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“The McShains loved Killarney… They should have been honoured long ago”

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The caretaker who has looked after Killarney House & Gardens since 1986 and knew the McShains personally has thrown his weight behind the Killarney Advertiser’s McShain Campaign, insisting that the generous American couple should have been honoured years ago.

Harry O’Donoghue started working for John and Mary McShain as a 22-year-old in 1986, shortly after the pair permanently relocated to the Killarney holiday home they had owned since 1959. Before that they would spend six months of the year here in Killarney and six months in Arizona.

With regards to the Killarney Advertiser’s campaign, Harry says there was ample opportunity to memorialise the McShains in the past but the council, for whatever reason, failed to act.

“Years ago when the council got the land for Mission Road off the McShains, I pleaded with them to name it the McShain Road,” the popular caretaker explains. “They turned a blind eye to it.

“It’s a real pity that nothing is called after them. It’s shocking, really. There’s only one place in Killarney that I know of that’s named after them: the McShain Suite in the Plaza Hotel.

“It would be nice if the council erected a statue outside on the Mission Road or even at the Golden Gates. All these years later, they still haven’t recognised what the McShains did for them. They got everything for nothing.”

Harry kindly gave me a tour of Killarney House this week and as well as giving me a fascinating insight into the history of the famous Killarney landmark, he was quick to point out how fond John and Mary were of the town, and how fond the town was of them.

“They loved Killarney – they called it a ‘gem’. Peace and quite. That’s what they wanted and that’s what they got. They were very nice people and they were very good to all of us, especially my parents. Everyone locally had good time for them. John would take his pony and trap out around Ross Island and people loved to see him.”

Harry and his family have a long and storied history with Killarney House. He took over the caretaker role from his late father Paddy and his grandfather, Tim, was a valet to the last Earl of Kenmare, Lord Castlerosse. Castlerosse was shot in the trenches during World War I and Tim, who was serving alongside him, saved his life. Thereafter the Anglo-Irish nobleman (real name Valentine Brown) took the O’Donoghue family under his wing and provided them with jobs all over Europe.

The loyal caretaker is just the latest in a string of local people who have voiced their dismay that John and Mary McShain are yet to be appropriately memorialised by the town of Killarney.

Speaking to the Killarney Advertiser last week, Mayor John Sheahan, the Chamber President Paul O’Neill, TD Michael Healy-Rae and the General Manager of Killarney House & Gardens Pat Dawson all backed the idea of recognising the McShains in some way. The people of Killarney also seem to be overwhelmingly in favour of honouring the altruistic couple.

What do you think? Should Mary and John McShain be recognised for what they did for Killarney? What would be the most appropriate way of honouring them? Let us know by emailing newsdesk@killarneyadvertiser.ie.

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Pharmacy jabs begin today

By Michelle Crean  Pharmacists across Kerry – including four in Killarney – are ready to begin giving the Johnson and Johnson Janssen jabs to the over 50s as the latest stage of the vaccine rollout. Kennellys Pharmacy at The Reeks Gateway, Park Road Care Plus on Countess Road, Boots Deerpark Shopping Centre, and Sheahans Pharmacy […]

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By Michelle Crean
 

Pharmacists across Kerry – including four in Killarney – are ready to begin giving the Johnson and Johnson Janssen jabs to the over 50s as the latest stage of the vaccine rollout.

Kennellys Pharmacy at The Reeks Gateway, Park Road Care Plus on Countess Road, Boots Deerpark Shopping Centre, and Sheahans Pharmacy on Main Street will be booking people in groups as each vile lasts just a number hours once opened.

Staff at Kennellys Pharmacy at The Reeks are ready to welcome in their first vaccine participants today (Friday). Each had pre-booked their slot, according to Dispensary Manager Christina O’Grady.

“We are starting today for the over 50s only with the Janssen Johnson and Johnson one dose jab,” she told the Killarney Advertiser.

She said that they have been busy in the pharmacy all week booking people in, however for now, depending on demand and supply available, they’ll be vaccinating people two days a week.

“We’re taking a list of people. It’ll probably be only two mornings a week – it all depends on the uptake.”

Pharmacist Finbarr Kennelly said it’s a great way to give a vaccine to those who may have missed theirs.

“It’s an opportunity for the over 50s who have missed their vaccine for whatever reason. The advantage is that it’s a one shot vaccine.”

Anyone who’d like to book in for their vaccine can call Kennellys on 064 6639427.

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Killarney Advertiser – Weekly Jobs Round-Up

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See a job you like? Click the link and apply in seconds.

The Ross – Various Roles 

Killeen House Hotel – Various Roles

Earls Court House Hotel – Various Roles

O’Sheas Fruit & Veg – Various Roles

Castlerosse Park Resort – Various Roles

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€500k to help re-start Killarney’s live music scene

By Sean Moriarty A number of Killarney venues were elated this week to learn that funding to the tune of €500k has been announced to help re-start the town’s live music scene. Of the €1,001,944 in funding announced this week for the county Killarney is to receive over half with funds to assist the Gleneagle […]

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By Sean Moriarty

A number of Killarney venues were elated this week to learn that funding to the tune of €500k has been announced to help re-start the town’s live music scene.

Of the €1,001,944 in funding announced this week for the county Killarney is to receive over half with funds to assist the Gleneagle Hotel Killarney/INEC Arena, Celtic Steps The Show, Scott’s Hotel, and Courtney’s Bar.

The funding, announced by Minister for Education and Kerry TD Norma Foley on Tuesday, is in place to assist commercial venues, producers and promoters in Kerry to plan live events over the summer months.

The scheme, managed by the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media will support live performances, particularly where capacity for live attendance is restricted due to COVID-19.

The funding will make live performances viable or alternatively make them available online if audiences cannot attend due to restrictions.

“I welcome this funding which will provide an enormous boost to the live entertainment industry in Kerry,” Minister Foley said.

“This money will help to facilitate the delivery of exciting programmes of activities over the coming summer and autumn period. This funding will also provide a vital lift to those talented performers, artists, technicians, creative and performance support staff across the sector, who have not been able to work due to the pandemic.”

Four venues and promoters in Killarney will receive a total of €560,646 in grant aid to help re-start the live music and performing arts industries in the town after months of lockdown.

REACTION

The Gleneagle Hotel Killarney/INEC Arena will receive €380,822 for live music shows and for the pre-recording of live material from acts of the future.

“We are delighted with this week’s announcement on funding,” Mark Egan, Director of the Gleneagle INEC Arena told the Killarney Advertiser. “We can now look ahead to implementing a programme of events that will provide employment for performers, artists, technicians and support staff many of whom have not had work for months. We have a fantastic, diverse programme in the pipeline and we can’t wait to get the various artists, crews and event suppliers back on site and back to the work we all love. We thank Minister Catherine Martin and the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media for making this grant available.”

Celtic Steps The Show will receive €84,627 to allow it livestream performances from its Killarney Racecourse Theatre.

For Celtic Steps producer/director David Rae the funding presents more than just an opportunity to get the show back on the road. He will create 43 paid positions from dancers and musicians to sound and lighting engineers and even a COVID-19 Compliance Officer.

He is awaiting further guidance on permission to allow a limited audience attend a Celtic Steps performance but he hopes by early July to have a series of online performances up and running.

“This is what it is all about, getting these people back to work after so long being unemployed,” he told the Killarney Advertiser. “I will need all of these people, from two days before I start to two days after, it is almost like building a festival from scratch and we can’t thank the minister and department enough for this chance.”

Scott’s Hotel will receive the same figure as Celtic Steps for live performances for tourists across the summer.

Courtney’s Bar on Plunkett St will receive €10,570 for a number of gigs that will feature local musicians.

“This is fantastic news,” manager Brian Murphy said. “We have been associated with live music in Killarney for a long time so we are delighted to get the funding and allow live music to continue.”

Like Celtic Steps, he is still waiting for confirmation on the format of the funded gigs.

“It is hard to see a bar gig with an audience going ahead but one of the stipulations of the grant is that if we cannot do a live gig under current guidelines, we have to do it online.”

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