New Christ­mas voucher scheme for Tralee

The Kerryman (North Kerry) - - NEWS - By SINEAD KELLE­HER

IL­LE­GAL poach­ing of deer is at “its worst level ever” in Kerry ac­cord­ing to the Ir­ish Deer As­so­ci­a­ton. The na­tional group met with Kil­lar­ney Gar­daí re­cently to dis­cuss se­ri­ous con­cerns over the il­le­gal deer poach­ing across the county par­tic­uarly in ar­eas out­side Kil­lar­ney Na­tional Park.

PRO for the Ir­ish Deer As­so­ci­a­tion, Damien Han­ni­gan, be­lieves that the rea­son for this is two-fold.

One is in­creased num­bers of il­le­gal hun­ters seek­ing to shoot and sell on the meat to game deal­ers. The sec­ond rea­son is a fear among farm­ers that deer are spread­ing TB - a claim that has no truth, he said.

“TB is a huge con­cern for farm­ers and a very emo­tive is­sue but the fact of the mat­ter is that any wildlife species is ca­pa­ble of con­tract­ing TB and there is no ev­i­dence that deer are spread­ing it,” he said. The fod­der cri­sis has also ex­caber­ated the sit­u­a­tion as farm­ers be­gin to ‘de­test’ deer and lay blame on them.

The Ir­ish Deer As­so­ci­a­tion be­lieves that there needs to be a meet­ing be­tween all stake­hold­ers in Kerry in­clud­ing farm­ers, foresty man­age­ment and own­ers, hun­ters and con­ser­va­tion­ists.

“It is a se­ri­ous is­sue. Deer poach­ing is at its worst level ever seeen and I have been in­volved in wildlife crime for years.”

The is­sue is spread across South Kerry but it is par­tic­u­larly preva­lent out­side Kil­lar­ney Na­tional Park from Coolea in Cork right down to Ken­mare and Tu­o­sist and in ar­eas in Kil­lar­ney as well.

“These crim­i­nals are tak­ing what they can get,” he said.

It is il­le­gal to hunt sika deer in Kerry ex­cept be­tween Septem­ber 1 and Fe­bru­ary 28 with a li­cense. There is no open sea­son on red deer in Kerry as they are a pro­tected species.

Both are be­ing shot by il­le­gal poach­ers but it is mainly sika deer as they are more preva­lent in the county.

The Ir­ish Deer As­so­ci­a­tion is re­spon­si­ble for man­ag­ing deer and in Kerry said their mem­bers op­er­ate with li­censes and within the des­ig­nated time pe­riod. He added that they log any deer culled with the au­thor­i­ties.

How­ever, more and more peo­ple are turn­ing to the il­le­gal poach­ing of deer. THE mem­bers of Tralee Cham­ber Al­liance (TCA) have launched a new Christ­mas voucher scheme – sim­i­lar to the highly suc­cess­ful fes­tive pro­mo­tion scheme in Lis­towel – which is hoped will pro­vide a €300,000 boost to busi­ness.

The vouch­ers which can only be re­deemed in Tralee’s shops, hair and beauty sa­lons, restau­rants, cafés and ho­tels were un­veiled on Mon­day.

Launched by the Pres­i­dent of Tralee Cham­ber Al­liance, Ai­dan Kelly and Mayor of Tralee, Cllr Gra­ham Spring, the first vouch­ers will be avail­able to buy in the next cou­ple of weeks. The Tralee Vouch­ers – which will be avail­able in €10, €20 and €50 de­nom­i­na­tions with no ex­piry date – are avail­able at The Tech Co, Do­minick Street, Tralee, and at www.tralee.ie.

“To make the Tralee Vouch­ers as suc­cess­ful as pos­si­ble, we are ask­ing all Tralee busi­nesses to sign up to be­come a reg­is­tered Par­tic­i­pat­ing Out­let. The more places that ac­cept these vouch­ers,the more peo­ple will pur­chase them,” said TCA’s Ken Tobin.

(fifth from left)

O’FLA­HERTY BOOK FOR CHILDREN LAUNCHED:Colm Cooperlaunch­ing Pa­tri­cia Mur­phy’s book Leo’s War with her fam­ily mem­bers (from left) Cian, Au­drey, Tim, Aoife and Sean O’Leary at Kil­lar­ney House on Satur­day.

Damien Han­ni­gan, sec­re­tary of the Wild Deer As­so­ci­a­tion.

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