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Brexit the key issue at Killarney Economic Conference

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Brexit remained the key issue at this year’s Killarney Economic Conference held in the The Brehon/INEC complex, last week.
Up to thirty economic, civic and political leaders from Britain and Ireland spoke at the second annual conference, including former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern, Fianna Fáil Leader Micheál Martin, Ryanair’s Chief Operating Officer Peter Bellew, Ed Sibley Deputy Governor with the Central Bank, Mark Kennedy from Mazars, and Professor Eilis Ferran, University of Cambridge.
Ryanair’s Chief Operating Officer and Killarney resident Peter Bellew, formerly of Kerry Airport spoke at the event and said that as an airline, Ryanair had decided “not to be bashing the English”.
Mr Bellew told the packed conference that there was too much “gloating” here about England’s difficulties with Brexit. He urged a softer more helpful approach from Government, businesses and people here – and to move on from the obsession with backstops “and the devil knows what else” – to a more positive front.
“We need to get behind the UK economy a little bit more, and end a lot of the gloating that is going on,” Mr Bellew said.
Ireland would be the only English speaking country now able to interact in the EU.
“We have been obsessed with backstops and the devil knows what – it has all moved on now,” he said, adding there was a need to position this country as an open, friendly place to do business.
Cahersiveen native Brigid Laffan, who went to Loreto Convent in Killarney, and now Professor and Director at the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies, said in some sections of the UK media and in some circles, either Ireland was “a stooge” of the EU, or Ireland was running the EU.
“Brexit is extremely damaging to British-Irish relations,” Professor Laffan said. Relations were not as bad as during the Troubles, but they would never return to the Queen’s visit. Unlike Ireland, England would now be a non-EU State.
“It will be in some ways the final breaking of that umbilical cord,” Ms Laffan said of the impact.
Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin gave the keynote address of the conference on Friday. Brexit was “the defining issue of our age” and the decay of British politics had been a tragedy. Ireland must reposition itself not only in terms of its relations with UK, but also take a more active role in Europe, he said.
“In recent years Ireland has too often been a bystander,” he said. “We have failed to understand fully how much has changed in the Union and how our old strategies are out of date. We don’t just need to join new groupings, we need a new agenda,” he said.
New relations would also have to be constructed “with our nearest neighbour” also, post Brexit, Mr Martin said, calling for “a formal structure for meetings to discuss not just trade but health, pensions, education, qualifications and much more.
“Something like the Nordic Council of Ministers needs to be discussed,” the Fianna Fail leader urged.

Meanwhile, The rural economy and rural employer will “suffer most” with Brexit, Mark Kennedy managing partner for Mazars Ireland, said.
Mr Kennedy warned also of the uncertainty posed to Financial Services businesses by a ‘no-deal’ Brexit scenario. Such challenges included the requirement of Financial Services firms to be ready for the March 29 exit deadline and a lack of clarity facing unregulated elements of Financial Services businesses.
A no deal scenario would do away with “the effective transition period to 2020.”
Meanwhile former Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern, said that a second referendum on Brexit could be “a very dicey scene” and “not at all the simple task some people here think”.
Mr Ahern, who helped negotiate the Good Friday Agreement said his preferred approach would be one in which three options were quickly narrowed down from a field of say ten and those final three negotiated upon.
Then and only then, could Mrs May go to Europe and successfully look for an extension of time of Article 50.
“If you went over today and said can we have an article 50 extension, they probably would just tell you take a hike, and if they didn’t, they should,” he said.
Taking a number of targeted swipes at US President Donald Trump, The US President’s world view was “dog eat dog competition,” Mr Ahern added.
Trump’s actions were to destroy the architecture and institutions of “global governance” which the US itself had built along with the UK.
Cooperation or multilateralism was necessary to solve the world’s problems, Mr Ahern said.
But institutions like the European Union and United Nations were under attack now in a “rising tide of populism and xenophobia”.

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Hike up Strickeen Mountain for air ambulance

  Locals and visitors are being invited to join a guided ascent of Strickeen Mountain on July 4 to raise funds for the Irish Community Air Ambulance. The hike, described as an easy to moderate climb and family friendly well be led by Killarney-based Irish Community Air Ambulance volunteer and tour guide Krzysztof Szwab. It […]

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Locals and visitors are being invited to join a guided ascent of Strickeen Mountain on July 4 to raise funds for the Irish Community Air Ambulance.

The hike, described as an easy to moderate climb and family friendly well be led by Killarney-based Irish Community Air Ambulance volunteer and tour guide Krzysztof Szwab.

It is expected that the 7.5km hike will take around three hours to complete and participants will benefit from the expertise of Krzysztof for a minimum donation €10 per person or €20 per family.

Strickeen Mountain is the eastern most peak of the MacGillycuddy’s Reeks and the hike will start from the Gap of Dunloe at 11am on the day.

As an added bonus fruit and water, donated by local supermarkets including Lidl, Aldi and Daly’s SuperValu, will be provided. The first 20 to register will receive a limited edition Irish Community Air Ambulance face covering snood.

“This is an ideal opportunity for someone who has never climbed this mountain, but wants to do it with the help of an experienced guide,” Donie Lucey, who is one of the Irish Community Air Ambulance’s chief fundraisers, said.

Further details are available from Donie on 086 854 5873 or from Krzysztof on 087 7589697 after 6pm.

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Golf club launches Summer Series competition

By Sean Moriarty Competitive golfing has resumed at Killarney Golf and Fishing Club marking another step towards normality in the locality. The O’Mahony’s Point course hosted an open singles event on Monday last and this competition will continue every Monday for the rest of the summer. Meanwhile the club’s ‘TaylorMade’ Summer Series gets underway at […]

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By Sean Moriarty

Competitive golfing has resumed at Killarney Golf and Fishing Club marking another step towards normality in the locality.

The O’Mahony’s Point course hosted an open singles event on Monday last and this competition will continue every Monday for the rest of the summer.

Meanwhile the club’s ‘TaylorMade’ Summer Series gets underway at the famed Killeen course this coming Wednesday (June 23). This series will continue every Wednesday for eight weeks and top five scorers on each date will qualify for a Grand Final which is scheduled for Sunday, August 22.

“We are delighted to launch the ‘TaylorMade’ Summer Series. This is a singles stableford event taking place on the Irish Open course, Killeen,” said the club’s marketing manager Meg Dalton. “With over €8,000 worth of prizes to be won, this is an event not to be missed. The first opportunity to qualify for the grand final is Wednesday.”

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Investigation continues into New St fire

  Killarney Gardai are continuing their investigation into the cause of a fire on New Street last week. The fire broke out at the Eviston House Hotel in the early hours of Bank Holiday Monday (June 7). It started in a room just off the kitchen on the first floor and spread along the venting […]

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Killarney Gardai are continuing their investigation into the cause of a fire on New Street last week.

The fire broke out at the Eviston House Hotel in the early hours of Bank Holiday Monday (June 7).

It started in a room just off the kitchen on the first floor and spread along the venting and ducting on the first, second and third floors. There was heavy smoke throughout the hotel but all guests were evacuated safely.

The landmark hotel, which also houses the famous Danny Mann pub, has not yet reopened, and local Gardai are still investigating its cause.

“The investigation is ongoing,” a Killarney Gardai Station spokesperson told the Killarney Advertiser. “We are establishing the full facts in relation to the fire.”

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