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“It’s going to be a logistical nightmare”

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DIFFICULT: Johnny McGuire who runs Bricín on High St says the new one hour and 45 minute restrictions for customers will be difficult. Photo: Michelle Crean

By Michelle Crean

New regulations around the reopening of businesses serving food which restricts customers to a maximum of one hour and 45 minutes in a premises at any one time - "will be a logistical nightmare", according to one local businessman this week.

Johnny McGuire who has been running Bricín for the last 30 years on the top of High St is preparing to reopen on Thursday night, July 2 at 6pm.

Initially, he says he's going to ease into reopening to "get his toe in the water and build up from there".

However, Fáilte Ireland's newly published guidelines this week means that pubs, gastro pubs and bars can allow customers 105 minutes with an additional 15 minutes between bookings to allow for adequate cleaning and to ensure customers leave and enter without mixing.

And where the two metre physical distancing is not possible, businesses are now permitted to implement one metre physical distancing in controlled environments.

"It is going to be a logistical nightmare but if they are the guidelines then that's what we have to do. We'd ask the public to be as understanding and forebording for the sake of our staff and customers."

In preparation of the reopening, Johnny, who employs 25 staff full and part-time, has an exhibition on the front window dedicated to Killarney artist Seán O'Connor.

With so much red tape before the doors even open, Johnny has hired the services of a consultant.

"The layout of the shop will be changed creating corridors for access for people to go about the shop comfortably," he said.

"Upstairs we’ll be removing tables and chairs that are no longer required during this period creating more space and distance between customers. With a two metre distance our capacity will be less than half. One metre we’ll increase our capacity, but it’ll make a difference between being economic and uneconomic."

In his years in the hospitality industry he admitted that this is the worst economic crisis he's ever experienced.

"Half our income for the year is already gone so we’re now faced with trying to salvage the rest and survive through the winter. That’s the big crux for all businesses in the town. I’d say a good percentage of the businesses in Killarney are solely dependent on visitors and it’s going to be challenging times."

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Killarney man wins most-coveted trophy in sheepdog trials

By Sean Moriarty Kilcummin farmer Tom O’Sullivan – one of the main organisers of last month’s Sheep Dog Trials in Fossa – has become the first Kerry man to win the biggest award in the sport. Tom is the chairman of the Killarney sub-committee and was a member of the 15-strong Irish team that participated […]

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By Sean Moriarty

Kilcummin farmer Tom O’Sullivan – one of the main organisers of last month’s Sheep Dog Trials in Fossa – has become the first Kerry man to win the biggest award in the sport.

Tom is the chairman of the Killarney sub-committee and was a member of the 15-strong Irish team that participated in the international sheepdog competition in Aberystwyth in Wales last weekend.

A total of 60 competitors, 15 each from Ireland, England, Scotland and Wales, contested the biggest event in sheepdog trials on Friday to Sunday last.

After getting through the qualifiers on Friday and Saturday, Tom and his dog Northhill Tess, fended off the challenges of the other top-15 qualifiers to win the International Supreme Champion award.

Not alone is he the first Kerry man to win the competition, which has been running since 1947, he is just the fifth Irishman to do so and the first from Munster.

“The qualifying course was similar to Killarney,” he told the Killarney Advertiser.

However, Sunday’s final was much more difficult. His dog had to round up a flock of sheep at the left hand side of the course. Then Northhill Tess, under the guidance of Tom, had to round up a smaller flock and bring them to the same holding pen. When finished, five of the sheep were wearing red collars and Tom had to instruct his dog to separate them and bring them to a separate holding area.

“It is the biggest trophy in sheep dog trailing,” he added. “Everyone who trains a dog does so for this day. It is mind blowing. My family are very proud, they know the time and the work involved preparing for this.”

The standard at the Killarney event last month was evident in Wales last weekend. The Killarney winner, Peter Morgan and his dog Moss, ran Tom to a very close second.

His son Peter Og won the Young Handlers award and Team Ireland were declared the overall winners based on aggregate scores in the final 15.

Tom arrived home to Kilcummin on Monday night to a traditional homecoming bonfire.

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Vaccination centre leaves basketball club homeless

By Sean Moriarty With the National Basketball League set to get underway in two weeks’ time, Scott’s Lakers St Paul’s Killarney Basketball Club are still unsure where they will play their homes games this season as their usual venue is being used as a COVID-19 vaccination centre. The local side play Limerick Celtic away on […]

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By Sean Moriarty

With the National Basketball League set to get underway in two weeks’ time, Scott’s Lakers St Paul’s Killarney Basketball Club are still unsure where they will play their homes games this season as their usual venue is being used as a COVID-19 vaccination centre.

The local side play Limerick Celtic away on the weekend of October 8 and 9 and their first home game is set for October 16.

Currently their home venue at Killarney Sports and Leisure Centre is unavailable as it is being used as a COVID-19 vaccination centre and according to the Health Service Executive (HSE) this week, there are no plans in place, as of yet, to move out.

Killarney Cougars, the town’s newest addition to the National League, has secured the use of the gym at St Brigid’s Secondary School in the town centre but, as it stands, St Paul’s remain homeless as the season opener looms.

“It is ridiculous at this stage,” said head coach Jarlath Lee. “If you look at what is happening at the Sports Centre, there are very few people in and out of there now compared to the start [of the vaccination roll-out].”

The HSE when contacted by the Killarney Advertiser this week said that they would not be adding to a previous statement issued earlier this month, which said: “In relation to Killarney Sports and Leisure Centre, we are very grateful to staff and management for the use of their facility as a vaccination centre.

“Planning work is well underway for the next phase of the vaccination programme, locally and nationally. This includes a review of where vaccinations are administered in future, but we cannot confirm any decisions in relation to any particular location at this point in time.”

However, the HSE did confirm this week, that the Tralee Vaccination Centre, located at the Munster Technology University, will re-locate to the recently vacated Borg Warner factory in the town. The move is expected to be completed within the next week to 10 days.

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