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Any victory for Ukraine is important!

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By Natalya Krasnenkova

On the eve of the final of the 2022 Eurovision Song Contest, President Zelensky said "Ukrainians need victory - big and small".

That is why Ukrainians who gathered around the world on Saturday night were waiting for Ukraine's win in the song contest, just like the victory in the war.

The Ukrainians from the Innisfallen Hotel were waiting for that too and the overall winner, Ukrainian band Kalush Orchestra, caused a real emotional storm in the hall!

"After my country's victory at Eurovision, I felt proud, cried, laughed and couldn't believe it. I am also grateful to everyone who voted for us, because this victory shows how much most European countries support us," Iryna Melnychuk said.

"Voting around the world for Ukraine gives us hope for support from the world community not only in the Eurovision Song Contest," said Stepan Krasnenkov.

The Ukrainian band Kalush Orchestra received the highest number of points from the audience during the entire existence of the competition: 439 points from the audience, 192 points from the professional jury. In the end - 631 points, which brought Ukraine victory.

Also, thanks to the Kalush Orchestra, the whole world now knows about the humanitarian catastrophe in Mariupol and the Azovstal enterprises, where wounded Ukrainian soldiers and civilians are under blockade without food, water and medicine.

After their performance, Kalush Orchestra addressed the audience from around the world with a request to save the defenders of Mariupol, who are at the Azovstal plant.

"Please help Ukraine, Mariupol! Help Azovstal! Right now!" - the band called.

After these words, search queries for Azovstal and Mariupol took off on the Internet as people were looking for what they meant.

Irish Eurovision contestant Brooke also sang it and the whole world sings the song of the winners 'Stefania'.

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Killarney hotels are still open for business

By Sean Moriarty Only a few of the town’s 37 hotels are homing displaced people – according to Bernadette Randles, chair of the Kerry branch of the Irish Hotel Federation. […]

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By Sean Moriarty

Only a few of the town’s 37 hotels are homing displaced people – according to Bernadette Randles, chair of the Kerry branch of the Irish Hotel Federation.

This week she said that there’s still accommodation to be found in Killarney for visitors.

She was speaking in relation to the current accommodation situation facing International Protection Applicants and Ukrainian war refugees.

She explained that there is a perception that Killarney has taken in too many refugees and that it is putting the tourism industry at risk as people are starting to think that the town is at full capacity.

“If you can’t get a room in Killarney there is something wrong,” she said. “Maybe with the exception of New Year’s Eve.”

She added that hotels that are providing emergency accommodation are helping off-season unemployment.

Many hotels remain in survival mode after two years of pandemic turmoil and the additional off season business is important, she explained.

“Many could be closed at this time of the year, others would not be operating at full capacity,” she added.

However, she warned the Government needs to put a plan in place before the tourism season starts next year. Some hotels offering emergency accommodation either have a three or six month contract.

“I can see there will be tears next April – the Government must have a long-term plan,” she said.

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Homing refugees worth almost €14m

By Sean Moriarty Hotels, B&Bs and other accommodation suppliers in the Killarney area have secured contracts in excess of €13 million to accommodate Ukraine war refugees. The Department of Children, […]

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By Sean Moriarty

Hotels, B&Bs and other accommodation suppliers in the Killarney area have secured contracts in excess of €13 million to accommodate Ukraine war refugees.

The Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth released figures to the Killarney Advertiser.

Documents show that contracts totalling €13,852,255.00 are being shared between 13 premises in the Killarney urban area.

However, the department warned these figures are “indicative” only and the full value of the contracts depends on “occupancy and actual usage”.

The Eviston Hotel has secured a contract worth €5,727,590.00, the Innisfallen Hotel in Fossa for €2,404,620.00 and The Hotel Killarney signed a deal worth €1,701,000.00. These are the three biggest contracts published in the documentation.

This is only the tip of the iceberg, and Department officials say more contracts could come on stream. Figures seen by the Killarney Advertiser only cover contracted premises up to the end of September this year and updated figures are only released every three months.

“We are in contract with far more, but the formal exchange of contracts can take place sometime after the service commences,” a department spokesperson told the Killarney Advertiser.

“The Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth is obliged to publish a list of contracts formally signed off each quarter that have been awarded under a special EU Derogation that permits the Department to enter into contracts in the context of the Ukraine accommodation crisis without going to formal tender.

“The values of the contracts shown are estimates; the actual value materialises upon occupancy and actual usage. Standard contracts have no-fault break clauses available to both parties so again, the figures are indicative rather than actual.”

These figures only cover Ukrainian refugees fleeing the war and do not include International Protection Applicants.

The Department refused to release International Protection Applicant figures to the Killarney Advertiser.

“The International Protection Applicant accommodation contract information is commercially sensitive information and is not available,” added the Department spokesperson.

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