Student Tour Guides Visit Killarney

Fáilte Ireland has held a networking event for Kerry student Tour Guides in Killarney House & Gardens as part of the National Tourism Development Authority’s commitment to encourage and promote careers in the tourism industry. The networking event was attended by industry stakeholders, education providers and student tour guides currently studying at Kerry Education & Training Board providers with presentations including an overview of the industry and discussions on the career and employment options available.

Paul Hayden Head of Tourism Careers at Fáilte Ireland said:

“Tour Guides are a vital component in delivering brilliant visitor experiences for tourists and as the National Tourism Development Authority, Fáilte Ireland is delighted to host this event. The series of networking events are being held as part of our commitment to encourage and promote careers in tourism. The event is intended to bring together key industry stakeholders, education providers and current tour guide students, studying the National Tour Guide programme and the Regional Tour Guide programme to provide an understanding of the industry and the career and employment options available.”

Larry Coady from Vagabonds Tour said:

“We are delighted to have had the opportunity to help the students participating today gain insight into some of the practical aspects of guiding and self-management. I hope they will continue to build on the skills and knowledge that their course is delivering now and throughout their careers.”

Alison Groves from the Incoming Tour Operators Association and also with Irish Welcome Tours / Hotels & More said:

“The tourism industry background was brought to life through entertaining and informative presentations from key stakeholders with ample time for questions & teasing out job opportunities.”

Presentations at the event include:

  • An overview of Fáilte Ireland and its experiences brands (WAW, IAE, IHH and Dublin)
  • An understanding about the Incoming Tour Operators Association (ITOA) presented by Alison Groves and Conor Wall
  • An introduction to Approved Tour Guide Ireland (ATGI) by Ela Sooder
  • What the future has in store for visitor experiences presented by Denise Brophy, Managing Director of Dublina and Board member of the Association of Visitor Experiences and Attractions (AVEA).
  • A presentation on the importance of the tour guide to visitors by Larry Coady of Vagabond Tours of Ireland
  • An overview of Failte Ireland’s Tourist Information Centres by Veronica O’Connor
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Castleisland celebrates entrepreneurial success at 2018 Bank of Ireland National Enterprise Town Awards

Castleisland has been announced as a regional second runner up at this year’s Bank of Ireland National Enterprise Town Awards. The Awards recognise and reward towns where businesses and communities have come together to showcase the spirit of enterprise in their local area.
This year’s awards saw collaboration between business groups and communities from almost 100 over 80 towns and urban villages nationwide, with entries demonstrating exemplary entrepreneurial initiatives being undertaken to boost local economies. 
At the award ceremony in Kilkenny, a total of 40 awards were given with an overall prize fund of €157,000 allocated to encourage further innovation and entrepreneurship within winning towns. Taking the prize for overall winner of the 2018 Bank of Ireland National Enterprise Town Awards was Letterkenny.
Speaking at the awards Deirdre Twomey, Head of Co. Kerry at Bank of Ireland said: 
“Every year we are so impressed by the enterprising spirit and achievements of towns and villages nationwide, as people work together, to drive growth locally and build thriving communities.
Entrepreneurship, collaboration and innovative thinking have an immeasurable impact on a community’s ability to flourish and we hope that all of this year’s winning towns enjoy their success and continue to build on it further in 2019.
At Bank of Ireland, supporting enterprise is central to what we do and as the country’s largest lender, with a presence in over 250 communities nationwide, we are committed to encouraging local enterprise and bringing communities closer together. The National Enterprise Town Awards are Bank of Ireland’s opportunity to recognise and reward towns where communities and business groups are working closely together with local authorities and local enterprise offices to spur enterprise forward in their area.  
The support of City and County Councils across the country is a significant factor in the success of the awards and one which Bank of Ireland is extremely grateful for. On behalf of Bank of Ireland, I would like to congratulate Castleisland and local council representatives for their joint success at this year’s awards.”


 Since its establishment in 2015, the Kerry County Council Community Support Fund has provided funding of €3m to community groups and projects across the county. The Council has now issued a call for funding applications for the 2019 Community Support Fund which is offering a further  €750,000 to community-based projects and initiatives in Kerry over the coming year.
The 2019 Community Support Fund was launched on Thursday evening at the Killorglin Area Services Centre by the Leas Cathaoirleach of Kerry County Council, Cllr John Joe Culloty, and the Chief Executive of Kerry County Council, Moira Murrell. The launch heard presentations from a number of projects and groups which had benefited from the funding available in recent years.
The fund, which is now in its fifth year, has supported over 1,200 projects since 2015 to the value of €3million. As occurred in 2017 and 2018, some of the Community Support Fund will be used again this coming year to target strategic projects in the four municipal districts and to co-fund projects which are in receipt of grants from other sources.
Over the past two years, €2million was leveraged from other grant sources as a result of the strategic allocation of resources under the Community Support Fund.
For 2019, the fund will target funding under five categories of support: 
  • Growing and Sustaining Communities
  • Community Tidy Towns Initiatives and Amenity Projects
  • Community Sport and Physical Activity Programmes
  • Community Economic Innovation
  • Community Based Tourism, Festivals and Events
Leas-Cathaoirleach of Kerry County Council, Cllr John Joe Culloty, said: ‘Since the Community Support Fund was established in 2015, millions of euro have been invested by Kerry County Council in community projects and initiatives around the county. This is indicative of the council’s support for the work being done by community and voluntary organisations all over the county to build vibrant, sustainable communities and the value of that work in Kerry.’
Chief Executive of Kerry County Council, Moira Murrell, said: ‘The Community Support Fund has targeted funding towards a very wide range of community-based projects and has provided support to community councils, chamber alliances, tidy towns groups and other organisations in a very progressive and structured way. Furthermore, the retention of part of the fund to help to leverage funding from other sources and to co-fund projects with other funding streams has proven to be an enormous success in recent years.’
The closing date for receipt of completed applications is Monday, 21 January 2019 and application forms may be downloaded from the council’s website. Further information is available for Kerry County Council’s Community Department at 066 7183680.

Kerry artists go ‘Off the Rails’ at new ‘Art in the Park’ exhibition at Kerry County Museum Tralee

IT’S finally happened, some of Kerry’s most talented artists have gone ‘Off the Rails’ at Kerry County Museum where they will showcase, and hopefully sell, their stunning, creative and colourful artwork during the winter months.
‘Art in the Park’ was one Tralee’s top attractions for tourists and locals during the wonderful hot summer and now that colour has been transferred to a new exhibition entitled ‘Art in the Park: Off the Rails’ from Friday 30th November 2018 until April 2019.

The President of Tralee Chamber Alliance, Aidan Kelly, who launched the exhibition in the Community Room in Kerry County Museum said: “The ‘Art in the Park’ series in Tralee is an outdoor exhibition created for artists from all over Kerry to showcase their art on the railings of the Town Park in the heart of Tralee. Organised by Tralee Chamber Alliance and supported by Kerry County Council it provides artists an opportunity to exhibit and sell their work in Tralee. This year’s series was very successful and now Kerry County Museum is excited to team up with more than 30 local artists for their latest exhibition ‘Art in the Park: Off the Rails’. I wish to congratulate Mary Greene, the Tralee Chamber Alliance Arts Officer, for her great work in bringing this entire project to fruition.” 

Artists will exhibit Paintings, Drawings, Illustration, Origami, Felt work and Glasswork. The exhibition will be on display from 30 November 2018 until April 2019. It will be open from Tuesday to Saturdays from 9.30am to 5pm daily.

Ber Earley, the spokesperson for the participating artists, said: “Public response to ‘Art in the Park’ was very positive with great public interest and many sales achieved throughout the summer. The presence of art on the rails significantly added to the vibrancy of the town centre. Extending the concept to exhibiting sample works at Kerry County Museum has ensured that our profile is maintained throughout the winter. As ‘Art in the Park’ becomes an annual event, local awareness will be raised and people will be drawn to visit the town, and Denny Street in particular, with the expectation of finding a choice of original pieces by local artists at affordable prices.”

Many of the items that will be featured in the ‘Art in the Park: Off the Rails’ exhibition will be available for sale and would make wonderful Christmas gifts. 

“Each artist will display one piece of their work at a time, but this can be replaced in the event of the first piece has being sold,” said Aidan Kelly. 

Anyone who would like to participate in Art in the Park or Art in the Park: Off the Rails during the winter months or ‘Art in the Park’ in spring and summer 2019 should contact Mary Greene, Arts Officer, Tralee Chamber Alliance on 066-7121472 or email

Sensory resources Local Library provides for children with learning needs

Kerry Library Toys and Sensory Resources collection is based at Castleisland Library since 2015. The collection which includes games, learning and sensory resources is designed to offer support to children with learning difficulties or more significant needs. Items have been chosen to assist and aid different skills such as fine motor skills or sensory processing development.

The toys and resources were selected with the professional guidance of speech/language and occupational therapy staff from Kerry Early Intervention Centre and parent nominees from the HSE. The collection which consists of toys and sensory resources can be borrowed for home use for children with complex needs.  Registration to borrow from the collection requires a letter of referral from an occupational therapist, speech and language therapist, physiotherapist or psychologist working in Kerry.  

Membership is free to any parent who can provide the referral letter. Items to be borrowed include sensory and tactile toys and toys to build on fine and gross motor skills.

Although based at Castleisland Library, an illustrated catalogue of the specialised collection of toys and sensory resources has been printed and this is available at libraries throughout the county and is also viewable online at  Items in the catalogue can be borrowed directly from Castleisland Library, requested at any of the Kerry Library branches, Mobiles or online and collected by the borrower at their nearest branch library. 3 items can be borrowed at any one time for a 21 day loan period. Loans can be extended by renewing items online, by phone or in person.

Farranfore NS launch Fundraiser

Knockaderry NS, Farranfore, are delighted to announce that the  Parents’ Association are running an exciting fund raising initiative called ‘Split the Bucket’. The funds raised will be used to provide extracurricular activities such as music performance, choir and dancing for the pupils.

This fundraiser is available in all businesses in Firies and Farranfore. To be in with a chance of winning a fabulous prize just before Christmas, all one has to do is put €2 in an envelope and pop it into the special buckets in participating shops, bars and restaurants.

At present the prize fund for the winning envelope is already over €500 and is expected to increase in the coming weeks. The draw will take place in the school on Dec 20th after the Christmas school mass and infant play. All are welcome to attend the Christmas events at 12 o clock after which the draw will take place. Principal Áine Daly said ‘On behalf of the staff and BOM I wish to thank most sincerely the wonderful Parents association for their tremendous work to benefit all the pupils here in Farranfore. The Split the bucket prize will certainly add some sparkle to a family this Christmas.   Best of luck to all who have entered. ‘’

Unislim Ballybunion 

Thursday mornings from 8 to 9.30 am Ballybunion community Centre in the Cozy Room. New & returning members always welcome

Weight Watchers

Ballybunion Health & Leisure Centre Every Thursday 10am to 11am – & – 6.30pm to 7.30pm. Call Sandra on 0876718377 or

Ballybunion Health and Leisure Centre opening hours: 

Mon – Thurs – 7am – 10pm

Friday – 7am – 9pm

Saturday – 9am – 8pm

Sunday – 10am – 8pm

Bank Holidays 10am – 8pm 


We have numerous exercise and fitness classes, which include the new Surf set, Hydro bikes, Aqua Aerobics, Spinning, and Circuits.  Swim Lessons for both Adults and Children take place each week and can be booked by contacting reception, for any further information please call Reception on Tel: 0682811 or follow our Facebook page Ballybunion Health & Leisure Centre for regular updates. 



Tommy Tiernan

Tommy Tiernan is bringing his new show “Paddy Crazy Horse to the Tinteán Theatre on Saturday 8th December at 8.30pm. Tickets are available from Namir’s Restaurant and and are €30 each it promises to be a great night out.


Ecotrek Ballybunion

Stroll Through History Ecotrek Ballybunion. Guided walking tours with Danny Houlihan every Sunday starting at Ballybunion Tourist Office at 3.30pm. Tours are of Cnoic na Óir, The Cliff Walk and Bromore Cliffs. These tours take in views of the Shannon estuary, loop head, Kerry head, Mount Brandon, Scattery Island, The Viking Raids along the Shannon Estuary and the great plains of North Kerry. Book by appointment only by contacting Danny on 087 3539613 or email:

Ballybunion Taekwon-do

Ballybunion Taekwon-do, classes for children, teens and adults, in Ballybunion Community Centre every Wednesday and Friday. Excellent for fitness, confidence, self-defense and flexibility. First class is free. Contact Michael on 087 9245637.


Ballybunion by the Sea

The new website for Ballybunion is now available on the internet. It is a great website for all in Ballybunion; make sure you check it out


Irish Blood Transfusion Clinic

Did you know that approximately 1000 people in Ireland get blood transfusions every week? Transfusions can happen for a variety of reasons – cancer treatment, surgery, car accidents & childbirth complications to name a few. This is why we always need donors to come into our clinic. The Irish Blood Transfusion They will be in Listowel Arms Hotel on Monday 17th And Tuesday 18th Of December from 5pm -8pm. Please come along and bring a friend.


Ballybunion Community Centre
*Sports Hall: €25 per hour before 7pm, €30 per hour after 7pm & weekends.
*Upstairs Hall/Dance Studio: €20 per hour.
*Meeting Room: €10 per hour.

* Room of Light €20 per hour
Discount available for block booking & advance payment.
Email: Call 068-27799 during office hours Mon-Thurs10am-2pm


Free IT Skills for Farmers

Covers using an account on to: Review, save, print & e-mail herd details, Record farm-to-farm movementsRegister calves. Also covers Basic Internet Skills (setting up & using e-mail; internet search and online security) Classes running Oct/Nov 2018 in Tarbert/ Listowel / Ballybunion / Ballyduff 10 hours in total. Own herd number not required as practice numbers will be supplied. Booking essential. Contact: Rosaleen (085) 7714355


Ciorcal Comhrá at Ballybunion Library

As 2018 is Blian na Gaeilge, Ballybunion Library will be running a series of Free Comhrá Classes –December Tuesday 4th & 11th. All Sessions from 4pm to 5pm. CAINT, COMHRÁ, & CRAIC. All are Welcome! The aim of the classes is to get the conversation flowing, and the classes will cater to all levels from complete beginners upwards. Please contact Ballybunion Library for further details. 068



The O’Neill Sisters Sing Christmas in Killarney 

The sensational O’Neill sisters top the bill at a special Christmas concert taking place in the INEC, Killarney on December 13th 

The three sisters will be accompanied by an eight-piece band as well as being joined by Killarney’s own Cathal Flaherty, the Kerry Choral Union and Voiceworks Kids Choir. This promises to be the feelgood concert of the season and guarantees to get you in the Christmas spirit. Expect to hear all the Christmas classics as well as a few surprises.  

The O’Neill sisters shot to fame when their rendition of the Irish classic Red is The Rose went viral receiving over seven million views worldwide in a matter of weeks. Most recently they performed for the Pope while on his visit to Ireland. 

This concert forms part of the excellent programme of events lined up for the annual Christmas in Killarney festival. Tickets cost 27.65 and are on sale now from the INEC Box Office. Visit or call 064 71555.