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Young rugby club members shine in Florida tournament




By Sean Moriarty

Several members of Killarney Rugby Club’s underage team enjoyed the trip of a lifetime over the Easter weekend.

Fia Whelan Ava O'Malley and Clodagh Foley.

TOURNAMENT: Several members of Killarney Rugby Club’s underage team played a tournament in the United States at the weekend.

Five players were selected to take part in a Rugby 7s tournament in Florida after US-based academy Hawkeyes spotted them in action in Killarney last summer.

The Tropical 7s is one of the biggest underage rugby tournaments in the United States.

Players are selected from all over the world to form teams in their own underage bracket before the competitive element in Tampa over the Easter weekend.

Local players were selected after impressing Hawkeyes officials last year.

Beaufort girl Clodagh Foley played in the Under 18s competition and her team won the plate competition.

Listry’s Emjay Leslie and Beaufort’s Luke O'Malley both played in the Under 14 boys competition.

The Under 16 girls competition was co-coached by Killarney Rugby Club’s underage trainers Diarmuid O’Malley and Josh Whelan.

They managed a team of girls from all over the world, including Fia Whelan and Ava O’Malley who played with Fijians and Western Samoans and this international selection on the Under 16 competition outright.

“What was so interesting about this group is that the girls just met for trials on the Wednesday before the tournament and gelled immediately. The standard of rugby they played was off the charts but more important they all learned so much from the experience and have now formed friendships which will last a lifetime,” said O’Malley. “Played in the searing Florida heat, the players acquitted themselves very well in the international tournament."

The trip was made possible thanks to support from the following businesses, Killarney Brewery, Tim Jones Butchers, Cromane Foot Clinic, Heavenly Touch Therapies, Jacks Restaurant Cromane, Four Star Pizza, Kerry Woolen Mills, Great Southern Killarney, Plaza Hotel, Café du Parc, Yoga by Jo, Alan Devane Fitness, Aghadoe Heights Hotel, Milltown Dental Practice, Meadowlands Hotel Tralee and Be Pro Therapy.

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Fire warning in National Park

The National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) at the Department of Housing, Local Government and Housing has appealed to the public not to light fires or barbecues in public places […]




The National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) at the Department of Housing, Local Government and Housing has appealed to the public not to light fires or barbecues in public places this summer.

As they appeal to the public to exercise renewed care and responsibility when outdoors the National Parks and Wildlife Service has increased ground crews on fire patrol and has ramped up aerial monitoring with helicopters and drones.

Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage Darragh O’Brien TD said:

“If you notice a fire, please call the emergency services on 112 immediately. NPWS teams are upping their patrols to identify potential fire incidents and act quickly should one break out. However as we know, prevention is better than cure, and we’re asking all members of the public to avoid lighting fires in open areas.”

Minister of State for Heritage and Electoral Reform Malcolm Noonan TD commented further:

“Our National Parks and Nature Reserves, coastal sand dunes, mountains and upland areas, forests, meadows and urban parks are all places where we enjoy spending time in nature, but they are also home to our precious wildlife and their vulnerable young. This is a really important time of year for wildlife, especially vulnerable ground-nesting birds and mammals who are now rearing their young. We all want to get out and enjoy the good weather but let’s do it responsibly – without putting nature at risk.”

The Director General of the NPWS, Niall O Donnchú, has also asked for everybody’s cooperation to protect nature and said:

“While NPWS has increased ground crews and monitoring from the air this week, we still need to enlist your help to protect nature at this high risk time. We ask that members of the public not light fires or barbecues in any National Parks or Nature Reserves, or indeed in nature generally. We are also asking that the public be vigilant and report any fire activity without delay.”

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Killarney Looking Good Competition returns

Over three decades after it was first initiated, to help improve the aesthetic values of the town, the Killarney Looking Good Competition is back with a vengeance with a new […]




Over three decades after it was first initiated, to help improve the aesthetic values of the town, the Killarney Looking Good Competition is back with a vengeance with a new committee, new categories, new sponsors and a whole new approach.

When the project was first launched in 1991 it was a relatively low-key community event but it grew in importance with each passing year, culminating in some style when Killarney won the prestigious overall award in the national tidy towns competition in 2011.

After an enforced three-year absence since 2019, due to the pandemic, the competition has now been given a whole new lease of life and the 2023 version was officially launched this week by Mayor of Killarney, Cllr Niall Kelleher.

Awards will be presented in 26 different categories and high achievers in the business and residential community will be honoured at a gala prizegiving ceremony at the close of the tourist season.

This year two new categories are being introduced in memory of two remarkable people who played massive roles in keeping Killarney looking its best down through the years.

Yvonne Quill, who passed away last October, was the driving force behind the Killarney tidy towns campaign for several years and she was at the helm when the sought-after overall award was secured 12 years ago.

This year the Yvonne Quill Memorial Award will be presented to the volunteer of the year – a person who the adjudicators consider to be a standout contributor – in the overall effort to keep Killarney tidy.

Up to the time of his death in January 2020, Fr Michael Murphy was the public face of tidy towns and he played a huge part in Killarney, Kenmare and Sneem winning the overall national award in 2011, 2000 and 1987 respectively. Affectionately known as Fr Tidy, this year the Killarney Looking Good Competition will honour his memory with a special Pride of Place award.

In the business community, there will be awards for the best large and small commercial premises, best newly painted premises, best signage and the best retail award with prizes also for the most impressive hotel, public house, restaurant, café, guesthouse and best public building as well as the most improved premises.
In the residential categories awards will go to the best large and small estates, best private residence, best roadside garden, best floral display and best friendly planting award.

Other categories include a green hospitality award, a corporate special responsibility award, a restoration award, best school and a special biodiversity award.
Several highly commended awards will also be up for grabs and the winner of the prestigious overall award will be announced at the prizegiving ceremony.

The Killarney Looking Good Competition is organised by Killarney Chamber of Tourism and Commerce and Killarney Municipal District Council and the new committee comprises Sandra Dunlea – a daughter of the late Yvonne Quill – Kathleen Foley, John O’Mahony and Johnny McGuire who is spearheading the project.

MD O’Shea & Sons are the new overall sponsors of the competition and O’Mahony Media Ltd is the media sponsor.

The competition will run throughout the tourist season and businesses and residential areas will be monitored on an ongoing basis.

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