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Councillor calls for Killarney mortgage holders to be given a break

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By Sean Moriarty

A Killarney councillor is going to write to Finance Minister Paschal O’Donoghue calling for a moratorium on mortgages for people on long-term Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP). Niall ‘Botty’ O’Callaghan is concerned about the number of people in the Killarney area who are struggling to make ends meet as a result of being out of work due to the pandemic.

While the problem is a national one, it is greatly increased in the Killarney region given the large numbers of people usually employed in the now shutdown tourism industry.

It's been one year since Ireland entered lockdown and, apart from a few weeks in the summer and in the run up to Christmas, hospitality has not operated at all in the last 12 months.

Last September, the Killarney Chamber of Tourism and Commerce estimated that there was 3,500 people directly employed in this sector in Killarney.

This figure increases further when indirect employees like taxi, coach tour drivers and jarveys are taken into account.

Taking third party workers like food and beverage suppliers, their delivery drivers and maintenance workers into account, and the situation is even more bleak.

Banks allowed a moratorium on mortgages for the first three months of the pandemic but that counts for little today as more and more locals struggle to meet their monthly commitments and continue to provide for their families while on a PUP payment of €350 a week. That figure is reduced further for part-time workers.

Cllr O’Callaghan was prompted into action after a local mother who has not worked in nearly a year approached him in tears after she was forced to borrow a large some of money from her family to pay her mortgage.

“The Finance Minister needs to sit down with the banking institutions, cut these people some slack,” Mr O’Callaghan told the Killarney Advertiser. “It is not like the banks will never get their money. The people need a break and anybody who was paying their mortgage before the pandemic should get a break. Once they go back to work the moratorium can be lifted – the banks will know anyway as their wages are paid directly into their accounts.”

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Fossa’s marathon man competes in Vienna

By Sean Moriarty They are a familiar sight on training sessions out the Fossa way, but last weekend two Killarney marathon runners made themselves known in Vienna, Austria. Tony Harty (Fossa) and Seamus Murphy (Milltown and Glencar) train together and travel together to international marathons all over the world. On Sunday they contested the Vienna Marathon […]

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By Sean Moriarty

They are a familiar sight on training sessions out the Fossa way, but last weekend two Killarney marathon runners made themselves known in Vienna, Austria.

Tony Harty (Fossa) and Seamus Murphy (Milltown and Glencar) train together and travel together to international marathons all over the world.

On Sunday they contested the Vienna Marathon with Tony recording a personal-best time of 2hrs and 45mins. He finished second in the Over 45 category and 27th overall, while Tony completed the course in 3hrs and 3mins.

“You won’t see one of us without the other,” said Tony.

Niall Thompson of Killorglin was also competing in the event.

Tony is a member of the well-known Harty family of Waterford. His two brothers Phillip and William and sister Rebecca all raced for Ireland.

Tony took up running later than his siblings and contested his first marathon in 2015 when was 39-years-old.

Now 45 he cannot stop running and takes in at least two overseas marathons every year as well as Irish and local events.

“It is all part of the experience,” he told the Killarney Advertiser. Both he and Seamus have previously contested marathons in Barcelona, Valencia and Rotterdam and he intends to return to Spain in early December for another crack at the Valencia event.

He prepared for Sunday’s race by winning overall at the Churchtown 5-mile race in Cork last month and the Antrim Half-Marathon a few weeks ago.

“Vienna was very hot, up to 26 degrees, and lots of people were suffering,” he added. “Vienna was supposed to run in April but it got deferred. We prefer running in cooler conditions. Valencia will be around 10 degrees in December which is ideal.”

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Jordan’s new role with St Paul’s

By Sean Moriarty Killarney’s Paralympic hero Jordan Lee is to take on a new role with Scott’s Lakers St Paul’s Killarney Basketball Club. Jordan began his sporting career with the local basketball club where he created history by becoming the first amputee athlete to represent their country at international level. The High Jumper then switched […]

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By Sean Moriarty

Killarney’s Paralympic hero Jordan Lee is to take on a new role with Scott’s Lakers St Paul’s Killarney Basketball Club.

Jordan began his sporting career with the local basketball club where he created history by becoming the first amputee athlete to represent their country at international level.

The High Jumper then switched to track and field and qualified for the Tokyo Paralympics where he made history by becoming the first Kerry athlete to act as a flag bearer for an opening ceremony and lead an Irish team into an Olympic Stadium.

Now back home and preparing for the next Olympics in Paris, he has returned to his first love and will join the backroom staff at the local Division One basketball club ahead of their National League campaign which begins next month.

His father Jarlath Lee is head coach with St Paul’s.

“Jordan is joining us as our strength and conditioning coach,” Jarlath told the Killarney Advertiser.

INTERNATIONALS

Meanwhile, Scott’s Lakers St Paul’s Killarney Basketball Club National League team will have a distinctive feel to it this year after securing the services of three overseas players it for the season ahead.

The club’s biggest signing is Canadian professional Ben Miller. It was originally hoped that the former two-time Manitoba Player of the Year would play for the local side last season but the pandemic got in the way and the National League was never played. However, he did play two training games this time last year before returning to Canada until travel restrictions lifted.

“He is a good guy, very approachable and very good with the young members,” Jarlath said.

The club has also signed Bulgarian International Emilian Grudov.

The 20-year-old has already represented his home country at U16, 18 and 20 level.

“He is young, athletic and very good offensively,” added Lee.

The returning Lithuanian Dianius Varanaukus completes the club international line up for the 2020/21 season.

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