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Kerry’s tourism industry at risk of being “dismantled”

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By Sean Moriarty

Local TD Danny Healy-Rae has told the Dáil that Kerry’s tourism industry could be “dismantled” as a result of the “effect the very significant number of refugees and asylum seekers coming into this country”.

Deputy Healy-Rae raised his concerns with the Taoiseach Michael Martin in the Dáil on Wednesday.

“I am calling for a frank and open debate on the impact and effect the very significant number of refugees and asylum seekers coming into this country is having on our services, be it doctors, social welfare offices, hospitals, education and our hospitality industry in Kerry. We are very worried that it could be dismantled,” he said. “I am saying to the Taoiseach that it is not enough to say the Government will provide beds and a roof over their heads. We need to have the other services. Our own people cannot get into social welfare offices.”

There are about 1,304 Ukrainians housed across Killarney with the majority are living in hotels. He is concerned that suitable full-time accommodation will not be found by the beginning of the tourism industry next March.

Either Killarney will face a hotel night shortage or there will be a repeat of the scenes witnessed earlier this month when several refugees were told, with 48 hours notice, that they are being transferred to a different town. A massive public outcry prevented the move at the time.

“I am looking for an honest and open debate here inside in the chamber. We are representing County Kerry here and our tourism industry could be dismantled together with what has been happening on housing with the closing down of so many beds in Airbnb accommodation. Where are we going to be in March?” added Healy Rae.

Martin denied that Killarney’s tourism industry was at risk.

“With the greatest will in the world, I do not believe we could ever dismantle Kerry tourism or Kerry hospitality,” he said. “It is an impossibility. It cannot happen. I have been there too often, including last summer, and there is not a hope that it could be dismantled. It is so strong and robust. There are genuine issues in certain towns. We have a list of towns that have gone way beyond the call of the duty when compared to other areas. We saw that recently in Killarney, where the community responded very generously. We appreciate that."

Aside from any potential risks to the tourism industry, Healy-Rae also warned that other services are being neglected.

“The Government has not provided one extra doctor or one extra man for the social welfare office,” he added.

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Killarney centre stage for Pride Festival

The award-winning Kingdom Pride in Kerry festival is back next week and Killarney will take centre stage. Kingdom Pride will be celebrated in towns all across the county from July […]

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The award-winning Kingdom Pride in Kerry festival is back next week and Killarney will take centre stage.

Kingdom Pride will be celebrated in towns all across the county from July 17 to 21.

The organisation’s flagship Party in the Park event will be held again in Killarney House and Gardens, following the Pride march in the town centre on July 20.

This year, in solidarity with the people of Palestine, Kingdom Pride in Kerry is inviting the people of Kerry to come to show their unity by bringing Palestinian flags and kites to the march, and to the Party in the Park.

“Pride is a protest for human rights all over the world. Here in the Kingdom, we have been so lucky to receive tremendous community support from our allies and supporters, and we see the struggle for liberation of all peoples as a united cause,” said Daniel Quirke, chairperson of the organising committee.

“Our events have always welcomed everyone, regardless of gender, orientation, religion, or nationality. We truly believe that together we can create positive change through caring for and loving one another. This year is no exception, and we look forward to helping to highlight the Palestinian cause, and to bringing people together to keep generating positive change for all people.”

Events will take place in Cahersiveen, Listowel, Killorglin, Tralee and Dingle, and include an Irish comedy night with Áine Gallagher, an Irish-language movie screening, yoga, sea swimming, poetry and storytelling, bowling, pitch and putt, a lively drag night at the INEC, and plenty more for people of all ages.

“We do our best to keep tickets as low-cost as possible, and we have lots of events that are totally free to attend. It is important to us that people can share Pride with us, regardless of income. Especially with the rise of the cost of living putting a strain on people’s pockets.” added the chairperson.

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A weekend of Live Music, Fun and Entertainment, at FleskFest 2024

The organisers of the annual FleskFest have “a tremendous line-up, with a weekend full of entertainment to suit all” for the July 18 to 20 event. “It promises to be […]

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The organisers of the annual FleskFest have “a tremendous line-up, with a weekend full of entertainment to suit all” for the July 18 to 20 event.

“It promises to be the festival weekend of the summer, an event you don’t want to miss out on. Last year’s Festival was a fantastic memorable experience for our community, a time to get together and celebrate,” said festival PRO Seán Daly.

Organised by Glenflesk GAA, FleskFest 24 will take place at the Barraduff Community Field next week.
There will be a fully licensed bar in the Fest Marquee, some amazing live music on The Big Stage, food trucks and much more.
Glenflesk GAA club’s biggest fundraiser of the year includes a new-for-2024 Texas Holdem Poker Tournament on Thursday night.
Weekend highlights include old-time waltzing, jiving and polka sets with Paudie McAuliffe and Paudie Coffey Band on Friday,
On Saturday, the new Well Flesk event will take place.
“A morning of self-care and wellness at Flesk Fest featuring masterclasses in yoga, pilates, mindfulness, spinning, fitness sessions, workouts, firewood sauna and ice pods with a range of experienced and qualified instructors,” added Daly.
Leading local musician Johnny Courtney and Friends, Sam and Ina, The O’Donoghue Sisters, Reigning All Ireland Champions Glenflesk Ballad Group, and The Border Boys will take to the Big Stage over the weekend.
Sunday is Family Fun Day with children’s entertainment and disco and the All-Ireland Hurling Final Live on the Big screen followed by music with Thingamajig.
The festival will finish with a Sunday evening session with the Meadhbh Walsh Band.

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