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Killarney to light up for Nathan’s Walk

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By Sean Moriarty

Organisers of 'Darkness into Light - Nathan's Walk' are expecting Killarney to “light up” as the popular charity walk makes a welcome return after the pandemic forced the cancellation of the event for the last two years.

LAUNCH: Pictured at JM Reidy's for the official launch of Darkness into Light - Nathan's Walk were: MC Brendan Fuller Seanie O'Donoghue Marta Pogorzelec Marie and Denis O'Carroll Violeta Bendikiene Mike O'Leary Electric Ireland's Kevin Ryan and Sergeant Dermot O'Connell. Photo: Marie Carroll-O'Sullivan

The idea behind the local event is to spread awareness and to help prevent suicide and self-harm. It's also a chance to raise vital funds for the service provided free by Pieta House.

The Killarney walk was set up in 2011 by Marie O'Carroll following the tragic loss of her 14-year-old son Nathan.

'Darkness into Light - Nathan's Walk' was launched at JM Reidy’s on Tuesday and a large crowd took advantage of the early registration which opened at the launch.

Marie is confident that this year’s walk will attract large numbers going by the amount who signed up on Tuesday.

“People just want to get out after the pandemic,” she told the Killarney Advertiser.

“Killarney is going to light up.”

This year’s event will start at 4.15am Saturday morning from Killarney Racecourse. The 5k route will pass Ross Castle before entering the National Park and following the lake shore it will return to the racecourse via Ross Road.

Registration will re-open this evening (Friday) from 7pm to 9pm at Killarney Racecourse. Volunteers will also be on hand to finish registration between 1.30am and the walk’s start.

Meanwhile, Gary McCormick is recruiting volunteers to help marshal the walk. He needs people from 12 midnight to manage car parking in the racecourse as well as other roles along the route. He can be contacted on 087 685 6929.

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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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