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No major intercounty matches for Killarney this summer

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By Sean Moriarty

Kerry footballers in action in Fitzgerald Stadium in either the Munster or All-Ireland championships are unlikely to happen this year - Kerry GAA Chairman Tim Murphy said this week.

The Kerry GAA county board are monitoring the national health situation but as each week passes there is less time available on the calendar to host a full summer season of intercounty action.

The Government announced recently that all major events involving more than five thousand people would not be permitted to run until September 1 at the earliest.

GAA officials in Croke Park have said that localised club championships would be first to get up and running once any restrictions are lifted.

That means time is running out for any meaningful intercounty championship and rather than run a championship-style season which includes the Super 8 format, this year’s provincial and All-Ireland series will run in the old-style knock-out format with the winner of each province going straight to an All-Ireland semi-final.

The Kerry V Cork Munster semi-final fixture, regardless of a date, is set in stone to be played in Pairc Ui Caoimhe in Cork City and with the Super 8s championship kicked to touch, the net result is Killarney will not host a major intercounty game this season.

“It [Super 8] will not happen,” Tim Murphy, Kerry GAA Chairman, told the Killarney Advertiser. “The first thing is club activity will be eased back once restrictions are lifted and this will allow some format of club activity. Once we are in a position that intercounty could resume, it would go to a straight knock-out. All of this depends on what the HSE tells us in relation to running events.”

There is some glimmer of hope but that depends on other results within the Munster series. Assuming Kerry beat Cork and either Limerick or Tipperary qualify for the Munster final, then that game would be played in Killarney. If Clare make it through, it would have to be played at a neutral venue and there is no precedence with sharing alternate venues with Waterford. Regardless, none of these counties would bring a travelling army of fans like the number of Cork fans who would descend on the town at any time.

"The longer this goes on, the likelihood there won't be any games," added Murphy. "There is a possibility and some hope of a game but it all depends on how this evolves (in terms of other results) first and then there are possibilities."

The Super 8 championship format was introduced during the 2018 season and last year Kerry hosted Mayo in Fitzgerald Stadium. A glorious summer’s day, a stadium packed to capacity and a Kerry victory made it one of the most memorable occasions in the town.

Murphy said fans will have plenty to look forward to in 2021, the home and away arrangement with Cork will swing in Killarney’s favour next season and a good run in the Munster Championship will ensure at least one Super 8 fixture on home ground.

“The Mayo match last year, there wasn’t an occasion like it anywhere in the world,” he added. “It is devastating for our players and supporters and there will be financial implications too, but that is for Croke Park to manage. Things might improve in the next six or eight weeks but the only viable solution is that the Super 8 are, most likely, gone.”

Murphy added that all decisions regarding match fixtures and spectator numbers at each ground will only be taken after speaking to senior HSE officials.

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Students awarded for their contribution to school life

By Michelle Crean Students were honoured for their contribution to school life this week during a special end of year awards ceremony. Held in the school gym on Wednesday afternoon, […]

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By Michelle Crean

Students were honoured for their contribution to school life this week during a special end of year awards ceremony.

Held in the school gym on Wednesday afternoon, the students from St Brigid’s Presentation were presented with a variety of awards from sport to science, music and visual art while Sixth Year student Saoirse Coffey received the Orla Benson Award.

“During this school year, our students have showcased their brilliance and extensive talents,” teacher Adrienne Brosnan, said.

“We are all so proud of these outstanding achievements across all aspects of school life. Awards day is a truly special occasion for all members of the St Brigid’s community and one which we relish the opportunity to celebrate. It is a time of anticipation, a time of excitement and a time of great joy. The awards that are presented are a testament to that dedication and we also acknowledge all the great work that is done by the teachers here in St Brigid’s.”

Sixth Year students also said their final goodbyes ahead of their State exams next month.

“We wish them the best of luck as they spread their wings and leave the shelter of St Brigid’s for the beginning of a new adventure.”

AWARD WINNERS

Other awards winners were:

Anna Dunlea received the Contribution to Graphics award while Leah Vinluan got the Design and Communication Graphics award.

Clodagh O’Connor and Sarah O’Sullivan both received the Contribution to Visual Art award.

Abbie Finan was awarded Soccer: Player of the Year, Chloe Hue Senior Football: Player of the Year, Emily Buckley 1st Year Football: Player of the Year, Abbey Cronin 2nd Year Football: Player of the Year, and Andrea Murphy Junior Football; Player of the Year, Senior Basketball: Most Valued Player went to Tara Donnellan, the Minor Basketball: Most Valued Player was given to Ciara O’Sullivan and the Cadette Basketball: Most Valued Player went to Leah McMahon.

Kara Huggard earned herself the LCA Student of the Year, Sarah McGrath received the CEIST Award, Excellence in Science was awarded to Emma Myers and Jennie O’Mahony, while Rita Akhter received the Overall Contribution to STEM.

Bríd O’Connor who wrote the book Spark presented Saoirse O’Sullivan with the Outstanding Achievements in Music award.

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Businesses face closure due to staff shortages

Hospitality sector businesses might have to close a few days a week to off-set staff shortages. Fáilte Ireland last week launched a recruitment drive to attract part-time workers into hospitality […]

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Hospitality sector businesses might have to close a few days a week to off-set staff shortages.

Fáilte Ireland last week launched a recruitment drive to attract part-time workers into hospitality and tourism roles, where it is estimated that there is as much as a 40,000 shortage in such roles for the peak summer season.

Damien McCarthy of HR Consultancy firm HR Buddy, founded in Killarney but now based in the RDI Hub in Killorglin, said that workers are losing out due to a more cashless society.

“Hospitality businesses may have to consider shutting their doors or decreasing their operational hours during the peak summer season as many businesses such as bars, restaurants, cafes, B&Bs and hotels are struggling to find staff for the demand. The industry is suffering over these few current weeks in particular as many part-time student workers are not available due to college and Leaving Cert exams. This shows how dependant the industry has become on young student workers,” he said.

“Many service industry workers choose part-time or casual work in hospitality roles because of the tip bonus, but this has even been impacted negatively now as most tips are taxed because they are coming in electronically. The worker is losing out and this key attraction tool that existed when we were a more cash orientated society in pre-pandemic times, is now gone.”

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