by Pat Brosnan

Uncertain Projects for Kerry

Before the general election last February, some of the candidates in the North Kerry/ West Limerick constituency latched onto the proposal that a Pharmaceutical Centre of Excellence, with an estimated potential of 4,000 jobs, was about to be established in Tralee. The candidates who discussed the matter, particularly on Radio programmes, all appeared fairly confident that the project would materialise and they naturally pledged their support. However, unfortunately, in more recent weeks there are rumours that hopes to acquire the project for the Kerry capital might be in jeopardy and that the centre could more likely be established in Derry. While this would certainly be a huge disappointment to our people in North Kerry and West Limerick, nobody should be too surprised as this sort of prospect for areas before election times is aimed at raising their hopes of better times ahead and generating votes for certain candidates who all claim credit for the introduction of such proposals.  While the establishment of this particular Centre might still be in the running for Tralee and we hope for all the sake of our families that it is, however, interviews on the subject by elected representatives no longer seem to have the same high profile or enthusiastic optimism in press or radio as heretofore.

Also there appears to be doubts that the much talked about and awaited Gas Terminal on the Shannon Estuary near Tarbert will become a reality. Perhaps it might still go ahead, but by all accounts there are some difficulties for this project too on the horizon. However, nobody likes to be gloomy or pessimistic, but on past experience, we all know that the people of North Kerry have been badly let down before. We still remember when away back the then Government of the day purchased the land bank by the Shannon in the Tarbert area at a considerable cost to the taxpayers and naturally to the delight of those local people who sold it. Late Fianna Fail minister George Colley who sadly died later at a comparatively early age, came from Dublin to cut the tape at the opening of the land bank. Many bright promises were made at the time, a refinery was soon going to be located there , a smelter was going to be established , all giving considerable employment both in the construction and operation of these plans , as well as the transport and shipment of products. However, all these plans and promises came to nothing, apart from the Tarbert Power Station, which would have been erected by the E.S.B. anyway. As far as we are aware the costly land bank was never really utilised for industrial purposes, unless maybe perhaps some of it might have been sold in the meantime. It is no wonder many people in North Kerry would be somewhat sceptical about promise to bring major industries to the area during the past recession. On the other hand, however, towns such as Tralee, Listowel, Dingle and Castleisland as well as other smaller North Kerry areas enjoyed a high level of prosperity during the good times and in all fair play the industries located in these areas received substantial support from the various Governments of those years. So those of us who live in West Limerick and North Kerry can only hope that promises by politicians of bringing industries and jobs to these parts are based on reality and are not just electioneering gimmicks before elections. In the meantime it is encouraging to see factories in our area such as Kostal in Abbeyfeale and Costello Aluminium in Glin still doing well and we should all hope that these as well as other small local industries will continue to succeed and prosper into the future.


Food for Thought

In the player profiles of the Limerick Desmond Schoolboys League in last Wednesday’s weekly Observer, one of the recent observations was the varied choice of food preferences which was given by these young and presumably fit and healthy soccer players, including my grandson Padraic Walsh. We can surely take it for granted that it is unlikely that these lads would qualify for the obese brigade which is supposed to be affecting a high proportion of the children and teenagers of the country, both boys and girls. Anyway here are a few of the foods which the boys gave as their favourites – 1. Chicken, 2- Snack box, 3- Chips, 4- Stew, 5- Steak and a bit of spud, 6- Chinese, 7- Curry and Chips, 8- Pasta, 9- Caesar Salad, 10- bacon and cabbage, 11- Steak and spuds, 12- Chinese, 13- McDonalds, 14- Steak and Chips, 15- Pizza, 16 – Pizza, 17- Pizza, 18- Chicken and Chips, 19- Irish Stew.  What is somewhat surprising is that so many of the team opted for modern foods and only a few went in for the more traditional. It is perhaps a sign of the times that young teenagers of to-day favour foods that some of us had not even heard of when we were their age. It certainly makes some food for thought.


Recent Deaths

The death occurred during the weekend of Winifred (Winnie) Sheehy (nee Mangan) of Templeathea East and formerly of North Keale. Winnie was originally a native of Moyvane/Knockanure parish and a member of a highly regarded family. Sympathy is extended to her husband, sons, daughter and other relatives. ‘May her soul rest in peace’

The death also occurred last week of Mary Culhane (nee White) of Turaree Cross. She was a sister of Babe Ann Griffin of Coole West and of Birdie Ahern, Coole East. She was originally a native of the Coole area and a member of a well-known, much respected local family. The removal took place to Glin Parish Church and there was a big attendance at the Requiem Mass and funeral on Saturday afternoon. Sympathy is extended to her family members, nephews, nieces, sisters and other relatives. ‘May her soul rest in peace’.


Late Brian Lenihan

The death of Dublin Dáil Deputy Brian Lenihan,  former Minister for Justice and later Finance Minister in the Fianna Fáil Government of recent years, was widely regretted by all sections of the population and all political persuasions. He was a member of a well-known and highly regarded political dynasty and although he was in failing health during the past year, he bravely carried out his duties and responsibilities as Finance Minister right up to the General Election, including the controversial bail out deal with the European money lenders during which he displayed an extraordinary amount of courage under pressure at a time when his health was declining. . He was the only out going Fianna Fáil deputy to be re-elected in Dublin after the February General Election. The Fianna Fáil Party will find it difficult to find a replacement for a person with such energy, talent and integrity. ‘May his soul rest in peace’.


Fleadh na Mumhan Qualifiers

The following competitors from Athea qualified at the recent Fleadh Cheoil Luimnigh in Hospital to compete in Fleadh Cheoil na Mumhan which will be held in Ballincollig on the weekend of July 16/17. – Con Warren, Athea CCE, Con Fitzgerald, Athea CCE- both English Singing, Pat Brosnan – Athea CCE- New Ballads. Athea Set Dancers. Liam Brouder- English Singing, Eileen Broderick- English Singing, Irish Singing and Lilting, U-18. Catherine Broderick – Senior English Singing, Cratloe West (All members of Templeglantine CCE). Congratulations to the local qualifiers and best of luck in Munster.