Jarvey licences in Killarney town are limited to 37, and attempts, including legal action by jarvey companies against the town council, have failed to see the number increased.
Calls to ring fence any licences that become available for the traditional jarvey families were rejected by the Killarney Municipal District Council last September — bylaws introduced in 2010 lay down that the licences are non-transferable.
There was also the question of competition and that the opportunity should be open to all citizens of the European Economic Area.
“Expressions of interest” were invited in December for the coveted licence which became available on retirement. Dozens of applications were received.
Eric Lynch, from Ardshanavooley, Killarney, whose name was drawn by lot, is completing his Leaving Cert this year and has had a lifelong interest in horses.
“I am delighted. It’s what I always wanted,” the student at Killarney Community College said.
He intends operating at weekends as well as holidays and will look at it as a career, although he would very much like an apprenticeship.
His father John is in the business and his grandfather Donal Grady is a councillor for the Killarney Municipal District.
Councillor Donal Grady (Ind) revealed that he too had applied for the licence as did several members of the Grady family.
“It’s in the blood. My father John was a harness maker since 1929. Several members of the family applied. I drove myself for a while. I used to love it,” Cllr Donal said.
He retains his interest in horses and still loves going to horse fairs
“My Spain [foreign holiday] is going to horse fairs,” the councillor said.
Eric has great experience and had been driving for more than a year, his proud grandfather remarked.
The draw, supervised by Mayor of Killarney Brendan Cronin and town manager Angela McAllen, took place earlier this week in council offices in Killarney. The council received several dozen applications, 66 of which were deemed valid.
The annual fee for the licence is €65.