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End of 15-month nightmare in sight – Vintners

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The Vintners’ Federation of Ireland (VFI) has welcomed the announcement that pubs can reopen indoors from the first week of July but is urging the Government to bring forward the opening date by just four days to allow their members trade for an extra weekend.

In advance of opening indoors, the VFI is also calling for the removal of the 105-minute time limit from the guidelines as, by the end of June, over 70% of the population will have been offered a vaccine, which is a higher vaccination rate than Northern Ireland achieved when it opened pubs indoors.

“This announcement is hugely significant as it provides certainty to our members and the 50,000 staff employed in the trade about when they can reopen indoors. The end of our trade’s 15-month nightmare is now in sight,” VFI Chief Executive, Padraig Cribben, said.

“It’s important to remember that our members closed their businesses on March 15, 2020 and have remained mostly shut ever since. It has been a catastrophic time for the trade and I would like to pay tribute to all the publicans, their families and staff who have battled through such an unprecedented storm.

“Reopening in time for the traditional summer season is a big boost to the trade who can now plan with confidence for a busy July and August. However, there are only nine weekends in that short season so to remove one of those crucial weekends by reopening on a Monday is a blow the Government can avoid by simply moving the date forward by four days to July 1. It would be a small concession with a big impact.

“In less than two weeks, pubs will reopen outdoors followed four weeks later by a return indoors. In that time we expect the Government will revise the 105-minute time limit for indoors. As the vast majority of the population will be vaccinated by early July the rule will is longer be required.

“In many ways, the announcement of a reopening date is only the beginning of the end of the crisis for the pub trade as we face an uncertain future where rebuilding consumer confidence and working within social distancing guidelines will be tough challenges. Supports will continue to play a vital role and we look forward to the announcement of further measures for the trade next week.

“One thing is certain, this has to be the last lockdown. The pub trade can never again be shut down in such a manner. The negative consequences of the past 15-months will take years to recover from, even allowing for the resilience of the trade,” says Mr Cribben.

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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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