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Repot your Shamrock and watch it grow!

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By Debby Looney, gardening expert

Seamair óg, or Shamrock, must surely be our featured plant this week.

Until last year, I had never taken much notice of Shamrock as a plant, however, in a fit of curiosity I bought little live Shamrock plants in a number of outlets to see what they would actually grow into.

We all know the religious story behind St Patrick and the little three leaved plant, but I was curious to know whether there is one specific plant which equates to Shamrock. After doing some research, I have concluded that it could have been any of a number of different plants which St Patrick held in his hand. The word Shamrock derives from the Irish ‘seamair' meaning clover, and ‘óg' meaning young. The most common clovers in this country would be white clover, Trifolium repens, and meadow trefoil, or Trifolium dubium. However, red clover, or Trifolium pratense, is also a contender! One of the oldest herbal books, Gerard's Herbal, published in 1597 identified Irish Shamrock to be meadow trefoil, while the Irish botanist, Caleb Threlkeld, identified it as white field clover in 1726.

MEADOW PLANTING

Whichever one St Patrick might have used, it is clear to me that the growers of Shamrock are still not in agreement which it was either! Out of 10 plants I bought last year, I have three meadow trefoil, which are the prettiest green, and flower yellow. These are ideal for meadow planting as insects love them. I have one red clover which grows to a height of 30cm and is ideal in ditches and wild areas. I have one Persian clover, a slightly soft, tall, hairy plant with carmine coloured flowers. This is often included in wildflower mixtures as it is pretty and has a long flowering season. It is the least hardy of these clovers. I ended up with two oxalis which are wood sorrel, and finally three white clover. White clover is an ideal companion plant to lawn grass and I would encourage anyone setting lawn seed to include it in their seed mix. White clover stays low and can be mown along with the grass. It has white flowers, which are a rich source of nectar. It is not particularly invasive, and will not take over the lawn. It does however benefit your grass greatly by ‘setting' nitrogen, thus making nitrogen available to the grass, making it richer, stronger and greener. This also means you do not need to fertilise your lawn as much.

So, if you have bought a pot of Shamrock, be sure to repot it and let it grow a little, then find it a nice spot in your garden, because, regardless of its historical accuracy, all Shamrock has great merit!

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Volunteers wanted for street collection

By Michelle Crean October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and local volunteers are keen to not only raise awareness but also funds. Kathrina Breen, Eleanor O’Doherty and Kathleen O’Shea who […]

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By Michelle Crean

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and local volunteers are keen to not only raise awareness but also funds.

Kathrina Breen, Eleanor O’Doherty and Kathleen O’Shea who have been supporting the Irish Cancer Society for many years are delighted to be able to get back to their Pink Ribbon street collection in Killarney town next Friday (October 7).

They are the only group in the country doing the collection as many fundraisers have moved online since the pandemic struck.

“We’re the only town in Ireland doing it this year,” Kathrina, who feels it’s important to keep a street collection going, told the Killarney Advertiser.

“We haven’t done it in two years since before COVID. I pushed to do it as it raises a lot of money. People have been supporting this for years, this money goes towards breast detection equipment, information leaflets in doctors surgeries and towards cancer grants.”

In 2021, donations helped 254 breast cancer patients with free transport to and from 2,380 chemotherapy appointments by volunteer drivers, 154 patients received 514 nights of end-of-life care from Night Nurses and 3,430 enquiries were made about breast cancer through the Freephone Support Line 1800 200 700 and at 13 Daffodil Centres across the country.

And she added that they’re looking for a few volunteers to help out on the day.

“If anyone would like to help they can contact me on 087 2612992.”

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Calls for Council to acquire vacant Rock Road properties

By Sean Moriarty There are calls to make two vacant properties on Rock Road available to Kerry County Council’s housing inventory. The two cottages, one either side of the entrance […]

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By Sean Moriarty

There are calls to make two vacant properties on Rock Road available to Kerry County Council’s housing inventory.

The two cottages, one either side of the entrance to St Finan’s Hospital, are vacant for some time.
Cllr Maura Healy-Rae raised the issue at a recent Killarney Municipal District meeting.

“Regarding two vacant houses at the entrance to St Finan’s on Rock Road which appear to be vacant for a significant period of time. One of the properties is in the ownership of the HSE. I requested that Kerry County Council would liaise with the HSE with a view to potentially acquiring this house,” she told the Killarney Advertiser after the meeting.

“I stressed that it is important that the local authority exhaust all possibilities when it comes to providing more houses, particularly properties located within the town of Killarney where the need and demand for housing is critical.”

Kerry County Council said it would get the Vacant Homes Officer to contact the owner of the privately owned bungalow.

“They will inform the property owner that there is funding available under various schemes and grants to aid the return of this property to habitable use. Such schemes include the Repair and Lease Scheme and the recently launched Croí Cónaithe vacant property grant,” said a Council official.

Cllr Healy-Rae added: “I requested that KCC would liaise with the HSE with a view to potentially acquiring this house.”

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