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Talented Valerie captures the people and places of the Reeks on camera

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Photographer Valerie O'Sullivan.

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AWARD-WINNING Killarney photographer Valerie O’Sullivan has immortalised the faces and places of Ireland’s highest mountain range in her new book.

The MacGillycuddy's Reeks: People and Places of Ireland’s Highest Mountain Range charts the rich diversity of its people and landscape. “Despite their increasing popularity amongst hillwalkers and climbers, the mountains’ remote and marginal nature is their commanding characteristic,” said Valerie, who is herself a keen mountaineer.

The design and layout of the book is by Cathal Cudden, Bright Idea, and it will be officially launched by broadcaster Frank Lewis and Patricia Deane, rural recreation officer, South Kerry Development Partnership, on Saturday, October 15, at 6.30pm in Kate Kearney’s Cottage in the Gap of Dunloe.

The people of the MacGillycuddy’s Reeks are the dominant feature of the book. We see them honouring the traditions of The Biddies one of the oldest and most colourful customs in Ireland, a blend of pagan and Christian pageantry, held each year on the first day of February.

The book also stars Eileen Cronin of Cronin’s Yard, Mealis, Beaufort, who lives in the foothills of the MacGillycuddy’s Reeks, at the entrance to the Hag’s Glen, the traditional starting point for ascents of Carrantuohill and the MacGillycuddy’s Reeks. Eileen, originally from Ballyledder, Beaufort, married Joe Cronin, a fifth-generation sheep farmer, in 1964. The Cronin home and yard became the base for the Kerry Mountain Rescue team, the local

Gardaí and the Civil Defence whenever the teams were called out on a mountain rescue. Eileen remembers fondly the early days of the mountain rescues when the team would arrive to their home. “We had great craic, no matter how serious the rescue was, the house was always open. We’d stay up all night, waiting for news. I loved making the tea and sandwiches, keeping the fire going. We were all great friends and still are today. Members of the Rescue Team and Gardaí would still call to me. We had great laughs,” she said.

A chapter is also dedicated to the Kerry Mountain Rescue Team, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary, and Valerie will be donating a sizeable portion of the proceeds of this book to the team.
 


 
Above: Photographer Valerie O'Sullivan.

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Ballycasheen junction to get upgraded this year.

A long awaited solution to traffic problems where Ballycasheen Road meets the N22 Cork Road looks like finally being resolved this year. Late last year Transport Infrastructure Ireland allocated €1.2m to be spent on the section of road between the Park Road roundabout and Ballycasheen junction. “Technical Approval for the improvements, along this section which […]

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A long awaited solution to traffic problems where Ballycasheen Road meets the N22 Cork Road looks like finally being resolved this year.

Late last year Transport Infrastructure Ireland allocated €1.2m to be spent on the section of road between the Park Road roundabout and Ballycasheen junction.

“Technical Approval for the improvements, along this section which include Active Travel provision and Junction Improvements at Ballycasheen, is being sought from TII before commencing,” a council spokesperson confirmed. “The elected members will be briefed on the proposals ahead of the commencement of the statutory process in early 2022.”

The council official was responding to a request by Cllr John O’Donoghue who sought an update on progress being on a promised “more user friendly junction.”

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€2.3m funding for Kerry schools under Summer Works Programme

Minister for Education and Kerry TD Norma Foley has today (Monday) announced funding of €2.3 million for the approval of 24 projects across Kerry under the Department’s 2022 Summer Works Scheme. This funding is part of the overall package of €65m for a total of 497 projects around the country. “I am delighted to confirm […]

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Minister for Education and Kerry TD Norma Foley has today (Monday) announced funding of €2.3 million for the approval of 24 projects across Kerry under the Department’s 2022 Summer Works Scheme.

This funding is part of the overall package of €65m for a total of 497 projects around the country.

“I am delighted to confirm this significant tranche of funding which will provide further investment for schools in Kerry under the Summer Works Scheme,” Minister Foley said.

“School communities have shown great resilience, flexibility and leadership in adapting to the many challenges that arose over the course of the pandemic. This funding is a further endorsement of the excellence in education provided by schools across the county. I am announcing the Summer Works Scheme projects now so that schools have a good lead-in period to plan and deliver the projects in summer 2022,” she said.

“Today’s announcement follows on from the enhanced minor works funding which was delivered to schools a number of weeks ago.”

The projects for Kerry included in today’s announcement include Mechanical Works at Two Mile Community NS and Spa National School, Science Labs including Gas Works at Community College Killorglin and Castleisland Community College, as well as Roof Works at Scoil Phobail Sliabh Luachra. 

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