By Sean Moriarty
Last year’s wildfires in Killarney National Park have set back rhododendron control by 40 years.
Killarney Mountain Meitheal is preparing to tackle the regrowth of rhododendron in the National Park following last April’s devastating wild fires.
Over 300 hectares of natural habitat were damaged and the burnt scrubland is an ideal breeding ground for the highly evasive plant.
Meitheal volunteers will work to halt the re-growth in areas like Dinis Island, Old Weir Bridge and surrounding woodland. They hope to get crews in there by late April or early May to manage and eradicate the emerging regrowth in these areas.
As well as being highly invasive, rhododendron ponticum is also fire resistant as the roots of the plant remain intact after a fire and will quickly reproduce.
“Areas around Dinis Island and Old Weir Bridge were clear of rhododendron since the 1980s,” former Park Ranger and Meitheal volunteer, Peter O’Toole, told the Killarney Advertiser. “Fire creates the perfect environment for aggressive rhododendron re-growth."
Killarney Mountain Meitheal meet every Tuesday and Sunday morning to tackle various issues in the National Park. They work in close cooperation with Killarney National Park management and are supported by the Trustees of Muckross House.
Top awards for innovative students
By Michelle Crean Killarney students proved that their projects can make a positive impact after being honoured at the Young Social Innovators of the Year Ireland (YSI) Awards. The five […]
By Michelle Crean
Killarney students proved that their projects can make a positive impact after being honoured at the Young Social Innovators of the Year Ireland (YSI) Awards.
The five members of ‘Operation Red’ in St Brigid’s Secondary School were celebrating this week after receiving a national Bronze Award for their project which is raising awareness about the lack of knowledge surrounding menstrual disorders. Their goal is to encourage open discussion on these issues, so no woman ever feels alone. The team will receive a prize bursary of €750, which can be put towards developing their idea and increasing the impact of their innovation.
Young Social Innovators is a non-profit organisation that believes in the power of youth. Its vision is to empower, equip and inspire young people to change the world for good. The girls’ project was one of 34 shortlisted from over 400 YSI groups around Ireland.
“As part of our project we’re in the process of developing resources for the SPHE classes in our school,” Transition Year student Anna Cashman told the Killarney Advertiser.
“We’ll try it here as a pilot project and branch out to other schools.”
She added that plans so far include educating students by putting an information booklet together using HSE and NHS advice.
“It’s important to have the right information as it’s a very under researched issue. We have had a positive response to it.”
Cait Fitzgerald Healy from YSI arrived to the school as a surprise to the group and presented the girls with their trophy towards the end of the online ceremony. There was huge excitement all round! Teacher and mentor Catherine O’Donoghue also received the ‘Let them Shine’ award for her involvement with YSI over the last five years.
MAKE OUR WORLD SAFER AWARD
Picking up the ‘Make Our World Safer Award’, a team from St Brendan’s College was recognised for its ‘One Punch Can Kill’ project, which aims to combat toxic masculinity and raise awareness amongst young men of the seriousness of ‘one punch attacks’.
When researching the issue, the team found that many perpetrators rarely reoffend and the percentage of male-on-male violence in society is extremely high. The group examined the route cause of the issue, which stems from a variety of factors, and wanted to raise awareness that spontaneous and random ‘one punch attacks’ can have serious and life-changing consequences.
Amongst its many actions, the team embarked on media outreach, designed and delivered student workshops, created a poster campaign, held an Anti Violence Week and is currently working on a children’s book in an effort to promote the important message that ‘One Punch Can Kill’.
Pres footballers are in seventh heaven
The St Brigid’s Presentation Second Year footballers were crowned County Junior B champions on Friday last following a superb seven-goal victory over Mercy Mounthawk Tralee in the Ballymac sunshine.
The girls hit the ground running, bagging two quick goals from the boots of Lily O’Shaughnessy and Niamh Cantillon.
The Pres defence was solid and dogged throughout and managed to keep Mounthawk from breaching their goal for the duration. Abby Cronin scored three goals and a point to torment the oppostion and Niamh Cantillon scored a second goal plus a point to keep the Killarney school well in front.
Further scores from Muireann Healy and a final goal from Lara O’Neill gave us a final score of 7-4 to 0-11.
It was an excellent performance from the entire team, including the substitutes who all played their part. Captain Eve Culhane proudly accepted the cup on behalf of the team, and St Brigid’s, at the end of the game and joyous celebrations followed.
Congratulations to all the players and to their trainers: Mr Counihan, Ms Healy and Ms Brosnan.
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