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Moving tribute made to popular Paudie at Garda blitz

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By Michelle Crean

A moving tribute was paid to Garda Paudie Twohig by his former colleagues and his family during a football blitz in town.

TROPHY: Superintendent Flor Murphy presents Samuel Scroope with a trophy for the winner of the overall player of the tournament at the Killarney Garda National School 7-a-side Football Blitz for Kerry national schools in Fitzgerald Stadium. Photo: Marie Carroll-O'Sullivan

SECOND PLACE: In second place at the 16th annual Killarney Garda National School 7-a-side Football Blitz at Fitzgerald Stadium were Fossa NS pictured with organiser Garda Eddie Walsh Teacher Padraig Corcoran and Superintendent Flor Murphy. Photo: Marie Carroll-O'Sullivan

JOINT WINNERS: Joint winners Faye Lynch (left) and Sadbh O'Halloran (Kilcummin NS) winners of the overall female player of the Killarney Garda National School 7-a-side Football Blitz at Fitzgerald Stadium pictured with Superintendent Flor Murphy (left) and organiser Garda Eddie Walsh. Photo: Marie Carroll-O'Sullivan

READY FOR ACTION: Garda Mike Milner leads the 18 national school teams onto the pitch at Fitzgerald Stadium for the Killarney Garda National School 7-a-side Football Blitz where Kenmare won to Fossa 3-5 to 2-7 on Monday. Photo: Marie Carroll-O'Sullivan

WINNERS: Kenmare took home the Tadgh O'Sullivan Memorial Cup as winners of the Killarney Garda National School 7-a-side Football Blitz at Fitzgerald Stadium on Monday. Photo: Marie Carroll-O'Sullivan

THANKS: Garda Diane Collins Twohig together with her eldest daughter Tara Grace thanked the organisers for dedicating the tournament to her late husband Garda Paudie Twohig and shared her memory of Paudie's dedication to the Garda 7 A Side Football Blitz over the years at Fitzgerald Stadium on Monday. Photo: Marie Carroll-O'Sullivan

On Monday, 270 pupils from 18 Kerry schools and one from Cork came together to battle it out in Fitzgerald Stadium for the 16th Killarney Garda National School 7-a-side Football Blitz.

The last blitz was held in 2019 before the pandemic took hold. Last August Paudie, a father of two little girls, passed away following a short battle with cancer, and as one of the organisers of the blitz since it began, his colleagues and family wanted to pay tribute to him.

Garda Eddie Walsh led the tribute followed by Superintendent Flor Murphy. Then Paudie's beloved wife Diane Collins Twohig, who works as a local Garda in Killarney, said a few words. Paudie's daughter's Tara and Olivia, his father John, sister Mairead and brother Tadgh were also present, including club officers from his club in Aghinagh, Chief Superintendent Eileen Foster and members of the Kerry Division and retired members who also helped out on the day.

"All 18 teams were led out by piper Mike Milner who is a Sergeant in Cahersiveen," Eddie told the Killarney Advertiser.

"All 270 players formed a circle and a tribute was paid to Paudie. We had his Kerry Garda GAA jersey and his Aghinagh jersey. After the speeches and before the tournament began his family released blue and white balloons which were his club colours, a blue balloon to signify An Garda Síochána and red and white to signify Cork as he was an avid Cork GAA supporter. Also, John C O'Shea recorded it all on a drone."

MATCHES

The event began at 10am and ran until 5pm with a total of 52 matches played throughout the day.

"We had three pitches going at the one time with 12 matches an hour."

The winning team was St John's Boys National School Kenmare with a scoreline of 3 goals 5 points beating Fossa by a point.

The Tadhg O'Suilleabháin Memorial Cup was presented to the captain of the team by Sean and Mary O'Sullivan.

The boy's winning Player of the Tournament was Samuel Scroope.

The Joint Overall Winners were Faye Lynch (Fossa NS) and Sadhbh O'Halloran (Kilcummin NS).

Eddie added that he'd like to thank all the sponsors including Liam Brosnan from Irish Drains for their support and to everyone who helped on the day. Also Brian O'Shea and Alex Hennigan and other students from The Sem provided by Vince Cooper to help out on the day.

"It's a great sporting and community event for An Garda Síochána to interact with pupils, parents, teachers and the community. This year we went past the mark of over 3,000 total players since it began. We're looking forward to 2023," he said.

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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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