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Fuel crisis another “sucker punch” for coach tour industry




By Sean Moriarty

Killarney-based coach tour and school bus operators say they are on their knees as a result of escalating fuel prices.

After two years of shutdowns as a result of the pandemic, the sector faces a new challenge as fuel prices hit record highs following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Many local operators honoured pre-pandemic bookings but they were priced at 2019 costs.

School operators are also feeling the pinch with the Coach Tourism and Transport Council of Ireland threatening to pull school bus runs unless there is something done to cap the price of diesel.

O’Callaghan Coaches are one such local operator. The family run firm has described the fuel crisis as a “sucker punch” after two years of being parked up as a result of COVID-19 restrictions.

The company also services several Killarney schools under a very competitive tender and contract scheme where there is very little margin for shock price increases in any part of the business.

“We are being crucified, we are on our knees,” Phillip O’Callaghan told the Killarney Advertiser. “The school situation is not a threat – it simply will not be possible for operators to keep buses on the road.”

Some large scale operators in the Killarney area are struggling to get supplies to their fuel tanks in their depots and are resorting to filling buses and trucks at regular filling stations.

This increase in demand at the forecourt will eventually cause supply issues for motorists.

Nationally there are reports of fuel trucks being turned away from Whitegate, near Bantry, Ireland’s only refinery, as there is not enough fuel there to meet current demand.


The situation is so bad that a Killarney worker had no option but to thumb to work due to rising fuel costs.

Kilgarvan councillor Jackie Healy-Rae picked up a young college student who was thumbing to work this week.Fuel prices are at a record high price at the cost of diesel could soon be over €2 a litre. It is likely to get even worse as the Russian invasion of Ukraine continues.Healy-Rae said the youngster could no longer afford to put fuel in his car and have money left over for himself.“This is a young fellow heading to work in the hospitality sector in Killarney, he is working to pay his way through college. He was explaining to me that it is just not feasible to put petrol in his car and he started thumbing to work,” Cllr Healy-Rae told the Killarney Advertiser.



Donie McCarthy to be remembered by Firies GAA with golf classic

On the approach of the second anniversary of his passing, Firies GAA have taken the opportunity to both acknowledge and pay tribute to the late Donie McCarthy by organising a […]




On the approach of the second anniversary of his passing, Firies GAA have taken the opportunity to both acknowledge and pay tribute to the late Donie McCarthy by organising a golf classic in his name. Donie was a key figure; player, coach, mentor and officer in the club for many years.

Michael Quirke, former team mate and part of the events’ committee, outlined the significance of remembering and acknowledging the legacy that Donie left to his beloved club. “Donie exemplified the concept of a club stalwart, his love of both the game and the development of the club was boundless. His energy towards the development of young players is truly visible today in Firies. Donie got great satisfaction from seeing young players improve, and as they got older and achieve success with Firies. During his successful playing days, he helped lead Firies to secure the O’Sullivan Cup title in 1979 and went onto manage and coach many Firies teams down through the years. Since his untimely passing in November 2022, the club has aspired to acknowledge his legacy.”

Final preparations are being put in place for the classic which takes place on Saturday, July 13, in Maine Valley Members Golf Club, Killorglin. The classic, which includes GUI handicap applied with a maximum adjusted handicap of 24 for men and 36 for ladies, promises to be a great day celebrating Donie, with top team, nearest the pin, and longest drive prizes.

Family, friends and former club mates of Donie gathered to officially launch the golf classic in Pairc Eamonn, along with Kerry Senior Footballer; Dara Moynihan to lend his support the event. The Firies GAA Club were eager to recognise L. & M. Construction, of New York City for their generous contribution towards The Donie McCarthy Memorial Golf Classic. The American company, has strong club connections and supports many of the club events. “Without this support, we would be unable to organise such events. The Club would also like to acknowledge the members who attended the launch today from young to old to recognise Donies’ contribution”. A club spokesperson said this week.

If you or your club are interested in submitting a team of four at €200 per team, you can contact Brendan Quirke 087-9172854, Dermot O’Connor 087-6958610, Michael Quirke 087-6683699 or Maine Valley Members Golf Club 066-9761979. Likewise, sponsored tee boxes are available for €50.

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Muckross Lottery goes online

Muckross Community Association has announced the launch of its new online facility for playing the Muckross Lottery. The Muckross Lottery community fundraiser has operated since 1995, raising thousands of euro […]




Muckross Community Association has announced the launch of its new online facility for playing the Muckross Lottery.

The Muckross Lottery community fundraiser has operated since 1995, raising thousands of euro for the benefit of local community groups and bodies including Loughquittane National School, Muckross ICA and Muckross Rowing Club among others.

Over the years, countless prize winners have also benefited in the share of jackpot and Match 3 prize wins.

The first Muckross Lottery draw was held in the summer of 1995, a year which also saw the opening of the Muckross Community Centre.
At the time, the lottery draw was a first of its kind in Killarney and was to set a fine example for the many other sports club and community lotteries that were later established in the town.

The community fundraiser has continued to be a vital support, initially securing the completion of the Muckross Community Centre and over time generating funds for the development of school, community and sporting facilities in the Muckross area.

Since 1995, the lottery has been sustained by the unwavering commitment of local sellers and a dedicated committee within the community association.

A number of the lottery’s founding members continue to sell weekly tickets to this day in support of local causes.

In a move with the times and ahead of the 30th anniversary of the Muckross Lottery, the association is now building for the future and launching its new online lottery facility.

Ahead of the online launch this month, the Association has collaborated with Irish company ClubForce, a leading provider of online lottery systems, to develop the secure online system.

It is hoped the new online facility will generate new lottery sales, extend the lottery’s reach to those living abroad and sustain the community fundraiser long into the future.

Existing lottery supporters who avail of the online option can also enjoy the benefits of new features including a weekly results email, ticket auto renewal and access to ticket purchase history. The Association are also keen to highlight that existing hard copy tickets will continue to be available and sold as normal.

The Community Association is seeking the support of all residents of the Muckross area and all those with a connection to the community, to spread the word and get behind the new online lottery.

Online tickets can now be purchased ahead of the weekly draws on June 22, June 29 and throughout July.

The jackpot for June 22 stands at €5,050 with a rollover each week if the jackpot is not won. Online lottery tickets can be purchased each week (3 tickets for €5). A single €2 ticket can also be purchased for multiple draws. The lottery’s annual ‘green’ ticket is also available online for €100 and continues to include two free draws.

Link to Muckross Lottery online.

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