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Tributes to Paul Coghlan




A senator, a former town mayor – twice – president of the Chamber of Tourism and commerce – Paul Coghlan did it all.


Tributes have been pouring in since his sad passing last Thursday.

From the business community and across the political divide Mr Coghlan was a hugely popular figure in the town.

The current Mayor of Killarney, Cllr. Niall Kelleher, led the tributes. He said: As Mayor of Killarney I wish to extend my sympathies to the wife and family of the late Paul Coghlan whose passing, on Thursday, caused great sadness in the town

"Paul was a larger-than-life character who contributed enormously, over a long period of time, to business and political life and he always had the interests of Killarney and its people at heart.”

Prior to his election to Seanad Éireann, Paul was very actively involved in local politics, serving as a member of Killarney Urban District Council from 1985 to 1999 and Kerry County Council from 1991 to 1999.

“I know he was particularly proud of the two terms he served as Mayor of Killarney and he represented the town and its people with great purpose and eloquence when he wore the chain of office,” added Mr Kelleher.

“He was a real driving force in the local business community and he was a long-time member of Killarney Chamber of Tourism and Commerce, serving as its President in 1980. He campaigned very actively and with great consistency to have Killarney House and Gardens developed into a world class visitor attraction when it was gifted to the town by the McShain family and I know that Paul’s contribution to the Trustees of Muckross House was also greatly valued.”

Paul will also be remembered by many for his contribution to Killarney Golf and Fishing Club, as a captain, a director and as a playing member.

The Cathaoirleach of Kerry County Council, Cllr John Francis Flynn, also paid tribute to the late former senator.

Cllr Flynn said Paul Coghlan was a distinguished politician who had given many long years of service as a member of Seanad Éireann, Kerry County Council and Killarney Urban District Council.

“Paul was first and foremost a Killarney man and throughout his career, he always advocated eloquently for his native place and for the county as a whole. Whether making his mark in the UDC Chamber, the County Council Chamber or the Seanad Chamber, he was a dedicated and committed public servant who had many friends across the political divide,” said Mr Flynn.

Killarney Chamber of Tourism and Commerce has said it was deeply saddened to learn of the passing of the late Paul Coghlan, a long-time member of the Chamber who was a very effective and dedicated president of the organisation in 1980.

A statement issued by joint presidents, Pádraig Treacy and Johnny McGuire, said Paul was involved in almost every facet of Killarney life and he made an enormous contribution to local business and the community.

The statement read: “He was a true and loyal supporter of the Killarney brand and took great pride in playing his part in ensuring the town was a great place to live and visit.

“As Chamber president and as the two-time chairman of the former Killarney Town Council, Paul spearheaded several projects that improved the town and its environs and he played a major role as a Trustee of Muckross House, overseeing the responsible management of Killarney’s most precious asset, the 26,000-acre national park.

“As a senator he always had Killarney and Kerry’s best interests at heart and he was a strong voice and a great advocate for the town and county along the corridors of power.

“As an auctioneer, Paul was very active in the business life of the town and he was always available to lend his advice and offer practical and sensible solutions to property matters”.

An Taoiseach and Leader of Fine Gael, Leo Varadkar, expressed his condolences.

“Paul was a very proud Kerryman. During his time in Seanad Éireann, Paul served as Leas-Cathaoirleach and Government Chief Whip of the Seanad, as well as Fine Gael spokesperson for Defence. He also served on the Oireachtas Committee on the Implementation of the Good Friday Agreement and the Joint Oireachtas Committees on EU Affairs and Finance.

Kerry TD Michael Healy Rae said:

“Paul was probably one of the most courteous kind and sincere politicians ever to come out of Kerry.

“He always had a good and kind word for everyone, and his popularity crossed all party-political divides.

“Everyone will always remember his kind smile, his friendly words. He always put the best foot possible forward for Killarney and Co Kerry.”



Seven An Post staff retire

Seven well-known staff members at An Post Killarney celebrated retirement this week. The staff, Mary O’Sullivan, Joe Clifford, Paudie Cronin, Joe Coffey, Tom Ashe, Jerry McCarthy and Dan Murphy were […]




Seven well-known staff members at An Post Killarney celebrated retirement this week.

The staff, Mary O’Sullivan, Joe Clifford, Paudie Cronin, Joe Coffey, Tom Ashe, Jerry McCarthy and Dan Murphy were treated to an night of celebration and reminiscing by the South Kerry branch of the Communication Workers Union of Ireland.

The retirees, their families and colleagues enjoyed an evening at ‘The Panoramic’ the newly named restaurant upstairs at Killarney Racecourse.

Ollie Favier, of the Shire fame has taken over responsibility for operating the coffee shop / restaurant at the racecourse.

“A beautiful venue and apt that Ollie’s father Dan RIP from Glenflesk, was also a long serving postman in the community,” said John O’Shea, the Union Secretary An Post Killarney.

“The night included music with Derry Healy and Rosie Healy and was attended by up to 80 people, under the attentive guidance of Sales and Marketing Manager Emma O’Connor and Ollie’s right hand man, Colin Daly

“The event the food and the atmosphere was a great success and credit to all Ollie’s staff for being great hosts. “

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Watch Video: Primary School Students share knowledge from Coffee Cup Project



Killarney primary schools have joined the crusade against single use coffee cups this week by joining the Killarney Coffee Cup Project and declaring themselves single use coffee cup free. The Killarney Coffee Project is a community grassroots project aimed at eliminating single use coffee cups from Killarney town centre to protect Killarney National Park and the towns surroundings all in the name of conservation.

Alan Oliver, a local coffee shop owner, Lir Café, who is one of the participants of the project has said that he is “thrilled to see the project extend into the local schools. Teaching young people about why we should be moving away from a throw away culture is imperative to the continuous success of projects like this. Today’s young people are the future custodians of this town and so educating them on the importance of sustainability will ensure that Killarney and its National Park will be in safe hands for future generations.”

The schools involved in declaring themselves single use coffee cup free include Holycross Mercy, Gaelscoil Faithleann, Presentation Monastery, Glenflesk, Knocknanes, Coolick, Loreto, Lissivigeen and Tiernaboul. This follows on from the Killarney Coffee Cup Primary Schools Initiative which took place last November supported by Killarney Credit Union, the Kerry Biosphere, and the IKC3 project in MTU.

In November the 5th classes in the Killarney area were brought to Muckross School House and Killarney House for a 2-hour immersive environmental education experience around our connection to the Kerry Biosphere and citizen climate action. Here the students learned about our biosphere and how we as citizens and sustainable initiatives like the Killarney Coffee Cup Project can protect this Special Area of Conservation. Finally, they went outside to work with a park ranger, collecting acorns in leftover disposable compostable cups that the project had gathered from various businesses. They took these acorns back to their classrooms where they have planted and are caring for their oak tree. In 2024, these young oak tree seedlings will be planted back into the National Park.

The Killarney Coffee Cup Project is the 1st of its kind in the world, and it is something that belongs to all the citizens of the town. We all own this!

Want to hear from the future voices of our environment?

This week the Killarney Advertiser caught up with primary schoolers who have been busy learning all about protecting our amazing natural environment

Watch our video where the future eco-warriors share what they’ve learned about keeping our Killarney healthy and thriving! Here is to the next generation of environmental stewards!

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