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Measures urgently required to protect tourism livelihoods

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HOTELIERS CALL FOR SUPPORT: Bernadette Randles previously pictured on the occasion of being elected chair of the Kerry Branch of the Irish Hotels Federation with fellow Kerry hoteliers.

 

Hotel and guesthouse owners in Kerry and across the country are calling on Paschal Donohue TD, Minister for Finance, and the Government to introduce a series of urgent measures to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on the economy, including the tourism and hospitality industry.

Over the past few weeks, the industry has been decimated with over 85 percent of hotels closed nationally and the majority of the 260,000 employees laid off or on short-time.

They are calling for a range of measures that will allow businesses to plan now for their recovery including Local Authority rates and water charges to be waived for a minimum period of 12 months; measures to assist with cash flow for businesses facing short term problems and VAT rates to be reduced to zero for a minimum of 12 months and until the industry has recovered, then restored to nine percent on a permanent basis.

Bernadette Randles, Chair of the Kerry branch of the Irish Hotels Federation said that hoteliers appreciated that the country is experiencing the greatest health crisis in living memory and that significant resources are being committed to address the overriding issue of public health.

However, she warned that “every day’s delay in implementing the measures, results in greater risks to our tourism and hospitality industry.

"The health and well-being of all citizens is intertwined with the economy, and people will need livelihoods after the crisis is over. Tourism supports 11 percent of total employment nationally. It is important to note that 70 percent of these jobs are outside of Dublin which highlights its vital role in spreading employment opportunities and prosperity across the entire country. Here in Kerry, tourism supported 15,700 jobs and generated €592m in local revenues before this crisis,” she said.

Ms Randles noted the willingness of hotels to play their part in providing assistance to essential services where required by the HSE and other Government departments. She said that mitigating the impact of COVID-19 must go hand in hand with ensuring that Irish people have a viable economy to return to in the coming months.

“Irish tourism has been a key driver of job growth over the last decade, and it is essential that our industry remains to the fore of the national economic agenda, including in negotiations on the Framework for Government. Whilst discussions are ongoing, further measures are now urgently required to protect tourism livelihoods and address the enormous challenges we face. These challenges are existential for many tourism businesses and of a significantly greater scale than anything experienced during the last financial crisis."

“At present most of our industry nationally is closed. We are seeking an urgent response to ensure that hotel and guesthouse properties are preserved and ready to scale up when the COVID-19 related restrictions are lifted. Tourism and hospitality businesses are now working to secure the necessary funds to survive and restart."

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Free creative workshop for children impacted by cancer

Cancer support charity, Recovery Haven Kerry, will host a free creative workshop for children impacted by cancer this coming Thursday (September 30). The online event has been organised to mark Childhood Cancer Awareness Month this September and will be facilitated by Recovery Haven Kerry deputy manager and art therapist, Katie O’Donoghue from Killarney. The workshop, which […]

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Cancer support charity, Recovery Haven Kerry, will host a free creative workshop for children impacted by cancer this coming Thursday (September 30).

The online event has been organised to mark Childhood Cancer Awareness Month this September and will be facilitated by Recovery Haven Kerry deputy manager and art therapist, Katie O’Donoghue from Killarney.

The workshop, which takes place via Zoom at 6.30pm, is aimed at children who have been impacted by cancer in any way and will also see Katie read from her debut children’s book, ‘‘The Little Squirrel Who Worried’.

Workshop facilitator, Katie, has worked for many years as a child and young people’s therapist with the NHS, before returning to her native Killarney this year. Her background is in fine art and design and she has a Masters degree in Art Psychotherapy.

If you would like to register your child for this free online workshop, please contact Recovery Haven Kerry on 066 7192122 to book your place.

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Not to be for Killarney as Waterford named Best Place to Live in Ireland

While Killarney made it through to the last five, in the end it was Waterford City which claimed the overall title of Best Place to Live in Ireland 2021. While the city was the unanimous choice of the judging panel it had to beat off stiff competition from Killarney and three other shortlisted locations: Clonakilty, […]

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While Killarney made it through to the last five, in the end it was Waterford City which claimed the overall title of Best Place to Live in Ireland 2021.

While the city was the unanimous choice of the judging panel it had to beat off stiff competition from Killarney and three other shortlisted locations: Clonakilty, Co Cork, Galway city and the village of Glaslough in Co Monaghan.

Among the things which impressed the judges about Waterford were its beautiful buildings, its liveability, its pedestrian friendly public space, its weather, and its easy access to the Comeragh Mountains and the Copper Coast.

The Chair of the judging panel Conor Goodman congratulated Killarney on its fine showing in the competition.

“Given the level of entries and the extremely high standard of those entries, making it into the Best 5 Places to Live in Ireland really is a wonderful achievement which I’m sure everyone in Killarney and Kerry is really proud of. We were delighted with the level of interest in the competition and would like to thank everyone who nominated a place or who engaged with us on it.”

The Irish Times Best Place to Live in Ireland contest, which is supported by Randox Health, began in June.

In total 470 locations were nominated by more than 2,400 people from all 32 counties for the title of ‘Best Place to Live in Ireland 2021’.

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