Sorry for being Absent

Because of having to go in to St. John’s Hospital, Limerick this week for some surgery it has not been possible to submit my usual material for Athea and District News. Apologies to my readers for this, hopefully I will be back again in due course.

The following statistics may be of interest to some readers

Pat Brosnan

 Census Results Reveal

Changing Face of Kerry

The Central Statistics Office this week released the latest details from the Census of 2011. This is a look at what the statistics reveal about Kerry.

Over a quarter of all the houses in Kerry are lying vacant, with over 40% of these houses used as holiday homes.  Information released by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) shows that almost 20,000 houses in Kerry are idle for most of the year. The figures are based on the 2011 census results and make up part of the new ‘area profiles’ published by the CSO.

It has also emerged that Kerry is falling behind when it comes to broadband, with less than 55% claiming they have broadband connectivity – 9% behind the national average.

The profiles give a snapshot of individual towns and counties and give details on the age, sex and marital status of the population, as well as data on housing, living arrangements and household composition. Other topics, such as nationality, migration, the labour force and education, are also covered.


Despite criticism that Kerry is being neglected by government and State agencies when it comes to jobs, the unemployment rate in the county on Census night 2011 was at 19.5% – that’s just a half a percentage point above the national average.

Over 45,800 people were outside of the labour force, and of these, one quarter were students, another quarter were looking after the family home, and 38% were retired.

The population of Kerry now stands at 145,502 and it’s almost exactly evenly divided between men and women. Three-quarters of the population are adults. One in every 20 people over the age of 15 years in Kerry is either separated or divorced and 7,000 are widowed.

More than one in ten people living in Kerry is non-Irish, but the figure is slightly below the national average of 12%.  however, towns like Killarney, Kenmare and Dingle buck the national trend in this area, with a quarter of their populations home to foreign nationals.

The county is still mainly Catholic (87.7%), with over 9,000 others claiming they belong to other religions like Church of Ireland, Islam, Presbyterian and Orthodox. And 6,684 people said they had no religion at all.

Over 19,000 people told the CSO they had a disability, and almost 7,000 people are providing unpaid care for a friends or a family member.

But the overall, general health of people in the county is quite good, with 88% of the population claiming they’re in good health – very slightly below the national average. However, over 2,000 people said they were in very poor health.

About one quarter of all dwellings in the county are rented, and over 90% of all accommodation in Kerry is a house or a bungalow. Over a quarter of all houses in Kerry were built within the ten years prior to the Census, and about 39% of the dwellings in Kerry are owner- occupied.

Workers by Industry         Daytime      working  population


Agriculture, Forestry and fishing   3,572

Building and Construction            1,083

Manufacturing               3,959

Commerce and Trade           10,463

Transport and Communications    1,554

Public Administration              2,402 Professional Services           10,479

Permanent Housing Stock

Dwelling Type                Kerry    State Occupied or usually occupied  55,028 1,705,394

House or Bungalow  92%    84.7%

Flat, Apartment or Bedsit  4.3%    11%Not Stated    3.7%    4.3%Vacant             19,719   289,541

Holiday Home              41.6%  20.5%Other                 58.4%  79.5%

Non Irish Nationals

Kenmare and Killarney are among the highest percentages of non Irish Nationals in the country. Almost 26% of Kenmare’s population is non Irish, and the figure is 24.6% for Killarney. The national average is 12%. The Dingle figure is 20%, its 16.8% for Tralee while 11.8% of Listowel’s population isn’t Irish. The majority of Non Irish are from the UK, with Polish making up the second biggest non-Irish Population.

Marriage, Separation and Divorce

Throughout the county, an average of 5% of adults are either divorced or separated. Listowel, Tralee and Dingle appear to have the highest divorce and separation figure at over 8%. But it drops to about 6% in Killarney and Kenmare.


Throughout Kerry 13% of people said they had a disability. The majority of these are over 65 years. The disability figure is 16% for Listowel, and drops to a low of 12% in Kenmare. When added together the figures shoe there are almost 7,000 carers in the county, and more than one fifth of these are doing it for more than 6 hours every day.


The Census has identified 55,000 ‘permanent housing stock’ in Kerry, 26% of which is vacant. But more houses and apartments are vacant in Dingle than anywhere else, with nobody living in 458 of the properties – that’s 37% of all the dwelling units in the area. And of these vacant units 57% are holiday homes, with nobody living in them for most of the year.  Across Kerry, one quarter of all houses are rented. But the figure is considerably higher in the towns, like Tralee (41%), Killarney (44%), Listowel (40%), Dingle (50%) and Kenmare (51%).

West Limerick Set Dancing Club Céilí 

West Limerick Set Dancing Club will hold a Céilí at the Courtney Lodge, Newcastle West on May 31st Music by Johnny Reidy.

Ed’s Note

Our best wishes to Pat with his surgery and subsequent recovery. Looking forward to having him back soon hale and hearty.