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Housing crisis the inspiration behind Junior Brother’s new single

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By Michelle Crean

Moving from the countryside to the big city has been the inspiration for a new single by a well established local artist.

Junior Brother, AKA Ronan Kealy from Kilcummin, this week released his brand new single 'No Country For Young Men' and is preparing for a UK tour in April followed by an Irish tour.

"At the moment I'm preparing for my UK tour in April with my new band, before embarking on an Irish tour supporting my latest single, 'No Country For Young Men', which is out now and available on gold 7'' vinyl from my website," Ronan told the Killarney Advertiser.

"I wrote the song soon after I moved from Kilcummin to Dublin, and it reflects the anxiety I felt regarding the housing crisis and other pressures tangible both there and across the country."

And although the pandemic was "very tough", he said that he's "excited to present" his new material.

"It [the pandemic] presented a whole set of roadblocks which among other things have slowed the making of my next album down a bit, but now that restrictions are lifting, everything seems to be getting back to normal and I'm really excited to present the material I've been working away on over the last while," he said.

"A positive of the lockdown was that it granted me a break in my fairly hectic schedule early in 2020, and as a result, I enjoyed a replenishing few months at home in Kilcummin - this time allowed me to reconnect with the landscape, and allowed the rural atmospheres around me to bleed more deeply into my new music."

Ronan has been involved in music since around the age of eight.

"I've been writing and recording my own stuff since I could play an instrument, so from about the age of eight I've been hacking away creating songs. I began gigging when I was about 12, in a band called Titus Groan with musicians from Killarney, in which we wrote and performed our own material. I started gigging on my own near the end of my time with the band, and started exclusively doing my own thing around the period after I finished secondary school. A few years later I moved to Dublin to fully give the music a proper go, and I've been based up here ever since."

For more information on tour dates and to buy 'No Country For Young Men' on Ltd. Edition Gold Vinyl go to www.juniorbrother.com.

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Kerry base confirmed for Rás Mumhan

By Sean Moriarty Preliminary details of the Rás Mumhan have been announced by Cycling Munster. The four-day international cycle race will, once again, be based at the Riverisland Hotel in […]

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By Sean Moriarty

Preliminary details of the Rás Mumhan have been announced by Cycling Munster.

The four-day international cycle race will, once again, be based at the Riverisland Hotel in Castleisland and will run from Good Friday until Easter Monday.

The final route has not yet been revealed but it is expected to follow a similar path to the 2022 edition.

Last year, due to organisational difficulties, the Rás Mumhan committee asked local clubs to take charge of each day of the race.

Killarney Cycling Club hosted the Easter Saturday leg of the race, including managing the stage start in the town centre, the Category One mountain climb at Bealach Oisin Pass and the stage finish in Sneem.

“We are looking forward to seeing everyone at Easter and we wish all the riders the best of luck in their preparations for the event. Further details to follow as they are confirmed,” said Race Secretary Sinéad Moriarty.

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Showcasing Killarney to an influential audience

Kerry’s hospitality professionals turned out in style for the Skal President’s Dinner on Saturday night. It’s the social highlight of the year for professional tourism and travel organisations and it […]

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Kerry’s hospitality professionals turned out in style for the Skal President’s Dinner on Saturday night.

It’s the social highlight of the year for professional tourism and travel organisations and it was also a perfect opportunity to show the best of Killarney. Held in the Plaza Hotel, it was hosted by Kerry Skal President Michelle Rosney who used the occasion to highlight the best of Killarney’s performing arts talent, cuisine and locally produced drinks. There were special performances on the night by singers and dancers from St Brigid’s Presentation Secondary School and the West End House School of Arts who brought The Liberator, Daniel O’Connell, back to life for one night only to deliver a passionate dramatisation of a famous speech. Skal is the largest international hospitality networking organisation in the world with 13,000 members in 308 clubs in almost 90 countries. Fáilte Ireland Chairman Paul Carty said in his speech that the contribution Killarney has made to the Irish tourism industry should not be underestimated. He added that the tourism industry supports over 3,500 jobs in Killarney and over 7,000 in the rest of Kerry. He said the hard work put in by tourism professionals in Killarney over the years is paying off and when Fáilte Ireland surveyed hundreds of domestic and international tourists, at the height of the season last August, they couldn’t speak highly enough of their experience with 97 percent saying they were very satisfied. “The national figure is 90 percent so Killarney is actually seven percent higher than the national average and that’s truly exceptional,” he said. Over 55 percent of visitors to Killarney also spend time in other parts of Kerry and towns, like Dingle, Kenmare and Tralee, and really benefit from the spin-off.

INDUSTRY CHALLENGES

The Fáilte Ireland chairman said his organisation is acutely aware what Killarney has faced in recent years and the challenges it currently faces and every support possible will be provided to help.

Mr Carty said Fáilte Ireland last year launched a destination experience and development plan for Killarney and that will see the town reach its full potential through sustainability and the development of year-round tourist attractions.

He said costs were also a big concern with energy bills, in particular, going through the roof and putting businesses under serious pressure.

Staffing was another serious problem for the industry as so much talent was lost during the pandemic.

“An awful lot of great people left our industry and they’re not coming back, so there is a great shortage,” he said, adding that Fáilte Ireland was working hard to overcome the difficulties being experienced.

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