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400 direct provision residents to be moved out of Hotel Killarney

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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.

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Ring of Beara Cycle launches school programme

The Ring of Beara Cycle is for kids too! As part of its commitment to make a positive impact on the local community, the Ring of Beara Cycle are proud […]

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The Ring of Beara Cycle is for kids too! As part of its commitment to make a positive impact on the local community, the Ring of Beara Cycle are proud to continue to with two great initiatives: its Kids’ Cycle and its sponsorship of the School Cycle Safety Programme.

The Ring of Beara Cycle will take place on May 25 with over 4,000 cyclists taking part. The event starts and finishes in Kenmare town, Co Kerry to complete either a 110km or 140km route encompassing the magnificent mountains, valleys and the rugged coastline of the Beara Peninsula.

Kids’ Cycle
Adults are not the only ones getting on their bikes on May 25 for the Ring of Beara Cycle. The event also has its very own cycle for children around the town of Kenmare. Not only does this give kids a chance to join in the days’ activities with their parents, but it’s free and a great way for kids to get outdoors and exercise in a fun and safe environment.
Open to any child in national school between third and fifth class and following a 2km route around Kenmare and a slightly shorter route for tinier ones, registration is from 9.15am in Kenmare town square. Parents and guardians are welcome to cycle with their children. All participants should bring and wear a safety helmet for the cycle.
School Cycle Safety Programme
Another community initiative from the Ring of Beara Cycle is the Cycle Right Programme, working with local schools to get kids’ up to speed on road safety and cycle best practices.
The Ring of Beara Cycle is working with Cycle Sense and Wheely Good Cycling Academy to deliver this 4-week programme to local schools in and around Kenmare and the Beara Peninsula.
Some 250 students across 8 schools are participating in this initiative, and the schools involved are: St John’s National School, Realt Na Mara National School , Lauragh National School and Tulloha National School in Kenmare, and on the Beara Peninsula: Scoil Chaitigheirn in Eyeries, Oir Cheann iNational School in Eyeries, Cahermore National School in Allihies, Scoil An Croi Ro Naofa in Castletownbere, Mhichil Naofa in Castletownbere, Adrigole N S in Bantry, and Trafrask Mixed N S in Ardrigole.
This initiative is normally paid for by the schools themselves but is now free for all the children taking part thanks to a generous donation by the Ring of Beara Cycle Committee that covers the cost of delivering the programme to these schools.
Cycle Right is the National Standard for Cycle Training and provides practical cycle safety and skills training through Department of Transport, the Road Safety Authority and Cycling Ireland. The aim of the programme is to promote cycle confidence on the road in increasingly complex scenarios delivered by qualified, registered trainers.
No stranger to giving back to the local community, not only does the Ring of Beara Cycle make a significant, positive impact on the local economy, it also encourages kids to enjoy themselves on their bikes and to do this safely with confidence.

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Browne’s Agri Open Day is a must-attend event

Browne’s Agri Open Day is always one that was marked in  Agri calendars as a ‘must-attend event’. This year’s event is taking place on Wednesday May 22 on their site […]

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Browne’s Agri Open Day is always one that was marked in  Agri calendars as a ‘must-attend event’.

This year’s event is taking place on Wednesday May 22 on their site in Castleisland.

The event was always renowned for getting great advice on the Agri topics of the day as well as a window into modern developments taking place in all aspect of Agriculture and country living.

The extending of the yard area will allow more space to be given over to even more exhibitors, ensuring all areas of agriculture, and rural life will be showcased on the 22.

There will be experts on hand to advise on Calf Rearing, Grassland management, Weed control, Drainage, Fencing , Shed and Yard Layouts as well as bee keeping, and helpful health advice.

“As well as the great advice, you will be ensured of great deals, great food, great craic and free entry to the many spot prizes that will be available on the day,” said general manager Denis O’Connor.

“All that is asked is your attendance and if at all possible, to make a small contribution to our chosen charity Pieta House.”

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