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Killarney hoteliers demand government action

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By Sean Moriarty

Hoteliers in Killarney say that the government has no plan when it comes to the future of International Protection applicants currently living in the town.

Hotel Killarney on Park Road is home to approximately 400 men, women and children of varying nationalities, ethnic backgrounds and religious affiliations.

Other hotels in town are home to a large Ukrainian community who are fleeing the war in their homeland.

Killarney also has at least three Direct Provision centres that have been accommodating International Protection applicants for close to 20 years.

However, problems have been on the rise since the arrival of the latest group International Protection applicants in October.

It began when Ukrainian families were asked to leave Hotel Killarney to make way for 400 new arrivals.

Thanks to local intervention, the Ukrainian families were allowed to stay and some of them were relocated to other hotels in the town as a temporary measure.

As a result, the 400 International Protection applicants took up residence in Killarney and since then there have been widespread reports of intimidation and harassment by a minority of these new residents in different locations across town.

A Killarney Municipal District meeting in November heard various complaints from councillors that locals were afraid to walk Park Road.

The situation reached boiling point on Sunday night when up to 20 people were involved in a mass brawl.

Hotels have three and six-month contracts with the International Protection Accommodation Service (IPAS) which means hotels currently providing temporary accommodation will be faced with a dilemma once these contracts expire.

Bernadette Randles, chair of the Kerry Branch of the Irish Hoteliers Federation, is calling for the government to come up with a plan.

“The government need to make decisions, the three leaders [Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, Tánaiste Micheál Martin, and Environment Minister Eamon Ryan] need to deal with this,” she told the Killarney Advertiser. “What is the plan for the people, the people of Killarney, the people employed in tourism and those seeking International Protection?”

Ms Randles also confirmed that there was no foundation in a social media report circulating this week that the Killarney hoteliers had met and voted to not renew all Direct Provision contracts. There was "no such meeting", she said.

The majority of Killarney hotels are not contracted to provide International Protection services and remains open for tourism business.

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Trilogy of comedy on offer by Dóchas Drama

By Sean Moriarty Dóchas Drama Group will present a series of three short comedy plays next week. All three plays are written and produced by Dóchas and will be acted […]

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By Sean Moriarty

Dóchas Drama Group will present a series of three short comedy plays next week.

All three plays are written and produced by Dóchas and will be acted out by the group’s members.

The opening act, ‘Flossing Around’ is written by Ger Madden and directed by Brian Bowler.

“A woman has an innate fear of the dentist. We go on the journey with her as she faces her fears, with hilarious consequences,” explained the group’s Liz Ryan.

This will be followed by ‘Faraway Hills’ which is written by Mary Quirke and directed by Michael Mills.
It is a tongue in cheek look at family life.

“A son wants to get away from small town life. His mother wants to keep him at home but his father can’t wait to see the back of him,” added Liz, who plays the mother in this short play.

Brain Bowler wrote the third instalment called ‘A Little Visitor’ which is directed by Ryan Jones.

“There are lots of misunderstandings when a hypochondriac visits a group of doctors who have other things on the their minds,” added Liz.

The run, which will feature all three performances each night, starts Wednesday next week and continues Thursday and Friday (February 8 to 10) at the Killarney Avenue Hotel. Tickets are €10 and are available at the door.

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Killarney secures three gold medals in national business awards

Three hotels in Killarney have won gold medals at the Virgin Media Business Gold Medal Awards. Now in its 33rd year, the awards the best of the best in the […]

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Three hotels in Killarney have won gold medals at the Virgin Media Business Gold Medal Awards.

Now in its 33rd year, the awards the best of the best in the hotel and catering sectors across the country.

This year, judges received over 460 entries from 150 hotels, guest houses, country houses, restaurants, cafés, bars and catering companies from around Ireland.

“An important factor in the Gold Medal Awards is the credibility and impartial nature of the judging process. Every property that undergoes this process is subject to benchmarking against a strict set of criteria and a blind site inspection conducted by the judging panel,” said an event organiser.

“This panel comprises respected industry experts from across the hospitality, culinary and catering sectors.”

Three Killarney hotels took top awards in different categories at the awards ceremony held at the Galmont Hotel and Spa in Galway on Tuesday night.

The Great Southern Hotel was named as the best Business and Conference Hotel in Ireland.

“To be recognised among the greatest hotels in Ireland is a marvellous achievement for Great Southern. It is fantastic news and has provided all our staff with a little morale boost. Our Business & Conference partners and customers are extremely important to us with some relationships in place annually for over 30 years. Receiving this recognition for the service we provide is a fantastic achievement and testament to the incredible work of our outstanding staff,” said Michael Jacobi Managing Director said.

The best front of house team award went the staff at the Aghadoe Heights Hotel and Spa.

In the Hotel Casual Dining Experience category the Dunloe Hotel and Gardens came out on top.

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