Romance repeats on Valentine’s Day

Romance runs in the family for bride-to-be Kathy Prendergast. The Causeway woman is all set to walk down the aisle on Valentine’s Day this Friday - exactly 22 years after her big sister Lisa did the same thing.

Childhood sweethearts Kathy and fiancé Adam Whyte first met as teenagers at secondary school, and will say ‘I Do’ tomorrow in Ballyduff Church.

It means the happy couple will share a romantic Valentine’s Day wedding anniversary with Kathy’s sister Lisa and her husband, Tom McElligott.

They’ll share another wedding day memory too - before they tied the knot on Valentine’s Day 1998, Lisa and Tom also featured on the front page  of Kerry’s Eye.

What happened in Kerry this week

What better day to tie the knot than Valentine’s Day ? Well, that’s just what Kathy Prendergast and Adam Whyte will be doing this Friday, and in a case of history repeating itself - Kathy will become the second in her family to have a Valentine’s wedding, after her sister Lisa also got married on February 14th some 22 years ago.

 

Newly elected TD Norma Foley’s first day in the Dáil is set to be both a joyous occasion but also one that conjures up happy memories, as she follows in the footsteps of her late father Denis, who first entered the Dáil as a TD back in 1981.

 

After his stunning election victory one of the first items on the agenda for Kerry's new Sinn Féin TD Pa Daly will be dealing with a massive pay cut - for himself.

 

Identical twins Joe and Frank Wallace celebrated their 70th birthday together on Tuesday - and looked back fondly on the many hilarious moments they’ve shared together throughout their lives.

 

Having been sent to Kerry from Africa to help alleviate the priest shortage here two Kenyan priests now say they are confident about the future of the Catholic Church in the county and in Ireland.

Pa’s  Dáil success  comes at a cost

One of the first items on the agenda for new Sinn Féin TD Pa Daly will be dealing with a massive pay cut - for himself.

The 49-year-old Tralee solicitor says going from his current income down to the average industrial wage is a pill he has to swallow - but he is willing to make sacrifices.

According to jobs.ie, the average earnings for a solicitor is just shy of €70,000. In 2018, Mr Daly earned €137,000 in Legal Aid fees.

However, Sinn Féin Deputies only accept €40,000 of their TD’s salary; the balance of their €96,189 annual pay goes back to Party coffers.

‘Finally I’m free of politics’

Former Sinn Féin councillor Toiréasa Ferris has not renewed her membership of the party and insists that it’s now time to allow newly-elected TD Pa Daly to shine.

Sinn Féin in Kerry – and nationally – was thrown into disarray by Ms Ferris’ decision last August to retire from politics, vacating the Council seat she held since 2003.

Speaking to Kerry’s Eye at the time, Ms Ferris confirmed she had been diagnosed with an autoimmune condition and she and her children desperately wanted to spend more time with each other. She also planned to further her studies.

It was widely accepted that Ms Ferris held the best chance of retaining the party’s seat in Kerry held by her father, Martin. She was also viewed as one of the party’s brightest stars nationally and, had she been elected, would have been a front-runner for a cabinet position in any government involving Sinn Féin.

Storm closes main  road at Loo Bridge

THE closure of a section of the Killarney to Kenmare road at Loo Bridge is a ‘massive inconvenience’ to the local community, says Kerry County Councillor Johnny Healy-Rae.

Work to repair the road got underway on Wednesday morning but the damaged section of road is expected to remain closed for up to three weeks following a land slippage during Storm Ciara last Sunday.

Torrential rain and wind overnight led to the collapse of a riverbank in the early hours on the road which runs by the Flesk River and Loo Bridge onto the main Killarney to Cork road.

“It is worse than what was first envisaged,” Councillor Healy-Rae told Kerry’s Eye.

“At first, it was thought the damage was just at the side of the road but now we know that it is underneath.

Council stays tight-lipped on slip strip

KERRY COUNTY Council has begun new trials on the surface of Tralee Town Square - but is staying tight-lipped on potential options for a slip-free future.

A strip of the square measuring around 12 metres (40 feet) outside Billy Nolan’s Jewellers appears to have been blasted off to create more traction on the surface.

Kerry’s Eye has been unable to establish how this was achieved, what the procedure entailed and if it will be extended in the remainder of the Square and onto Abbeycourt and Denny Lane - but it appears to be working.

Ard Chúram seeks Ring of Kerry backing from cyclists

Cyclists taking part in the 2020 Ring of Kerry Charity Cycle are being urged to sponsor a €1m Alzheimer Daycare Centre currently under construction in Listowel.

The state-of-the-art facility will cater for over 100 people when works are completed by Mike Casey of Ross Builders in early 2021. Dementia has been described as a collection of symptoms caused by a number of disorders that affect the brain.

It is estimated that around 2,000 people are living with the disease across Kerry.

Survey finds  347 species  in one area

The largest-ever sighting of a roost of endangered cormorants in Kerry was recorded in the Ballylongford area in 2019 - along with turtle doves and hen harriers.

Biodiversity expert Geoff Hunt made the discovery as part of a pioneering year-long survey to track the tremendous variety of animals and wildlife in this Shannon Estuary area.

“This survey successfully recorded species of birds, hover fly, bumblebee, ladybird, bony fish, other terrestrial invertebrates, flowering plants and fungi,” he said.

North Kerry hopes for tourism surge

A new marketing group in North Kerry is planning to increase tourism footfall and promote Ballybunion to visitors across the world.

The popular seaside destination and surrounding area will feature in a new brochure highlighting tourist attractions such as Lislaughtin Abbey, Rattoo Tower and Carrigafoyle Castle.

It is hoped that increased footfall in the area will encourage repeat tourism and spin off employment for locals in the hospitality sector.

Vincent’s life-saver plan for Dingle Pier

A West Kerry man is planning a cycle around Slea Head and a trek up Mount Brandon to raise money to buy a defibrillator for the pier in Dingle on the fifth anniversary of his mother’s death.

Vincent Manning has already exceeded his own €2,500 target but says anything above that will go towards maintenance and upkeep of the life-saving device - and he’s even examining the possibility of buying a second AED (automated external defibrillator) to be installed at a location further west.

Mr Manning’s motivation is the tragic loss of his mother, Máire Pháid Manning, who died as a result of a heart attack on March 28, 2015.

Tralee Sailing Club honours stalwart Liam

Tralee Bay Sailing Club stalwart Liam Freeman has been honoured with a Samphire Award for his outstanding contribution to the development of the Fenit-based club.

A large crowd gathered in the clubhouse in Fenit last week to celebrate the presentation of the award to Mr Freeman.

Amongst the crowd were many former and current committee members, fellow club members, close family and friends.

The current treasurer has been a member of the club for more than 30 years and was recognised for his efforts in keeping the club afloat during more difficult times. He also served as Tralee Bay Sailing Club Commodore for three years in the 1990s, among many other vital committee roles in recent years.

Ballymac pupils on the road to Italy

Pupils in O’Brennan NS in Ballymac are this week excitedly anticipating just who will get to take part in an exchange project which will see some lucky students get to visit Italy and Latvia later this year.

Under the government-funded exchange project, European students have already been hosted at the homes of O’Brennan NS pupils and now it is the turn of the Ballymac school’s pupils to take part in visits to Italy and Latvia.

Vying for a place on the Euro trips are 22 sixth class pupils who are all aiming for one of the ten places allocated for a visit to Sicily in March as well as a trip to Latvia later on in the year. And this weekend, the wait finally ends for the hopeful pupils as the 10 lucky winners will be announced.

Dance extravaganza wows the Ballyroe

As Storm Ciara caused havoc outside, a whirlwind dance extravaganza wowed the crowds inside Ballyroe Heights Hotel at last weekend’s Tralee Musical Society Strictly Come Dancing Mr and Mrs.

The nine couples, who were guided for the last number of weeks by four talented choreographers, came together to put on a wonderful show on the night.

Over 300 people came to watch the acts put together with the expert guidance of the choreographers Honor Hurley, Jackie O’Mahony, Oliver Hurley and Tara Dore, each of which looked after the couples, guiding their moves, and getting them fit and ready for the competition.