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Bird’s Funfair ready to open amid public health concerns

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By Sean Moriarty

Birds Euroshow Funfair will open in Killarney tomorrow (Saturday) for the first time in two years.

The funfair will operate at its traditional location in the Fair Field car park despite concerns raised by Killarney Chamber of Tourism and Commerce who said the attraction could draw large crowds and increase the risk of the spread of the Delta variant of COVID-19.

Bird’s said it will operate a “robust” COVID-19 plan that will include hand sanitisation stations at the entrance and exit of the fair and on each of the rides. Face masks will have to be worn on site and a COVID-19 compliance officer will work with visitors to ensure social distancing.

“We are glad to be back,” Don Bird, grandson of founder William Bird, told the Killarney Advertiser.

“We have a robust protocol in place that is also subject to tweaking and improving.”

Bird’s Euroshow Funfair have been a traditional part of Killarney summers since 1937.

William Bird ran fundraisers to help build Fitzgerald Stadium and the family paid for the initial paving of the car park in the 1960s.

They applied to Kerry County Council to operate in the town centre car park, they also pay a fee to the Council and all of their fair-rides are subject to an annual safety check.

“As they do every year, the funfair indicated the dates they wish to set up and this is facilitated as part of a long-standing arrangement and relationship with Birds. The Council has no role in the licensing of funfairs but does require the submission of safety certs before a funfair sets up,” a Council official told the Killarney Advertiser.

However, the Chamber remains opposed to the fun fair operating in Fair Field car park this year.

They worked with the funfair and Kerry County Council to find alternative venues as car parking spaces in town are already at a premium.

The Chamber is also worried that the funfair will attract large groups of people at a time when there are wider concerns about the spread of the Delta Variant of COVID-19.

“Killarney Chamber of Tourism and Commerce had, and still has, concerns about a funfair setting up in the centre of town at a time when concerned public health officials are warning of an extremely contagious new variant of the COVID-19 virus,” a statement, issued yesterday (Thursday), said.

“Killarney Chamber of Tourism and Commerce appreciates and values the role played by the funfair in entertaining generations of children in the town and we hope they have a very successful and safe stay.

“It remains Chamber’s view, however, that the public health concerns must be given absolute priority and that the Fair Field car park is not a suitable location at a time when parking facilities in the town are at an absolute premium and in the current public health environment.”

Last week’s Killarney Advertiser suggested that Killarney Chamber made two separate statements on its concerns about the funfair. In fact, it only made one – the Killarney Advertiser is happy to clarify this.

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New Patient Advocacy Service offering support to Kerry people

A newly established Patient Advocacy Service is offering support to people in the Kerry area who want to make a complaint about the care they have received in a public hospital. The service provides free, independent and confidential information and support to people making a formal complaint about their care in a Health Service Executive […]

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A newly established Patient Advocacy Service is offering support to people in the Kerry area who want to make a complaint about the care they have received in a public hospital.

The service provides free, independent and confidential information and support to people making a formal complaint about their care in a Health Service Executive (HSE) funded public acute hospital.

People in the Kerry area looking for support can contact the Patient Advocacy Service confidential helpline on 0818 293003 to speak to a trained advocate who will help them to get information on the HSE’s complaints investigation process, called ‘Your Service, Your Say’.

The professionally trained independent advocate will support and empower the person making the complaint, with the aim of highlighting their views and concerns.

The advocate will explain to the person how to write a formal complaint and what to include in it. They will also help the person prepare for meetings with the HSE about their complaint, and they will help the person explore their options following a response from the HSE to their complaint.

“Until now, people in Kerry and across Ireland who experienced difficulties in the Irish health service often felt there was nowhere for them to turn,” Service Manager for the Patient Advocacy Service, Claire Lehane, said.

GUIDANCE

“The newly established Patient Advocacy Service offers patients the guidance and information they need to make a complaint when they are unhappy with the care they receive. It is free, independent and run by our professionally trained patient advocates who will use their compassion and knowledge to guide people through the HSE complaints process.”

The helpline is open Monday to Friday from 10am until 4pm, including lunchtimes. You can also email info@patientadvocacyservice.ie or for more information see patientadvocacyservice.ie.

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New Kerry Dublin flight takes off

By Sean Moriarty The Kerry-Dublin air route returned to the skies for the first time in nearly seven weeks today (Wednesday). Budget airline Ryanair has taken over the route following the collapse of Stobart Air on June 12. At around 1pm, one of Ryanair’s Boeing 737-800 aircraft landed at the airport after completing its 50 minute […]

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By Sean Moriarty

The Kerry-Dublin air route returned to the skies for the first time in nearly seven weeks today (Wednesday).

Budget airline Ryanair has taken over the route following the collapse of Stobart Air on June 12.

At around 1pm, one of Ryanair’s Boeing 737-800 aircraft landed at the airport after completing its 50 minute journey for Dublin.

Less than 25 minutes later it was back in the sky again for its return journey to the capital.

The flight will operate once a day until September 1 when the frequency will increase to twice daily.

“We are happy to report a positive start to the service which has been absent since early June,” the airport’s CEO John Mulhern told the Killarney Advertiser. “Ryanair intends to operate the route once a day until the end of August and has committed to restoring a twice-daily service from September.”

The route is operated on a commercial basis by Ryanair. Since 2011, Aer Lingus, through its subsidiary Aer Lingus Regional or its partners Aer Arran and Stobart Air operated the flight as a Government support Public Service Obligation (PSO). Previously, between 2008 and 2011 Ryanair operated the route on a commercial basis but withdrew at short notice as it could not make it profitable.

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