The inaugural Killarney Mountain Festival is taking place this weekend and the town is gearing up for an incredible weekend of action. Speaking to the Advertiser yesterday, organiser Maureen Hegarty said preparations were going well.

“It’s all happening now,” she said. “You’d want to be living under a rock to not know the Killarney Mountain Festival was on this weekend. Everybody has been supportive. At the start, people were asking us ‘what is a mountain festival?’ and didn’t realise it’s not just a walking event and it’s not just film festival. There are speaker events – some of these guys are broadcasters and mountaineers who have totalled places like Everest and Kilimanjaro and all kinds of places. What we have is very good quality.”

Base camp is a huge circus tent behind the Killarney Plaza and Maureen says there’s plenty to see and do.

“That’s the social hub of all the events. We have a bar and a café in there, there are pop-up film events, we’ve got vendors, exhibitors and people selling gear as well.”

She also says the Killarney Advertiser’s special edition of the Chatroom, which saw Kieran Healy take the couch up Carrauntoohil for a chat with Maureen and fellow organiser Piaras Kelly, helped promote the fledgling event.

“People were like, ‘what is this?!’ It absolutely did help because it made people curious. It got around!”

Although many visitors from further afield are expected to attend, Maureen believes that locals will be crucial to the success of the festival. “A lot of people have been asking what can they do to help. Well, buy a ticket and go to one of the events. That’s the best thing that anyone in Killarney can do for us this weekend.”

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