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FBD insurance ruling makes little difference to Killarney pubs

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By Sean Moriarty

 

Last week’s High Court decision to award four publicans business interruption compensation from their insurer FBD due to the COVID-19 pandemic won’t have much of an effect on local bars.

Only one thousand pubs are insured nationwide with FBD and the court has yet to make a decision on the level of compensation to be paid out.

Killarney publican John O’Shea of Jack C’s on High St has been the voice of several Killarney publicans since the start of the pandemic.

His business, and many more smaller pubs, did not have business interruption insurance. Jack C’s and every other ‘wet pub’ in the country have been closed since last March with the exception of a few summer weeks when they could serve outside or alongside the purchase of a substantial meal.

“I am delighted for the pubs that challenged this ruling and it should never have gone this far as they had a clear case,” John C told the Killarney Advertiser. “There is this false perception that pubs are receiving a lot of money from the Government to stay closed and that this FBD ruling is another money spinner for us.
“Leo Varadkar had the cheek on the radio last week to welcome this news as something good for small businesses – he forgot that he was the one to pass the law to close small businesses in the first place.”

The full details of the court’s 214-page decision still needs to be analysed before a final decision on the amount of compensation insured publicans are entitled to.

Publicans whose insurance policies have been renewed since the start of the pandemic will only get compensated for the weeks or months prior to the renewal date.

Niall ‘Botty’ O’Callaghan and his family run The Fáilte Hotel on College St. His business insurance is up for renewal in early May so he will get compensated for business interruption in March and April last year but the terms of his current insurance do not allow for future pandemics.

“The FBD ruling is great news for bars insured with FBD but it is still up in the air,” he told the Killarney Advertiser. “We have to wait two or three weeks to see the published bill of quantities.”

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BIG CELEBRATION

Well-known Killarney man, Donncha Crowley, who lives in Woodlawn Park, was joined by his friends and staff from Centra, Muckross Road, to help him celebrate his very special 50th birthday on Saturday. Donncha is a keen cyclist, and well-known for his mastership of Suduko, and expertise on puzzles and general knowledge quizzes, winning many competitions […]

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Well-known Killarney man, Donncha Crowley, who lives in Woodlawn Park, was joined by his friends and staff from Centra, Muckross Road, to help him celebrate his very special 50th birthday on Saturday. Donncha is a keen cyclist, and well-known for his mastership of Suduko, and expertise on puzzles and general knowledge quizzes, winning many competitions down through the years. Photo: Valerie O’Sullivan

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Musician Liam O’Connor back and busier than ever

By Sean Moriarty Local musician Liam O’Connor has gone from zero to hero following the lifting on the ban on live music as a result of pandemic restrictions. On Saturday he played his first gig in over 18 months, next Friday he will release a new single, and before that he will play a special gig […]

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By Sean Moriarty

Local musician Liam O’Connor has gone from zero to hero following the lifting on the ban on live music as a result of pandemic restrictions.

On Saturday he played his first gig in over 18 months, next Friday he will release a new single, and before that he will play a special gig in London.

Liam and his family played at the Kerry County Council organised ‘ANSEO’ concert in North Kerry that was run to coincide with the Listowel Harvest Festival last weekend.

It was his first live show since he played at St Brendan’s College, Killarney when he shared the stage with special guest, former Irish rugby coach, Joe Schmidt. That event took place on March 11, 2020, the night before the country entered its first COVID-19 lockdown.

The ‘ANSEO’ series of concerts signalled the return of live music in Kerry and the O’Connor family shared the stage with other local musicians like Tim O’Shea and his Afro Trad Ireland group.

“People were delighted, they were mad for it, they were obviously missing it,” Liam told the Killarney Advertiser. “But they are not letting go just yet, they are still a bit hesitant.”

This Sunday Liam heads to London were he will help Dan Tim O’Sullivan steer sheep over Southwark Bridge (see page 36 for more on this story).

To cap an exceptionally busy period for the local accordion player, he has joined forces with Moya Brennan of Clannad fame. Brennan and O’Connor will release a new single – ‘Strong in Numbers’ on Friday next, October 1.

They previously performed together at a concert in the Friary in 2017.

“It was such a positive experience for all of us we just had to repeat it,” he added. “So not only have we done this recording of ‘Strong in Numbers’ but we are planning to do the Friary again later this year. After that, I wouldn’t rule anything out.”

Meanwhile, the ‘ANSEO’ series visits Killarney on Sunday night.

The Fair Hill car park will host two shows featuring: The Gleneagle Concert Band; Pauline Scanlon with Mick Galvin; The Small Hours; The Rising; Cathal Flaherty and Truly Diverse.

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