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Frustrated business owners take to the streets in protest

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By Sean Moriarty

Over 50 town centre businesses - angered at the Government's indecision and continued delays over the reopening of indoor dining - staged a protest outside the Town Hall yesterday morning (Thursday).

Many feel their livelihoods and businesses are at risk as a result of the constant changing of dates - which has been pushed back until at least July 19.

It was initially hoped that restaurants and bars would be allowed reopen this coming Monday - but that could even be further delayed until after the August Bank Holiday weekend.

They were angered that hotels can serve meals indoors to residents, that their businesses and livelihoods are at risk and that Ireland is one of only two European countries that does not allow indoor dining.

The protest, which was a show of strength, was organised by Denis Murphy of Murphy-Brownes on High St. He said that it is Chief Medical Officer Tony Holohan who is running the country and not the Government.

“The goalposts being constantly changed by "Taoiseach Tony" cannot be tolerated. We are out here today fighting for our livelihoods. I don’t begrudge any sector or business which has been allowed to open. We simply want a level playing field. It just feels like a long time ago since I’ve heard "we’re in this together", it’s just so frustrating,” he told the Killarney Advertiser.

His business partner Deirdre Browne added “It is unbelievable that hotels are open for a month".

"We waited patiently only to be told, just a few days ago, that we can’t open. There is a lack of planning by the Government; we are losing stock, we are losing staff.”

The protest was also attended by allied trades, like food and beverage wholesalers and suppliers to the industry.

“Hotels can operate but we can’t, this does not make sense,” said Seamus O’Connell of Malarkey Restaurant on New St. “Civil Servants come and inspect my premises every year so there is no reason why they can't do the same in these times.”

PUBLICANS

Publicans are also angered by the decision as it was anticipated that indoor drinking would be allowed from Monday.

Jerome Corkery, who owns, but currently leases, Corkery’s Sports Bar on High St said that the current situation is leading to increased anti-social behaviour on the streets.

“You would have far less problems with street drinking. It would solve a lot of the Gardai’s problems, the majority of the trouble is because of off-licence drinking,” he told the Killarney Advertiser.

Mark Treyvaud of Treyvaud’s Restaurant is also tired of the Government.

“The Government is spineless, they don’t stand up for the ordinary people,” he told the Killarney Advertiser. “I have a family to provide for – it is as simple as that.”

Killarney Chamber issued a statement following the protest and plan to lobby Government officials in an effort to secure business supports into 2022.

“Killarney Chamber fully endorses the call for all businesses in the town to pull together and show support for those that have been left behind following the implementation of the latest public health policies,” said the statement.

“We fully appreciate and understand the enormous sense of disappointment experienced by those involved in the hospitality industry following the decision to defer the planned reopening of restaurants and public houses for indoor dining.

“It is having a devastating impact on their businesses, on their staff and on their families and the consequences for the economy and for those seeking meaningful employment opportunities are of great concern.”

Several politicians attended including TD Danny Healy-Rae, Cllrs Maura Healy-Rae, Niall Kelleher, Donal Grady and Mayor Marie Moloney.

“Many of these businesses have being paying rent throughout the pandemic and they can’t sustain it,” said Mayor Moloney. “This will break a lot of businesses.”

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ANNOYED: Robertro Taddei Sandroo Taddei Paola Taddei Dovile Velykiene and Leah McDonnell are annoyed with the Government’s decision to postpone indoor dining. Photo: Grigoriy Geniyevskiy

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PROTEST: Clyde McDonnell Tim Hickey Paudie Spillane and Seamus O’Connell say they are not happy with the Government’s latest decision to delay indoor dining. Photo: Grigoriy Geniyevskiy

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Killarney centre stage for Pride Festival

The award-winning Kingdom Pride in Kerry festival is back next week and Killarney will take centre stage. Kingdom Pride will be celebrated in towns all across the county from July […]

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The award-winning Kingdom Pride in Kerry festival is back next week and Killarney will take centre stage.

Kingdom Pride will be celebrated in towns all across the county from July 17 to 21.

The organisation’s flagship Party in the Park event will be held again in Killarney House and Gardens, following the Pride march in the town centre on July 20.

This year, in solidarity with the people of Palestine, Kingdom Pride in Kerry is inviting the people of Kerry to come to show their unity by bringing Palestinian flags and kites to the march, and to the Party in the Park.

“Pride is a protest for human rights all over the world. Here in the Kingdom, we have been so lucky to receive tremendous community support from our allies and supporters, and we see the struggle for liberation of all peoples as a united cause,” said Daniel Quirke, chairperson of the organising committee.

“Our events have always welcomed everyone, regardless of gender, orientation, religion, or nationality. We truly believe that together we can create positive change through caring for and loving one another. This year is no exception, and we look forward to helping to highlight the Palestinian cause, and to bringing people together to keep generating positive change for all people.”

Events will take place in Cahersiveen, Listowel, Killorglin, Tralee and Dingle, and include an Irish comedy night with Áine Gallagher, an Irish-language movie screening, yoga, sea swimming, poetry and storytelling, bowling, pitch and putt, a lively drag night at the INEC, and plenty more for people of all ages.

“We do our best to keep tickets as low-cost as possible, and we have lots of events that are totally free to attend. It is important to us that people can share Pride with us, regardless of income. Especially with the rise of the cost of living putting a strain on people’s pockets.” added the chairperson.

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A weekend of Live Music, Fun and Entertainment, at FleskFest 2024

The organisers of the annual FleskFest have “a tremendous line-up, with a weekend full of entertainment to suit all” for the July 18 to 20 event. “It promises to be […]

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The organisers of the annual FleskFest have “a tremendous line-up, with a weekend full of entertainment to suit all” for the July 18 to 20 event.

“It promises to be the festival weekend of the summer, an event you don’t want to miss out on. Last year’s Festival was a fantastic memorable experience for our community, a time to get together and celebrate,” said festival PRO Seán Daly.

Organised by Glenflesk GAA, FleskFest 24 will take place at the Barraduff Community Field next week.
There will be a fully licensed bar in the Fest Marquee, some amazing live music on The Big Stage, food trucks and much more.
Glenflesk GAA club’s biggest fundraiser of the year includes a new-for-2024 Texas Holdem Poker Tournament on Thursday night.
Weekend highlights include old-time waltzing, jiving and polka sets with Paudie McAuliffe and Paudie Coffey Band on Friday,
On Saturday, the new Well Flesk event will take place.
“A morning of self-care and wellness at Flesk Fest featuring masterclasses in yoga, pilates, mindfulness, spinning, fitness sessions, workouts, firewood sauna and ice pods with a range of experienced and qualified instructors,” added Daly.
Leading local musician Johnny Courtney and Friends, Sam and Ina, The O’Donoghue Sisters, Reigning All Ireland Champions Glenflesk Ballad Group, and The Border Boys will take to the Big Stage over the weekend.
Sunday is Family Fun Day with children’s entertainment and disco and the All-Ireland Hurling Final Live on the Big screen followed by music with Thingamajig.
The festival will finish with a Sunday evening session with the Meadhbh Walsh Band.

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