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Survey reveals 1400 deer in Killarney National Park

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By Anne Lucey

Preliminary results of a scientific survey reveals the total number of deer in Killarney National Park is over 1400.
The survey, carried out by the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS), was released on request and comes amid a recent campaign by the Killarney Advertiser to keep road users safe due to deer crowding onto lowland areas alongside busy roads and crossing onto the path of motorists.
The survey of deer in all areas of Killarney National Park took place in late 2018, and is currently being finalised.
It shows that almost two thirds - or just under 900 are native Killarney red deer - Ireland's largest mammal - more than was previously estimated.
However, the figures suggest that if spread across the 25,000 acres of park, mountain and lake - there are 18 deer for every 247 acres.

“Preliminary reported results indicate that the population density of red deer is in the region of 11.31 per square kilometre (c.. 896 red deer) and the density of Sika is in the region of 6.71 per square kilometre (c. 532 Sika deer),” the NPWS have revealed.
Although higher for the once almost extinct unique Killarney red deer, overall deer numbers for Killarney are similar to previous estimates.
Hundreds of red deer can be seen any day in the Demesne area alongside the national park and similar numbers are grazing on pasture land alongside the N71 at Muckross.

The Irish Deer Commission (IDC), which is made up of conservationists and hunters, dispute claims deer are involved in serious accidents - as claimed by local deer safety campaigners.
“Deer needs management and you can't have two and three hundred crowding into lowland areas,” Damien Hannigan IDC spokesman, said.

“Data released by An Garda Siochana to the Irish Deer Commission (IDC) show just over 100 road traffic accidents involving deer across the country were reported in 2018.”
He also disputes claims that there are too many deer. The IDC’s scientific advisor Dr Ruth Carden says herd number of 1,000 red deer is needed in Killarney to reduce the impact of low genetic diversity, Mr Hannigan said.
Old walls which once separated the road from the park woodland areas are no longer in place.
NPWS personnel concede deer are moving from the uplands onto lowland grazing areas in huge numbers.
Last year, 120 mostly red deer were culled by the NPWS. However, there are growing calls for a more severe cull as well as for fencing.
The NPWS concede the inherently mobile deer are involved in collisions, but say they have no plans to fence alongside public roads.
“Fencing thousands of hectares would not be viable, and would be an enormous task and ineffective, particularly against the smaller Sika, they said.
Improved signage and sight lines is recommended by the NPWS and they have been liaising with Kerry County Council.

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Local author’s debut book makes Late Late Toy Show

Killarney art psychotherapist Katie O’Donoghue was delighted to spot her first children’s book on last Friday’s Late Late Toy Show! ‘The Little Squirrel Who Worried’ was written and illustrated by Katie, and published by Gill Books in July. With almost every eye in Ireland on the Toy Show every year, children’s authors, illustrators and publishers […]

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Killarney art psychotherapist Katie O’Donoghue was delighted to spot her first children’s book on last Friday’s Late Late Toy Show!

‘The Little Squirrel Who Worried’ was written and illustrated by Katie, and published by Gill Books in July.

With almost every eye in Ireland on the Toy Show every year, children’s authors, illustrators and publishers compete for a much-coveted spot on the set. Aware that her book had been sent to Ryan, but not having heard anything from RTÉ, Katie was thrilled to see it in a prominent position. It was a wonderful surprise to discover ‘The Little Squirrel Who Worried’ had been placed in the front row of the book corner. There, it had a little chair of its own and was even embraced by a cuddly toy.

It was visible many times over the course of the evening, particularly during the book discussion, an incredibly proud moment for first-time author Katie.

“I have to admit, when I saw ‘The Little Squirrel Who Worried’ cradled in the teddy’s arms, I may have jumped up and down with excitement,” Katie told the Killarney Advertiser.

What began as a lockdown project while Katie was living in London and missing her family in Kerry, is providing comfort to children around the world.

Using a gentle story with gorgeous illustrations, Little Squirrel and his forest friends teach young people a variety of simple coping techniques.

“These skills will benefit children their entire lives and the book is even helpful for adults who are prone to worrying and overthinking,” she added.

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No 2021 return for Killarney on Ice

By Michelle Crean Fans of the ice will be disappointed to hear that Killarney on Ice will not return for a second year. Following its huge popularity year on year since returning to Killarney in 2015, the promoters of Killarney on Ice are disappointed to confirm that they are unable to operate again this year. […]

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By Michelle Crean

Fans of the ice will be disappointed to hear that Killarney on Ice will not return for a second year.

Following its huge popularity year on year since returning to Killarney in 2015, the promoters of Killarney on Ice are disappointed to confirm that they are unable to operate again this year.

Rising case numbers, uncertain COVID-19 restrictions, and insurance challenges have been the main drivers behind the decision not to open, according to the company.

As Kerry’s only festive ice rink, the facility has brought much fun and life to the town over the years, attracting thousands of people from all over the county, and indeed the whole country, with many families coming to stay overnight in Killarney and enjoying all that this great town has to offer.

As well as friends and families coming to skate, schools, youth clubs, sports teams and employees of local companies use the group booking discount rate to plan sessions on the ice, and Killarney on Ice would like to thank them all for their continuing loyalty.

“We sincerely hope to be back better and stronger in 2022, and we look forward to welcoming all of our valued customers,” Tim O’Donoghue, the promoter of the rink, told the Killarney Advertiser.

“In the meantime, we wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year.”

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