The Assess Ireland Rally of the Lakes means a lot of things to a lot of people.
By Sean Moriarty
Photos by Dylan Clifford
For those of us that love it, the event is our Christmas and St Patrick’s Day all rolled into one.
It brings a massive early-season tourist boost, not just to the town, but to the smaller towns and villages that the event passes through too.
There is no doubt that Rathmore and Gneevequilla were busier than usual last Sunday and the small village of Ardgroom, on the Beara Peninsula was particularly busy last Saturday.
This year’s event was particularly poignant. It was the first Irish rally since the passing of Craig Breen, he would have wanted the show to go on and while it was a difficult milestone for competitors, organisers and fans, it was one that needed to be crossed with dignity and compassion.
His long-time co-driver Paul Nagle, the same man who guided him to success on the 2019 Rally of the Lakes and the 2021 Killarney Historic spoke of his fallen rally brother at the event’s opening ceremony on Friday.
Despite an estimated crowd of about 2,000 people, the respectful silence offered to Paul as he spoke was a testament to how much Craig Breen was loved and admired in Killarney.
The Saturday action centred on the Beara Peninsula. The area is equally loved and feared by drivers.
The breath-taking scenery,for once, took second place to equally draw dropping action and pace.
The crowds were out in force on Sunday, the famous Gortnagne stage was lined from start to finish with people. The farming area was more akin to Croke Park as the glorious sunshine brought both fans and curious locals out in their droves.
A massive crowd turned out for the finish ramp at the Gleneagle Hotel too. They were there to welcome hometown hero Noel O’Sullivan who won the rally for the second time.
Some people love the rally, some don’t but each and every person, from marshalls, to fans, service mechanics to competitors each left a lot of money in the town.
Long life the rally, its value is not to be underestimated, and without a traditional Munster final football match this weekend, the rally’s financial boost will have to stretch across two weekends at least.
Fire warning in National Park
The National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) at the Department of Housing, Local Government and Housing has appealed to the public not to light fires or barbecues in public places […]
The National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) at the Department of Housing, Local Government and Housing has appealed to the public not to light fires or barbecues in public places this summer.
As they appeal to the public to exercise renewed care and responsibility when outdoors the National Parks and Wildlife Service has increased ground crews on fire patrol and has ramped up aerial monitoring with helicopters and drones.
Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage Darragh O’Brien TD said:
“If you notice a fire, please call the emergency services on 112 immediately. NPWS teams are upping their patrols to identify potential fire incidents and act quickly should one break out. However as we know, prevention is better than cure, and we’re asking all members of the public to avoid lighting fires in open areas.”
Minister of State for Heritage and Electoral Reform Malcolm Noonan TD commented further:
“Our National Parks and Nature Reserves, coastal sand dunes, mountains and upland areas, forests, meadows and urban parks are all places where we enjoy spending time in nature, but they are also home to our precious wildlife and their vulnerable young. This is a really important time of year for wildlife, especially vulnerable ground-nesting birds and mammals who are now rearing their young. We all want to get out and enjoy the good weather but let’s do it responsibly – without putting nature at risk.”
The Director General of the NPWS, Niall O Donnchú, has also asked for everybody’s cooperation to protect nature and said:
“While NPWS has increased ground crews and monitoring from the air this week, we still need to enlist your help to protect nature at this high risk time. We ask that members of the public not light fires or barbecues in any National Parks or Nature Reserves, or indeed in nature generally. We are also asking that the public be vigilant and report any fire activity without delay.”
Killarney Looking Good Competition returns
Over three decades after it was first initiated, to help improve the aesthetic values of the town, the Killarney Looking Good Competition is back with a vengeance with a new […]
Over three decades after it was first initiated, to help improve the aesthetic values of the town, the Killarney Looking Good Competition is back with a vengeance with a new committee, new categories, new sponsors and a whole new approach.
When the project was first launched in 1991 it was a relatively low-key community event but it grew in importance with each passing year, culminating in some style when Killarney won the prestigious overall award in the national tidy towns competition in 2011.
After an enforced three-year absence since 2019, due to the pandemic, the competition has now been given a whole new lease of life and the 2023 version was officially launched this week by Mayor of Killarney, Cllr Niall Kelleher.
Awards will be presented in 26 different categories and high achievers in the business and residential community will be honoured at a gala prizegiving ceremony at the close of the tourist season.
This year two new categories are being introduced in memory of two remarkable people who played massive roles in keeping Killarney looking its best down through the years.
Yvonne Quill, who passed away last October, was the driving force behind the Killarney tidy towns campaign for several years and she was at the helm when the sought-after overall award was secured 12 years ago.
This year the Yvonne Quill Memorial Award will be presented to the volunteer of the year – a person who the adjudicators consider to be a standout contributor – in the overall effort to keep Killarney tidy.
Up to the time of his death in January 2020, Fr Michael Murphy was the public face of tidy towns and he played a huge part in Killarney, Kenmare and Sneem winning the overall national award in 2011, 2000 and 1987 respectively. Affectionately known as Fr Tidy, this year the Killarney Looking Good Competition will honour his memory with a special Pride of Place award.
In the business community, there will be awards for the best large and small commercial premises, best newly painted premises, best signage and the best retail award with prizes also for the most impressive hotel, public house, restaurant, café, guesthouse and best public building as well as the most improved premises.
In the residential categories awards will go to the best large and small estates, best private residence, best roadside garden, best floral display and best friendly planting award.
Other categories include a green hospitality award, a corporate special responsibility award, a restoration award, best school and a special biodiversity award.
Several highly commended awards will also be up for grabs and the winner of the prestigious overall award will be announced at the prizegiving ceremony.
The Killarney Looking Good Competition is organised by Killarney Chamber of Tourism and Commerce and Killarney Municipal District Council and the new committee comprises Sandra Dunlea – a daughter of the late Yvonne Quill – Kathleen Foley, John O’Mahony and Johnny McGuire who is spearheading the project.
MD O’Shea & Sons are the new overall sponsors of the competition and O’Mahony Media Ltd is the media sponsor.
The competition will run throughout the tourist season and businesses and residential areas will be monitored on an ongoing basis.
Fire warning in National Park
The National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) at the Department of Housing, Local Government and Housing has appealed to the...
Killarney Looking Good Competition returns
Over three decades after it was first initiated, to help improve the aesthetic values of the town, the Killarney Looking...
Free CPR training in Anam on Saturday
The Killarney Cardiac Response Unit is running free CPR or cardiopulmonary resuscitation training courses and demonstrations at the Anam Cultire Centre...
Know your rights: Passport Applications
Q.. What is the quickest way to renew my passport? The Passport Service processes Passport Online applications as a...
71-year-old local woman sets up new life coaching business
A Ballydowney lady is on a mission is to support women who are at a crossroads or in their lives...
Killarney man Maye pockets national pool title
Local lad Matthew Maye was the standout Kerry performer at the recent All-Ireland Pool Championships, which were staged at the...
Cup glory on the double for Killarney Celtic
There was cause for celebration on the double for Killarney Celtic last Sunday as both their youths and senior teams...
Will this setback break Kerry or will it make them?
by Adam Moynihan The worst thing I can say about Kerry’s performance against Mayo is that it reminded me of...
Adam Moynihan: Both ends at Fitzgerald Stadium should be named after Kerry legends
Upgrades are needed at the Fitzgerald Stadium. A cursory glance around the famous old ground makes that abundantly clear. The...
CONFIRMED: Mayo to visit Killarney if Kerry beat Clare
All-Ireland champions Kerry are set for a couple of mouthwatering fixtures against some old enemies if they manage to beat...