Minister Noonan visits Killarney National Park

Minister Malcolm Noonan TD Opens New Access Road and Carpark at Tomies Wood, while visiting Killarney National Park

 

The Minister of State for Housing, Local Government & Heritage, Malcolm Noonan TD, visited Killarney National Park on Friday 11th December 2020 and officially opened the new access road and carpark to the ever-popular Tomies Wood.

Minister Noonan was delighted to open the Road and carpark saying “It is great to see this project completed. Tomies Wood and the Tomies Loop have always been popular as a recreational walk, and in providing an official carpark and road to the Wood, the National Parks and Wildlife Service have enabled a better experience for our visitors.

The Minister planted an Oak tree to mark the occasion and concluded by saying  “This project would not have been possible without the Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme and I would like to thank the Department of Rural and Community Development for all their assistance”

Following the opening of the new road, Minister Noonan spent time discovering the Blue Pool Trail which is under development at Cloghereen in conjunction with the Kerry office of NCBI and Downs Syndrome Kerry.  The Pool Wood Trail has been completely resurfaced, new guide ropes and braille discs have been installed along with universal seating and picnic furniture. The Minister said “ I am pleased to note that next year a sensory trail will be completed to incorporate the previous visually impaired trail, with new braille signage and an MP3 downloadable audio file.  This multi user trail will be a significant addition to the National park and provide its users with a special experience”.

Minister Noonan then visited Killarney House and Gardens to raise the Green Flag and launch‘Project 2020 Together/Le Chéile’ from the Museum of Childhood Ireland Project. In raising the Green Flag the Minister commented that “A Green Flag is the mark of a quality and is recognised throughout the world.  I am delighted that the wonderful asset to the town that is Killarney House and gardens has been recognised in this way.”

‘Project 2020 Together/Le Chéile’ from the Museum of Childhood Ireland Project, started life online earlier this year, aiming to provide a platform for children of all ages to express their hopes, fears, thoughts and observations, as they navigated life during a global pandemic.

Later in the day, the Minister viewed the renovations by the National Parks and Wildlife Service to Derrycunnihy Church and saw the considerable repair and conservation works undertaken there in 2020. This was a partnership project between Built Heritage and the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS).

The Minister commented that “Beautifully situated on the ‘Ring of Kerry’ route, adjacent to Galwey’s Bridge, Derrycunnihy Church is indeed a striking feature for many thousands of visitors travelling through Killarney National Park. Derrycunnihy Church is a protected structure, which contains a protected maternity roost of the Lesser Horseshoe Bat, in addition to a pair barn owls and swallows.

The Minister continued “This project was aimed at repairing the historic structure of the church and sustaining and enhancing the protected Lesser Horseshoe Bat roost. I am thrilled that the success of these conservation works has been proven by the fact that a number of bats has already retuned to the roost!”

The Minister concluded his visit to the National Park by expressing his gratitude for the continued commitment shown by the staff of the National Parks and Wildlife Service saying “ the staff of the NPWS who managed these project that I have seen today are essential workers, and remained on duty throughout the Covid 19 emergency, keeping the Park open to the local residents, while all the time promoting safety and continuing to work tirelessly with the day to day work of the park and of major projects, I am proud to work alongside them”.