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Ballygarry first hotel to be accredited with COVID-19 Safety Charter for Hospitality

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ACCREDITATION: Staff at Ballygarry House, the first hotel to be accredited with COVID-19 Safety Charter for Hospitality, pictured as they returned to work last week.

 

After a 15-week rest, Ballygarry House returns to a new dawn after becoming the first hotel in Ireland to be accredited with the Fáilte Ireland COVID-19 Safety Charter for Hospitality.

 

The COVID-19 Safety Charter is a Government-endorsed initiative that ensures tourism and hospitality businesses are well-able to adhere to the specific guidelines outlined for reopening.

Bringing 135 staff back to work, Padraig McGillicuddy, Hotel Proprietor, is delighted to reopen Ballygarry House’s doors to guests and welcome them to the establishment that has been 62 years in the McGillicuddy family.

“This year is the year of the Irish, all business will be home grown and it’s going to be largely based on a quality product with value for money,” Padraig said.

“We got plenty of work done on creating a message to satisfy consumer confidence through social media videos. We launched a fun reopening video and we have had over 100,000 views which is a remarkable result. We also launched a video endorsing the measures we are taking to reassure the guests and instil consumer confidence in our COVID practices. Simple things like replacing the traditional Irish handshake with our ‘hand on our heart’ gesture, a symbol of our love of all things hospitality.”

He explained that this will be an exceptional year where the business will do well to breakeven, but the priority has been to keep their team together, trade out of it and look forward to a really prosperous year in 2021.
“The cost of the pandemic in lost revenue to the hotel is €4,000,000 some of which can be recovered but it will be a challenge. Thankfully we entered this shutdown in a very strong position so we’ll rise stronger than ever from it.”

With Kerry Tourism generating over €420 million for Kerry which is the main form of employment in the county, Padraig is keen to get Ballygarry back to previous trading levels. However, he stressed the necessity and importance of the lockdown and how it helped slow down the speed of the virus in and around Kerry and Ireland. Ballygarry itself has retrained all staff, re-written its hotel policies and standard operating procedures in line with and beyond Government guidelines so they can assure their guests and staff that safety is the number one priority.

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Killarney woman completes every parkrun in the country

By Sean Moriarty A Killarney woman has entered the record books after completing every parkrun in the country – and more. There are one hundred open parkruns in Ireland and […]

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By Sean Moriarty

A Killarney woman has entered the record books after completing every parkrun in the country – and more.

There are one hundred open parkruns in Ireland and a further three that take place behind closed doors in prisons and in health institutions and Majella Moloney has completed all of them.

On Saturday last she completed the Irish list by finishing the Borrisokane run in County Offaly.

She was inspired to take up parkruns by her work colleague Stephen Byrne after suffering a personal crisis in 2017.

“It is so good for my mental health, I can’t explain the feel good factor,” she told the Killarney Advertiser. “My personal circumstances changed dramatically in January 2017 and I needed to do something for my mental health.”

She has also done parkruns all over Europe; in total she has participated in 178 runs in countries like Britain, Germany, Poland and Italy.

She has also volunteered for 180 parkruns, often acting as ‘tail walker’ on the event she had entered.

In March this year Majella completed her parkrun Alphabet Challenge by participating in a parkrun in 26 different cities – one for each letter – York in England and Zielona Góra in Western Poland were the two most difficult letters to tick off.

“parkrun has helped me so much,” she added, “I have made friends all over the world.”

Later this year she will join her English friends Don and Sue Esslemont on a parkrun in Britain.

“Sue is doing her 500th walk this year. I first met them in Buncrana [County Donegal] and they encouraged me to travel to more events – it is one big family.”

She also paid tribute to Bertie and Bairbre Hickey from Tralee who have joined her on over 20 runs across Ireland.

SIDEBAR

A new parkrun for four to 14-year-olds has been launched in Killarney.

The first local junior parkrun will take place in Killarney House and Gardens on Sunday at 9.30am.

“Tralee has been holding junior parkruns for a while now but this is a first for Killarney,” Majella said.

The adult Killarney parkrun will take place as usual on Saturdays.

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Students awarded for their contribution to school life

By Michelle Crean Students were honoured for their contribution to school life this week during a special end of year awards ceremony. Held in the school gym on Wednesday afternoon, […]

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By Michelle Crean

Students were honoured for their contribution to school life this week during a special end of year awards ceremony.

Held in the school gym on Wednesday afternoon, the students from St Brigid’s Presentation were presented with a variety of awards from sport to science, music and visual art while Sixth Year student Saoirse Coffey received the Orla Benson Award.

“During this school year, our students have showcased their brilliance and extensive talents,” teacher Adrienne Brosnan, said.

“We are all so proud of these outstanding achievements across all aspects of school life. Awards day is a truly special occasion for all members of the St Brigid’s community and one which we relish the opportunity to celebrate. It is a time of anticipation, a time of excitement and a time of great joy. The awards that are presented are a testament to that dedication and we also acknowledge all the great work that is done by the teachers here in St Brigid’s.”

Sixth Year students also said their final goodbyes ahead of their State exams next month.

“We wish them the best of luck as they spread their wings and leave the shelter of St Brigid’s for the beginning of a new adventure.”

AWARD WINNERS

Other awards winners were:

Anna Dunlea received the Contribution to Graphics award while Leah Vinluan got the Design and Communication Graphics award.

Clodagh O’Connor and Sarah O’Sullivan both received the Contribution to Visual Art award.

Abbie Finan was awarded Soccer: Player of the Year, Chloe Hue Senior Football: Player of the Year, Emily Buckley 1st Year Football: Player of the Year, Abbey Cronin 2nd Year Football: Player of the Year, and Andrea Murphy Junior Football; Player of the Year, Senior Basketball: Most Valued Player went to Tara Donnellan, the Minor Basketball: Most Valued Player was given to Ciara O’Sullivan and the Cadette Basketball: Most Valued Player went to Leah McMahon.

Kara Huggard earned herself the LCA Student of the Year, Sarah McGrath received the CEIST Award, Excellence in Science was awarded to Emma Myers and Jennie O’Mahony, while Rita Akhter received the Overall Contribution to STEM.

Bríd O’Connor who wrote the book Spark presented Saoirse O’Sullivan with the Outstanding Achievements in Music award.

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