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Healthcare company to create 280 new jobs in Tralee

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By Michelle Crean

Irish healthcare firm RelateCare has announced this morning (Friday) that it's to create 280 jobs in a new facility in Tralee.

The healthcare communications consultancy and outsourcing organisation which provides patient access and patient engagement solutions to leading healthcare organisations around the world will be based at the Munster Technological University (MTU) campus.

The news was warmly welcomed by Kerry County Council and Tralee Chamber Alliance.

Work is already underway on recruiting a further 250 staff with 30 already in place with the offer of hybrid, a mix of onsite and remote working. They will provide administrative support and clinical advice through a variety of technologically-advanced platforms to healthcare companies across the globe, covering access to care activities and post discharge management.

"We’re delighted to expand our Irish operations during a very exciting time of growth and customer expansion for the company," RelateCare Group CEO, Conor O’Byrne said.

"The global pandemic has changed the way that organisations communicate with patients and increased the need for virtual engagement. In a time of unprecedented demand for healthcare services we are incredibly proud to create these new opportunities as part of our ongoing growth and increasingly pivotal role in supporting so many healthcare organisations, at home in Ireland and abroad.  Throughout the pandemic, we have gained important experience in providing our employees with working models that span geographies and allow ‘flexible work from home’ solutions. To ensure we continue to be an employer of choice in Ireland, we plan to operate these models at our second Irish physical location at the Innovation Centre on the Munster Technological University campus in Tralee with a mixture of both onsite and remote working. Our footprint will continue to expand in the region over the coming years.”

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“The announcement today by RelateCare is a vote of confidence in Kerry, and demonstrates that the county has an environment and infrastructure that is attractive to companies looking to invest, and also attractive to their employees,” Cathaoirleach of Kerry County Council, Cllr Jimmy Moloney, said.

“The work carried out by the various agencies, both at local and national level, has encouraged companies to look at growing in Kerry, and along with indigenous businesses operating globally from Kerry headquarters, shows that Kerry is an ideal place to live, work and visit.”

Chief Executive of Tralee Chamber Alliance, Colette O’Connor, also welcomed the news.

“On behalf of the Chamber I’d like to take this opportunity to welcome RelateCare to Tralee and we are very much looking forward to supporting them as they get off the ground.

"I was particularly delighted to see the provision for Irish speakers with the intent to recruit some roles from within the Corca Dhuibne area of West Kerry, the Irish language is often overlooked, so on this occasion it’s another positive."

Former CEO of Tralee Chamber Ken Tobin and his HQ Kerry business partner Tom O’Leary were instrumental in bringing this company into Tralee.

"Amidst strong competition from other locations including Kilkenny, it was the drive of local business people and the facilities at MTU, particularly around nursing and hospitality where customer service is key and that helped to confirm Tralee as the prime location for setup.

"With rising housing costs and a new appreciation for rural living following the pandemic, Tralee is a unique offering for companies looking to set up, you only have to look at Kerry Group celebrating their 50th anniversary last Friday to see what can be achieved here in Kerry. This is a fantastic show of confidence in Tralee as a location for investment and innovation and we look forward to further announcements in the not too distant future.”

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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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