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And they’re off: 2,000 to attend this weekend’s races 

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The town is in for an early winter boost as up to 2,000 spectators are expected to attend this weekend's Oktoberfest at the Killarney Races. 

COVID-19 protocols at Killarney Racecourse were swiftly amended yesterday (Thursday) following updated advice from Horse Racing Ireland (HRI).

 

This Saturday and Sunday, for the first time since 2019, tickets sales at the gate will be permitted and walk-up patrons who wish to enjoy an afternoon at Killarney Races can be facilitated on the day of racing.

Up until now pre-booking online was essential and had to be completed in advance of each fixture. In addition to this change to admission protocols, Killarney Racecourse has also been permitted to host up to two thousand patrons per day at the Kerry venue for the first time in two years.

The first race tomorrow (Saturday) is at 1.25pm and at 1.10pm on Sunday and gates open two hours before racing. Punters are advised to arrive early. A range of indoor and outdoor food and beverage options will be available on-site and Fáilte Ireland guidelines for indoor hospitality apply to all public indoor settings, including vaccination certs.

“From an operations perspective it will be very straightforward," Philip O’Brien, Racing Manager at Killarney Racecourse, said. "Those who purchased their tickets online will have their contact tracing information and COVID screening completed in advance of arrival. We have a separate check-in desk in our admissions building for those who want to pay on the day and we will capture their information and do the screening there and then. It will only take a few minutes and offers patrons the flexibility to decide to come racing for the afternoon nearer the time of racing which is the preference of many of our regular racegoers.”

Gerard Coughlan added that pre-COVID, the majority of tickets were sold to walk-in patrons at the gate on the day of racing.

"We had online ticket sales naturally however, they were always insignificant in comparison. When our attendance was capped at five hundred per day, the online booking of tickets was mandatory and the only option available to those who wanted to attend and it worked exceptionally well. Although I envisage online sales will sustain a larger share of our overall ticket sales going forward, gate receipts are of vital importance. Part of the buzz of going racing is arriving at the entrance building and getting your ticket on arrival. Many punters only decide to attend at the final hour, so the announcement is a good one especially as it coincides with a capacity increase at this race meeting from five hundred to two thousand patrons per day. It really is fantastic as it gives us a chance to welcome crowds in meaningful numbers to the track and also to welcome back some of our traditional punters who haven’t been to Killarney Races in quite some time also.”

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Pedestrianisation poll: Our readers have their say

By Sean Moriarty The question of pedestrianisation in the town centre has divided Killarney for years but a survey by the Killarney Advertiser this week shows the town slightly more in favour of it. A total of 37.14 percent of respondents want the pedestrianisation of Plunkett St to remain as it is – closed to […]

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By Sean Moriarty

The question of pedestrianisation in the town centre has divided Killarney for years but a survey by the Killarney Advertiser this week shows the town slightly more in favour of it.

A total of 37.14 percent of respondents want the pedestrianisation of Plunkett St to remain as it is – closed to traffic on a permanent basis while 24.76 want it to go back to its pre-pandemic arrangement where the street was only closed to vehicular traffic between 7pm and 7am each night.

An additional 34.29 percent want to see an increase in pedestrianisation in town centre by extending the Main St arrangement that was in place during the summer. In that period the town’s main thoroughfare was closed to traffic, day and night, during the weekend.

Only 20 percent of the respondents want to abolish pedestrianisation altogether, but that is still a significant number ensuring that this debate will linger on for a long time yet.

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National television exposure for local campaign

By Michelle Crean A local group hosting a life-saving information day tomorrow (Saturday) are to receive huge exposure on national TV after a crew came down to interview them about their campaign. Members of Killarney Cardiac Response Unit (KCRU) – who are planning a ‘Restart a Heart Day’ to raise awareness about life-saving techniques – […]

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By Michelle Crean

A local group hosting a life-saving information day tomorrow (Saturday) are to receive huge exposure on national TV after a crew came down to interview them about their campaign.

Members of Killarney Cardiac Response Unit (KCRU) – who are planning a ‘Restart a Heart Day’ to raise awareness about life-saving techniques – invited journalist Paul Byrne and Virgin Media TV crew to town this week.

It’s hoped their campaign will be broadcast tonight (Friday) or tomorrow (Saturday).

The KCRU event takes place tomorrow in ANAM Arts and Cultural Centre between 10.30am and 4pm as part of the European Restart a Heart Day. It’ll include CPR demos, public information, an art display, a video launch w️ith many prizes to be won.

“The crew interviewed Community Responder Helen Duggan who explained the events taking place on Saturday,” Kevin O’Leary from KCRU told the Killarney Advertiser.

“European Restart a Heart Day was founded with the support of the European parliament and takes place on October 16 every year. We’re spreading the message that 20 minutes of your time could make all the difference saving a life.”

In 2021, the focus of the event is on survivors with the hashtag #CPRSavedMyLife.

“With this campaign we want to create awareness that everyone can learn CPR and facilitate BLS courses in schools and public locations.”

He said they hope that Kerry TDs Danny Healy-Rae, Brendan Griffin and Minister for Education Norma Foley will be in attendance throughout the day, and the public are invited to attend.

“Find out how simple actions can save lives. Prizes include a three day First Aid course valued at €300, two First Aid kits, and a voucher for a local business.”

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