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“Let us all open together” – say Killarney publicans

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LET US REOPEN: Killarney publicans are calling on the Government to allow all pubs to reopen when Level 5 restrictions ease. Pictured were: Niall ‘Botty’ O’Callaghan, Paudie O’Callaghan, John C O’Shea and Pat O’Sullivan. Photo: Michelle Crean

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By Sean Moriarty

 

Killarney publicans have put up a united front in calling for the Government to let all pubs reopen – regardless if they serve food or not – once the current Level 5 restrictions are lifted.

The Government is expected to make an announcement today (Friday), but it remains unclear what level of restrictions will be put in place to replace them.

Under Level 3 restrictions the so-called wet pubs can serve drinks in an outdoor setting to no more than 15 people while bars that offer food are subject to a different set of rules.

Paudie O’Callaghan’s family run the Fáilte Hotel on College St. During the summer he was allowed open as he also has a licensed restaurant connected to the bar while his colleagues who only sold drinks were forced to stay closed.

“I don’t agree with not allowing wet pubs to open,” he told the Killarney Advertiser.

His brother Niall, a local councillor, but speaking as a business owner, also said it was unfair to differentiate between food and non-food bars. He said that if more pubs were allowed to reopen it would allow better control over numbers and that the expected large crowds over Christmas could be dispersed across a lot more premises.

“I was turning people away over the summer, these are friends and loyal customers, I just did not have a table for them,” he said.

The Fall Guys

Killarney publicans say they are sick of being made the “fall guys” as the Government continues to switch from different levels of restrictions aimed at curbing the spread of COVID-19.

They argue that there was no evidence that pubs, when open during the summer months, contributed to the increase of Coronavirus cases.

“Of the 7,500 cases in the country, 22 were directly associated with pubs, 11 in hotels and 38 in restaurants,” John O’Shea who runs JC O’Shea’s Bar on High St, said.
“Country pubs are destroyed, there is a big difference between a bar on Leeson St and bar in Kerry, but we are all being painted with the one brush, the Government does not trust the pubs but there is no evidence to back this up.”

Patrick 'Tatler' O’Sullivan, whose family have operated the Tatler Jack on College St for decades, hit out against what he described as the Government’s lack of planning.

“If we are going to be allowed reopen, give us time to do this, it is not a case of flicking a switch, it is the same when they closed us,” he said.

He also raised concerns about the mental health of customers.

“People come into the bar for lunch to have a drink and to meet people,” he said. “The big difference with the first lockdown is the weather – people can't go anywhere.”

Another issue raised by the publicans was the proposed closing time of 10pm.

“What is this going to do, put hundreds of people onto the street at the same time, and what are they going to do – jump into taxis and go to house parties,” warned Niall ‘Botty’. “There is more control in pubs.”

They also raised concerns about another potential lockdown in January, should cases rise after the Christmas holiday. Their main concern on this point was for the financial well-being of their staff.

Currently, staff receive a percentage of their wages via the PUP scheme. If they go back to work they will lose the payment but they are concerned that there will be difficulties reapplying for PUP if they were out of work again in the New Year.

“These people have families, mortgages,” added Mr O’Sullivan. “They are on and off the PUP. There is too much uncertainty.”

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Man released without charge in murder case

The man in his 50s arrested in connection with the discovery of a body of a woman in her 70s in unexplained circumstances in Ardshanavooley has been released without charge […]

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The man in his 50s arrested in connection with the discovery of a body of a woman in her 70s in unexplained circumstances in Ardshanavooley has been released without charge in relation to this matter.

Miriam Burns was found in her home on Monday afternoon after family and neighbours became concerned about her welfare.

A file is now being prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions and investigations are ongoing under the direction of a Senior Investigating Officer.

Gardaí are continuing to appeal to any persons who were in the Ardshanavooley area between 5pm on Friday and 1pm on Monday and observed any activity which drew their attention, to come forward.

Any road users who were travelling in the area at these times who may have camera footage (including dash-cam) are asked to make this footage available to Gardaí.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Killarney Garda Station on 064 6671160, the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111, or any Garda Station.

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Plenty of music and entertainment to celebrate Kilcummin talent

The successes of the Kerry, Munster and All-Ireland Fleadh’s were celebrated with Kilcummin CCÉ members, their families and friends in the clubhouse in Kilcummin on Sunday night. The talent within […]

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The successes of the Kerry, Munster and All-Ireland Fleadh’s were celebrated with Kilcummin CCÉ members, their families and friends in the clubhouse in Kilcummin on Sunday night.

The talent within the branch was clearly evident with a packed trophies table. Indeed some of the successes over the last number of months were replayed in a relaxed, jovial atmosphere that meant that all attending had a great night’s entertainment.

“We had demonstrations of winning sets across all age groups and then we moved onto the musicians who pulled out all the stops to entertain the large crowd, packed into the clubhouse,” Derek O’Leary, Kilcummin CCÉ PRO, told the Killarney Advertiser.

John Moriarty, who has recently retired from his role of Supervisor with Kilcummin Rural Development was acknowledged with a presentation to reflect the outstanding work that he has done to enhance and grow Kilcummin Comhaltas over his 25 years in his role, he added.

“Much thanks and praise was also offered to Mary, Adrian and Conor Moriarty, all involved in the progression of dancing and music within the Kilcummin branch. The music and entertainment continued with Helen Kerins and Denis Crowley late into the night. We’re looking forward to next year already!”

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