Your Key to Killarney
By Padraig Casey, Guest Relations Manager
Your Key to Killarney, Co Kerry with Padraig Casey
An American landed on Erin's green isle; He gazed at Killarney with rapturous smile
"How can I buy it?" he said to his guide - I'll tell you how", with a smile he replied
How can you buy all the stars in the skies? How can you buy two blue Irish eyes?
How can you purchase a fond mother's sighs? How can you buy Killarney?
Nature bestowed all her gifts with a smile
The emerald, the shamrock, the Blarney
When you can buy all these wonderful things
Then you can buy Killarney
Loch Lein, Killarney’s Lower Lake
Killarney is the jewel in the crown of The Ring of Kerry. The Ring of Kerry is an amazing day trip of natural beauty taking in lakes, rivers, mountains and spectacular Atlantic views. The scenery is unrivalled but it is the towns, villages and most definitely the people that will leave a magnificent lasting impression.
Beginning in Killarney you take a counter clockwise route past Killarney Golf Club (Four Time Host to the Irish Open) on the lake shore and follow the River Laune to the Town of Killorglin. On route you will see the towering peak of Carrauntouhil on your left ruling over the McGillicuddy Reeks. Carrauntouhil stands at 1,038 metres, which is the highest mountain in Ireland. It is worth it on a clear day to climb and see the views from on top; however a good local guide is recommended to ensure safety. Fitness and route dependent its takes about 6 hours up and down, what awaits are spellbinding views as far as the Atlantic, not to mention the Holy Cross on top which was erected in 1976 by a hundred local volunteers.
Onwards to the town of Killorglin (home of Puck Fair every August) passing Dooks (a fantastic links golf course) you begin to appreciate the beautiful vistas of the Wild Atlantic Way. The meandering road takes you along the coast to Glenbeigh, bypassing Rossbeigh Beach and along to Kells on route to Caherciveen. The beauty is all around for you to admire, each twist in the road reveals another hidden gem. I recommend taking the Car Ferry to Valentia Island outside Caherciveen if only to admire the Atlantic Beauty as you drive around the Island. The first Trans-Atlantic Cable was laid here and there are magnificent Tetra Pod tracks to be admired also, rumour has it they are over 350 million years old. Fogher Cliffs and Geokaun Mountain provide jaw dropping views of the Atlantic. Take the bridge to Portmagee, a picturesque fishing village where boat trips to the famous Skellig Islands depart from. The trip is seasonal and only operates from May to September and advance reservations are essential, but the weather determines above all else whether or not sailings will occur! Firstly inhabited by monks about 600AD, The Skelligs are a truly magical place and one cannot but feel enlightened whatever your religion upon setting foot on the natural rock islands which provided solitude and refuge for those brave souls many centuries ago. Their recent role in the new Star Wars Movie has led to unprecedented interest in visiting the islands which are 12 kilometres off the coast; allow 4/5 hours for the trip.
Giving a history lesson on The Skelligs
Departing Portmagee a short drive to the Cliffs of Kerry is a must and then on to Ballinskelligs to complete what is known as The Skellig Ring. The village of Waterville is next, home of the famous Golf Links and favourite holiday destination of Charlie Chaplin. As you leave Waterville and ascend the mountain pass of Coomakista you will have to stop and take some photos of the rugged coastline. The Wild Atlantic Way has at this point engulfed you and everywhere along the coast from Derrynane to Kenmare you cannot but admire your surroundings.
As you leave the Kenmare Valley to pass through Molls Gap you are in fact entering the Killarney Valley, twisting and turning downwards to reveal postcard views along the way, Ladies View is stunning and uncounted are the men whom have got down on one knee here to propose marriage down through the centuries.
Biography of Padraig Casey (PC to us)
PC has worked in the hotel industry for over 25 years entirely in Ireland and mainly in Killarney. Both his parents worked in the industry and this had a bearing on his career choice. PC started out in bars and restaurants in the early 1990s. In 2002 he gained his 1st 5 star position in the Muckross Park Hotel. He was appointed Restaurant Manager in the Aghadoe Heights Hotel in 2003 and promoted to F&B manager in 2008; he thoroughly enjoyed his time there and spent a lot of time in the hotel lobby which led to him seeking a position as Concierge in 2012. It was a new beginning for him and he has notlooked back since. In late 2015 PC was offered the position of Head Concierge at the Killarney Park Hotel. PC has recently joined the Clefs d’Or and it has been a wise move, it has helped his team immensely and the contacts and friendships made are second to none. PC feels he has been extremely lucky in his chosen profession and it is an honour to share his experiences with guests and colleagues each day.
Head Concierge / Guest Relations Manager
Killarney Park Hotel