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Miss Keane closes her school books after 43 year’s dedicated service

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By Michelle Crean

From days of "chalk and talk" right through to today's modern and sophisticated technologies - one teacher has inspired thousands - but today (Friday) she officially closed her books after 43 years.

Marcia pictured in Croke Park after Kerry defeated Offaly 4-15 to 1-5 in the 1992 All-Ireland inter-county colleges football final.

After 43 years, teacher Marcia Kissane (nee Keane) who is described as "a brilliant teacher" and "highly respected" is leaving Killarney Community College (KCC) ready to take on a new life challenge.

From the moment she entered the old Tech in New Street in September 1979 she said she received a warm Killarney welcome.

"I felt and knew I had found my special work place," she told the Killarney Advertiser.

"For me, Killarney Community College is a place rich in experience where I have had the pleasure and privilege of knowing and working with the most wonderful people with students and colleagues."

In teaching, as in life, the one constant is change, she added.

She taught the old Group Cert and Inter Cert through to the latest modes of assessment in the new Junior and Leaving Certificates.

Marcia also made GAA history in May 1992 as a selector on the Kerry VEC football team that won the All-Ireland inter-county series. She was the first female selector in an all-male management team to win an All-Ireland inter-county football final at Croke Park.

"I have wonderful memories of coaching and organising athletes, cross country, ladies football ad reaching All-Ireland glory with Kerry Vocational school. Teaching has been a life-changing journey. I have enjoyed so much teaching both with my favourite subjects Geography, Maths and Irish. I have experienced fun and laughter, joy and sorrow, love and acceptance, hope and despair, community and commitment. I love my students and I have been blessed and challenged by them as I have accompanied them on their school journeys. My special interest has been the Leaving Certificate Applied and watching the progress of these students over the years is one of the most gratifying experiences in teaching."

GRATITUDE

"I feel immense gratitude and appreciation for all the wonderful staff members it has been my honour and privilege to work with. I thank them for their generous sharing of expertise, skills, resources and knowledge but most of all for their love, kindness, understanding and non-judgemental acceptance," she added.

"I leave in the knowledge that Killarney Community College is led and guided by professional, compassionate, caring people. KCC is a wonderful place of teaching and learning but most of all a place of valuing and affirmation of each and every unique individual in the community."

And being a life long learner Marcia is planning further study in the area of human relationships and plans to give parenting courses.

"I believe parenting is rocket science and that knowledge and support are needed in this most precious of human endeavours. Thank you to Stella and Eilish and everyone in KCC and to my family, Ted, Cathy and Elaine."

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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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