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31kms of Kerry roads could decide the Rás Tailteann

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By Sean Moriarty

The Rás Tailteann makes a welcome return to the roads of Kerry this week.

RÁS READY: Members of Killarney Cycling Club are ready for the Rás Tailteann which gets underway tomorrow (Wednesday).

Ireland’s biggest cycle race is returning for the first time since 2019.

It will get underway tomorrow (Wednesday) from Dublin with the first stage set to finish at the Horse and Jockey village later that day.

Stage Two will start in the Tipperary town and will finish in Castleisland on Thursday evening.

The Peloton will first arrive in Kerry from the Ballydesmond side. The race is expected to arrive in Gneeveguilla at around 1.45pm on Thursday. It will pass through Scartaglin at around 1.50pm before arriving in Castleisland at 2pm.

Climbers will relish the King of the Mountains challenge at Crag Cave just after 2pm before the riders return to Castleisland via the main Limerick Road.

The stage finish is on the approach to Castleisland about 1km after the entrance to Desmond’s GAA pitch.

“This final section on 31 kilometres of Kerry roads could prove to be the most decisive of the week. After a relatively flat opening stage some very big moves will be made on the tough roads from the Horse and Jockey outside Thurles in County Tipperary to Castleisland which will include the Crag Caves climb as the riders near the finish of the 154.8km stage,” said race director Gerard Campbell.

Friday’s stage will start in Newcastle West, County Limerick.

Please note that this updated timetable is different to the one that was published in last week’s issue of the Killarney Advertiser.

This historic and prestigious international showpiece event for Irish Cycling has deep roots in the Kingdom both in terms of having visited Kerry so many times but also with Kerry cyclists who have done so well in the event over the years. This goes right back to Gene Mangan winning the race in 1955. Others to win the event were the now deceased Paudie Fitzgerald, Mick Murphy and Seamus Kennedy as well as Andy Roche who rode for Kerry in 1997.

However, 2022 marks the 50th anniversary of Killorglin’s John Mangan winning the race and the stage into Castleisland is honouring John’s great achievement in 1972.

Killarney riders are approaching this year’s event with confidence as their preparation has gone well for them.

Killarney Cycling Club riders are under the management of Stephen Daly, Denis O’Shea, Mike Breen and Niamh Sheahan.

Team members are: John Brosnan, Lorcan Daly and Conor Kissane, who will lead the Kerry team’s challenge and will be accompanied by Simon Ryan and Leo Doyle.

“The club is once again in a position to be part of the biggest race in Irish cycling. With the postponement of the International Junior Tour and the Rás during the pandemic, it is a platform for our elite riders to once again race at the top table and in response to our strong financial support from our sponsors throughout the pandemic and in turn building for future Rás teams,” said Killarney Cycling Club chairman Mark Murphy.

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Killarney hotels are still open for business

By Sean Moriarty Only a few of the town’s 37 hotels are homing displaced people – according to Bernadette Randles, chair of the Kerry branch of the Irish Hotel Federation. […]

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By Sean Moriarty

Only a few of the town’s 37 hotels are homing displaced people – according to Bernadette Randles, chair of the Kerry branch of the Irish Hotel Federation.

This week she said that there’s still accommodation to be found in Killarney for visitors.

She was speaking in relation to the current accommodation situation facing International Protection Applicants and Ukrainian war refugees.

She explained that there is a perception that Killarney has taken in too many refugees and that it is putting the tourism industry at risk as people are starting to think that the town is at full capacity.

“If you can’t get a room in Killarney there is something wrong,” she said. “Maybe with the exception of New Year’s Eve.”

She added that hotels that are providing emergency accommodation are helping off-season unemployment.

Many hotels remain in survival mode after two years of pandemic turmoil and the additional off season business is important, she explained.

“Many could be closed at this time of the year, others would not be operating at full capacity,” she added.

However, she warned the Government needs to put a plan in place before the tourism season starts next year. Some hotels offering emergency accommodation either have a three or six month contract.

“I can see there will be tears next April – the Government must have a long-term plan,” she said.

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Homing refugees worth almost €14m

By Sean Moriarty Hotels, B&Bs and other accommodation suppliers in the Killarney area have secured contracts in excess of €13 million to accommodate Ukraine war refugees. The Department of Children, […]

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By Sean Moriarty

Hotels, B&Bs and other accommodation suppliers in the Killarney area have secured contracts in excess of €13 million to accommodate Ukraine war refugees.

The Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth released figures to the Killarney Advertiser.

Documents show that contracts totalling €13,852,255.00 are being shared between 13 premises in the Killarney urban area.

However, the department warned these figures are “indicative” only and the full value of the contracts depends on “occupancy and actual usage”.

The Eviston Hotel has secured a contract worth €5,727,590.00, the Innisfallen Hotel in Fossa for €2,404,620.00 and The Hotel Killarney signed a deal worth €1,701,000.00. These are the three biggest contracts published in the documentation.

This is only the tip of the iceberg, and Department officials say more contracts could come on stream. Figures seen by the Killarney Advertiser only cover contracted premises up to the end of September this year and updated figures are only released every three months.

“We are in contract with far more, but the formal exchange of contracts can take place sometime after the service commences,” a department spokesperson told the Killarney Advertiser.

“The Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth is obliged to publish a list of contracts formally signed off each quarter that have been awarded under a special EU Derogation that permits the Department to enter into contracts in the context of the Ukraine accommodation crisis without going to formal tender.

“The values of the contracts shown are estimates; the actual value materialises upon occupancy and actual usage. Standard contracts have no-fault break clauses available to both parties so again, the figures are indicative rather than actual.”

These figures only cover Ukrainian refugees fleeing the war and do not include International Protection Applicants.

The Department refused to release International Protection Applicant figures to the Killarney Advertiser.

“The International Protection Applicant accommodation contract information is commercially sensitive information and is not available,” added the Department spokesperson.

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