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UK specialists train fire crews to prevent future Park devastation

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A specialist UK company spent the week training local fire staff to help prevent a repeat of the 2021 devastating fire in Killarney National Park.

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Killarney National Park staff began specialist wildfire training this week. Photo: Valerie O'Sullivan

Training will ensure that Kerry County Council Fire Services will be able to respond and prevent a repeat of the 2021 fire. Photo: Valerie O'Sullivan

Staff within Killarney National Park began training with Rob Gazzard who is a chartered forester and surveyor with international experience in forestry, contingency planning, incident management and wildfires.

The National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) purchased vehicles fitted with water pumps, and with the latest technology including thermal surveillance, drone operator and helicopter on standby, it will ensure the response from emergency crews is immediate.

In April 2021, fires tore through Killarney National Park causing extensive damage.

Up to one third of the Park - approx. 2,500 hectares – was scorched with flora and fauna wiped out.

Some fires came as close as 10 metres to a church and school in the Black Valley area.

Fire crews from five different districts concentrated on the area which also saw properties under threat.

Fires also became a real threat for The Oak Woods but fire fighters managed to avert danger.

Firefighters and the Emergency Services as well as volunteers went to heroic efforts to bring the blaze under control.

The Park was designated a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in 1982 and forms part of a Special Area of Conservation. There were 1.7m visitors to Killarney National Park in 2022, with 306,000 visiting Killarney House and Gardens, 106,000 of whom were cyclists.

It is of high ecological value because of the quality, diversity, and extensiveness of many of its habitats and the wide variety of species that they accommodate. It also has the most extensive covering of native forest remaining in Ireland.

“We are liaising with four international groups on best practices, early smoke and fire detection appliances capable of spotting a fire outbreak, will ensure our staff and Kerry County Council Fire Services will be able to respond and prevent a repeat of the 2021 devastation in the Park, when over 2,500 hectares were destroyed," said Regional Manager of the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) Southern Division, Eamonn Meskell.

"NPWS management and staff meet regularly with the fire services and a detailed safety plan of the Park is ready.

“A helicopter company is on retainer, in the event of another fire it will carry specialised Bambi buckets, capable of delivering water for aerial firefighting.”

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Credit Union launch a new collaboration with Gilroy’s Green Energy Ltd.

Building on recent success the Credit Unions of Kerry and West Limerick have launched a new collaboration with Gilroy’s Green Energy Ltd. Gilroy’s Green Energy Ltd specialise in Photovoltaic (PV) […]

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Building on recent success the Credit Unions of Kerry and West Limerick have launched a new collaboration with Gilroy’s Green Energy Ltd.

Gilroy’s Green Energy Ltd specialise in Photovoltaic (PV) Solar systems that generate electricity, battery storage, air to water heat-pumps and much more.
Gilroy’s work with customers to receive the SEAI once-off grant towards the purchase and installation of solar photovoltaic (PV) systems and heat pumps for your home.
Collaborating with Kerry and West Limerick Credit Union expands the finance options available to Gilroy’s Green Energy Ltd customers to help finance new PV Solar Panel installations. Loan rates will be directly linked to the property BER starting from 4.7%(4.89APR) for an “A” rated BER.
Martin Gilroy; CEO with Gilroy’s Green Energy Ltd said: “We are delighted to officially launch this collaboration with the Credit Unions of Kerry and West Limerick. Customers have already reaped the benefits on recent installation projects after contacting their local Credit Union. Having a direct link to local Credit Unions allows us to guide customers to affordable financing options based on the specific installation quotation we provide at very competitive rates.“
Speaking on behalf of the Kerry and West Limerick Credit Unions, Ashley Fitzgerald added: “We are delighted to have Gilroy’s Green Energy Ltd come on board as part of our Greener Homes Loan offering. Home Energy Upgrade have become a prominent concern and talking point among members in recent months, by Credit Unions having a direct link with Gilroy’s Green Energy Ltd allows both sides to make referrals and seek the best finance option for members. We are working hard building relationships with Green Energy Ltd providers as we want to ensure our members can avail of the best loan rates for all upgrade works.”
Credit Unions across Kerry and West Limerick. Abbeyfeale Credit Union, Cara Credit Union, Killarney Credit Union, Listowel Credit Union and Rathmore and District Credit Union can be reached via: www.creditunion.ie
Gilroy’s Green Energy Ltd can be contacted on 066-7115920, email info@gilroys.ie or for more information visit www.gilroys.ie.

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Racegoers Club to host Cheltenham Preview Night

Killarney Racegoers Club will host its annual Cheltenham Preview Night in Corkery’s Bar on March 7. Admission is free and this year’s chosen beneficiary is the Killarney Branch of St […]

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Killarney Racegoers Club will host its annual Cheltenham Preview Night in Corkery’s Bar on March 7.

Admission is free and this year’s chosen beneficiary is the Killarney Branch of St Vincent De Paul Society.
The expert panel includes professional punter Paddy Wilmott, leading jockey Conor McNamara, up-and-coming Kerry-based trainer Eoin McCarthy and local bookmaker Brendan Tyther with Vince Casey acting as the event’s compere.

“There is no admission fee but a raffle on the night for dual membership of Killarney Racegoers Club for the year, which includes 13 days racing and many reciprocal days to other race meetings,” said Mr Casey.

The Cheltenham Festival begins on March 12.

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