Connect with us


400 direct provision residents to be moved out of Hotel Killarney




By Michelle Crean and Sean Moriarty

Up to 400 direct provision residents have been given formal notice to leave their accommodation in Hotel Killarney later this month.

The move is being made as the hotel returns back to tourist accommodation for the summer season but it's believed that up to 20 families with children who are settled in schools in the town may have to leave the county if no alternative local accommodation is found.

The residents received letters from the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth (DCEDIY) this week.

The department also confirmed to the Killarney Advertiser that "intensive efforts are being undertaken" by staff in DCEDIY "to source emergency accommodation".

"However, procuring enough bed space to keep pace with incoming arrivals remains extremely challenging, leading to very significant shortages. The residents themselves will be the first to know where they are moving to and IPAS will work closely with the residents to minimise the disruption," a spokesperson told the Killarney Advertiser.

The arrival and stay at the hotel was not without controversy. Ukrainians fleeing the war in their home country were previously housed in Hotel Killarney but last October were given just 48 hours to pack up and leave the county after being told they'd be transferred to Westport, County Mayo.

After a public local outcry, the decision to move them from Kerry was reversed and Ukrainians were housed in various hotels across the town.

International Protection Applicants were then moved in and on New Year’s day five men were stabbed in the hotel, four of them requiring hospital treatment. Four people were arrested and some of them were moved to other direct provision centres in an effort to restore peace at the hotel.

The issue was also up for discussion at Wednesday’s Killarney Municipal District meeting by Cllr John O’Donoghue.

“I will choose my words very carefully as again I realise this is a sensitive issue,” he said.

“The upcoming tourist season is almost upon us and there are people living in hotels within our town who know their current accommodation will not be available before long, yet they have not been provided with alternative lodging. Many of these people have already experienced huge upheaval in their lives and arrived here as displaced people seeking refuge. With my education hat on, I see the positive contribution being made by many of our new arrivals in places like our schools, but many now do not know if they will now be forced to move to new schools and begin the process of integrating all over again. For schools planning for next year, they are also being left in limbo as they cannot be sure how many pupils they will have for the coming school year. I am not laying the blame for this uncertainty at the door of the Council, as they are not in charge of such matters, rather it is the lack of any form of long term planning or direction from the Government and Government agencies that is the problem and I would like us to seek clarity immediately. The current situation is grossly unfair on all parties involved.

"The Council has not been advised of any specific plans by Government to seek alternative accommodation for those currently residing in hotel accommodation,” a Council official said.



Fossa School says ‘bonjour’ to French classes



Fossa National School is giving its pupils a headstart in learning a new language.

The school signed up to Language Sampler scheme as part of the ‘Say Yes to Languages’ initiative in primary schools organised by Post Primary languages Ireland in 2021. This is the school’s third year running the module.

Hélène Olivier-Courtney, the school’s French teacher and director of French For All Killarney School of French, covers ten schools in Kerry over the three terms.

The success of the initiative relies on an all-school approach and the active involvement of class teachers and management.

“The whole staff in Fossa certainly helped make this new journey a special and enjoyable experience for the children as we learnt French through art, songs, games and food tasting! This year, we also organised a catwalk on our last day. Our sixth-class students will have such a head start before secondary school and most importantly will have develop curiosity interest and love for the language,” said Hélène.


Continue Reading


Opinion: Silent majority needs to stand up and call out far-right hate



By Chris Davies

Last Friday’s Dublin Riots should not have come as a surprise to anyone. It has been bubbling under the surface of Irish society for a good number of years now. The actions of a small minority last week was a culmination of years of racism, hatred and misinformation shared online by far-right groups.

Late on Friday night a disturbing WhatsApp voice note was doing the rounds on social media where a far-right actor could clearly be heard encouraging violence on the streets of Dublin. 

“’Seven o’clock, be in town. Everyone bally up, tool up…Any foreigner, just kill them”

Watching the Riots unfold on social media brought me back to when I was working in Dublin a number of years back. My morning commute from Skerries to the city centre involved a dart to Connolly Station followed by a short trip on the Luas to the Jervis. Every week, without fail, I would witness at least one racial slur or attack on someone who didn’t fit the narrow minded view of what an Irish person should look, dress or talk like. I don’t know if it is the eerie silence of public transport that seems to amplify the situation, but that’s where I found it to be most common. The abuse was usually perpetrated by a group of youths or someone who was clearly under the influence of drink or drugs. The victims were always of colour, often dressed smartly enough to presume they were on their way, or coming from work. A far cry from the perpetrators who you could tell were roaming aimlessly around the city looking for trouble.

While shameful to admit, I would often look on and watch the abuse unfold, only to spend the rest of my work day thinking about the poor person who was told to “F*&K off back to your own country”. I would sit at my desk questioning why I didn’t step in and say something. There were one or two occasions where I did step in and call it out, but not nearly often enough.  

This disgusting behaviour is much more visible in our cities. Since moving back to Killarney I wouldn’t witness as much direct abuse on the streets but working with the Killarney Advertiser I would be tuned in to local news and some of the comments I read on our social platforms are far worse than anything I witnessed during my time in Dublin.  

There is a significant group of people in Ireland that I would call the ‘silent majority’. We are not as outspoken on issues we care about. We tend to observe and consume the news quietly, and only speak of our support or disgust on certain issues in close circles, too afraid we might offend someone. The problem with this is that we are leaving these far-right groups unchallenged, to become louder, more aggressive and more hostile as seen last week. 

The past week Sinn Fein and the Social Democrats have been busy in the media expressing no confidence in Justice Minister Helen McEntee and Garda Commissioner Drew Harris but I would suggest that there is a large percentage of the Irish population that bears some of the responsibility. We witness racism in our communities and online every day and we need to start speaking up and calling it out. 

On the issue of immigration in Killarney, there is no doubt resources are being stretched and our tourism industry is suffering as a result of an influx of immigration. Locals have also raised concerns in relation to the placement of so many male international protection applicants in one setting and we only have to look back on the incident in Hotel Killarney last year where a number of men were involved in a harrowing stabbing incident to see how that played out.  

However, being concerned around immigration is not the same as anti-immigration. It is important to raise these issues with local representatives and Kerry TD’s but also to separate ourselves from far-right groups who are only interested in encouraging violence.  

The anarchy we witnessed last week should never be the answer and research shows it is completely unnecessary. Harvard University have looked at hundreds of protests over the last century, and found that non-violent campaigns are twice as likely to achieve their goals as violent campaigns and that it only takes around 3.5% of the population actively participating in the protests to ensure serious political change.

Let’s continue to protest peacefully for issues we believe in, but stand up and speak out against people and movements in our community that incite hate and violence. 

Continue Reading

Last News