KILLARNEY has been officially accredited with being a vibrant, exciting and safe place to live in and visit by night.
It has been confirmed this week that the town has retained its prestigious Purple Flag status which is an international awards scheme for towns and city centres that excel after dark.
The recognition, considered a major international brand, is the gold standard for night time destinations and, like the Blue Flag scheme for beaches, recipients must meet exceptionally high standards and strict criteria to be receive approval to fly the flag.
Killarney has received Purple Flag accreditation annually since 2014 and the official emblem flies proudly over the town hall as well as in the Glebe car park and Killarney Garda Station.
Killarney’s Purple Flag Working Group is spearheaded by the Chamber of Tourism and Commerce and it involves Killarney Municipal District Council, An Garda Siochana, local businesses, community organisations and schools.
Purple Flag locations are deemed vibrant and well-managed between 5pm and 5am and the accreditation recognises excellence in the management of the evening and night-time economy and the creation of a safe and friendly environment in which to live, socialise and work.
Factors taken into consideration during the adjudication process included after dark safety, cleanliness, vitality, cultural stimulation, lighting, the provision of public transport and broad appeal.
Mayor of Killarney, Cllr Marie Moloney, said for Killarney to secure the Purple Flag this year was a more significant achievement than ever given the unprecedented two years experienced in the town.
“It is great so see that Killarney had emerged from the pandemic with its reputation as a great place still very much to the fore. The recognition just goes to prove that Killarney is a great place to be and a great place to visit,” the mayor said.
Purple Flag Committee Chairman, Frank Doran, has attributed the success to the quality and commitment of the working group and the businesses in Killarney town who operate in the night-time economy.
“In order to retain the Purple Flag we must continue our work on an everyday basis to develop the entertainment, food, hospitality and public transport offering in Killarney,” he said.
“The town will be subject to assessment again in 2022 and we look forward to working with local businesses and key stakeholders to help promote the area to the widest possible audience,” Mr Doran added.
Killarney Chamber of Tourism and Commerce President, Niall Kelleher, said the last two years have not been what anyone expected and businesses and locals have had to explore new territory in the fightback against Covid-19.
“Retaining the Purple Flag is very important as Killarney needs every advantage it can get in order to recover from the impact of the pandemic.
“People all over the world are very much aware of just how wonderful Killarney is as a visitor attraction and as a welcoming, busy and fun place to be and this latest success just goes to prove that Killarney is just as charming after dark as it is by day,” Mr Kelleher said.