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Killarney hostel deemed one of the world’s elite

Environmentally friendly: Kevin Leahy, proprietor of the Black Sheep Hostel, with his dogs, Bob and Lou. Picture: Valerie O’Sullivan

A PROGRESSIVE Killarney hostel which places a great emphasis on protecting and nourishing the environment has been shortlisted for a world sustainability award by the influential global online travel agent HostelWorld.

The Black Sheep Hostel, on New Street, is one of just five premises to make the shortlist and it is joined by the Cohort Hostel in England, the Distant Relatives Ecolodge in Kenya, the Welcommon Hostel in Greece and the Salty Jackal Backpackers and Surf Camp in Namibia.

The citation for the Black Sheep noted that the distinctive 19th-century townhouse is home to a hostel with great environmental goals – and chickens.

“Ireland’s temperamental weather hasn’t stopped the green-fingered team from producing fresh fruit and vegetables all year round in their polytunnel. Absolutely everything is carefully recycled and the communal kitchen’s food scrap bin fuels the ducks and chickens, and the composting bin feeds the garden,” the shortlist citation added.

All of the electricity used in the Black Sheep comes from renewable sources and there is a 30-foot polytunnel in the back garden to grow vegetables and herbs.

HostelWorld features 36,000 properties in 178 countries and it boasts over 13 million verified guest reviews.

“The Black Sheep, Killarney has been shortlisted as an Extraordinary Sustainable Hostel. To be shortlisted is such a huge achievement in itself and we’re absolutely delighted,” said team member Noretta Brosnan.

The overall winner of the award will be announced April 18 following a combination of judge and public voting.