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Killorglin, the only town on the shores of Castlemaine Harbour, the remaining communities being villages, is in the geographical heart of Kerry, located at a most advantageous crossing point on the River Laune, linking the main towns of Tralee, Castleisland and Killarney with the beautiful Iveragh Peninsula and the famous Ring of Kerry.
Right: Satellite view of Killorglin straddling the River Laune, with the mouth of the Maine River visible to the right and Cromane to the left of the image>
Cromane, located about 8 kilometres from the town is also part of the Parish of Killorglin. The Star of the Sea Church in Cromane is administered by priests from the Killorglin Parish.
A Catholic Church was built in Killorglin about 1790 and a church in Cromane built about 1868. Both have since been superceded by more recent buildings.
Rivers played a huge role in the establishment of trade centres and in Killorglin's case the River Laune, and Ballykissane Pier with its link and proximity to the well-sheltered Castlemaine Harbour must have presented a very attractive location to the first travellers - commercial or otherwise.
"The river Laune divides this parish into two nearly equal parts: it contains fine salmon, and is navigable for vessels of 180 tons near to the village, which is a short distance from its mouth." [From A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland by Samuel Lewis (1837)]
For communities like Killorglin to survive against the often-overpowering commercial pressures imposed by their larger, urbanised neighbours it takes an inherent, deep-seated tenacity. To say that the industrial and economic success of the town came about as a result of being ably represented politically, at the right time - is true - but only part of the overall picture.
The vibrancy of the community is marked by the ever increasing list of events sprinkled throughout the year and the world famous Puck Fair has been added to by festivals like the 'The Wild Flower of the Laune Vintage Harvest Festival' and the recently revived Head of the River Regatta. The mammoth, annual undertaking that is the pantomime is yet another of the great logistical wonders so crucial to the survival of the spirit of community involvement.
Businesses such as numerous world-class restaurants are to be found to cater for most tastes, plenty of lively spots around the town with traditional music in many, the excellent golf course and the prime employer in the area, FEXCO Financial Services.
FEXCO, a privately owned company, based in Ireland is a focused provider of global payment services and processing. Through three core product groups Global Corporate Payments, Global Consumer Payments and Business Services they distribute millions of international payment transactions annually.
FEXCO runs Contact Centres for Western Union Money Transfer, Prize Bonds, VAT Refunds, Coca Cola, and many others principally in their large call centre located in Langford Street, Killorglin.
A new Town Centre is being developed at the junction of Iveragh Road and School Road. Described as a Town Centre 'Renewal'. The Local Area Centre is conceived as a land mark building for Killorglin and is a focal point as you approach the square from Upper Bridge Street. The building is three storeys high and is centred on a glazed double storey atrium. This Atrium provides a visual link between the public space in the front of the building and the park/playground to the rear. The functions within the building are expressed on the external façade, which aids legibility and animates the facades.
|Author: Des Condon © 2006 for Cromane Community Council E&OE||
Copyright Cromane CC 2006©