In a presentation with the very topical theme of ‘Greener Living’, a wide range of issues were covered by Kerry County Councils Environmental Officer Úna O’Connor,at the May meeting of  Muckross ICA.

In a  fun and interactive style, Úna demonstrated to the ladies what materials can be recycled, what can’t and in which bin and the different types of items should be placed. The level of food wasted every year – largely perishables such as bread, fruit and vegetables –  with cost to the consumer and to the environment- was also discussed. The importance of making a shopping list and planning what food would be used in the week, and measuring food before cooking, were emphasised. Greener ways to clean and to garden were outlined.

The Muckross ICA ladies went home armed with information booklets on Greener Gardening, Greener Cleaning, Greener Home Hints, measuring scoups(to cut down on food waste)  and Magnetic strips with pads for making the all important shopping list.  Lots of ‘Food for Thought for the coming summer months’!!

All Ireland Glory for Community College

‘The Global Gang’ comprising Transition Year students from Castleisland Community College won a national award at the Young Social Innovator’s competition held in Croke Park, Dublin. 

Young Social Innovators is Ireland’s largest social awareness and active citizenship and education programme. 431 projects were entered this year and a total of 30 teams competed in the final. The students presented to 6 judges with other students watching followed by a questions and answering session. The Global Gang won their category for ‘Make Our Future More Sustainable’. 

The project focused on what we can do in our everyday lives to combat climate change e.g. recycling, buy FSC products and planting pollinator friendly plants. They were also shortlisted to the top 5 teams in the competition and were asked to perform for the second time to a different judging panel for the coveted positions of overall 1st 2nd and 3rd. The Global Gang finished 4th in the overall competition- an amazing achievement! This is the second year in a row that Castleisland Community College have won a National Young Social Innovator’s Award with ‘The Fairtraders’ winning last year. 

Students and staff celebrate with Wellbeing Day

Students at Scoil Phobail Sliabh Luachra celebrated their Healthy Ireland ‘Health Promoting Schools’ Flag by holding a well being day at the school.

A combined effort by the Health Promoting Schools coordinators, staff, parents council, students and management enabled the enhancement and rejuvenation of staff and student social areas in particular the redevelopment of school football field, basketball courts, walkway, and courtyard area. Artistic displays and an outdoor mural were created by students, designed to promote positive wellbeing throughout the school.

The Healthy Ireland Health Promoting Schools (HPS) Flag is presented by the HSE to schools as an acknowledgement of their work in improving the health of their school communities. The HPS supports schools to focus on health and wellbeing and involves all members of the school community. Students, staff, parents and guardians are consulted to identify priority health areas. Over a period of around 2-3 school years, schools develop an action plan to address the health areas identified. Schools are guided to address their priority area under the following evidence based categories: environment (social and physical) curriculum, policies and partnerships. Schools work at their own pace supported by the HSE Health Promotion & Improvement Dept. In  each school, a HPS coordinator and HPS team lead out on the progression of health and wellbeing and this work is supported by the school principal, board of management and wider school community.

European research has shown many benefits of the HPS – whole school approach to health. Chief among these benefits are increased self-esteem, safer and cleaner school environments, lowered incidences of bullying, a positive approach to health issues, increased parent involvement and better student/teacher relationships to name a few.

Vibrancy Award: NEWKD recognise deserving local group

Last Monday evening the Sliabh Luachra Culture and Heritage Centre Committee were presented with the NEWKD Community Vibrancy Recognition Award in Partnership with Kerry Group

 John Galvin Reports

Sustainability Communications Manager Padraig Mallon with Kerry Group was on hand to present the Sliabh Luachra Culture and Heritage Centre Committee with the NEWKD Community Vibrancy Recognition Award to Chairperson of the Heritage Centre John Walsh at a pleasant gathering at the Culture and Heritage Centre.

John Stack Chairperson, NEWKD said ‘Well done to the many people who have been involved in the centre. It is an excellent example of a rural community working together to develop and retain a vibrant resource for this unique area of Sliabh Luachra.

Other speakers on the night on the 14th year of the awards were Eamon O’Reilly CEO of NEWKD and Trish Dowling of NEWKD

Meanwhile Frank Hayes, Kerry Group sent congratulations to all at Sliabh Luachra Centre on this award. “It is worthy recognition for the tremendous effort in preserving and bringing to life the cultural and heritage traditions of the region.”

All were full of praise for the manor in which the committee operate the Centre and for the various services and facilities that it provides for the local community and meets the demands of local groups.

So well done again to all involved and keep up the good work



Another Classic Drive

A 1979 Model Ford 2600 Tractor is this year top prize in the  Killarney Valley Classic and Vintage fundraiser which was launched at the weekend.

The group were delighted  to launch another fantastic fundraiser, following on from last years successful project  – the lovingly restored vintage Land Rover 90, raising much needed funds for Recovery Haven and Down Syndrome Kerry. On Sunday at the Deenach Lodge, Killarney National Park,  the Club unveiled another classic vintage – A 1979 Model Ford 2600 Tractor, as it rolled into view with Pat O’Brien on bagpipes leading the procession and launched by Cathaoirleach Killarney Municipal District Cllr John Sheahan.

The unique tractor belonged to the Killarney Great Southern Hotel (Great Southern Killarney) and was in use on the farm from 1979 to 2007. “ It was in very good condition” said PRO Killarney Valley Classic and Vintage,  Tom Leslie, “It had a fantastic life at  the Great Southern with only 17 hours on the clock, we just had to do some tidying up, painting, new tyres and conditioning, it’s a real collectors item, it really is a  beautiful machine”.

The Club also announced three more prizes as part of the fundraising raffle. 2nd prize: Bed & breakfast and evening meal at The 5 Star Killarney Park Hotel. 3rd Prize: €400 Voucher from Killarney Oils. 4th Prize: 2 night Pitch at Beech Grove Caravan and Camping Park, Killarney.

Talking about the beneficiaries for this year Tom said “We are delighted to be supporting two very worthy causes, ATC for Meningitis and Killarney Micro track Project. Tickets are €10 each and the draw will take place on the 16th November 2019”

The tickets may be purchased  from or directly from the beneficiaries.


DERRYNANE beach on the Ring of Kerry is one of 13 beaches in the Kingdom to retain it’s Blue Flag for 2019.

The Cathaoirleach of Kerry County Council, Cllr Norma Foley has warmly welcomed the news that Kerry has retained its 14 Blue Flags at 13 of the county’s beaches as well as Fenit Marina.  The decision of the International Blue Flag jury announced this week sees the following beaches retain their flags for 2019: Rossbeigh, Ballybunion North, Ballybunion South, Ballyheigue, Fenit, Maherbeg, Kells, Derrynane, White Strand, Ballinskelligs, Banna, Ceann Trá (Ventry) and Inch. Fenit Marina also retains it Blue Flag this year.

Green Coast awards have also been announced for Béal Bán, Castlegregory, Littor and Ballinskelligs and Waterville Beach.

Welcoming the announcement, Cllr Foley said: ‘Blue Flags are an important internationally-known indicator of the quality of our beach environment and it is encouraging that Kerry is continuing to set a high standard in this regard. To retain all 14 Blue Flags is really positive news for the local economy and our tourism industry”.

Don and Pascal return for Recovery Haven Kerry Gala Ball


Following on from the overwhelming success of last year’s sell-out fundraising gala ball with designer Don O’Neill and husband Pascal Guillermie, Recovery Haven Kerry is thrilled to announce that the dynamic duo are set to return to Kerry to do it all again this July!

Tralee’s Ballyroe Heights Hotel will once again host the event, which takes place this year on Saturday, July 13 and promises all the glitz, glamour and fun of last year’s event which raised in excess of €20,000 for the cancer support charity.

As well as a stunning four course meal, Don and Pascal have also lined up an amazing night of entertainment, with the incredibly talented O’Neill Sisters returning for a pre-dinner performance. The couple have also once again enlisted their own wedding band – the amazing Bentley Boys Band – to perform into the night.

A number of local sponsors have eagerly come on board to donate some remarkable spot prizes on the night, including a limited edition print from both renowned artists Pauline Bewick and Poppy Melia; a luxury pamper-package courtesy of Expose Beauty, afternoon tea for two at Ballyseede Castle Hotel, while Kerry Airport and Ryanair have joined forces to offer one lucky winner return flights for two on any of Ryanair’s routes from Kerry.

The best dressed lady, meanwhile, chosen once again by Orla Diffily, will once walk away with a dream prize of a THEIA gown of her choice, designed and kindly donated by Don.

The stellar event will kick off with a champagne and cocktail red carpet reception at the earlier time of 5pm, and just like last year, all guests will have the opportunity to have their photograph taken with Don and Pascal on arrival.

Speaking about the event, Don says he and Pascal are thrilled to be back to support Recovery Haven Kerry.

“Pascal and I were overwhelmed with the out pouring of love, support and generosity for Recovery Haven at last summer’s gala dinner in memory of my mom. The energy on the night was electric, the style was amazing and a great night was had by all,” Don explained, “As the night was drawing to a close the requests began pouring in for us to please do this again next year, so we are coming back. Please join us and help create another fun filled memorable summer’s night in aid of Recovery Haven”

Friend of the couple and Recovery Haven PR & Marketing officer, Marisa Reidy, said everyone at the charity is thrilled that Don and Pascal have decided to return and says everyone is already looking forward to another amazing night.

“We are indebted to Don and Pascal for agreeing to come back and do it all again his year,” Marisa said, “Last year’s event was an outstanding, sell-out success and raised over €20,000 for Recovery Haven which was just incredible. People were asking for tickets weeks ago, so we have no doubt this year’s event will be another sell out and we cannot wait to do it all again. We cannot thank Don and Pascal for their amazing support.”

Tickets for this year’s event, priced at €75 each, are now available from Recovery Haven at 5 Haig’s Terrace, Tralee on 066 7192122 or via email at



Killarney volunteers Angela Curran and Noreen Collins, who volunteer each year to support their local hospice on Hospice Sunflower Days, have been named official ‘Hospice Heroes’ for their many years of fundraising service on behalf of their local hospice, Kerry Hospice.

Angela and Noreen along with 25 others were honoured with the title of ‘Hospice Hero’ at a special ceremony in St. Francis Hospice, Blanchardstown, Dublin 15 on Thursday, 9th May 2019 to coincide with the official launch of this year’s Hospice Sunflower Days campaign. Both Angela and Noreen have been involved with fundraising for Kerry Hospice for over 20 years. They have a wealth of experience and knowledge in relation to fundraising events and they are always willing to take on leadership roles within their local Killarney Branch.

Angela and Noreen were presented with their plaque at the ceremony by Mary Kennedy, Hospice Sunflower Days Ambassador and RTE Broadcaster.

This year’s Hospice Sunflower Days, which marks the 29th year of the campaign, is taking place on Friday, 7th June and Saturday 8th June 2019. You can show your support for this worthy cause by volunteering to help out over the two days fundraising or by donating and buying some sunflower merchandise; and remember every euro raised locally, stays locally!

Hospice care is about helping people of all ages to live well with an illness which is life-limiting and supporting them to achieve the best quality of life possible as well as providing support for their relatives and loved ones. Care is provided in either specialist in-patient units or in people’s own homes through trained specialist palliative home care nurses.

If you would like to volunteer or donate, please contact your local hospice or specialist palliative home care service today, log onto or show your support by purchasing some sunflower merchandise on Hospice Sunflower Days this June.

Alternatively, you can make a donation by texting ‘SUN’ to 50300 to donate €4 to support local hospice groups across Ireland. Texts cost €4. Hospice Sunflower Days will receive a minimum of €3.60. Service Provider: LIKECHARITY. Helpline: 076 680 5278.

Faha kids are Junior Entrepreneurs

Creativity, hard graft and willingness to invest their own hard-earned cash were the hallmarks of the primary school Entrepreneurs who took part in the Junior Entrepreneur Programme All Ireland Showcase Day at the RDS in Dublin yesterday May 20th.

Faha National School were among five and half thousand children from thirty counties  who arrived by bus to the RDS to display their classroom projects which have created an astonishing profit of €198,000 from sales of €320,000 since the start of the year. It’s the tenth year of the programme which is headed by Kerry entrepreneur Jerry Kennelly and sponsored by his company Tweak, supported by other entrepreneurs in their localities throughout Ireland.

220 approx schools out of 700 participating  were invited to showcase finals day at RDS and Faha  presented  the “Wellbeing Water Bottle” – a reusable waterbottle (better for the environment!!) with a positive mental health message on it. A choice of two bottles.

“We used the local company Brand Geeks in Killorglin for our product. The children are donating part of their profit to Jigsaw – a mental health charity for 12-25 year olds”,  Ann Marie Knightly, the teacher in charge of  JEP at the school told the Killarney Outlook.

The children were delighted to meet famous entrepreneurs  on the day with awards being given out by stars such as Miriam O’Callaghan and Jerry Keneally. Ryan Tubridy also popped in to say hello and was mobbed by all! Without doubt the largest cheer went to Marty Morrissey who was hosting the awards ceremony!!

The children were delighted to be  shortlisted for 2 awards –  Marketing Gurus and Top Teams”, she added.

Rathmore Social Action Group are national finalists

A social partnership between young and old  – Rathmore Social Action Group, has beaten off stiff competition to be named amongst the thirty-six community groups, sports clubs and organisations from all over Ireland were today announced as regional winners and finalists in the National Lottery Good Causes Awards 2019. The Rathmore group will contest the Community category it the Good Causes Awards final.

The Awards are aimed at honouring the inspiring work and achievements of thousands of projects, clubs and individuals from all over Ireland who with the help of National Lottery Good Causes funding have had an extraordinary impact on their local communities. Nearly 30 cent in every €1 spent on National Lottery games goes back to Good Causes all over the country.

The Rathmore Social Action Group was founded to give young people an opportunity to undertake community work and make a difference. That still remains one of the key objectives of the group since it was established. Since 1983 the Social Action Group has developed a care programme for older people. It includes the provision of Social Housing, a day care centre, a meals on wheels and laundry service. It is regarded as one of the best models of its kind in the country.

The 36 winning groups will now proceed to the grand final in six categories: Sport, Health & Wellbeing, Heritage, Arts & Culture, Community and Youth. A seventh category, Irish Language, will have a special award to be announced on the night at the Awards final, in recognition of outstanding work done in the promotion of the Irish Language.

Each national category winner will receive €10,000 while the overall Good Cause of the Year will get an additional €25,000 on top of this. The winners will be announced at a Gala Awards event in the Clayton Burlington Hotel in Dublin on Saturday 2nd November.