From incredible expats to current cool residents, Jo Linehan presents just some of the people who truly make Kerry a kingdom.
1. Boutique owners (and husband and wife team) Ciara and Gary Brosnan bring the edge to Tralee clothing with their boutiques, Shindig and Bazaar. “When I was 18, I sold clothes to people in the underground music scenes who wanted rare vintage,” says Gary, pictured here. “Now we like to bring up-and-coming brands from all over the world with edge and elegance to the people of the west coast of Ireland, and further, with our new online shop, which is coming soon.” shindig.ie
2. Killorglin native Áine Moriarty is the CEO of the Irish Film and Television Academy (IFTA). Having moved to Dublin from her native Kerry, she founded the Irish Film and Television Network in 1995, launched the IFTA Awards in 2003, and now works with other international academies, including BAFTA and the American Academy, promoting creative excellence in film and television. ifta.ie
3. Erika Fox is one of Ireland’s leading fashion bloggers. She’s the face behind stylish blog Retro Flame, the go-to place for all things creative, upcycling and vintage, and is the online marketing director for Killarney-based vintage store Retro Rose Bazaar. Erika’s favourite things about Kerry are “the encouragementof creativity, and beautiful beaches,” and lists Rossbeigh beach among her top spots for a seaside dip. retro-flame.com
4. You may not recognise the name (yet) but Kieran Kilgallon’s styling has been cropping up all over the fashion scene for the last four years. Assisting Aisling Farinella has been just one of the strings to Kieran’s bow;he’s worked on everything from editorials in Thread magazine to designer look books. Watch this space. @KiKilgallon
5. After selling his photography agency to Getty for €11 million in 2006, former EY Entrepreneur of the Year and philanthropist Jerry Kennelly (who’s also brother-in-law to Carol Kennelly – talented family) became the founder and CEO of printing company Tweak.com, and is co-founder of Endeavour, a start-up assistance company. @jerrykennelly
6. In the prettiest tearooms in Kerry, Sandra Dunlea (aka Miss Courtney) serves up queen cakes, delicate scones and tea of all kinds in vintage teacups. “I’ve always loved nostalgia and vintage style. I love afternoon tea; it just looks and feels indulgent. My favourite cake is a flourless chocolate and brandy cake – my mum makes it and it’s close-your-eyes-in-delight good.” misscourtneys.com.
7. Originally from France, Kerry-based designer Delphine Grandjouan is famed for creating the most divine, delicate lace and silk wedding dresses in the couture traditions. houseofdelphine.com
8. Maurice Galway is the founder, CEO and artistic director of the Dingle International Film Festival (Féile Idirnáisiúnta Scannán an Daingin). Since the festival launched in 2007, Maurice has hosted everyone from Gabriel Byrne and Jim Sheridan to Cillian Murphy and Saoirse Ronan, with this year’s festival set to be the biggest yet, taking place from March 14-17. That’s not all, though: Maurice is a visual artist and filmmaker in his own right, and last year his first feature film, documentary Pauline Bewick: Yellow Man, Grey Man, was selected for the Galway Film Fleadh. A feature documentary was made on Maurice and the festival by The Beatles Anthology director Geoff Wonfor entitled We’ll Always Have Dingle. He lives in Kerry with his wife Catherine and their four children, and can’t wait for this year’s film festival to begin. dinglefilmfestival.com
9. Kerryman Pat Falvey is the county’s explorer extraordinaire. The motivational speaker (and former self-made millionaire) is the first person in the world to have completed climbing the seven highest mountains on the seven continents twice, 12 including Mount Everest from Nepal and Tibet. Respect. patfalvey.com
10. The Park Hotel Kenmare is a national treasure, not only for its unparalled views of the bay and five-star services, but for its famous proprietor and manager too; Francis and John Brennan, aka the Brennan brothers, are best known as the faces of At Your Service. The RTÉ reality TV show documents the brothers as they help mentoring hoteliers across the country, instilling that Kerry hospitality and service that has made them award-winners in the industry. Originally from Dundrum, the brothers are well and truly honorary Kerrymen now. parkkenmare.com
11. Susan Callery is doing great things in Dingle. She runs the Greenlane Gallery, a historic three-storey in the town, which prides itself on showcasing the best of Irish, from fine art to jewellery. Besides her patronage to the arts, Susan also runs Dingle Horseriding, taking trail finders across the rugged west coast. greenlanegallery.com dinglehorseriding.com
12. Milliner Kathleen McAuliffe, is based in Dingle and also runs a boutique in the town, stockpiled with her stunning headpieces (naturally) as well as essentials by Orla Kiely and Avoca. kathleenmcauliffe.com
13. The Cloudberry Bakery is an artisan cake and confectionery company based in Castlemaine. Set up by mother Maureen Harrison (who trained for five years with a Swiss master) and daughter Sam Harrison (pictured, who has a background in fine art and design), the bakers dream up the most beautiful creations that are almost too good to devour. “We use the highest quality ingredients for our cakes. Right now, we’re busy preparing for weddings and working on a few exciting developments outside the county too,”Sam tells us. facebook.com/CloudberryBakery
14. Marie Chawke (pictured) and husband Pat are the masterminds behind Kerry’s superior Aghadoe Heights Hotel. Although, hailing from Dublin, she’s technically a blow-in, Marie’s keen eye for detail and exceptional talent for hospitality has helped make Aghadoe the Kerry jewel that it is. She still divides her time between the Kingdom and the capital, but there’s no question where her heart really lies. aghadoeheights.com
15. Ann Marie O’Leary runs Ann Marie O’Leary Floral Design & Creative Direction. The bespoke floral design company creates beautiful bouquets and centrepieces for weddings and events. “I live in Camp, a village on the Dingle Peninsula, snuggled up in a very old cottage beside the sea, and have my floral workshop just across the yard.” The former Four Seasons florist returned to Kerry to start her own business. “I’m passionate about my blooms and my weddings. I wanted to create a unique product, where the florals are presented beautifully in a flurry of tissue paper. I adore the creative journey I take with each couple, watching as their personalities are reflected in every floral element on their big day. I adore living and working in Kerry, and spend many hours foraging for the perfect moss with my constant companion, my dog, Buddy.” Kerry inspiration at its best. annmarieoleary.com
16. Mickey Kelly is a filmmaker, photographer, cinematographer and director, not to mention the man behind the Kerry Bike Festival (kerrybicyclefestival.org). He lives in Kerry with his wife, son, and daughter, where he cycles as much as he can. Now focussing on making the most of the local talent, Mickey is mentoring young filmmakers all over the county through his current role as Kerry Filmmaker in Residence. “I moved to Kerry to study at the FÁS film course in Tralee, which is fantastic. I met my wife, moved into a manor house in Castlegregory, and the rest is history. It’s quiet here, and you have to forage for your creative community; but when you find it, my god. It’s really strong and very inspiring.” mickeyandjohnny.com kerryfilmmakerinresidence.com
17. Twenty-nine-year-old Ciara Tracey took over the running of her family business, The Ross Hotel, only three years ago. The hotel, best known for its boutique aesthetic and super-chic cocktail bar, The Lane Café, is Ciara’s “baby”. When she’s not working, she’s exploring. “I’m an adventure enthusiast. I love taking part in adventure races, climbing Kerry’s mountains, and cycling Killarney National Park.” For the last three years, Ciara has also headed up the committee for the Christmas in Killarney festival.
18. Norma O’Donoghue is one of the Kingdom’s most hard-working fashion heads. The Killarney model scout runs her agency from the town and is a stylist, visual merchandiser and organises fashion shows year-round.
19. Carol Kennelly is one of Ireland’s most celebrated milliners. For her, Kerry’s power lies in its beauty and passionate residents. “I’m originally from Killarney, but my family moved away when I was still in primary school. I always felt a draw calling me back to Kerry. After travelling and living in lots of different locations across the world, I settled in Tralee 15 years ago when I met my husband. For me, Kerry still takes my breath away after all these years, from Muckross to the view from Aghadoe … The people here have that healthy mixture of warmth and ambition; we like to achieve, and it never even occurs to us that living all the way down in the south west of Ireland should stop that from happening.” carolkennellymillinery.com
20. Olivia Buckley is a name synonymous with events; from weddings to launches, the co-ordinator is a firm fixture on the Kerry social scene. She cut her teeth in the PR industry before moving back to Co Kerry to set up her own business and now calls Killarney home. “I’m a true Kerry lady. I left to study in university and just knew it in my gut that one day I would return. I loved the way of life, the people and beauty and peace of this county. Now, I work with clients all over the world from my office in Killarney. Thank god for technology – it allows me to live my dream and work at what I love.” oliviabuckley.com
21. No Kerry list would be complete without mentioning honorary resident Orla Diffily. The founder of Tralee-based Upfront PR has worked with the best in the business (Kerry Group, Setanta Communications) over the last 20 years, and now her company handles everything from fashion events to models and celebrity clients. Right now, Orla and the team are preparing for the sixth annual Kerry Fashion Week and Awards, taking place in March. “This year, international designer Don O’Neill will exclusively launch his new THEIA collection at KFW, and there’ll be new collections from Laura Jayne Halton, Úna Burke, Carol Kennelly, Karyn Moriarty, Orla O’Connor … Our vision for the festival is slowly reaching fruition as creative talents from all over travel to The Kingdom to celebrate the best in the business with us.” upfrontgroup.eu kerryfashionweek.com
22. In Tralee, Helen Burns runs her award- winning ActionCOACH business, coaching clients to rethink the way they operate in a bid for a more efficient output. She’s nationally and internationally recognised for her work and has gained major kudos for helping companies become more efficient, and more importantly, more profitable. actioncoach.com
23. Paul Galvin may have just hung up his Gaelic football boots, but we can’t help suspect this isn’t the end, but the start of a whole new adventure for him. The Kerry native is without doubt the most stylish man in Irish sport, with a weekly fashion column in the Irish Independent, and he is also a presenter on Radio Kerry. We’re glued to see what he’ll do next. @pgal10
24. MacBees boutique is a hotspot for fashion mavens. Mary McBride is the brains behind the famous store and, keeping it in the family, daughter Aoife runs Broken Down Doll, an online business that organises pop-up shops of vintage finery. macbees.ie brokendowndoll.com