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The Kerryman archives


Pupils of the Presentation Brothers School, Killarney, who received national road safety certificates for cycling last week. Included are: Bro. Carthage; Dick Molloy, N.T.C., and Kerry Area Officer N.T.C. Ted Healy.

Pupils of the Presentation Brothers School, Killarney, who received national road safety certificates for cycling last week. Included are: Bro. Carthage; Dick Molloy, N.T.C., and Kerry Area Officer N.T.C. Ted Healy.

Pupils of the Presentation Brothers School, Killarney, who received national road safety certificates for cycling last week. Included are: Bro. Carthage; Dick Molloy, N.T.C., and Kerry Area Officer N.T.C. Ted Healy.

A look back at our pages from thirty years ago.

A 'stupid' way to spend money

THE Department of the Environment's allocation of money to be spent on Kerry roads was described this week as "most ridiculous and stupid".

And an angry Cllr. John Joe O'Sullivan from Ballyheigue asked: "Does the Minister know there is a place called North Kerry? There is not one penny for North Kerry — not a bloody penny!"

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Most of the South Kerry councillors appeared to be happy with the allocation, but those from North Kerry were in a different frame of mind when they heard the figures read out and realised that their areas were not doing too well.

But it was Cllr. Dan Barry of Cahersiveen who made the strongest attack on this year's allocation. Cllr. Mary O'Donoghue, also from Cahersiveen, had proposed a vote of thanks to the Minister and the Government for the money, but he proposed an amendment to this.

"This is the most ridiculous and stupid way that money has been allocated to Kerry. The Cahersiveen, Killorglin, Tralee, Listowel and Dingle engineering districts get almost nothing and there is going to be vast unemployment and redundancy in these areas," he warned.

He suggested that the Council itself should have a say where the money was spent. The allocation which angered some of the councillors is as follows:

Block grant – £373,000; national primary roads maintenance grant £115,000; national secondary roads grant £289,000; special improvement works on national primary roads strengthening Tralee/Castleisland £100,000; County Bounds road £180,000; Park Road, Killarney, £20,000; Garries Bridge, £100,000.

At this stage Cllr. Jackie Healy Rae, Kilgarvan, interjected: "This is the bloody way to do it — he's a mighty man!"

The members were told that the county was getting £310,000 for local improvement schemes. There will also be a provision of £100,000 for important maintenance works on national network roads, but this work must be completed before the end of the year. The Council is also to get £179,000 for environmental improvement schemes.

After Cllr. O'Donoghue proposed her vote of thanks to the Minister and the Government Cllr. Eamonn Walsh said that there was not a penny to evenly divide the money between areas. He said that the road between Listowel and Tarbert was "completely out of shape".

Senator John Blennerhassett pointed out that while Tralee had got £100,000 for the link road and money for Laharn Bridge, North Kerry did not get another penny. He claimed that trucks travelling on the Listowel/Tarbert road could easily turn over.

Eric Murphy is still serious about his athletics

THIS is Eric Murphy, of Cahersiveen, the only man in Kerry over 40 who is taking part in serious athletic competition.

Murphy, who is attached to the NACA, first interested himself in running just over a year ago, and the degree of success that he has attained has given him the encouragement to strive for greater honours.

Murphy, a garage owner, has dropped from 17 stone to 13 and a half stone and, believing that distance is his forte, intends having a crack at the NACA AllIreland marathon.

"I feel so good that I believe I could tackle anything," he said. "It's only now I realise how much I've missed since I became interested in getting fit again and in competing seriously against other athletes of my own age group."

"The sad thing is that I am the only man from Kerry running in the veteran class. I would like to see lots of others joining me, because there is so much to be gained from it.

"It's great to wake up in the morning feeling on top of the world physically. I run ten miles a night and nothing could be more enjoyable. Admittedly, you've got to be fairly committed to keep doing it all the time, but once you start it grows on you, especially when you see the good it does you.

"At this stage, I've become something of a fanatic on running and recommend it wholeheartedly to all, both young and old."

Eric Murphy does get a little annoyed from time to time when people tell him that he will have a heart attack if he continues running competitively.

"If you accept that way of thinking, you might as well say that life is over at 40," said Eric. "My doctor sees absolutely nothing wrong in what I am doing and I never felt better in my whole life — even in my football days."

Eric Murphy played senior football with Dromid Pearses, under the captaincy of Seán 'Hard' Curran (now in America) and later with Waterville, with whom he won a South Kerry championship medal in 1956 (this was Waterville's first-ever victory in the South Kerry championship).

He won a county senior championship medal with South Kerry in 1958 and two years late threw in his lot with St. Mary's of Cahersiveen. He spent 11 years with St. Mary's, retiring in 1971 after he had won yet another South Kerry championship medal.

After his retirement, he found himself putting on weight, because of lack of activity and in 1975 he tipped the scales at 17 stone.

In January, 1976, he decided to go off the "jar" and shed some weight as a result. But he had no interest in becoming actively involved again in any sport. Until Christmas Day, 1977. "I was walking along the beach in Waterville with my son, Kerry, and Mick O'Dwyer happened to be out for a run. My son said to me: 'Could you run like that, Daddy.'

"I knew, of course, that I couldn't, but at one time I had been able to beat Mick O'Dwyer, and there and then I decided that things were going to change for me."

Next day, Eric went off cigarettes — he was smoking 40 a day — and by January he was running on Waterville beach himself, increasing the distance as time went by.

He joined the Waterville senior football team in training and was whipping himself into shape to such an extent that he was asked to play for Foilmore against Tuosist in a South Kerry league match.

In that game Eric scored four points . . . and this meant a claim to a regular place on the team.

But injury intervened and Eric was forced to rest for a couple of months. When he resumed training in July, he was encouraged to switch over to athletics by a friend, Maurice Curran, and he agreed to take part in a county novice event over four miles in Derrynane.

"I finished very strong, and I felt that I would like to run in more races," said Eric.

County NACA Board secretary, Lorcan Murphy, decided that he would throw him in at the deep end — and entered him in Rás na Mumhan at Fethard, Co. Tipperary.

This event was over 7 miles and Eric surprised everybody by coming third in the over 40s section.

"The further it goes the better I like it which is why I would love a crack at the All-Ireland marathon," said Eric.

Post office strike hits county's industry

KERRY County Council has been virtually cut off by the postal strike which started this week and county manager Mr Tom Collins admitted on Wednesday: "If the strike goes ahead I can't see how we continue operating in any reasonable way."

Industry throughout Kerry has been hit badly by the strike, but most firms say that while this week was bad enough, the real problems will arise if the dispute continues.

Possibly the worst hit is the council, because it carries out most of its business by post.

"We are severely affected," said Mr Collins. " Practically all our business is conducted throught the post. We can't keep touch with the Department."

He added: "Fortunately, we had no serious problems this week but if the strike continues it will affect planning in an extremely serious manner because of the two months stipulation."

This, he said, could lead to planning decisions going by default.

In Tralee, the Borg Warner factory reported that they had been badly hit by the post office strike early in the week.

Explained Mr Denis McCarthy, production manager: "We were very badly affected, especially as our telex machine broke down on Monday. We were cut off from the outside world, except for the telephone."

But the telex was repaired on Wednesday and the situation eased.

Kerry Co-op general manager, Mr. Denis Brosnan said that they were holding their own with the strike, but were naturally heavily dependent on telephones and telex.

"If the telephone and telex systems go we are really in trouble," said Mr Brosnan.

Mr. Henry Weber, managing director of Stag Cutlery in Listowel, reported they were badly affected.

"We are obviously not getting any mail, but we are getting some out by couriers. We also use the telex and telephones," he said. "Visitors to the company are taking some of our mail out for us and also some of our hauliers are obliging us in this way."

He said that if the strike only lasted for a week they would get over it. "If it lasts longer it could become serious."

Mr. J.J. Lynch, personnel manager with Liebherr in Killarney, said that they also got some letters out through people travelling to Dublin and elsewhere.

"Naturally we are being hit by the strike and it will affect business."

BallyB tourist office to get the chop?

CORK/KERRY Tourism (CKT) has threatened to pull its tourist information office out of Ballybunion and locate it in Listowel. The Ballybunion Development Company has been given one week to find an alternative location for the office.

The move-or-else letter from the CKT board of directors told Ballybunion that if it cannot provide an office in a suitable location within one week the board will be compelled to close the office and consider providing an alternative in Listowel.

The Ballybunion reaction to the letter is one of anger.

"There will be ructions here if they close the office because, after all, Ballybunion is the major resort in Kerry," said Mr. Eoin Liston, chairman of the Development Company.

The existing office is just off the main street, in the town centre car park. The Development Company, which has spent money on the provision of the office, claims that visitors have no problem in finding the office.

"We are not at all happy with this letter," said Mr. Liston. "The people in the guesthouses and hotels will suffer most."

Now the Development Company is making a lastminute bid to get CKT to change its mind. At an emergency meeting on Monday Development Company members decided to ask CKT directors to visit Ballybunion and see the tourist office location for themselves.

Mr. Liston said that if the directors still found the location of the office unsuitable they would ask them to give the Development Company more time to find an alternative location.

Mr. Con O'Connell, assitant manager CKT, was adamant the present location of the office was not suitable. He said one of the main problems in Ballybunion was the fact there was so little registered accommodation available in the town.

"If the office has to go we will do our damndest to see the resort is served by an office, even if this means an office in Listowel," declared Mr. O'Connell.

Glenbeigh-based chef buys The Marine hotel

ONE of Ballybunion's best known hotels, The Marine, has been purchased by a chef who intends to place the emphasis very much on top class catering when he takes over the famed hostelry in mid-March.

The hotel was sold by private treaty for an undisclosed sum, believed to be in the region of £120,000, and the purchaser is Mr. Con McCarthy, of Castleisland, who has been a chef with Ernie Evans' Towers Hotel in Glenbeigh for the past 10 years.

It is understood that Mr. McCarthy will be joined in the new business by his sister, Mrs. Dee O'Sullivan, of Ballybunion, and her Traleeborn husband, Joe, who is viceprincipal of Tarbert Comprehensive School and was Bachelor Festival director last year.

The 25-bedroom hotel was owned by Mr. Liam Woulfe, Listowel. The auctioneers were Jerome Murphy and Sons, William Street, Listowel, Mr. L. O'Connell, Listowel, was solicitor for the purchaser, with Marshall and Macauley, solicitors, Listowel, representing the vendor.

Call for pollution task force to oversee Killarney's Lakes

A CALL was made this week for the establishment of a special authority to monitor and control pollution in the Killarney lakes, taking it out of the hands of the County Council.

The call was made by Dr. J. J. O'Sullivan, The Spa, a member of the Kerry Fishery Board.

Dr. O'Sullivan, a well-known conservator, issued a statement replying to County Manager Mr. Tom Collins, who recently called on An Taisce to produce evidence about pollution in the Killarney Lakes.

Mr. Collins had stated that a most modern treatment plant had been built in Killarney. However, Dr. Sullivan said he found it difficult to accept that Mr. Collins believed that the Killarney plant was "most modern".

Dr. Sullivan pointed out that the town's sewerage system had old, cracked and leaking sewers, only catered for a portion of the effluent entering the lake, it did not have tertiary treatment, had no automatic sampling device, it was overloaded and it was a combined system which meant that sewage and storm water were transported in a common sewer.

"Until the defects are implemented, under no circumstance, can the present Killarney Treatment Plant be graded 'most modern'. Even the proposed improvements planned by the Council will not upgrade it to that classification. We will still be left with an old leaking sewerage system operating on the combined system, still accepting untreated effluent.

"The Kerry Board of Conservators, at the planning stage of the present Killarney sewage plant, asked the Urban Council to include tertiary treatment in the plan. The request was refused, thereby making the plant obsolescen before it ever operated. We now appear to be repeating a similar procedure in the proposed improvements in tha they are incomplete," he claimed.

Dr. Sullivan referred to a comment by Mr. Collins that they were vigorously repudiating statements that the lower lake of Killarney could become another Lough Ennell.

"Vigorously repudiating statements that the lower lake of Killarney could become another Lough Ennell will do nothing to prevent the onset of euthrophication (promotion of nutrition). What is needed is vigorous action is fully treating all effluent entering the lake to a quality standard which the lake can selfpurify, and the provision of a separate sewerage system for the storm water sewage," said Dr. Sullivan.

He continued: "All the ingredients exist for Killarney's lower lake becoming another Lough Ennell and this could occur sooner rather than later."

Referring to Mr Collins' statement that the Council was doing, and would continue to do, everything possible to ensure that there was no damage to such a valuable resource.

"Unfortunately," said Dr. Sullivan, "damage is already done to the lower lake and every day which passes means that the damage advances a little further. Industrial waste and sewage continue to enter the lake untreated, despite the introduction of the new Water Pollution Act, adminstered by the local authorities."

Dealing with the plan to extract 12 million gallons of water a day from Lough Guitane he said that the adverse effects of extracting large quantities of water on the input source to Lough Leane and never been assessed.

"An environmental impact study on this issue by an independent body is called for," he said.

Dr. Sullivan then said it was unfair that the County Council should be expected to cater for the pollution aspect of the Killarney lakes.

"The pollution problem in Killarney Lakes is a biological one . . . I am of the opinion that until a special authority made up of highly qualified chemists, biologists and engineers, responsible for the biological management of the lakes, is set up will the Killarney Lakes receive the treatment they so rightly deserve," said Dr. Sullivan.