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Killarney Races disappointed at “unfair and unjust” spectator restrictions for August Festival

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Attendance at this month's Race Festival in Killarney will remain capped at five hundred attendees which organisers have called "unfair and unjust".

Racing will take place at Killarney Racecourse from Thursday,  August 19 to Saturday 21 inclusive, and all tickets are now sold out.

The restrictions are due to the ongoing public health guidelines.

Since racing reconvened in June, over five hundred horse racing fixtures have successfully taken place in Ireland behind closed doors or with limited capacities throughout the pandemic.

In July, Killarney Races saw spectators in their stand for the first time since August 2019 and albeit in limited numbers it instilled some hope for the further easing of restrictions and larger numbers attending their August meetings. Despite lobbying by the industry and the obvious relaxation of restrictions in other sectors and sports, circumstances for the team at Killarney Races have remained unchanged, much to their disappointment.

“Whilst other sports have moved on, horse racing has endured extremely low levels of attendees e.g. All-Ireland Semi-Finals at 24,000 v’s Killarney's July Racing Festival on a 90-acre open site at at five hundred, which is extremely unjust and unfair," Ger Coughlan, Chairman of the Board of Killarney Races said. 

"Of course, we'll put on another great day of racing for those who were fortunate enough to buy their tickets before they sold out. We have a fantastic garden party feel with ample space, lots of outdoor seating and it's looking like the weather is going to play its part again too. That said it is extremely disappointing that more people cannot enjoy it also. Killarney is busy with staycationers, many of whom are fully vaccinated and would love a day out at Killarney Races, they can dine indoors and shop in their droves in town, yet they cannot watch a race here, surely it’s time for common sense to prevail."

RACE CARD

Thursday evening is an all-Flat card while National Hunt cards will feature on Friday evening and Saturday afternoon. Highlights each day include the prestigious Ruby Stakes on Thursday, a Grade B Handicap Hurdle on Friday and a Graded Chase Saturday. Sponsors include Boylesports, Adare Manor, The Irish Examiner and The Irish Stallion Farms European Breeders Fund.

Killarney Races will race again for the final fixture of 2021, on Saturday, October 2 and Sunday, October 3, and tickets for that meeting will be available online soon. Visit killarneyraces.ie and sign up to their newsletter to ensure you're the first to know when the tickets are live and keep up to date with all the news and updates from the racecourse or follow their social media channels today.

Speaking of the likelihood of greater attendances and the easing of restrictions for that weekend, Ger Coughlan added that “Naturally that would be great".

"However, for the team here who have worked very hard to ensure strict adherence to all guidelines to keep the horse racing industry going, it’s very much a case of closing the stable door after the horse has bolted. We are confident that the situation will be much improved for our October race-meeting.”

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Vaccination centre leaves basketball club homeless

By Sean Moriarty With the National Basketball League set to get underway in two weeks’ time, Scott’s Lakers St Paul’s Killarney Basketball Club are still unsure where they will play their homes games this season as their usual venue is being used as a COVID-19 vaccination centre. The local side play Limerick Celtic away on […]

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By Sean Moriarty

With the National Basketball League set to get underway in two weeks’ time, Scott’s Lakers St Paul’s Killarney Basketball Club are still unsure where they will play their homes games this season as their usual venue is being used as a COVID-19 vaccination centre.

The local side play Limerick Celtic away on the weekend of October 8 and 9 and their first home game is set for October 16.

Currently their home venue at Killarney Sports and Leisure Centre is unavailable as it is being used as a COVID-19 vaccination centre and according to the Health Service Executive (HSE) this week, there are no plans in place, as of yet, to move out.

Killarney Cougars, the town’s newest addition to the National League, has secured the use of the gym at St Brigid’s Secondary School in the town centre but, as it stands, St Paul’s remain homeless as the season opener looms.

“It is ridiculous at this stage,” said head coach Jarlath Lee. “If you look at what is happening at the Sports Centre, there are very few people in and out of there now compared to the start [of the vaccination roll-out].”

The HSE when contacted by the Killarney Advertiser this week said that they would not be adding to a previous statement issued earlier this month, which said: “In relation to Killarney Sports and Leisure Centre, we are very grateful to staff and management for the use of their facility as a vaccination centre.

“Planning work is well underway for the next phase of the vaccination programme, locally and nationally. This includes a review of where vaccinations are administered in future, but we cannot confirm any decisions in relation to any particular location at this point in time.”

However, the HSE did confirm this week, that the Tralee Vaccination Centre, located at the Munster Technology University, will re-locate to the recently vacated Borg Warner factory in the town. The move is expected to be completed within the next week to 10 days.

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Triple treat for car lovers this weekend

Killarney car fans are in for a triple treat this weekend with three different events to look forward to over two days. Tomorrow (Saturday), Cannonball will blast through the town. Over one hundred supercars, ranging from firm favourites like McLaren, Lamborghini, Ferrari, Aston Martin, Porsche, Maserati, Rolls Royce and Bentley are expected to take part […]

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Killarney car fans are in for a triple treat this weekend with three different events to look forward to over two days.

Tomorrow (Saturday), Cannonball will blast through the town.

Over one hundred supercars, ranging from firm favourites like McLaren, Lamborghini, Ferrari, Aston Martin, Porsche, Maserati, Rolls Royce and Bentley are expected to take part while raising funds for the HOPE Foundation.

The cars will leave Kenmare at around 11.30am and will travel via Moll’s Gap to Killarney and onwards to Farranfore and Tralee.

“The cars will not be stopping in towns this year to avoid gatherings,” said an event spokesperson, but the Killarney Advertiser understands that the high-powered convoy will be stopping in Tralee for a lunch halt before making their way to Tarbert and the Shannon Ferry.

On Sunday, and as revealed by the Killarney Advertiser last week, the Killarney Valley Classic and Vintage Club will host its annual classic motorshow at the racecourse from 11am. This event will raise funds for St Francis’s Special School in Beaufort.

Cars n’Coffee Killarney will join the vintage club on Sunday. After a successful 2019 season at KC Print, Cars n’Coffee is looking for a new home in Killarney, and Sunday’s collaboration with the vintage club could pave the way for further events at the racecourse.

“Having events of this quality in Killarney shows that the town could soon become the car culture capital of Ireland,” said Cars n’Coffee organiser Ger Neeson.

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