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Businesses devastated at Level 3 announcement

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DISAPPOINTED: John C O'Shea, pictured with his mother Joan and Seamus 'Sham' Courtney, is disappointed with the Level 3 restrictions. Photo: Michelle Crean

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By Michelle Crean

 

Multiple Killarney businesses say they are devastated this week to close their doors just weeks after reopening to the public.

Monday night's Government announcement that the country had to move into Level 3 restrictions to try to bring the COVID virus numbers down might just be the final straw for some businesses who are already struggling after a difficult lockdown.

Many local hotels, pubs and restaurants had no choice but to either close or switch to a take away service with some having the difficult choice of putting staff back on the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) as they navigate the next three weeks uncertain that they will be allowed to reopen if COVID cases aren't brought under control.

Jack C's on High Street only reopened its doors two weeks ago. After making many safety changes to ensure social distancing could be properly adhered to, owner John C had to offer his regular customers their drinks outdoors.

However, he is lucky to have access to a laneway where a limited amount of customers can enjoy a drink.

"We were open two weeks and two days," John C O'Shea from Jack C's said.

"We didn't know it was coming."

He said that it is disheartening to once again to be in such a situation.

"It's a bit sad around the streets and all the hotels are gone."

He said they waited all summer to reopen but couldn't because of the Government's regulations.

"We've been ready to reopen our doors all summer but because of the idiotic €9 substantial meal rules we couldn't. We have the laneway and the awnings have been up for two to three years. We have a wind breaker as well to cut the wind. 15 is all we can accommodate."

For Emer Corridan, General Manager in the Cahernane House Hotel, who shut their doors this week, she said it's another blow to businesses.

"We are just devastated. We closed the hotel Wednesday morning after breakfast so for Cahernane this means going from having enough level of business to keep 35 staff employed each week to only having a skeleton staff at the hotel for security. I hope there are measures in the budget to help both the business and also staff who have suffered another layoff."

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Students awarded for their contribution to school life

By Michelle Crean Students were honoured for their contribution to school life this week during a special end of year awards ceremony. Held in the school gym on Wednesday afternoon, […]

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By Michelle Crean

Students were honoured for their contribution to school life this week during a special end of year awards ceremony.

Held in the school gym on Wednesday afternoon, the students from St Brigid’s Presentation were presented with a variety of awards from sport to science, music and visual art while Sixth Year student Saoirse Coffey received the Orla Benson Award.

“During this school year, our students have showcased their brilliance and extensive talents,” teacher Adrienne Brosnan, said.

“We are all so proud of these outstanding achievements across all aspects of school life. Awards day is a truly special occasion for all members of the St Brigid’s community and one which we relish the opportunity to celebrate. It is a time of anticipation, a time of excitement and a time of great joy. The awards that are presented are a testament to that dedication and we also acknowledge all the great work that is done by the teachers here in St Brigid’s.”

Sixth Year students also said their final goodbyes ahead of their State exams next month.

“We wish them the best of luck as they spread their wings and leave the shelter of St Brigid’s for the beginning of a new adventure.”

AWARD WINNERS

Other awards winners were:

Anna Dunlea received the Contribution to Graphics award while Leah Vinluan got the Design and Communication Graphics award.

Clodagh O’Connor and Sarah O’Sullivan both received the Contribution to Visual Art award.

Abbie Finan was awarded Soccer: Player of the Year, Chloe Hue Senior Football: Player of the Year, Emily Buckley 1st Year Football: Player of the Year, Abbey Cronin 2nd Year Football: Player of the Year, and Andrea Murphy Junior Football; Player of the Year, Senior Basketball: Most Valued Player went to Tara Donnellan, the Minor Basketball: Most Valued Player was given to Ciara O’Sullivan and the Cadette Basketball: Most Valued Player went to Leah McMahon.

Kara Huggard earned herself the LCA Student of the Year, Sarah McGrath received the CEIST Award, Excellence in Science was awarded to Emma Myers and Jennie O’Mahony, while Rita Akhter received the Overall Contribution to STEM.

Bríd O’Connor who wrote the book Spark presented Saoirse O’Sullivan with the Outstanding Achievements in Music award.

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Businesses face closure due to staff shortages

Hospitality sector businesses might have to close a few days a week to off-set staff shortages. Fáilte Ireland last week launched a recruitment drive to attract part-time workers into hospitality […]

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Hospitality sector businesses might have to close a few days a week to off-set staff shortages.

Fáilte Ireland last week launched a recruitment drive to attract part-time workers into hospitality and tourism roles, where it is estimated that there is as much as a 40,000 shortage in such roles for the peak summer season.

Damien McCarthy of HR Consultancy firm HR Buddy, founded in Killarney but now based in the RDI Hub in Killorglin, said that workers are losing out due to a more cashless society.

“Hospitality businesses may have to consider shutting their doors or decreasing their operational hours during the peak summer season as many businesses such as bars, restaurants, cafes, B&Bs and hotels are struggling to find staff for the demand. The industry is suffering over these few current weeks in particular as many part-time student workers are not available due to college and Leaving Cert exams. This shows how dependant the industry has become on young student workers,” he said.

“Many service industry workers choose part-time or casual work in hospitality roles because of the tip bonus, but this has even been impacted negatively now as most tips are taxed because they are coming in electronically. The worker is losing out and this key attraction tool that existed when we were a more cash orientated society in pre-pandemic times, is now gone.”

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