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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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Photo of “hidden gem” wins Camera Club’s latest competition

A photograph of one of Killarney’s hidden beauty spots was deemed the winner of Killarney Camera Club’s most recent competition. Th standard was high throughout all categories but in the […]

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A photograph of one of Killarney’s hidden beauty spots was deemed the winner of Killarney Camera Club’s most recent competition.

Th standard was high throughout all categories but in the Novice category, Iryna Halaieva’s photograph of O’Sullivan’s Cascade was deemed the winner.

“A waterfall is my favourite waterbody and long exposure is my favourite photographic technique,” she said. “I do my best to have as many waterfalls as possible in my photo collection. I heard a lot about O’Sullivan’s Cascade and wanted to visit that hidden gem of Kerry. So, shortly before our club competition I went with a friend to Tomies Wood to photograph it. It was a dream come true for me.”

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Corcoran’s Furniture walk raises €12k for autism charity

Corcoran’s Furniture and Carpets charity walk through the Gap of Dunloe on Saturday raised almost €12,000 for Autism Assistance Dogs Ireland There were 37 participants in the event, which included […]

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Corcoran’s Furniture and Carpets charity walk through the Gap of Dunloe on Saturday raised almost €12,000 for Autism Assistance Dogs Ireland

There were 37 participants in the event, which included AADI families, dogs, and representatives, as well as fundraisers, supporters, and members of the Corcoran’s team. The stars of the day were the three life-changing super-hero dogs, Buzz, Baron and Hank.

Former Kerry Footballer, James O’ Donoghue, was the ambassador for the event
Those taking part left Ross Castle and were treated to a phenomenal boat ride in the expert hands of Diarmuid ‘Dux’ O’Donoghue of Gap of Dunloe Traditional Boat Tours. The O’Donoghue family entertained the entire group with a range of fascinating stories outlining the history of the lakes of Killarney and Killarney National Park.

The group set out from Lord Brandon’s Cottage and walked the 11K through the iconic Gap of Dunloe, with two AADI families and their dogs taking part in the full walk. This was followed by a well-deserved meal and some rest and relaxation at Kate Kearney’s Cottage. Flemings Taxi’s Killarney brought the group back to Ross Castle, Killarney upon completion of the event.

“On behalf of everybody at Corcoran’s Furniture, we would like to thank everybody who participated in our Gap of Dunloe charity event on behalf of AADI,” said Shane O’ Callaghan, Financial Controller atCorcoran’s.

“Collectively we have raised almost €12,000 for this incredible charity and monies are still coming in. We are extremely grateful to all who supported our walk, and also to James O’ Donoghue, Christina Tagney, the Gap of Dunloe Traditional Boat Tours, the fantastic support of Noel Lucey and Donal McCarthy from the Order Of Malta, Killarney branch, and to Killarney National Park, Kate Kearney’s Cottage and Fleming’s Taxi’s. All funds raised will go toward the expert training and maintenance of the upcoming AADI dogs who will make a dramatic difference to so many children with Autism and their families.”

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