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“It’s going to be a logistical nightmare”



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."



Kerry rowing clubs flock to Killarney for the start of the coastal season

There was a fantastic spectacle of colour and rowing on Lough Leane last Sunday (June 16th) with the coastal rowing clubs of Kerry participating in the first ‘Head of the […]




There was a fantastic spectacle of colour and rowing on Lough Leane last Sunday (June 16th) with the coastal rowing clubs of Kerry participating in the first ‘Head of the Lake’ time-trial for coastal one-design boats.

The event, hosted by the local Flesk Valley Rowing Club, signalled the start of the summer season for clubs rowing the coastal ‘one-design’ boats.

It was fitting that on the weekend that the Killarney National Park celebrated the 60th anniversary of the opening of Muckross House to the public, that hundreds of people also flocked to the Flesk Valley shore to appreciate and enjoy the splendour of the park.

Speaking after the event, Flesk Valley chairman, John Fleming thanked all the Kerry clubs who supported this new event and congratulated all the first-time rowers taking to the water in a competitive event for the first time.
“We were delighted to welcome our neighbouring clubs Workmens’ and Fossa, and look forward to renewing rivalries with them again at the Killarney Regatta at the end of this month,” he said.

“We would also like to thank Mary B. Teahan, Andrew Wharton, Johanna King and the Kerry Coastal Rowing Association for all their support and encouragement, and Denis O’Leary for coordinating safety on the water.”
Flesk Valley would also like to thank the Killarney National Park, Leanes Tool Hire, Hegartys Shop and Muckross Rowing Club for their support.

“This was a great start to the coastal rowing season, and augurs well for the months ahead as clubs build towards the All-Ireland Coastal Rowing Championships to be held in Dingle at the end of August,” added the chairman.

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NPWS announces nature scholarships to mark ‘Muckross 60’

Director General of the National Parks and Wildlife Service, Niall O’ Donnchú, this week announced the inaugural ‘Muckross 60’ nature scholarships to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the opening of […]




Director General of the National Parks and Wildlife Service, Niall O’ Donnchú, this week announced the inaugural ‘Muckross 60’ nature scholarships to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the opening of Muckross House and Gardens to the public. The scholarships will be funded and managed by the National Parks and Wildlife Service.

Niall O Donnchú said, “Killarney and Muckross have a very special place in Ireland’s heritage legacy, and  such beautiful gems need constant care, nurturing and indeed protecting by future generations. In supporting these third level scholarships, the NPWS is building the knowledge base of the future to assist those generations in continuing to realise the full beauty and nature value of the very unique Muckross House and Gardens and Killarney National Park.”

Mr O Donnchú added: “Killarney has a long history of scholarship, research and frontier work on nature and that continues to this day in the management of Killarney National Park and Muckross House and Gardens. The endowment of these annual scholarships is a very clear attestation that this crucial work continues to be undertaken across our national park system and especially here in Killarney and Muckross. This work has been pioneering in respect of wildlife and nature research and indeed the reintroduction of endangered species and the discovery, even this year, of more.”

Minister for Education and Kerry T.D. Norma Foley also welcomed new scholarships to mark the 60th anniversary of Muckross House.

“Muckross House is one of the jewels in the crown of Kerry tourism and received almost one million visitors last year. These scholarships will further add to our understanding of this outstanding part of our national heritage,” she said.

Muckross House was built by the Herbert family, who were local landlords. They became very wealthy during the 18th century due to the working of the copper mines on the Muckross Peninsula. They commenced the building of the present Muckross House in 1839. It was completed in 1843 at cost of £30,000, just two years prior to the Great Irish Famine. The Herbert family hosted the visit of Queen Victoria to Muckross House in 1861 but later got into financial difficulties and lost the house in 1897.

It was then bought by Lord Ardilaun, a member of the Guinness family. He in turn sold it in 1911 to William Bowers Bourn, a wealthy Californian gold miner. Bowers Bourn gave it to his daughter Maud as a wedding gift when she married Arthur Rose Vincent, an Irish barrister who later became a Senator.

After Maude died from pneumonia in 1929, Arthur Rose Vincent decided to donate Muckross house to the Irish nation as a memorial to his wife. Muckross House was transferred to the state in 1932 with its 11,000 acre estate and became Ireland’s first National Park in 1933.

The park and gardens were opened to the public but the house remained closed until 1964 when it was reopened as a folk museum on June 14, 1964 following a campaign by people in Killarney.

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