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Les proves that hard work can take you to the top

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By Sean Moriarty

The International Hotel’s Duty Manager Les Brozozka is celebrating this week after graduating with First Class Honours in Hotel Management at Munster Technology University.

The Firies-based man started from the bottom and proved that hard work and determination make dreams come true.

When he arrived in Ireland from Poland in 2006 he started as a salesman in a local furniture store.
He wanted to work in the hospitality industry and started out as a Trainee Manager at the Fairview Hotel in 2012 before being promoted to Duty Manager there less than a year later.

Always with his eye on the bigger picture, he took one step back to take two steps forward when he joined the team at the International Hotel in November 2015.

With support from the Coyne family, owners of the International Hotel, Les set out on a journey from the bottom to the top.

Starting out as a barman and restaurant specialist, by 2017 he was promoted to restaurant supervisor. In 2019 he joined the International Hotel’s Trainee Manager Programme, and doubled his work load by taking on courses at what was then called IT Tralee.

By March 2020, just as the pandemic set in, he was promoted to Duty Manager, and despite the disruption, he continued his studies while gathering vital on-the-job experience.

His journey reached its latest milestone this week when he passed his Hotel Management course from MTU Tralee with First Class Honours.

During the three years on the National Trainee Manager Development Programme for employees of the hotel industry he worked and gained experience in every department of the very busy 99-bedroom four-star International Hotel.

Les says he wants to be an example to other people who want to follow a career in the hotel industry.

“I had many obstacles, I am from Poland, I have my wife and two small children to look after, it was hard work,” he told the Killarney Advertiser.

“But I never took my eye off the ball. It is like Kerry football, they might lose a match but they can still win the championship. Now I have the life experience, I can back that up with the academics. I walk the walk and talk the talk too.”

The National Trainee Manager Development Programme at MTU is run by experienced local hospitality sector workers and is backed by the Irish Hotel Federation (IHF).

“They know what kind of people they need in the industry and they make the course to fit that requirement,” added Less, who received €500 from the IHF in recognition of his efforts.

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Killarney Triathlon Club’s open water swim on the lake

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On Tuesday evening last, members of the Killarney Triathlon Club took part in a breathtaking open water swim, starting from Dundag Beach and spanning the middle lake to a nearby island. Covering a distance of approximately 1.5 kilometers, the event saw all participants return safely, basking in a well-deserved sense of accomplishment.

Set against the stunning backdrop of Killarney National Park, swimmers enjoyed views of woodlands,  mountains, and Muckross House. Safety was paramount during the swim, as it is in all the club’s events. Essential precautions included the use of tow floats, safety kayakers, and safety boats, ensuring the well-being of all participants.

“Our club is incredibly fortunate to be surrounded by such a beautiful environment,” said Caitriona Shanahan, PRO of Killarney Triathlon Club. “The views during our swims are truly spectacular, and the safety measures we implement help everyone feel secure and enjoy the experience.”

Killarney Triathlon Club offers numerous benefits to athletes of all levels. These include structured training programs, expert coaching, group workouts and more. 

“We welcome all levels and abilities. Joining our club not only improves physical fitness but also offers great fun and the added benefits of stress relief from sea swimming. There truly is nothing like the calming effect of a group swim in the sea.” Caitriona added.

For those interested in joining the Killarney Triathlon Club, more information can be found on their social media platforms and their website, Killarneytri.com.

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Danny Healy-Rae welcomes decision to push back changes for cataract payments

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The Health Service Executive has deferred a move to cut the price it reimburses people for cataract treatments in the European Union and in Northern Ireland, under its overseas treatment schemes and a separate system for the North.

The prices were due to change from the start of this month, but the HSE has pushed the date back so that no one is disadvantaged, and to fully communicate with patients, treatment consultants and providers, cost changes will not come into effect until September 1.

The payments for less complex eye treatments were due to fall from €1,912 to €863 or the National Health Service equivalent of £766 in Northern Ireland. The most common cataract procedure payments were due to reduce from €1,456 to €1,171.

The HSE said that the vast majority of procedures fall into this new payment price. It said that the more complex glaucoma/cataract treatment payments will rise from €1,912 to €4,206.

Danny Healy Rae welcomed the news saying, “Following my representations and raising of this matter in the Dáil, I am glad that the HSE have agreed that they will continue to reimburse the higher rates for cataract procedure for those carried out up to the end of August 2024.

“I am advising anyone who needs to have their cataracts removed to do so now before the change to reimbursement amounts comes in.”

All cataract treatment carried out in Belfast after the 1st September 2024 will be subject to the new DRG rates.

Honouring the Kerry women of the revolutionary period

Kerry County Council is to invite expressions of interest next week for the commissioning and development of a commemorative and artistic piece which will honour the role played by women in Kerry during the revolutionary period between 1912 and 1923.

The project follows a joint motion by the five female members of Kerry County Council who called for the development and commissioning of a meaningful and lasting commemorative piece which would reflect the significant and diverse roles and activities of women and their involvement in the campaign for Irish Independence at the beginning of the twentieth century.

A Working Group, including the five female councillors, has been developing a design brief, and the Council intends to publish a detailed brief for the memorial next week and expressions of interest will be invited.

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