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Fundraising dance for victims of Ukraine 

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As communities all over Ireland rally to help the victims of the escalating crisis in Ukraine, a fundraising dance is being organised tonight (Friday).

Knocknagree promoter John Joe Herlihy is stepping up to the plate and organising the dance from which all proceeds will go to the Red Cross Emergency Ukraine Appeal.Well known to dancers from all over Munster, John Joe is credited with hosting the best bands, singers and musicians in venues around Kerry, Cork and Limerick over the past several decades. He is also well known for his numerous donations through the years to hospitals, hospices and other worthy causes through his fundraising drives.As the war in Ukraine became ever more visible on our TV screens and various social media platforms over the past two weeks, John Joe began to organise this current fundraiser which will take place at the CYMS Hall in Newmarket, Co. Cork tonight (Friday) night beginning at 9pm.Peter Burke, who is one of the most 'in demand' entertainers on the circuit will headline the event. Peter is a native of Cork but has been living in Tipperary for several years. Joining Peter on stage will be Sheila Fitzgerald and Elle Marie O'Dwyer.Sheila, from Ballydesmond, on the Cork/Kerry border, is well known to audiences all over the country and indeed in the UK and USA where she has toured internationally. She has just released a brand new video 'He's There for Me' dedicated to the people of Ukraine, which can be viewed on her Facebook page and on YouTube. Over the past six months, Sheila's recent video 'Silver & Gold' has been aired several times on the music channels on Sky TV, as well as receiving extensive airplay on radio stations here in Ireland and abroad.Elle Marie O'Dwyer who is a native of Freemount, is hugely popular on the traditional music scene. She has won numerous awards for her singing and has toured with several headline acts in the traditional genre. In addition, she is hugely popular on radio and has an extensive collection of her songs on YouTube.John Joe, Peter, Sheila and Elle Marie are looking forward to playing to a hopefully full house in Newmarket.

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Killarney hotels are still open for business

By Sean Moriarty Only a few of the town’s 37 hotels are homing displaced people – according to Bernadette Randles, chair of the Kerry branch of the Irish Hotel Federation. […]

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By Sean Moriarty

Only a few of the town’s 37 hotels are homing displaced people – according to Bernadette Randles, chair of the Kerry branch of the Irish Hotel Federation.

This week she said that there’s still accommodation to be found in Killarney for visitors.

She was speaking in relation to the current accommodation situation facing International Protection Applicants and Ukrainian war refugees.

She explained that there is a perception that Killarney has taken in too many refugees and that it is putting the tourism industry at risk as people are starting to think that the town is at full capacity.

“If you can’t get a room in Killarney there is something wrong,” she said. “Maybe with the exception of New Year’s Eve.”

She added that hotels that are providing emergency accommodation are helping off-season unemployment.

Many hotels remain in survival mode after two years of pandemic turmoil and the additional off season business is important, she explained.

“Many could be closed at this time of the year, others would not be operating at full capacity,” she added.

However, she warned the Government needs to put a plan in place before the tourism season starts next year. Some hotels offering emergency accommodation either have a three or six month contract.

“I can see there will be tears next April – the Government must have a long-term plan,” she said.

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Homing refugees worth almost €14m

By Sean Moriarty Hotels, B&Bs and other accommodation suppliers in the Killarney area have secured contracts in excess of €13 million to accommodate Ukraine war refugees. The Department of Children, […]

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By Sean Moriarty

Hotels, B&Bs and other accommodation suppliers in the Killarney area have secured contracts in excess of €13 million to accommodate Ukraine war refugees.

The Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth released figures to the Killarney Advertiser.

Documents show that contracts totalling €13,852,255.00 are being shared between 13 premises in the Killarney urban area.

However, the department warned these figures are “indicative” only and the full value of the contracts depends on “occupancy and actual usage”.

The Eviston Hotel has secured a contract worth €5,727,590.00, the Innisfallen Hotel in Fossa for €2,404,620.00 and The Hotel Killarney signed a deal worth €1,701,000.00. These are the three biggest contracts published in the documentation.

This is only the tip of the iceberg, and Department officials say more contracts could come on stream. Figures seen by the Killarney Advertiser only cover contracted premises up to the end of September this year and updated figures are only released every three months.

“We are in contract with far more, but the formal exchange of contracts can take place sometime after the service commences,” a department spokesperson told the Killarney Advertiser.

“The Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth is obliged to publish a list of contracts formally signed off each quarter that have been awarded under a special EU Derogation that permits the Department to enter into contracts in the context of the Ukraine accommodation crisis without going to formal tender.

“The values of the contracts shown are estimates; the actual value materialises upon occupancy and actual usage. Standard contracts have no-fault break clauses available to both parties so again, the figures are indicative rather than actual.”

These figures only cover Ukrainian refugees fleeing the war and do not include International Protection Applicants.

The Department refused to release International Protection Applicant figures to the Killarney Advertiser.

“The International Protection Applicant accommodation contract information is commercially sensitive information and is not available,” added the Department spokesperson.

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