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Fassbender’s motor racing dream comes true

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Fossa’s Michael Fassbender says his appearance at this weekend’s 24 Hours of Le Mans is a “dream come true,”

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The world’s greatest endurance gets underway at 3pm (Irish time) on Saturday.

The 24 Hours of Le Mans is celebrating its 90th anniversary this year.

The anniversary race will again take place in front of full grandstands for the first time in two years.
Fassbender is driving for the Proton Competition team and will share a Porsche 911 RSR with Matt Campbell (Australia) and Zach Robichon (Canada) in the legendary twice-around the clock race.

“With the start in Le Mans, my dream as a racing driver has come true. That's what I've been working towards for the last few years. I'm happy to have such an experienced team and such strong teammates at my side in this legendary race,” said Fassbender.

The event on the 13.626-kilometre Circuit des 24 Heures at Le Mans is extremely popular with motor racing fans and marks the highlight of the FIA World Endurance Championship. The storied circuit south of the city with its 150,000 inhabitants consists mainly of public roads. Normally, hundreds of trucks and cars drive over the legendary Mulsanne straight every day on their way from Le Mans to Tours.

After extensive restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic, the 90th edition of the Le Mans 24- hour race will be contested in front of a large crowd. Up to 250,000 fans are expected at La Sarthe.

For the first time since 2019, spectators will once again be treated to special events such the public technical scrutineering, the drivers’ parade and the pit-lane tour with concerts and other highlights.

Sunday was reserved for the so-called pre-tests on the Circuit des 24 Heures – the only chance for teams and drivers to familiarise themselves with the special characteristics of the circuit before the race week kicks off.

The long-distance classic, which was held for the first time in 1923, can look back on an eventful history full of triumphs and tragedies. The best racing drivers have immortalized themselves in the list of winners of the most famous long-distance race in the world.

As a debutante at the French long-distance classic, like all rookies, Fassbender first had to fulfill certain prerequisites before heading out for his first real drive on the legendary racetrack. For first-timers, the rules require a simulator test. Here, drivers must familiarise themselves with how to behave during safety car phases, slow zones, and other safety measures, which at times differ significantly on the 13.626-kilometre Circuit des 24 Heures compared to other racetracks.

Michael Fassbender has documented his personal “Road to Le Mans” journey in his own YouTube series: www.porsche.com/RoadToLeMans.

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Killarney hotels are still open for business

By Sean Moriarty Only a few of the town’s 37 hotels are homing displaced people – according to Bernadette Randles, chair of the Kerry branch of the Irish Hotel Federation. […]

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By Sean Moriarty

Only a few of the town’s 37 hotels are homing displaced people – according to Bernadette Randles, chair of the Kerry branch of the Irish Hotel Federation.

This week she said that there’s still accommodation to be found in Killarney for visitors.

She was speaking in relation to the current accommodation situation facing International Protection Applicants and Ukrainian war refugees.

She explained that there is a perception that Killarney has taken in too many refugees and that it is putting the tourism industry at risk as people are starting to think that the town is at full capacity.

“If you can’t get a room in Killarney there is something wrong,” she said. “Maybe with the exception of New Year’s Eve.”

She added that hotels that are providing emergency accommodation are helping off-season unemployment.

Many hotels remain in survival mode after two years of pandemic turmoil and the additional off season business is important, she explained.

“Many could be closed at this time of the year, others would not be operating at full capacity,” she added.

However, she warned the Government needs to put a plan in place before the tourism season starts next year. Some hotels offering emergency accommodation either have a three or six month contract.

“I can see there will be tears next April – the Government must have a long-term plan,” she said.

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Homing refugees worth almost €14m

By Sean Moriarty Hotels, B&Bs and other accommodation suppliers in the Killarney area have secured contracts in excess of €13 million to accommodate Ukraine war refugees. The Department of Children, […]

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By Sean Moriarty

Hotels, B&Bs and other accommodation suppliers in the Killarney area have secured contracts in excess of €13 million to accommodate Ukraine war refugees.

The Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth released figures to the Killarney Advertiser.

Documents show that contracts totalling €13,852,255.00 are being shared between 13 premises in the Killarney urban area.

However, the department warned these figures are “indicative” only and the full value of the contracts depends on “occupancy and actual usage”.

The Eviston Hotel has secured a contract worth €5,727,590.00, the Innisfallen Hotel in Fossa for €2,404,620.00 and The Hotel Killarney signed a deal worth €1,701,000.00. These are the three biggest contracts published in the documentation.

This is only the tip of the iceberg, and Department officials say more contracts could come on stream. Figures seen by the Killarney Advertiser only cover contracted premises up to the end of September this year and updated figures are only released every three months.

“We are in contract with far more, but the formal exchange of contracts can take place sometime after the service commences,” a department spokesperson told the Killarney Advertiser.

“The Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth is obliged to publish a list of contracts formally signed off each quarter that have been awarded under a special EU Derogation that permits the Department to enter into contracts in the context of the Ukraine accommodation crisis without going to formal tender.

“The values of the contracts shown are estimates; the actual value materialises upon occupancy and actual usage. Standard contracts have no-fault break clauses available to both parties so again, the figures are indicative rather than actual.”

These figures only cover Ukrainian refugees fleeing the war and do not include International Protection Applicants.

The Department refused to release International Protection Applicant figures to the Killarney Advertiser.

“The International Protection Applicant accommodation contract information is commercially sensitive information and is not available,” added the Department spokesperson.

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