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Coach industry needs to be included in overall tourism rescue plan

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Coach industry needs to be included in overall tourism rescue plan

By Sean Moriarty

A Killarney coach tour operator is calling on the government to provide more clarity on the rules that effect the sector so he can go about re-opening his business.

O’Callaghan Coaches, which is based in Rockfield, on the Tralee road, is one of Ireland’s longest established tour providers.

The family-run business has been in operation for 51 years and boss Phillip O’Callaghan is concerned about the future of the industry.

He says the government, which is trying to re-start the tourism industry, has overlooked coach providers in its plans. The government has outlined plans for the hotel and aviation industry but he says there is no point in bringing planeloads of tourists into the country and booking them into hotels if they cannot be transported from an airport to their destination.

“All elements of the industry need to work together,” he told the Killarney Advertiser, “The is no road map for re-starting our type of business.”

O’Callaghan provides a range of high-end packages for tourists, and every year invests heavily in acquiring new coaches and buses. Older buses are transferred to other parts of the business like schools runs or sports team transport.

“We have a big financial commitment and the industry needs help, without it could be catastrophic for coach operators,” added Mr O’Callaghan.

He is also worried about social distancing regulations on coaches and says operating to one-third of his capacity on each coach simply would not pay.

Meanwhile, Kerry TD Norma Foley says no measure should be off the table when it comes to grant-aid to restart our economy.

She was responding to queries from bus and coach companies concerned about their future following the impact of COVID-19 on their business.

“Social distancing guidelines have huge ramifications for the viability of bus and coach operators. Specific grant supports must be put in place to make these measures possible for operators to implement. In fact, a whole raft of supports must be urgently considered to support this sector including the possibility of setting up a Public Transport Recovery Task Force must also be examined,” she said.

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Killarney stage to feature in new look Rás Mumhan

Cycling By Sean Moriarty Killarney will play a crucial role in the revival of four-day Kerry Group Rás Mumhan cycle race. The event, one of the biggest road races in Ireland. It has not run since 2019 after Killorglin Cycling Club withdrew from organising it.The organisation of Rás Mumhan was transferred to a committee in […]

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By Sean Moriarty

Killarney will play a crucial role in the revival of four-day Kerry Group Rás Mumhan cycle race.

The event, one of the biggest road races in Ireland. It has not run since 2019 after Killorglin Cycling Club withdrew from organising it.
The organisation of Rás Mumhan was transferred to a committee in County Tipperary but they never got the event off the ground as a result of the pandemic.

A new joint effort between four cycling clubs in Kerry has taken over the running of the event under new race director Daithi Creedon and his committee.

It will be the first major Stage Race on the Irish Cycling Calendar and will take place over the four days of Easter weekend from April 15 to April 18.

Killarney Cycling club will run the second leg of the event – a stage from the town to Sneem via Bealach Oisin Pass on Easter Saturday.

The opening leg will be hosted by Tralee Manor West BC and will start and finish in the county town and run via Annascaul and Castlemaine.

Sliabh Luachra Cycling Club is in charge of day three which takes in Knocknagree, Rathmore and Kishkeam.

The final day is in the hands of Currow Cycling Club and they will run the Knocknagoshel to Headley’s Bridge looped stage.

“This year’s route will allow the riders to race every day, with undulating roads and deliberately staying away from big category 1 climbs, this will open up the race for aggressive racing. Stage four will be a spectator friendly stage and will be a great finale to Rás Mumhan,” said Creedon.

“We wish to acknowledge and thank Killorglin Cycling Club for the fantastic work they have carried out in promoting and running this event in the past.”

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Northern lights delight for Aoife and Sinead

By Con Dennehy The continued growth, development and participation of women’s handball in Kerry was rewarded at the weekend when Tyrone hosted ‘She’s Ace’, the prestigious All Ladies Handball championships. Attracting all the leading players in Ireland, it was the Spa/Killarney trio of Aoife Walsh, Sinead Moriarty and Niamh Faulds who shot out the Northern […]

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By Con Dennehy

The continued growth, development and participation of women’s handball in Kerry was rewarded at the weekend when Tyrone hosted ‘She’s Ace’, the prestigious All Ladies Handball championships.

Attracting all the leading players in Ireland, it was the Spa/Killarney trio of Aoife Walsh, Sinead Moriarty and Niamh Faulds who shot out the Northern lights with a phenomenal display of handball.

In the Ladies ‘Challenger 1 Wall’ competition Aoife Walsh faced a top-class field.

Following quarter and semi-final wins, she went into the final with the favourites tag.

Walsh again produced a sizzling display of handball to outclass her opponent, Emma O’Neill (Tyrone), to clinch the title on a 15-4 scoreline.

There was further joy for the Spa based club when one of their promising new players, Sinead Moriarty, teamed up with Clare Conway (Tyrone) and Carla Corcoran (Tyrone) in the Mixed Grade team competition.

Twelve teams contested this competition with Moriarty key to their success. In the opening rounds the team scored 25-16 and 25-20 to reach the final where they had an impressive 25-22 victory in a classic game that showcased the finer skills of handball.

The other Killarney competitor, Niamh Faulds added to her growing reputation with some impressive games in the “1 Wall’, ‘4 Wall’ and team competitions, winning one game and narrowly loosing out in the other games despite close 25-18, 21-19, 21-17 score-lines.

“This has been a historic and important weekend for women’s handball in Kerry. Winning titles is a massive boost for the sport and something we can build on in the coming weeks and months,” said Jack O’Shea, P.R.O. of the Kerry Handball Board.

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