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Fáilte Ireland offers €3m lifeline to hotels affected by COVID-19

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By Sean Moriarty

Fáilte Ireland will cut some of its annual charges to members to help offset some of the financial burdens caused by COVID-19 restrictions.
The hotel and hospitality industry was one of the first to take a hit when Taoiseach Leo Varadkar closed all pubs on March 15.

Hotels and bars in Killarney were forced to close their doors and lay-off thousands of staff.

Tourism in Kerry directly employs almost 16,000 people and it contributes over €600 million to the local economy. The Kerry IHF branch has over one hundred hotels and guesthouses as members.

Each job in the sector is responsible for half of another job in associated trades like the food supply chain and taxis.

A conservative estimate suggests that over 25,000 people in Kerry are affected by the tourism industry shutdown alone and this figure does not include third-party trades like garages who would supply repairs and fuel to the car hire industry.

Fáilte Ireland has triggered a number of initiatives that will deliver almost €3 million back to Irish tourism businesses.
These include refunds of accommodation registration charges and trade show participation fees, as well as the abolition of a range of other promotional fees and charges for the remainder of 2020.

The tourism body is working closely with hotels to ensure staff are getting the correct welfare payments and that employers are aware of a range of Revenue schemes put in place to help them survive the current crisis and be ready for reopening.

Fáilte Ireland is also working on a host of health and well-being projects and is launching educational and training material for hotel management and staff.

“I appreciate that as businesses are closed, there will be very little, if any work for many employees. With this in mind, we will be developing and publishing a range of employee training and engagement resources to help employers and employees make positive use of time during this difficult period,” Paul Kelly, CEO of Fáilte Ireland, said.

“It is also very important that we look after our physical and mental well-being at this time. You will also find some new guidelines in the HR Risk section of our online support hub on how to engage with your employees during this time to support their well-being. We are here to help so if there is an area of support you think the tourism industry urgently needs, please don't hesitate to contact the Business Supports team.”

Fáilte Ireland’s Business Supports team can be contacted by email on business.supports@failteireland.ie or call our support desk on Lo Call 1800-242 473, Monday – Friday 9am–5pm.

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NPWS survey to find out impact of fires

By Michelle Crean The National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) has commissioned a comprehensive survey on the impact of fires over the past four decades – in particular Killarney National Park in April. The tender, worth €300,000, and named ‘Study on the Impact of Fires On The Biodiversity of Killarney National Park’, seeks to find […]

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By Michelle Crean

The National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) has commissioned a comprehensive survey on the impact of fires over the past four decades – in particular Killarney National Park in April.

The tender, worth €300,000, and named ‘Study on the Impact of Fires On The Biodiversity of Killarney National Park’, seeks to find out the biological impacts of the fires in the 26,000 acre park.

The fires in April burned from Friday night on April 23 until around 12pm the following Monday when they were finally brought under control.

Parts of the Park were scorched resulting in flora and fauna being wiped out. Some fires came as close as 10 metres to a church and school in the Black Valley area.

Fires raged near Tomies Wood and fire crews from five different districts quenched fires near the properties under threat. A real threat was for The Oak Woods but fire fighters managed to avert danger.

The fire is believed to have begun on the Kenmare Road area escalated by the strong winds.

“The purpose of this tender is to commission a comprehensive survey of the impacts, and the chrono-sequence of fire recovery or otherwise, on lands burned over the past four decades, as well as surveys in unburned areas, in order to assess the biological impacts of the fires, in particular the fire of April 2021, on the biodiversity of Killarney National Park,” an NPWS spokesperson told the Killarney Advertiser.

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Killarney spin will bring comfort to patients

By Michelle Crean Ahead of this year’s ladies only 54321 Challenge a number of spinathons are taking place, including in Killarney town. Sunday, August 15 a group of 10 ladies plan a spinathon day in Killarney ahead of their four day epic adventure from Thursday, August 19 to Sunday 22. This year due to COVID […]

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By Michelle Crean

Ahead of this year’s ladies only 54321 Challenge a number of spinathons are taking place, including in Killarney town.

Sunday, August 15 a group of 10 ladies plan a spinathon day in Killarney ahead of their four day epic adventure from Thursday, August 19 to Sunday 22.

This year due to COVID restrictions the 54321 team will run with two teams of five people, all female – who are raising funds for one single charity – Comfort for Chemo Kerry.

Their four day challenge will include a cycle the Ring of Kerry on day one (Thursday 19), a climb up Carrantuohil on day two (Friday 20), a cycle from Killarney to the foot of Cnoc Na Tobair and then climb Cnoc Na Tobair on day three (Saturday 21) finishing off with a cycle of the Skellig Ring on day four (Sunday 22).

In advance of the ninth annual challenge they will first participate in the spinathons at various locations to help raise much needed funds for this year’s chosen charity.

The first of the spinathons will take place on Saturday, July 31 in Listowel, Killorglin, Dingle, Cahersiveen. On the day volunteers will take to the spinning bikes from 10am to 5pm in different locations around these towns.
This will be followed by Killarney on Sunday, August 15, and Tralee on Saturday, August 28.

When choosing this year’s charity, organisers contacted a past participant and a dear friend, Mairead Dunphy from Glencar who is currently on her own journey with cancer.

“We wanted to show our support to Mairead and knowing that she would like to support those who have supported her on her journey so far, she had already being looking at ideas to raise much needed funds for Comfort for Chemo Kerry,” TJ O’Connor said.

“Please support Comfort for Chemo Kerry by giving what you can.”

For more information about the spinathons go to www.54321challenge.org or the Comfort for Chemo Kerry Facebook page for online donation information.

There’s also a GoFundMe page: ‘Comfort for Chemo Kerry – 54321 Challenge 2021’ which has a €20,000 target set up.

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