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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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What to look out for when viewing second hand homes

By Ted Healy of DNG TED HEALY After spending so long saving for a mortgage and filling in countless application forms, you are now ready to begin your house hunting in earnest. Set yourself a budget and have a look to see what is available in your desired locations within that budget. Viewing appointments can […]

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By Ted Healy of DNG TED HEALY

After spending so long saving for a mortgage and filling in countless application forms, you are now ready to begin your house hunting in earnest.

Set yourself a budget and have a look to see what is available in your desired locations within that budget.
Viewing appointments can be arranged via a telephone call or a simple email to the selling agent. When making the appointment make it clear that the mortgage is in place and you are ‘ready to go’.

This week we will deal with viewing second hand homes and what to look out for on that first property viewing.

When you arrive at a house, you’ll get a general feel outside of how well it’s been maintained. Arrive early and study the exterior of the property before going in, and have a glance at neighbouring properties. This will help you to get your bearings before continuing with the viewing.

If viewing an older house, a musty smell is the first red flag for signs of damp. Also be wary of the smell of fresh paint; was this done to simply freshen the property up or what is it covering up? Is paintwork bubbling or flaking?

Take note of any wall cracking; hairline cracks in walls and ceilings are generally fine, but if you can spot a crack from the other side of the room, then it’s probably big enough to be concerned about.

In older houses, take a good look at windows and roofs. Window frames can slope downward if there are poor ground conditions underneath, and the roof of the house can sag in too.

Is there room to extend? If you are lucky enough that there is have a look for external manhole covers; it gives a good indication of the drainage and pipe layout which may complicate a future extension.

Don’t be afraid to ask the nosy questions; why is the house for sale? How long has it been on the market? How long have the current owners resided there? Has the house been rented out frequently? How many times has it changed hands in the last decade? Have there been any refurbishments? Has it been rewired/replumbed? Who are the neighbours? What is included in the selling price?

It is a good idea to take photos (with the agents consent) or videos as this will help you remember the property after you have returned home.

And finally, don’t be afraid to ask for more time. Spend as much time as you think you need to and don’t hesitate to request a second viewing.

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Bus to Belfast to stay on the road

A Kerry TD has today (Monday) welcomed the news that the Bus to Belfast is to stay on the road. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae said assurances from the Department of Health that The Northern Ireland Planned Healthcare Scheme (NI PHS), which has been in effective operation since January 1 this year, will remain in place until […]

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A Kerry TD has today (Monday) welcomed the news that the Bus to Belfast is to stay on the road.

Deputy Michael Healy-Rae said assurances from the Department of Health that The Northern Ireland Planned Healthcare Scheme (NI PHS), which has been in effective operation since January 1 this year, will remain in place until a new a statutory scheme is put in place.

The Kerry deputy avails of this service for his constituents on a regular basis and said many were concerned that the scheme may come to an end due to Brexit.

“What this will mean to so many of my constituents is that they can continue to avail of this scheme for treatments for cataract removals by travelling from Kerry by bus to Belfast so that they can get treated in a timely manner and get back to living their lives in a healthy manner,” Deputy Healy-Rae said.

“I am delighted that the Government has seen the good sense to help continue this scheme and I’m delighted that the pressure of representation that I have brought to this scheme will see it continue.”

The Scheme was first introduced to mitigate the loss of access to care from private providers in Northern Ireland under the EU Cross Border Directive, which ceased to apply as a result of Brexit. However, the Government intends to place the administrative NI PHS on a statutory basis and an extensive examination of options to inform the drafting of a General Scheme is currently underway with confirmation that the administrative scheme will remain until such time that a statutory scheme is in place.

Patients also continue to have access to health services under the EU Cross Border Directive Scheme in all other remaining EU/EEA countries.

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