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Killarney lads to take on marathon project

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RUN: Friends Eamonn Sheehy and John Cronin plan to run a marathon in June to raise funds for the Kenyan Education Project.

By Michelle Crean

 

Two Killarney lads are set to take on a marathon challenge this June Bank Holiday weekend to raise money for the Kenya Education Project.

 

Friends Eamonn Sheehy and John Cronin, who took up running together 10 years ago, plan to run 42k around Killarney to raise much needed funds for the project which has been hit hard by COVID in the past 12 months.

They set up their GoFundMe: 'Marathon fundraiser for Kenya' four days ago and have already raised over €300 of their €500 target.

Eamonn is son of Eddie Sheehy who set up the Killarney based charity in 2003.

He and John became friends during their time in The Sem and John explained that they took up running to get fit.

"We run together because we weren't very good at football and to keep the weight off," John told the Killarney Advertiser. "We plan to run the marathon around the Demense, Ross Castle, out to Muckross House and back again."

Every year since the charity was set up volunteers from Killarney and beyond have travelled to Embul-Bul village South of Nairobi to work in the primary and secondary schools, the feeding programme and to help out with the soccer academy that was set up with the help of the project.

"We have been exceptionally lucky to have been supported by the local people of Killarney and beyond since 2003 with donations that go straight to the people in the village," Eamonn said.

"Every year children are sponsored in school and have their fees, uniform and books paid for with donations from Killarney people. The students are also fed every day in the school. Over one hundred children are also fed in the feeding programme on a daily basis also. This year our fundraising events have been curtailed due to COVID-19 but we have continued to receive donations too from people and we are extremely grateful to everyone who has donated."

He added that the Kenya Education Project has been sending out €500 a month to Embul-Bul to pay for food parcels which are distributed to the families of the students in Brother Besaung School.

"The aim of the marathon is to raise enough money to cover the cost of the food parcels for a month and hopefully make some form of a difference to the lives of the people in Embul-Bul."

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Killarney hotels are still open for business

By Sean Moriarty Only a few of the town’s 37 hotels are homing displaced people – according to Bernadette Randles, chair of the Kerry branch of the Irish Hotel Federation. […]

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By Sean Moriarty

Only a few of the town’s 37 hotels are homing displaced people – according to Bernadette Randles, chair of the Kerry branch of the Irish Hotel Federation.

This week she said that there’s still accommodation to be found in Killarney for visitors.

She was speaking in relation to the current accommodation situation facing International Protection Applicants and Ukrainian war refugees.

She explained that there is a perception that Killarney has taken in too many refugees and that it is putting the tourism industry at risk as people are starting to think that the town is at full capacity.

“If you can’t get a room in Killarney there is something wrong,” she said. “Maybe with the exception of New Year’s Eve.”

She added that hotels that are providing emergency accommodation are helping off-season unemployment.

Many hotels remain in survival mode after two years of pandemic turmoil and the additional off season business is important, she explained.

“Many could be closed at this time of the year, others would not be operating at full capacity,” she added.

However, she warned the Government needs to put a plan in place before the tourism season starts next year. Some hotels offering emergency accommodation either have a three or six month contract.

“I can see there will be tears next April – the Government must have a long-term plan,” she said.

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Homing refugees worth almost €14m

By Sean Moriarty Hotels, B&Bs and other accommodation suppliers in the Killarney area have secured contracts in excess of €13 million to accommodate Ukraine war refugees. The Department of Children, […]

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By Sean Moriarty

Hotels, B&Bs and other accommodation suppliers in the Killarney area have secured contracts in excess of €13 million to accommodate Ukraine war refugees.

The Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth released figures to the Killarney Advertiser.

Documents show that contracts totalling €13,852,255.00 are being shared between 13 premises in the Killarney urban area.

However, the department warned these figures are “indicative” only and the full value of the contracts depends on “occupancy and actual usage”.

The Eviston Hotel has secured a contract worth €5,727,590.00, the Innisfallen Hotel in Fossa for €2,404,620.00 and The Hotel Killarney signed a deal worth €1,701,000.00. These are the three biggest contracts published in the documentation.

This is only the tip of the iceberg, and Department officials say more contracts could come on stream. Figures seen by the Killarney Advertiser only cover contracted premises up to the end of September this year and updated figures are only released every three months.

“We are in contract with far more, but the formal exchange of contracts can take place sometime after the service commences,” a department spokesperson told the Killarney Advertiser.

“The Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth is obliged to publish a list of contracts formally signed off each quarter that have been awarded under a special EU Derogation that permits the Department to enter into contracts in the context of the Ukraine accommodation crisis without going to formal tender.

“The values of the contracts shown are estimates; the actual value materialises upon occupancy and actual usage. Standard contracts have no-fault break clauses available to both parties so again, the figures are indicative rather than actual.”

These figures only cover Ukrainian refugees fleeing the war and do not include International Protection Applicants.

The Department refused to release International Protection Applicant figures to the Killarney Advertiser.

“The International Protection Applicant accommodation contract information is commercially sensitive information and is not available,” added the Department spokesperson.

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