REVIEW 2016: The News From March

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Continuing our Review of 2016, here’s some of the stories we brought you in March…

• THERE was sadness in town at the start of the month at the news of the death of Margaret Dwyer, one of the first members of the Rose of Tralee International Festival in 1959, at the age of 97.

Ms Dwyer came to Kerry soon after World War 2, a conflict in which her husband Johnny Dwyer lost his life. She was a vital contributor to the festival and community groups over the past decades and everyone who knew this independent, strong-willed, wonderful person was saddened by her passing.

•  PLANNING permission was granted for the €20m advanced manufacturing facility at Kerry Technology Park, Dromtacker.

The planned facility was announced in February last year by the IDA as part of a €200m programme for rural towns around the country.

Continued below…


• THE then Mayor of Tralee’s motion, calling for Tralee town to be designated and given city status, received support from councillors at the  March meeting of Tralee Municipal District.

Fianna Fáil Cllr Tom McEllistrim said Kilkenny is called a city and it has a similar population to Tralee.

“Based on these grounds, there’s no reason why Tralee shouldn’t become a city as well. There would have to be legislation introduced to get it done,” he said.

•  Ballymac-based greyhound trainer, Liam Dowling got a civic reception at Kerry County Council buildings in March.

Mayor of Tralee Municipal District, Tom McEllistrim, asked for the trainer to be honoured for his services to greyhound racing in Kerry with Liam’s dog, Ballymac Matt, winning the Irish Derby back in September 2015, on the same weekend as Kerry faced Dublin in the All-Ireland.

Continued below…


• A YEAR-LONG celebration of Tralee’s 800th anniversary was officially launched in March including extended festivals and a big screen in the Square for Ireland’s opening Euro 2016 game against Belgium.

The Cathaoirleach of Kerry County Council and Chairman of the Tralee 800 Group, Cllr Pat McCarthy officially launched details of how the town plans to mark this significant historic milestone.

• AROUND 270 people attended a special event in Ballygarry House Hotel to hear Holocaust survivor, Eva Schloss, speak about her experiences.

The acclaimed author and the stepsister of Anne Frank, was present as part of the International Women’s Day Kerry event put on by the Kerry Businesswomen’s Network and the Bon Secours Hospital Tralee.

• IT was reported that residents in a part of Banna were facing evacuation within years if nothing is done to counteract the effects of coastal erosion in the area.

Due to a number of factors the sand dunes, which act as a barrier between the coast and residents at Carrahane, are being decimated.

Continued below…


Claire Leane at the marathon finishing line back in March.

•  IT was a long and rewarding day for hundreds of runners on March 13 as they completed their full and half marathons in town.

There was about 300 for the full and between 450 and 500 for the half marathon.

• A TRALEE dog owner and his pet brought home an award from the world renowned  competition, Crufts, held in Birmingham.

First time Crufts competitor Tim Galvin and his rottweiler Rocky, finished second place in the junior dog category in his breed.

Second place meant the 18 month old pup finished just two steps away from the highly prestigious ‘Best in Show’ final event.

• BRYAN Cooper was the toast of Tralee man after he won the Cheltenham Gold Cup on Don Cossack.

It was the young jockey’s first Gold Cup win and joy was etched on his face as they past the finishing post to win for trainer Gordon Elliott and owner Ryanair’s Michael O’Leary.

Winners of The Castle Bar Rollover, Danny Diggins and Tom Clifford (front) with Mandy McKenzie Vass, Paul Barry, Jamie Wrenn, Peter McKenzie Vass and Sean Fitzgerald. Photo by Dermot Crean

• After 195 entries, 28 races, €19,500 in prize money, the winner of The Castle Bar rollover was announced with The ‘Speed And Degrees’ duo of Tom Clifford and Danny Diggins winning  €6,000.

They were languishing behind in the field with one race to go, but that was about to change dramatically. Outsider, Solar Impulse, came home at 28/1 in the last race of the festival to catapult the boys into the top spot to win by two points and secure the €6,000 top prize.

• PHONEWATCH opened its first office in Tralee, and created up to 12 new jobs initially, with additional jobs being created as the company grew its business in Kerry.

The offices at Denny Street were officially opened by Kerry GAA Star Marc Ó Sé today.

• IT was announced there were plans to sell the IT Tralee South Campus in Clash and move students up to their north base in Dromtacker.

In a presentation to Kerry County Council, President of the ITT, Dr Oliver Murphy revealed that the integration of all facilities was their objective and that the plan is to sell the south campus to generate income to fund the move.

It is hoped to get this plan realised in the next four to five years. Around 1,000 students out of the student body of 3,000, now use the Clash premises but they can be facilitated in the north campus in the future.

• THE Miss Kerry 2016 competition took place in Killarney  and it was a Listowel woman who took home the crown.

Over 200 people saw Niamh Enright, sponsored by Trant’s Pharmacy Listowel, chosen by judges Aideen Feely, Pawel Nowak and Miss Kerry 2016, Mairead Breathnach, from 20 contestants  at The Brehon  Hotel.

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