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Know Your Rights: Leave for Working Parents




Parents have a right to time off work to look after their children. They have several different types of statutory leave entitlements, for example, Maternity Leave, Adoptive Leave, Paternity Leave, Parental Leave and Parent’s Leave.

Maternity Leave: The law in Ireland provides specific protection for pregnant employees. You are entitled to paid time-off work to attend any medical visits (also known as antenatal visits or appointments) associated with the pregnancy and to attend a certain number of antenatal classes.

You are entitled to 26 weeks of Maternity Leave, typically starting two weeks before your due date. You may also be entitled to Maternity Benefit if you have enough social insurance (PRSI) contributions. You can take additional Maternity Leave for up to 16 more weeks, beginning immediately after the end of your 26 weeks’ basic Maternity Leave. Maternity Benefit does not cover additional Maternity Leave, and your employer does not have to pay you during this time.

Adoptive Leave: If you have become a parent through adoption, you can take Adoptive Leave from employment. If you have enough PRSI contributions you may qualify for Adoptive Benefit. Adoptive Leave gives 24 weeks’ leave off work to one parent of the adopting couple or a parent who is adopting alone. The 24 weeks start from the date the child is placed in your care. You can take up to 16 additional weeks’ unpaid Adoptive Leave but you cannot claim Adoptive Benefit for these extra weeks. The parent who does not avail of Adoptive Leave is entitled to Paternity Leave.

Paternity Leave: New parents (other than the mother of the child) are entitled to two weeks' Paternity Leave from employment or self-employment in the six months following the birth or adoption of a child. You can take time off if you are employed or self-employment, and can start the leave any time in the first six months after the baby's birth or adoption. It does not matter how long you have been working for your employer or how many hours you work a week. Usually, fathers take Paternity Leave. Paternity Leave is also available to same-sex couples. Your employer does not have to pay you during Paternity Leave, but you may qualify for Paternity Benefit if you have enough PRSI contributions.

Parent’s Leave aims to let working parents spend more time with their baby or adopted child during the first two years. Each parent is entitled to five weeks of paid Parent’s Leave for a child born or adopted on or after November 1, 2019. Parent’s Leave is available to both employees and people who are self-employed. Parent’s Benefit is paid while you are on Parent’s Leave if you have enough PRSI contributions. Your employer does not have to pay you while you are on Parent’s Leave, although some employers may ‘top-up’ your Parent’s Leave. If you qualify for Parent’s Benefit, you will get €250 each week. Plans to extend Parent’s Leave were announced in Budget 2022 but the specific date when these changes will be implemented have not yet been announced.

Parental Leave: Since 1 September 2020 each parent is entitled to 26 weeks’ unpaid Parental Leave. You must take Parental Leave before the child is 12 years of age, or 16 years of age if the child has a disability. In general, you must have been working for your employer for at least 12 months to be entitled to Parental Leave. There is no Social Welfare payment available. Both parents have an equal, separate entitlement to Parental Leave. This means you are both entitled to 26 weeks leave. If you both work for the same employer and your employer agrees, you can transfer 14 weeks of your Parental Leave entitlement to the other parent. If you change job and have used part of your Parental Leave allowance, you can use the remainder of your allowance after one year's employment with your new employer (once your child is still under 12).

If you need further information about any of the issues raised here or you have other questions, you can call a member of the local Citizens Information Service in Kerry on 0818 07 7860. They will be happy to assist you and if necessary arrange an appointment for you.

Kerry Helpline 0818 07 7860 Monday to Friday from 10am to 4pm. Alternatively you can email on or log on to

The National Phone Service is available on 0818 07 4000 Monday to Friday 9am to 8pm.

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Sam Maguire to feature at next week’s AugustFest

Killarney Racecourse is set to host the exciting three-day summer horse-racing festival from Thursday August 18 to Saturday 20 inclusive. The festival also marks 200 years of racing at Killarney Races […]




Killarney Racecourse is set to host the exciting three-day summer horse-racing festival from Thursday August 18 to Saturday 20 inclusive. The festival also marks 200 years of racing at Killarney Races offering patrons great racing, history, socialising, entertainment and so much more at Ireland’s most scenic racecourse.

With lots of ticket levels and packages including food and beverage options to choose from, whether it is close to the action general admission tickets or silver service fine dining, there is something for everyone at Killarney Races. Live music, fashion, and fun for all the family complement the best of summer racing at the track this August.

Thursday and Friday are evening meetings and Saturday is an afternoon event with all race cards offering seven thrilling races for spectators to enjoy each day.

Thursday is Sam Maguire evening. And to mark Kerry’s recent success and Killarney Races bi-centenary celebration, Killarney Races are offering an amazing deal on the opening day of their three-day event. On Thursday August 18 patrons will enjoy admission, a racecard and a €5 free bet all for €20! The first race is approximately 5pm with gates open from 3pm. Come early, bring along your jersey and camera, it’s going to be a great evening.

Friday will see the new entrance officially open, as racing officials and elected representatives unlock the gate to the next 200 years at the popular Killarney track, first race at approximately 5pm with gates open from 3pm. With music on the lawn from Donal Lucey and from Tom Cats in the Jim Culloty bar after racing the après racing party is sure to be a ‘winner alright’!

Saturday is AYU Ladies Day and all about the glamour as fashionistas bring the curtain down on AugustFest in fine style. AYU is an Irish based and Irish owned cosmetics company set up by renowned make-up artist Suzie O’Neill. With over €1,500 in prizes for the most stylish ladies to dress up for, what’s not to love! Gates open from 12 noon with the first off at approximately 2pm.

“At AugustFest we will be celebrating a major milestone here at Killarney Races, 200 years of racing in Killarney which is amazing,” Killarney Racecourse Chairman, Gerard Coughlan said.

“I would like to take this opportunity to encourage all locals and visitors to Killarney to come along and be part of the 200 year celebrations and share in this historic moment with us as we officially open the gates on the next 200 years! It’s a rare opportunity to be able to say ‘I was there the day they celebrated the bi-centenary’ anywhere and what a great story to share with the grandchildren in years to come. On that note, we are looking forward to welcoming multiple generations of families during AugustFest, so make a plan and come along and join us for what will be a most remarkable festival at our beautiful boutique racecourse this August!”

The feature race on the opening day of AugustFest is the Vincent O’Brien Ruby Stakes (listed), the Kingdom Gold Cup Handicap of €50,000 and the Gain Advantage Race Series. On Friday, the day two feature is the Grade B Handicap Hurdle of €50,000 and the EBF Novice Hurdle, with four competitive chase races. The final day of the festival the feature is the Grade B Handicap Chase of €50,000.

Adult tickets are available from €20 and children under 14 go free ensuring a great day out for all the family. For those who love a deal, the “Punter’s Pack” is a great value-added option and if you want to live it up check out the Maurice O’Donoghue Suite and Panoramic Restaurant options.

For all ticket details and festival programme information visit

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Jessie Buckley’s album shortlisted for prestigious award

Killarney superstar Jessie Buckley has been shortlisted for the 2022 Mercury Prize Album of the Year. Her collaboration with Bernard Butler ‘For All Our Days That Tear the Heart’ is […]




Killarney superstar Jessie Buckley has been shortlisted for the 2022 Mercury Prize Album of the Year.

Her collaboration with Bernard Butler ‘For All Our Days That Tear the Heart’ is one of 12 albums shortlisted for the prestigious award which will be revealed in London on September 8.

“Neither of us really knew each other and it was actually a blessing in disguise because we met each other in the moment and trusted each other, took a leap of faith and in a way come in just the way we were and not because of who we are,” she told a press conference at the awards announcement in London last week.


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