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Killarney’s annual hospice walk is back

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By Michelle Crean

After an absence of three years the popular Killarney Branch Kerry Hospice Good Friday Walk is back and looking for your support.

The annual fundraising walk is in memory of Vivien O’Shea, Sheila McGillycuddy, and all who passed away with life-limiting illnesses.

Registration is from 9.30am at The Garden Restaurant, Muckross House on the day and the walk begins at 10.30am.

There is a choice of two routes, an 8km walk from the Garden Restaurant via Dinis Cottage and a section of Torc Trail and return. The second shorter route is 6km from the Garden Restaurant to Brickeen Bridge and back.

There will also be fun quiz questions along the way for the kids and adults to enjoy.

There is no registration fee as there's a bucket collection on the day. Raffle tickets will also be on sale for some lovely spot prizes and complementary tea/coffee on return.

“Bring the entire family along and enjoy a leisurely walk through our stunning National Park while supporting a very worthy local charity,” Julett Culloty, Secretary, said.

"Suitable footwear is necessary in the interests of health and safety, especially along the section of the Torc Trail."

Voluntary service

Kerry Hospice Foundation is a voluntary organisation dedicated to providing palliative care services to people with life-limiting illnesses. This care, which is free of charge, is provided at the foundation's 15 bed inpatient unit and Palliative Day Care Unit at University Hospital Kerry and also through the Home Nursing Scheme.

Kerry Hospice Foundation has to raise €400,000 annually to co-fund the running of the new inpatient unit in conjunction with the HSE.

Additionally, it costs €100,000 to fund the remaining services. Since the Kerry Hospice Foundation was founded in 1990 the people of Kerry have been very generous supporters, donating in excess of €11 million  through various fundraising activities.

The magnificent palliative care facilities, now available at University Hospital Kerry, are a testament to their generosity.

"As our late departed county fundraiser Chairman, Ted Moynihan, used to say, “You may never need the hospice, but the hospice needs you”."

The walk is one of many taking place around the county. If unable to participate you can donate online by going to www.kerryhospice.com.

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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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