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Councillor says “stay away” as Airbnb continues to take bookings

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By Sean Moriarty

One of the greatest supporters of tourism in Killarney has given a stark warning to people who might be considering visiting the town over the Easter weekend in the midst of the current crisis.

Cllr Donal Grady is telling people to “stay the hell away”, and has raised concerns after reports online booking agency Airbnb is still offering vacancies in the Killarney area.

The independent councillor has always been very welcoming to tourists in the town and has worked behind the scenes to promote the town locally and internationally.

His change of attitude is driven by concerns that visitors to the town will spread the virus and that the people of Killarney need to be protected.

“The second this is over we welcome you all with open arms but for now stay the hell away and stop the cross-infection of this awful thing," he told the Killarney Advertiser. "People are fighting for their lives.”

Operators of Airbnb services in Killarney are flouting current COVID-19-imposed restrictions according to Grady who is fielding four and five calls a day from concerned residents who believe the online booking service, which offers rooms in private houses and apartments, is as busy as ever in the town.

An investigation by the Killarney Advertiser revealed that there are over 20 Killarney-based properties promoting availability in the town over the Easter weekend.

Prices range from €50 to €127 per night for a booking commencing on Good Friday and ending on Easter Monday at a time when all hotels in the locality have been forced to close in order to stop the spread of the virus.

The booking website does advise to check with individual properties before travelling and to obey HSE travel guidelines.

“They are inviting the virus into town. We must shut them down,” Grady told the Killarney Advertiser. “On Wednesday of this week the Glebe Car park was full of cars – 90 percent of them had out of county registrations.”

Grady also called for the airports to be shut down except for essential services like food and medical distribution or getting Irish people home from other countries.

“What is stopping people coming from England and going to their holiday homes all over Kerry for the Easter break?” he added.

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Ian makes his debut as a radio presenter

By Sean Moriarty Ian O’Connell said he is delighted with the messages of support following his first broadcast as a presenter on Radio Kerry this week. The well-known and popular Killarney man was left with life-changing injuries after falling from his bike in Killarney National Park in 2017. Since the accident he has been a […]

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By Sean Moriarty

Ian O’Connell said he is delighted with the messages of support following his first broadcast as a presenter on Radio Kerry this week.

The well-known and popular Killarney man was left with life-changing injuries after falling from his bike in Killarney National Park in 2017.

Since the accident he has been a champion for the less fortunate under his mantra: “If you can’t stand up – standout”.

This was the inspiration behind his brand new radio show which aired for the first time on Wednesday evening.

‘Stand Out with Ian O’Connell’ will feature interviews with people who have overcome great adversary to reach even greater heights.

His first guest was fellow Killarney man Jordan Lee. The Paralympian represented Ireland in the Tokyo Olympics this summer.

“I was used to being in the studio from people interviewing me, but this time I turned the table,” he told the Killarney Advertiser.

“It was great to have Jordan on, two Killarney men! I really enjoyed it, it got a massive reaction and I got loads of emails and messages afterwards and into Thursday morning.”

Ian will reveal his guest for the show on the previous Monday through various social media channels.

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Sinead is queen of the court

By Con Dennehy With a mix of excitement, drama and impressive solo performances on offer, the Spa/Killarney Handball Tournament on Monday night showcased the best of upcoming talent in the sport. Competitions for Beginners and Advanced players at the magnificent Spa GAA facility has ensured the long term success of the sport in the greater […]

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By Con Dennehy

With a mix of excitement, drama and impressive solo performances on offer, the Spa/Killarney Handball Tournament on Monday night showcased the best of upcoming talent in the sport.

Competitions for Beginners and Advanced players at the magnificent Spa GAA facility has ensured the long term success of the sport in the greater Killarney region.

One of the most impressive performances on the night was in the Beginners Category where local star Sinead Moriarty secured a number of electrifying victories to win the overall title.

“This was a very competitive competition. In the opening games Neill Horgan was defeated by Rosin King from Glenbeigh 13-15 with Sinead Moriarty getting the better of exchanges with Bríd Horgan (Spa) 15-8. In the other game Niamh Faulds from Glenflesk lost to Elena O’Donoghue (Spa) 15-10 despite a very brave effort from Niamh,” said Eoin O’Donoghue, secretary of Spa Killarney Handball Club.

In the semi-finals Sheila Kelliher lost to Elena O’Donoghue (Spa) 15-11 with Sinead Moriarty defeating Rosin King 15-12.

“In a pulsating final Sinead saw off the dogged challenge of Elena O’Donoghue 15-11. While Sinead dominated this game, she looked in control and played a brilliant tournament throughout and was a deserving overall winner.”

In the Advanced category there were wins for Evan Enright and Eoin O’Donoghue in the opening games.

In the quarter finals Even Enright saw off the challenge of Brendan O’Donoghue 15-8 while Eoghan Daly defeated Eoin O’Donoghue 15-11, Aoife Walsh (Currow) defeated Maggie Quirke (Glenbeigh) 15-7 and Brian McEvoy beat Michael Clifford 15-6.

Semi-final success for Evan Enright and Eoghan Daly saw them battle it out in a pulsating final with Daly taking the title on a 15-12 scoreline.

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