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The Grand reopens with some brand new features

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By Sean Moriarty

After 760 days of closure The Grand - a much-loved favourite haunt for locals and visitors - is finally back in business.

GRAND RE-OPENING: Brothers-in-law and publicans Patsy Sheehan and Dan Dowling have re-opened The Grand after 760 days of closure. Photo: Michelle Crean

Killarney’s top music venue reopened last night (Wednesday). The pub/nightclub closed on March 14 2020 – one of the first pubs to pull the plug a week before Coronavirus took hold of the world – and since last August owner Patsy Sheehan and his team have been busy refurbishing the popular late night venue.

Punters will instantly recognise the layout of the main bar but dozens of framed photos of Irish musicians now adorn the walls.

The positioning of these photos reflect what is happening in the bar. The walls of the front bar are decorated with pictures of some the region’s best loved trad-musicians and this is where the nightly Irish music sessions take place.

Further in guests will admire photos of Irish rockers like The Edge, Hozier and Sinéad O’Connor placed along walls in front of the main stage.

And music is always a central theme in The Grand. New for the 2022 season is a house band with a difference. Local musicians will be joined by better-known figures who happen to be in town for other reasons.

“One night we could have Mike Denver playing with the house band, the next night it could be Daniel O’Donnell’s lead guitarist,” The Grand’s entertainment manager Matt Griffin, a Kilburn-born Irish musician with South Kerry roots, told the Killarney Advertiser.

“We are the only venue outside of Dublin to offer music seven nights a week.”

Upstairs the legendary piano bar remains untouched, downstairs there are further plans to upgrade the nightclub.

Here partygoers will see the biggest change. A new underground tunnel links each side of the dance floor where they will find a new cloakroom and four state-of-the-art toilets.

FRESH AIR INDOORS

The public restrooms now feature fresh air filtered through a brand new climate control technology, influenced by the pandemic in an effort to keep guests safe from potential viruses.

“We believe we are the first pub in Kerry to do this,” said owner Patsy Sheehan.

Another notable change is Patsy’s late father Paddy Sheehan’s name etched on the building’s shopfront.

The décor may have changed, but it is the same familiar faces who continue to run the show.
During The Grand’s soft re-opening on Wednesday night the first person guests met was doorman Shane Manning.

“It was anything but a soft opening,” added Patsy in reference to how busy it was. “Regular customers were hugging Shane, they were so delighted to see him back. We had an elderly woman in her 80s, and her daughter come down from County Clare – huge fans of traditional music and regulars here in the past.”

Long-serving staff member Cathriona Flynn from Faha is back behind the bar - her 27th year as an employee of the bar.

“The new bar is lovely, it is so up to date,” she said. “I am looking forward to meeting old faces and making new friends. And that is the thing, The Grand is one big family. This is a new chapter in The Grand and the biggest change I have seen here.”

Manager Mags Walsh is also making a welcome return to the bar’s team.

“The Grand is an institution, everyone loves The Grand,” she said.

It was all hands on deck to get the bar open in time for the Easter weekend. Patsy’s brother-in-law Dan Dowling, the Lisselton man who owns the legendary London bar The Swan in Stockwell was there to offer his help and advice after years of running one of the busiest Irish clubs in the British capital.

Comic Bernard Casey has given The Grand the ‘Gossip and Nephew’ treatment with a special promotional video on social media.

There are also plans in place to renovate the upstairs bedrooms but that is on the long finger for now as Patsy and his team concentrate on getting the pub back up and running.

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Ghost hunter’s video goes viral

By Michelle Crean They have a love of things that go bump in the night – and it seems the public do too – as a Killarney man’s ghost hunting […]

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By Michelle Crean

They have a love of things that go bump in the night – and it seems the public do too – as a Killarney man’s ghost hunting video has gone viral.

PJ O’Sullivan from Púca Vogue Paranormal Ireland and his ghost busting team posted a video online around Christmas time, but it was only over the last two weeks that it went viral – clocking up 1.9 million views and over 2k likes on Facebook.

“We were naturally shocked ourselves at this,” PJ, who is originally from Gneeveguilla but lives in St Mary’s Terrace in town, told the Killarney Advertiser.

The video was taken in Redwood Castle in, Lorrha, Co Tipperary in October when the Irish paranormal investigator invited like-minded people to the location for Hallowe’en.

PJ, who has been a paranormal investigator for over 15 years, set up Púca Vogue Paranormal Ireland three years ago and works alongside his son Leo and his partner Eva Walsh.

In the clip, Eva and Liz Kelleher are in the background with singer/songwriter Rebecca McRedmond front and centre.

“On the night we had a total of 10 people in the castle for the lockdown investigation including our own Rory Murphy and Veronika Slomiany,” he said.

“It was filmed on the ground floor inside the main entrance area. It was a Hallowe’en paranormal investigation where we had guests including Damien O’Rourke from Cuppa Tea TV.

“We were investigating the ground floor. It was filmed in total darkness and Rebecca had felt a touch as we started and shortly in this clip she felt another touch at her leg. Eva had also commented the room had now felt tense, so on review of the footage we can see what we believe is her dress floating outward, and on inspection both her ankles show her feet were on the ground; there was no drafts, and it tied in with the experience so we shared that clip.”

He added that they share clips from investigations but let people decide for themselves what it is that they see.

“We share what we believe we capture and this is just a few minutes as a part of the whole night as we investigate the castle over all floors usually from around 9.30pm to 4am with breaks and we have up to five cameras recording in 50 minute segments continuously which we download after for review. But as you can imagine with full-time jobs and life it takes time to review all the footage so we mix what we do with pictures and sites of interest. We are non-profit on all events. We had done Leap Castle the previous night, this is claimed as Ireland’s most haunted castle and again shared the experience, but this is the reel that just took off on Facebook which has us surprised, but we are all very proud of Púca Vogue Paranormal.

“This is not our first capture from this castle as we have previously shared on their social media, we experienced more on the night which we will share at future dates.”

To see the video go to our Facebook page: Púca Vogue Paranormal Investigations.

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Bean in Killarney to cease trading due to rising costs

By Sean Moriarty A Plunkett St coffee shop has been forced to shut its doors due to the soaring costs of doing business. Bean in Killarney opened in late January […]

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By Sean Moriarty

A Plunkett St coffee shop has been forced to shut its doors due to the soaring costs of doing business.

Bean in Killarney opened in late January 2021.

Last March it was named as one of the ‘Financial Times’ list of ‘Best Independent Coffee Shops in the World’.

It was just one of 30 coffee shops worldwide – and one of only two in Ireland – to make the list, which includes entries from world cities like Paris, London and Sydney.

Bean in Killarney is a sister café to Bean in Dingle which was set up by brothers Justin and Luke Burgess.

The local branch was managed by brothers Joey and Euan Boland, who are also from Dingle.

It was a popular coffee stop for locals and visitors alike but despite its popularity and accolades, the business could not survive the current economic climate.

“After two great years we have made the really tough decision to close Bean in Killarney,” said a company statement.

“We opened during the height of the lockdown with the hope that when all restrictions came to an end, the shop would kick off like the Dingle one did.

“However, 2022 brought about new challenges and unfortunately ended up being harder rather than easier. We are a family-run business and rapidly rising costs meant we traded less than we did during 2021’s numerous restrictions. We had hoped to ride out the storm, but it’s not possible to continue operating at a loss.”

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