Mountain meitheal makes its mark

DEDICATED volunteers involved in the Killarney Mountain Meitheal devoted a whopping 2,377 hours of their time clearing invasive rhododendron and conducting other essential chores in the national park in 2018.

The group’s annual report, presented to the Trustees of Muckross House, confirms that it was a record year in terms of the number of volunteers that lent their support with a total of 29 outings, 14 of which were directly related to the rhododendron problem.

Most of the work centered on the area between Torc and Dinis where the rhododendron between the road and the lake was tackled.

Other chores during the year included the removal of fallen timber for sale with the funds raised going to the Lourdes Charity Trust.

“Our largest attendance during the year was for the outing to Innisfallen Island. 35 volunteers participated in a major spring clean of this hidden jewel in our National Park,” said Meitheal organiser Johnny Maguire.

The Killarney Mountain Meitheal – in association with the Killarney Chamber of Tourism and Commerce and Haven Pharmacy – also organised a visit from Men’s Sheds members from around Ireland, to return to Killarney to continue the clearance work which commenced the previous year in the Torc area.

Coillte facilitated a three-day chainsaw course for nine of the volunteers in the cooperation of NPWS management and the Meitheal members are now much more effective in helping with the rhododendron eradication programme in the national park.

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