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Free events at next month’s Mental Health and Well-being Fest

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A programme of free events for the 2021 Kerry Mental Health and Well-being Fest, taking place next month, has been launched with a range of activities to suit all ages.

The key focus of the #KerryMHWFest, from October 9 to 16, is to promote mental health and well-being in Kerry through a fun and interactive programme of online and in-person events.

The festival aims to create awareness of, and schedule events that empower people to engage with, the Five Ways to Well-being – Connect, Give, Take Notice, Keep Learning, and Be Active.

“The past 18 months, more than any other time in our lives, has taught us how we need to mind our mental health," Mayor of Kerry, Cllr Jimmy Moloney, who launched this year’s Kerry Mental Health and Well-being Fest, said.

"During this year’s Kerry Mental Health and Well-being Fest, I’m encouraging everyone in the county to take time out to learn, talk, reflect, and engage with others around the topic of mental health and well-being. We should also encourage anyone with mental health issues to reach out and avail of supports and services available.”

Organised by an interagency steering group, the Kerry Mental Health and Wellbeing Fest is held annually to highlight World Mental Health Day on October 10.

The Chair of the Steering Committee and Resource Officer for Suicide Prevention in Kerry, Donagh Hennebry, said the festival committee is "grateful to the many people who have put their names forward to host a range of fun and interactive events that will promote mental health and well-being in Kerry".

"The emphasis on community and the role that we can all play in ensuring our own mental health, and that of our friends and family, is strong. Many events are online again this year due to COVID, but this gives us an opportunity to widen our reach to welcome festival-goers to enjoy a virtual experience from afar.”

The organising committee is a collaboration between Connecting for Life Kerry, Healthy Kerry, Kerry County Council, the HSE, NEWKD, SKDP, Kerry Mental Health Association, Jigsaw Kerry, Munster Technological University/Kerry, and Kerry Volunteer Centre.

All events are free, registration is essential and can be done by contacting the organiser of that event directly or use the registration links provided in the brochure. Visit HealthyKerry.ie to see the full event schedule or for general enquiries about the Kerry Mental Health and Well-being Fest, please email kerrymhwfest20@gmail.com.

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Kerry base confirmed for Rás Mumhan

By Sean Moriarty Preliminary details of the Rás Mumhan have been announced by Cycling Munster. The four-day international cycle race will, once again, be based at the Riverisland Hotel in […]

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By Sean Moriarty

Preliminary details of the Rás Mumhan have been announced by Cycling Munster.

The four-day international cycle race will, once again, be based at the Riverisland Hotel in Castleisland and will run from Good Friday until Easter Monday.

The final route has not yet been revealed but it is expected to follow a similar path to the 2022 edition.

Last year, due to organisational difficulties, the Rás Mumhan committee asked local clubs to take charge of each day of the race.

Killarney Cycling Club hosted the Easter Saturday leg of the race, including managing the stage start in the town centre, the Category One mountain climb at Bealach Oisin Pass and the stage finish in Sneem.

“We are looking forward to seeing everyone at Easter and we wish all the riders the best of luck in their preparations for the event. Further details to follow as they are confirmed,” said Race Secretary Sinéad Moriarty.

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Showcasing Killarney to an influential audience

Kerry’s hospitality professionals turned out in style for the Skal President’s Dinner on Saturday night. It’s the social highlight of the year for professional tourism and travel organisations and it […]

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Kerry’s hospitality professionals turned out in style for the Skal President’s Dinner on Saturday night.

It’s the social highlight of the year for professional tourism and travel organisations and it was also a perfect opportunity to show the best of Killarney. Held in the Plaza Hotel, it was hosted by Kerry Skal President Michelle Rosney who used the occasion to highlight the best of Killarney’s performing arts talent, cuisine and locally produced drinks. There were special performances on the night by singers and dancers from St Brigid’s Presentation Secondary School and the West End House School of Arts who brought The Liberator, Daniel O’Connell, back to life for one night only to deliver a passionate dramatisation of a famous speech. Skal is the largest international hospitality networking organisation in the world with 13,000 members in 308 clubs in almost 90 countries. Fáilte Ireland Chairman Paul Carty said in his speech that the contribution Killarney has made to the Irish tourism industry should not be underestimated. He added that the tourism industry supports over 3,500 jobs in Killarney and over 7,000 in the rest of Kerry. He said the hard work put in by tourism professionals in Killarney over the years is paying off and when Fáilte Ireland surveyed hundreds of domestic and international tourists, at the height of the season last August, they couldn’t speak highly enough of their experience with 97 percent saying they were very satisfied. “The national figure is 90 percent so Killarney is actually seven percent higher than the national average and that’s truly exceptional,” he said. Over 55 percent of visitors to Killarney also spend time in other parts of Kerry and towns, like Dingle, Kenmare and Tralee, and really benefit from the spin-off.

INDUSTRY CHALLENGES

The Fáilte Ireland chairman said his organisation is acutely aware what Killarney has faced in recent years and the challenges it currently faces and every support possible will be provided to help.

Mr Carty said Fáilte Ireland last year launched a destination experience and development plan for Killarney and that will see the town reach its full potential through sustainability and the development of year-round tourist attractions.

He said costs were also a big concern with energy bills, in particular, going through the roof and putting businesses under serious pressure.

Staffing was another serious problem for the industry as so much talent was lost during the pandemic.

“An awful lot of great people left our industry and they’re not coming back, so there is a great shortage,” he said, adding that Fáilte Ireland was working hard to overcome the difficulties being experienced.

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