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BUDGET: Businesses require support to remain competitive

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Killarney Chamber of Tourism and Commerce has given a mixed reaction to this week’s budget.

It has welcomed budgetary recommendations that will offset the cost of energy and is hopeful new Gardai will be assigned to Killarney following an increase in recruitment announcement.

However, the business group has criticised the VAT increase sanctioned for the tourism industry for March 1 and that it will lobby the Department of Finance to reverse this decision.

Chamber President Niall Kelleher said it is imperative that businesses are given every assistance to remain productive and competitive and, in the process, enable them to retain staff.

“The plan to help businesses with the rising costs of electricity and gas is welcome but, that said, it was essential given just how vulnerable and exposed many of them are feeling just now,” he said.

A €200 million scheme, administered by Enterprise Ireland, will support larger firms involved in exporting and manufacturing while another scheme, aimed at small and medium sized businesses, will cover 40 percent of the hike in electricity or gas bills, up to a maximum of €10,000 per month per business.

The Chamber expressed some concern, however, that no commitment was given to extend the nine percent tourism and hospitality VAT rate beyond February 2023.

“We will be lobbying intensively to ensure the lower rate is continued well beyond the date mentioned by the minister as it is essential that hotels, restaurants, guesthouses, cafés and other tourism-related businesses are given the tools they require to remain competitive,” Mr Kelleher said.

“The lower VAT rate is needed to protect jobs in the industry, especially now that energy costs are soaring at an alarming rate,” he added.

The Chamber President also welcomed the Budget commitment that 1,000 new recruits will be accepted into the Garda College in Templemore and that more Garda overtime will be sanctioned to tackle anti-social behaviour.

“Given that the population in Killarney multiplies dramatically during the tourism season, I would fully expect extra human resources to be sanctioned for the town."

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Rathmore students look to the future

Students in Scoil Phobail Sliabh Luachra, Rathmore looked to the future as they explored third level opportunities. The teens took part in a number of activities to mark College Awareness […]

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Students in Scoil Phobail Sliabh Luachra, Rathmore looked to the future as they explored third level opportunities.

The teens took part in a number of activities to mark College Awareness Week which was held in schools and other education settings nationwide last week.

The focus throughout the week in their school was to highlight the wide range of options open to them when they leave school and to realise that there are pathways to suit all types of learners.

Students from First to Sixth Year took part in activities to get them thinking about their future plans.

First and Second year students completed a module on ‘My Pathways’ and Third Years had an introductory talk on options after school.

Transition Year students worked on a display on all the options and pathways available after school which will remain up permanently.

Senior Cycle students attended the Careers Fair in Munster Technological University (MTU) where they got a chance to meet universities, colleges of Further Education, agricultural colleges, apprenticeship and more education and training providers from around the country including past sudent Aidan O’Mahony at the stand with An Garda Síochána.

Leaving Cert and LCA students had a really informative talk in school on Further Education and apprenticeships from Ella O’Donoghue, Admissions Officer of Kerry College.

The week finished with a talk for Senior Cycle students on Business and Law options in UCC by Ian Wallace.

“A highlight of the week was the involvement of past students, who sent us video clips on their career stories so far and shared tips with students,” Niamh Dwyer, Guidance Counsellor at the school, said.

“It was fabulous to see how well our former students have done and it was really important for our current students to see the diversity of pathways they have taken including apprenticeships, Further Education courses, university, travel, setting up businesses and returning to education as mature students. We are really grateful to the past students who reconnected with us for this week, their input was inspiring and invaluable.”

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Students have education and fun London trip

Leaving Certificate students from St Brigid’s returned home Saturday night after a hectic four-day tour to London. The 87 girls took a tour of London on their first day in the city […]

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Leaving Certificate students from St Brigid’s returned home Saturday night after a hectic four-day tour to London.

The 87 girls took a tour of London on their first day in the city after landing. They visited some of the famous locations on the journey, such as Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament, Westminster Abbey, and Trafalgar Square. They enjoyed a night at the Lyceum Theatre in the West End watching ‘The Lion King’.

The girls went to The Natural History Museum on day two, which has one of the world’s greatest collections of historical artefacts. They took their time looking around the massive cathedral-like structure’s sculptures and frescoes. Four coloured zones that focus on topics including the environment, evolution, the planet, and wildlife make up the museum’s divisions. They then took pleasure in a trip to the fascinating Science Museum. It was the ideal location for someone with an inquisitive mind, full of amazing things to do and explore.

The Victoria and Albert Museum was the next stop on the itinerary. The V&A’s collection of art spans 5,000 years, from prehistoric periods to the modern era. The Mouse Trap, an Agatha Christie play, was the entertainment for this evening at the St Martin’s Lane Theatre. The play’s 70th anniversary was this week.

On day three, the girls boarded a capsule for a 30-minute spin of the London Eye and marvelled at the breath-taking sights of London. After that, they went to the Royal Observatory Greenwich’s Planetarium and Astronomy Centre, where they experienced an amazing adventure through space. They went to the Prime Meridian in Greenwich, planting one foot on the eastern and the other on the western hemisphere of our planet.

The girls ended their evening at what was a highlight for many at Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park.

On the final day before flying home, the girls went to Oxford Street to do a spot of shopping.

“A great trip was had by all where many memories were made,” said Sheree Murphy, one of the teachers who travelled with them on the trip.

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