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A very different Killarney Races on the cards

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By Sean Moriarty

Killarney Races will go ahead in July but without spectators and on alternative days to comply with COVID-19 restrictions.

However, plans for the August meeting remain on target and the postponed May meeting could get the go-ahead to run in October.

Horse Racing Ireland announced this week that the sport would resume, in a restricted capacity, in Ireland on June 8. Phase Four of the Government’s reopening plan comes into effect on July 20 – which is too late for the traditional July 13 to 17 summer meeting.

Management at Killarney Racecourse have revealed to the Killarney Advertiser that the July meeting will go ahead – but with several conditions attached.

These include the banning of spectators and the general public and the deep cleaning of course facilities after each day of racing.

The latter requirement will force the meeting to take place over alternative dates with the down time used to deep clean contact points on the course.

“We will fulfil the July days but the meeting will be broken up to allow deep cleaning – we simply would not have the time to do it properly every day,” manager Phillip O’Brien told the Killarney Advertiser. “There are two ways of looking at this, Killarney Races is all about the day out, the social aspect and the roar of the crowd, but for jockeys and trainers, it is their livelihoods – it is their bread and butter.”

Irish racing will resume at Naas on June 8. The Irish 2,000 Guineas and 1,000 Guineas, the country’s first Classics in 2020, will be staged at The Curragh on June 12-13, Horse Racing Ireland said this week. The Irish Derby, meanwhile, will remain in its traditional slot on the last weekend in June.

O’Brien will be watching these meetings closely and will apply lessons learned at his July event.

“By the time it comes around to us, it will be a well-oiled machine,” he added. “It is important to get something back and if Horse Racing gets it right it will give confidence to other sports.”

Meanwhile, O’Brien has applied to Horse Racing Ireland to transfer his May dates to an alternative date in October, but this move remains unconfirmed and is dependent on the available slots in what could be an already congested calendar.

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Garda appeal to park legally at beaches and public amenities

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An Garda Siochana is appealing to the public to park legally in designated car parks and spaces when visiting beaches, beauty spots and other public amenities. 

The good weather has seen an increase in dangerous illegal parking at these locations across the country in recent weeks. An Garda Siochana wants people to enjoy the summer but do so safely.

Parking illegally can lead to unnecessary risk and dangers such as pedestrians being forced to walk along dangerous roads. It can also prevent emergency services from gaining access to these amenities a seaside locations which could lead to the loss of life. 

“We encourage the public to plan their journeys and think safety first when parking your vehicle,” the Gardai said in a statement. 

“The outcome of parking illegally could be far more serious than a FCPN or vehicle towing and puts others and your own life at risk. 

An Garda Siochana reminds and encourages the public to social distance and follow public health guidelines when attending these locations this Summer.

An Garda Siochana is also supporting National Water Safety Awareness Week (June 14th – 20th). Information on this campaign and general water safety can be found on Water Safety Irelands Website – www.watersafety.ie/national-water-safety-awareness-week/

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IFTA nomination for Jessie Buckley

By Michelle Crean  Killarney’s Jessie Buckley is up for an award as the 2021 Irish Film and Television Awards (IFTA) nominations were announced this week. Jessie has been nominated as Best Actress in a Lead Role Film category for her work in Charlie Kaufman’s surreal ‘I’m Thinking of Ending Things’. Winners will be announced at […]

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By Michelle Crean
 

Killarney’s Jessie Buckley is up for an award as the 2021 Irish Film and Television Awards (IFTA) nominations were announced this week.

Jessie has been nominated as Best Actress in a Lead Role Film category for her work in Charlie Kaufman’s surreal ‘I’m Thinking of Ending Things’. Winners will be announced at a virtual IFTA awards ceremony which will be broadcast on Virgin Media One on Sunday, July 4.

Other well-known Irish actors up for awards include Brendan Gleeson for ‘The Comey Rule’, Paul Mescal for ‘Normal People’, Dervla Kirwan ‘Smother’ and Gabriel Byrne for ‘Death of a Ladies Man’.

Over the past few months during lockdown, the Irish Academy Members have been busy viewing, deliberating, and shortlisting the very best work from across great Irish films, performances, and achievements.

Nominations have been shortlisted by Irish Academy members alongside a specialist jury panel of industry experts from around the world.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, there will be no physical IFTA Awards Ceremony until March 2022, in keeping with COVID guidelines and best international practice.

Further details about the show and the international guest participants will be announced shortly.

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Four week wait for Dublin/Kerry replacement airline

By Sean Moriarty  It will take at least four weeks before a replacement airline can cover the Dublin/Kerry route following the sudden collapse of Stobart Air last weekend. However, it is not all bad news for Kerry Airport as Ryanair will resume its Kerry Stansted service from today (Friday). The budget airline is advancing plans […]

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By Sean Moriarty
 

It will take at least four weeks before a replacement airline can cover the Dublin/Kerry route following the sudden collapse of Stobart Air last weekend.

However, it is not all bad news for Kerry Airport as Ryanair will resume its Kerry Stansted service from today (Friday).

The budget airline is advancing plans to resume all its Kerry services with the Frankfurt Hahn route set to be the first international service on July 18.

All other routes including Berlin, Faro, Alicante and Manchester will return bit by bit once international travel restrictions are lifted.

The Killarney Advertiser understands that up to eight airlines have expressed an interest in taking over the Dublin/Kerry route.

Airport staff were left reeling last Saturday morning when it emerged that Stobart Air had collapsed.

The UK airline operated the Dublin/Kerry franchise on behalf of Aer Lingus Regional. It had seven months left to run on its contract with Isle of Man based carrier Ettyl due to take over the route later this year. It has since been confirmed that Ettyl does not have the necessary funding in place to take over the service.

As a result, Kerry Airport will be left without a Dublin connection for the best part of four weeks. It is expected that Aer Lingus will take over the route for the remainder of Stobart’s seven month contract.

“This may seem like a long time, but in airline terms and because it is a Government funded route, this is actually very fast, faster than ever imagined,” Airport CEO, John Mulhern, told the Killarney Advertiser.

“This is being done as fast as humanly possible. The Government was able to put all its bureaucracy aside and make this happen. Thanks to Norma Foley, Brendan Griffin and Pa Daly, they were all on the case at 6am last Saturday morning. We are happy things are happening so fast – we are not happy to lose Stobart, they were a great airline and great friends – but happy to see solutions are coming so quickly.”

Thanks to the efforts of local politicians, the procurement process for finding an alternative airline has been speeded up. Tender documents are expected to be published early next week – much sooner than normal circumstances – and at least eight airlines have already expressed an interest in the route.

Meanwhile, Ryanair’s return to normality continues at Kerry Airport. The Luton service has been operating on Monday, Wednesday and Friday for the last two weeks.

The Stansted service is due to return today (Friday) and will operate Mondays and Fridays for the foreseeable future. German services will resume next month.

“Ryanair will start with Frankfurt Hahn and as they slowly get back on their feet all other services, Berlin, Manchester, Faro and Alicante, will return,” added Mr Mulhern.

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