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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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Volunteers wanted for street collection

By Michelle Crean October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and local volunteers are keen to not only raise awareness but also funds. Kathrina Breen, Eleanor O’Doherty and Kathleen O’Shea who […]

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By Michelle Crean

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and local volunteers are keen to not only raise awareness but also funds.

Kathrina Breen, Eleanor O’Doherty and Kathleen O’Shea who have been supporting the Irish Cancer Society for many years are delighted to be able to get back to their Pink Ribbon street collection in Killarney town next Friday (October 7).

They are the only group in the country doing the collection as many fundraisers have moved online since the pandemic struck.

“We’re the only town in Ireland doing it this year,” Kathrina, who feels it’s important to keep a street collection going, told the Killarney Advertiser.

“We haven’t done it in two years since before COVID. I pushed to do it as it raises a lot of money. People have been supporting this for years, this money goes towards breast detection equipment, information leaflets in doctors surgeries and towards cancer grants.”

In 2021, donations helped 254 breast cancer patients with free transport to and from 2,380 chemotherapy appointments by volunteer drivers, 154 patients received 514 nights of end-of-life care from Night Nurses and 3,430 enquiries were made about breast cancer through the Freephone Support Line 1800 200 700 and at 13 Daffodil Centres across the country.

And she added that they’re looking for a few volunteers to help out on the day.

“If anyone would like to help they can contact me on 087 2612992.”

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Calls for Council to acquire vacant Rock Road properties

By Sean Moriarty There are calls to make two vacant properties on Rock Road available to Kerry County Council’s housing inventory. The two cottages, one either side of the entrance […]

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By Sean Moriarty

There are calls to make two vacant properties on Rock Road available to Kerry County Council’s housing inventory.

The two cottages, one either side of the entrance to St Finan’s Hospital, are vacant for some time.
Cllr Maura Healy-Rae raised the issue at a recent Killarney Municipal District meeting.

“Regarding two vacant houses at the entrance to St Finan’s on Rock Road which appear to be vacant for a significant period of time. One of the properties is in the ownership of the HSE. I requested that Kerry County Council would liaise with the HSE with a view to potentially acquiring this house,” she told the Killarney Advertiser after the meeting.

“I stressed that it is important that the local authority exhaust all possibilities when it comes to providing more houses, particularly properties located within the town of Killarney where the need and demand for housing is critical.”

Kerry County Council said it would get the Vacant Homes Officer to contact the owner of the privately owned bungalow.

“They will inform the property owner that there is funding available under various schemes and grants to aid the return of this property to habitable use. Such schemes include the Repair and Lease Scheme and the recently launched Croí Cónaithe vacant property grant,” said a Council official.

Cllr Healy-Rae added: “I requested that KCC would liaise with the HSE with a view to potentially acquiring this house.”

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