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Bird’s Amusements hopeful of a summer in Killarney

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By Sean Moriarty

Bird’s Amusements, who have been coming to Killarney town for 83 years - are hopeful they can maintain their long tradition this summer and are in active discussions with Kerry County Council and Killarney Municipal District officials.

Ireland’s largest travelling fun fair has never missed a summer in Killarney since their first visit in 1937.

The fair, currently operated by founder William Bird’s grandson Don and his children, usually operates in the Fair Hill car park.

In preparation for a hopeful restart the fun fair has introduced a range of measures including appointing several staff member as COVID-19 compliance officers. They have worked with the Irish Showman’s Guild to come up with a range of plans that will see all members of this umbrella group operate to some degree this season.

The family’s permanent fun fair in Tramore County Waterford is operational since late last month and Don Bird is “optimistically hopeful” this will help get the necessary permits to operate in Kerry this year.

“We understand that the Council is very busy trying to reopen the town and we are just another peripheral operation in all of that,” he told the Killarney Advertiser. “My colleague, who looks after the paperwork is quietly confident we will get permits but I prefer to take a more cautious approach – I am optimistically confidant.”

One of the main problems is insurance. They have suspended their cover until they get back up and running but the Council may not grant a permit without insurance in place.

“I would have to spend an awful lot of money to reactivate it and then find I could not start up for the summer,” he added. “I have been given a letter of goodwill from my broker showing that cover can be put in place. I don’t want to put the Council officials under pressure either – they have enough to do to get the town reopened.”

Bird’s Amusements have used Computer Aided Design (CAD) software to plan proposed layouts in the Fairhill car park. This has helped them identify areas in the fairground that may not be complaint with social distancing measures.

Most of their fleet has been parked at their depot near Birdhill in Tipperary since the shutdown – they were due to operate at St Patrick’s Day festivals in Dublin and Bray but that never happened and instead used the down time to train staff and try new methods of operation.

“We tested loads of different scenarios – some PPE does not work in a fairground – there is no point in wearing a face shield that will fly off when on a ride,” he added.

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Develop skills and improve employability

By Niamh Dwyer, Chairperson of the Kerry Branch of Guidance Counsellors Traineeships are developed and delivered on an ongoing basis by Education and Training Boards (ETBs) nationwide and are open to potential participants of all ages and backgrounds including school leavers, mature learners and those in or seeking employment. Developed in partnership with industry representatives […]

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By Niamh Dwyer, Chairperson of the Kerry Branch of Guidance Counsellors

Traineeships are developed and delivered on an ongoing basis by Education and Training Boards (ETBs) nationwide and are open to potential participants of all ages and backgrounds including school leavers, mature learners and those in or seeking employment.

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Second level or higher education students who are interested in participating in a Traineeship Programme should contact their local ETB, adult learners should contact the Adult Education Guidance Service through their local ETB, and jobseekers will be able to access information through their local Intreo Office or Local Employment Service. For those currently unemployed, a training allowance or income support may be available. You can check out the range of opportunities offered through Traineeships nationwide on www.fetchcourses.ie and more locally check out the www.kerrycollege.ie.

Niamh Dwyer is a Guidance Counsellor in Scoil Phobail Sliabh Luachra, Rathmore, and Chairperson of the Kerry Branch of Guidance Counsellors. She is also a Career Consultant – For details see www.mycareerplan.ie or follow @mycareerplan on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.

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KNOW YOUR RIGHTS: Return to work courses

Answer: Springboard+ provides free higher education courses for people who are unemployed (or were self-employed) and those looking to return to the workforce. Courses are offered in different areas including Information and Communications Technology (ICT), medical technologies, cybersecurity, sustainable energy and financial services. The courses range from certificate to master’s degree level – Levels 6 […]

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Answer: Springboard+ provides free higher education courses for people who are unemployed (or were self-employed) and those looking to return to the workforce.

Courses are offered in different areas including Information and Communications Technology (ICT), medical technologies, cybersecurity, sustainable energy and financial services.

The courses range from certificate to master’s degree level – Levels 6 to 9 on the National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ). Most of the courses are part-time and last for one year or less, but there are some full-time courses.
You can access a free Springboard+ course, if you are getting a qualifying social welfare payment such as Jobseeker’s Allowance, Jobseeker’s Benefit or the COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP). You can get a full list of qualifying payments for Springboard+ on citizensinformation.ie

If you are not getting a qualifying social welfare payment, you will have to meet the residency criteria for Springboard+.

You can also apply for a Springboard+ course if:

* You are a qualified adult of working age (under 66) on someone else’s social welfare payment
* You are signing for social insurance credits
* You are on an employment support scheme such as Community Employment (CE) or TUS

To apply for a Springboard+ course, you choose the course(s) you are interested in on springboardcourses.ie and apply online, following the instructions on the website. You can apply for up to 10 courses, but you can only take one course.

If you are getting a social welfare payment, you should notify your Intreo Centre or local Social Welfare Branch Office and check what further steps (if any) you need to take.
If Springboard+ doesn’t meet your needs, there are several other ways to go back to education.
_______________________________________________________________________

During COVID-19, you can find comprehensive integrated information online at citizensinformation.ie/covid19/ and you can get daily updates on what’s changed on Twitter at @citizensinfo. You can also get information and advice from:

Tralee on Tel: Call 0761 07 7860, Monday – Friday (10am-4pm)
The Citizens Information Phone Service: Call 0761 07 4000, Monday to Friday, 9am – 8pm
Our national call back service: Visit citizensinformation.ie/callback to request a phone call from an information officer

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