensure all grass is gone, as wildflowers do not compete well against its vigorous growth. Rake the top layer of the soil loose to a fine tilth, and do not add fertiliser! Wildflowers will generally not do well in a rich soil. When your area is ready, decide which seeds are best for your spot. There is much to choose from, for example, single varieties such as ragged Robin, teasels and poppies, or mixtures. There are seed mixes for perennial meadows, ones which attract birds – these usually have a high volume of seed bearing flowers, mixes for bees, ladybirds or certain colour mixes. There are also soil specific mixes.


Sow your seeds thinly and evenly onto the prepared ground. I tend to cover with netting at this time of year, because, although it is the best time of year to sow, and there is a very high germination rate, birds are also a problem!

The only maintenance really is to keep an eye on slug damage – I scatter in a few pellets when I sow anything – and if there are very dense clumps of seedlings forming, thin them out. When the flowers have gone to seed in the autumn, just cut them to ground level, leave the cuttings a few days for the seeds to drop out, and rake the foliage up. If left to rot in situ, it will make the soil too fertile for a good display the following year.

I mention the use of slug pellets. To the best of my knowledge, the use of metaldehyde poison in slug pellets has been banned for a few years now, and pellets are made of ferric phosphate which is not harmful to pets or birds unless ingested in very large amounts. However, there are some ingredients used in slug pellets which may potentially cause damage to earthworms and other soil dwellers, so please, always use sparingly and where possible, not at all!

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Routine and balance are crucial in the run up to exams

By Niamh Dwyer, Chairperson of the Kerry Branch of Guidance Counsellors As you approach the countdown to the beginning of the Junior and Leaving Cert Exams on June 8, it […]




By Niamh Dwyer, Chairperson of the Kerry Branch of Guidance Counsellors

As you approach the countdown to the beginning of the Junior and Leaving Cert Exams on June 8, it is very important to maintain a healthy balance so that you can pace yourself properly.

It can be tempting to try to pack in long hours of last minute study at this stage and become more focused on what you don’t know instead of what you do! Stress is a normal part of facing exams and in fact a certain amount of it is helpful to ensure that it mobilises you to perform well, but it is essential that you keep it, and the exams, in perspective. After many years of supporting students before, during and after exams, I know too well how overwhelming the experience can be so I urge you to do everything you can to look after your well-being at this stage.

Before the exams

Stick to a good routine with a healthy balance in terms of revision, rest, fresh air, sleep and diet. Don’t be tempted to work late at night as it is usually unproductive and impacts on your concentration the following day. Approach your last minute revision in a targeted way with the guidance you have been given by your teachers. Have a schedule with your exam dates/times highlighted hanging up where it is obvious and visible at home and take a photo to save on your phone.

During the exams

Set two alarms for the mornings of exams and allow lots of extra time. You will need to be in your assigned seat in the exam centre at least 30 minutes before the start of the exam on day one and 15 minutes before all other exams. Hydration is really important during the exams to help with concentration so make sure you have plenty of water. The first thing to do when you look at the paper is to read the instructions carefully, your teacher will have gone through these many times with you. Mark all the questions you are going to do and write out a quick time plan for yourself. Focus on exactly what you are being asked; the most common feedback from examiners is that students give a lot of irrelevant information so keep glancing back at the question to keep yourself on task to target the marks.


If you feel you are becoming really anxious in the exam hall, focus on controlling your breath to bring a sense of calm. Breathe in through your nose for two seconds, hold your breath for one second, and breathe out through your mouth for four seconds. Repeat for one minute.

After the exam

Try to avoid too much discussion after each paper, ‘post-mortems’ of the exams are rarely helpful and can add to stress levels so once each exam is done, take a break and then move on to preparing for the next one. I can tell you that regardless of what happens in each exam, you will have lots of options available to you and an interesting journey ahead.

Keep in mind that while the Leaving Cert is an important exam and big milestone, it will not define you for the rest of your life. Best of luck to the class of 2022!

Niamh Dwyer is a Guidance Counsellor in Scoil Phobail Sliabh Luachra, Rathmore, and Chairperson of the Kerry Branch of Guidance Counsellors. She is also a Career Consultant. For details see or follow @mycareerplan on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.


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