Killarney scaled great new heights

AFTER the highs of the weekend, Killarney is this week coming down from the mountain and slowly getting back to basics.

The great outdoors beckoned for adventure seekers as the town hosted the inaugural Killarney Mountain Festival which attracted people of all ages and interests for an action-packed series of events.

The mountains and hills encasing Killarney were, of course, in big demand but those who prefer a more urban feel to their adventures had an opportunity to scale the heights of Ireland’s highest mobile climbing wall located at the festival bascamp in a giant circus tent in the Beech Road car park.

Careful now: twins, Kenneth and Jamie O’Meara, watch their step in Killarney House and Gardens

The festival, spearheaded by Maureen Hegarty and a dedicated local committee, promoted by Killarney Chamber of Tourism and Commerce, featured a wonderful line-up of informative talks, documentary screenings, movie premieres, art and photographic exhibitions, children’s activities, interactive workshops, park runs, food, music, song and dance with so many events to keep everybody enthralled.

The Killarney Mountain Festival best short film award was won by Scottish movie maker Cal Major for her production, Skye’s The Limit, which documents her remarkable solo circumnavigation of the Isle of Skye on a stand-up paddleboard.

Other prizewinners throughout the weekend included Justin Anderson, who won Best Mountain Film for Planet Earth II, Steph Dwyer for The Ario Dream and Lucas Neher who scooped the Junior Photographic Award.

Special guests in Killarney for the weekend were representatives of Killarney’s twin town Kendal which hosts a hugely successful mountain festival of its own.

Pictures: Valerie O’Sullivan. Click on individual images for details

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