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Local success as Killarney hosts national mountain biking championships

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By Sean Moriarty

Killarney Cycling Club members showed their skills on the national stage last weekend.

WINNERS: Killarney Cycling Club member Frank Doherty won the Senior 4 race and was joined on the podium by second-placed club member Thomas O'Reilly.

TOP STEP: Mark McGlynn won the S2 race.

The club hosted the second round of the Irish Cross-Country Mountain Bike National Points Series at An Óige Youth Hostel in Fossa on Sunday.

Over 150 riders from all over Ireland took part in the biggest mountain biking event in the area since the club last hosted the national championship in 2018.

Several club members won their category in the event. Adam Murphy was the top junior, Mark McGlynn topped the Senior 2 men’s race, and Frank Doherty was the winner in the Senior 4 men’s race.

“It was a spectacular performance from Mark McGlynn, combining strong legs, great technical abilities and tactical prowess to come away with the win, getting the better of 30 riders on home soil,” said club PRO Keith Lyne.

“Adam Murphy continued his good form on two wheels to finish very comfortably on the top step of the podium in the junior race. A strong sprint at the start saw a gap open very quickly which continually increased as the laps went on. No one is capable of getting the better of this young man at the moment.”

Lissivigeen man Doherty has a passion for two-wheeled sports. Last year he raced motorcycles at Mondello Park. After the season ended he took up cycle racing and has many top 10 results all over Kerry and beyond. He went off road last weekend.

“Frank Doherty swapped out his usual racing wheels for something a bit thicker and found himself on the top step of the podium after an hour of fast racing. Thomas O’Reilly wasn’t far behind and finished a well-deserved second,” added Keith.

“We also had Noel Doherty, Eoin Mannix and Cathal Hickey racing in style, and all finishing inside the top 10 [in S4]. All of our riders showed off their technical abilities around the course and provided spectators with great entertainment.”

The club PRO paid tribute to his fellow club officers who put in weeks of work to make the event happen.

“We are very grateful to everyone that made Sunday possible; An Óige for the use of the facilities, all of our sponsors who continuously back our ventures and all volunteers on the day who helped with marshalling, traffic control, set up and clean up, resulting in smooth running from start to end,” he said. “Thanks to all of the riders who travelled from all corners of the country to participate in a very enjoyable day of racing in the Kingdom.”

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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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