Killarney, Manitoba

Killarney, Manitoba

Killarney is a town in Southwestern Manitoba, Canada, at the corner of Manitoba Provincial Trunk Highways 3 & 18. As of 2005, its population was approximately 2300. The incorporated town is surrounded by the Rural Municipality of Turtle Mountain. It is well known for its lake, situated within the town proper. The town of Killarney is located in a rural area, dependent primarily on agriculture and agribusiness. The town is approximately 20 kilometres from the US border, 100 kilometres south of Brandon and 250 kilometres southwest of the provincial capital, Winnipeg.

History

The Rural Municipality of Turtle Mountain area is rich in history and tradition. In the late 1800s, the Boundary Commission Trail ran through the southern part of the municipality. North-West Mounted Police used the trail, as they travelled west to the Rockies in an effort to tame the prairies. Prior to this time, the area was home to many Aboriginal people, as well as hunters and trappers taking part in the fur trade. The RM of Turtle Mountain was incorporated in 1882.

The Town of Killarney was officially incorporated in 1906. An Irish land surveyor named John Sidney O'Brien, named Killarney Lake(before that, it was called Oak lake by the aboriginal people) after the Lakes of Killarney, in Ireland. Legend has it that as he sat on the shore of the lake, homesick for his native home, he took a bottle of "Good Irish" from his pack and pouring it into the lake christened it Killarney. The "Irish"-ness of the town is often used as a tourist attraction with things such as green fire engines, Erin and Kerry Parks, Little Irish Downs, and many other good Irish-themed attractions used to play up this theme. It is worth noting however, that Killarney, Manitoba does not have any actual connection with the town of Killarney, Ireland. Most of the people who originally settled the region were from the Scottish Highlands or were Mennonites or Hutterites of Central European extraction.

The local landscape of the area is common to the Westman area and much of the southern province. The land is mainly flat with gently rolling hills breaking the horizon. Numerous tree lined rivers and streams cross the landscape breaking up vast farm fields. The area is rich in agriculture with many local residents actively farming.

Economy

Agriculture is a large part of Turtle Mountain's economy. The Town of Killarney boasts a variety of sales and specialized services that help complement the strong agricultural vase of the community. In addition, to agriculture, tourism also plays a role in the economy. The municipality attracts as many as 1,500 people each summer to its cottages and playgrounds. Killarney Lake makes up the majority of Killarney's tourism and is the focus of many activities.

Killarney has been voted the best retirement town in Canada by Canadian Living Magazine. The town works hard to maintain this reputation and the business community in Killarney provides most all essential goods and services to local residents.

Politics

As of 2007, the Mayor of the Municipality of Killarney-Turtle Mountain is Rick Pauls. Rick Pauls, who was a former Councillor for the pre-amalgamated Town of Killarney between 2002 and 2005, won against Sandra Warnez, a former Councillor of the pre-amalgamated Town of Killarney from 1995 and 1998, and Mayor of the pre-amalgamated Town of Killarney from 1998 to 2002, in a mayoral by-election on Wednesday June 13th, 2007.

The mayoral by-election came about after Former Mayor Brian Moore of the Municipality of Killarney-Turtle Mountain tendered his resignation in April, 2007 over plans for a 9.5 million multi-purpose new facility featuring a skating rink, curling rink, bowling alley, fitness centre, and banquet hall. Presently the new facility is under construction and is expected to be completed by Spring 2008. Current councillor and Deputy Mayor Gwen Trip was Acting Mayor for the Municipality of Killarney-Turtle Mountain between the resignation of Brian Moore and the mayoral by-election.

The amalgamated Municipality of Killarney-Turtle Mountain (joining of the now defunct Town of Killarney and Rural Municipality of Turtle Mountain), has 2 wards with 3 councillors coming from each. The divide between these 2 wards uses the same divide as the defunct Town of Killarney and Rural Municipality of Turtle Mountain.

The urban ward is represented by councillors Gwen Tripp (also Deputy Mayor), Peter Heide, and Lorne Whitelock. The rural ward is represented by councillors Randy Hodge, Dwight King, and Gerry Blixhavn.

Provincially, the Municipality of Killarney-Turtle Mountain, falls under the provincial riding of Turtle Mountain. Turtle Mountain is represented by Progressive Conservative M.L.A. Cliff Cullen. The province of Manitoba is under a New Democrat majority under Premier Gary Doer, with the Progressive Conservative Party of Manitoba under Hugh McFayden in opposition, and the Liberal Party of Manitoba, not making party status, under the leadership of Dr. John Gerrard.

Federally, the Municipality of Killarney-Turtle Mountain, falls under the federal riding of Brandon-Souris. Brandon-Souris is represented by Conservative M.P. Merv Tweed. Canada is under a Conservative minority under Prime Minister Stephen Harper, with the Liberal Party of Canada under Stéphane Dion in opposition, and the New Democrats under Jack Layton, and the Bloc Québécois under Gilles Duceppe as secondary parties.

Recreation

Killarney is home to the [http://www.geocities.com/killarneyshamrocks/ Killarney Shamrocks] of the [http://www.prairiesportslink.com/item.aspx?itm_id=62 Tiger Hills Hockey League] . They play out of the Killarney Arena, but are due to move when a new facility is completed in May 2008.

External links

* [http://www.killarneymanitoba.com Home Page for Killarney, Manitoba]
* [http://www.killarneyonline.ca Killarney Online - Killarney, Manitoba]
* [http://www.communityprofiles.mb.ca/cgi-bin/csd/index.cgi?id=4605027 Town of Killarney Community Profile]


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