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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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Gaelscoil pupils compete in Fleadh for the first time

By Michelle Crean It was their first time entering Fleadh Cheoil Chiarraí but Gaelscoil Faithleann pupils proved they’ve got talent as they made it to the next stage of the […]

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By Michelle Crean

It was their first time entering Fleadh Cheoil Chiarraí but Gaelscoil Faithleann pupils proved they’ve got talent as they made it to the next stage of the competition.

Muinteoir Treasa Uí Scannláin and Muinteoir Lisa Ni Iarlaithe prepared the children over the last two months on Thursday evenings after school.

For the competition 22 kids were entered in the Under 11 and 13 categories in the Comhra Gaeilge competition in Tralee.

Three of the Under 11s and three of the school’s Under 13s are now going forward to represent Chiarraí the Fleadh Cheoil na Mumhan in Newcastle West on July 15.

“The standard was very high and it was our first time entering this competition. All of the children were representing Cill Airne Comhaltas,” Lisa said.

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Kilcummin has strong representation in Fleadh Cheoil Chiarraí

Fleadh Cheoil Chiarraí may have been absent in the live sense over the previous two years, however it returned over the last two weekends and it delivered with aplomb! The […]

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Fleadh Cheoil Chiarraí may have been absent in the live sense over the previous two years, however it returned over the last two weekends and it delivered with aplomb!

The home of Kerry Comhaltas, the Dúchas Centre on the MTU campus in Tralee, was the host venue on the first weekend of the Fleadh, which accommodated the dancing competitions.

“We were spoiled with the spectacle of live dancing of the highest calibre accompanied by live music from accomplished musicians … food for the soul!” Derek O’Leary, Kilcummin CCE PRO, said.

“Much credit and thanks goes to the Moriarty School of Dancing, Mary, John and Adrian who represented Kilcummin CCE and prepared our teams to compete at the highest level.

“We also had such a great weekend in the singing and music competitions over the second weekend of Fleadh Cheoil Charraí, held in the Dúchas Centre and other areas of the MTU campus. All of our competitors performed to the highest standard in robust competition. Well done to all who competed and congratulations to all who go forward to represent Chiarraí the Fleadh Cheoil na Mumhan, in Newcastle West, Co. Limerick from July 10 to 16.”

Kilcummin had strong representation throughout the dancing competition during the first weekend of Fleadh Cheoil Chiarraí.

U12 Ladies 1st place and County Champions.

“Well done to our second U12 Ladies set who weren’t placed but danced beautifully.”

U12 Mixed 1st place & County Champions.
U12 mixed 2nd place.
15-18 Mixed 2nd place.
15-18 Ladies & Mixed Half set 3rd place
U12-15 Ladies 3rd place
Senior mixed half set 1st place and County Champions
Over 35’s 1st Place & County Champions

Kilcummin also excelled in the music and singing competitions of the second weekend of the Fleadh.

Eoin Foley – Accordion 1st place
Eoin Foley – Melodeon 2nd place
Aisling O’Connor – 1st place – Ladies O18 English Singing
Liam Kerrisk – 1st place – 15-18 Melodeon
Michael Healy – Button accordion (12-15) 1st place
Michael Healy – Melodeon (12-15) 1st place
Sean Butler – Button Accordion (12-15) 2nd place
Colleen Anland and Michael Healy – Duets (12-15) 1st place
Seán Fleming – Kerry Comhaltas U15 History Project 1st place

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