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Priority closing date for SUSI applications is fast approaching

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SUSI, the national student grant awarding authority, is urging students who have not yet submitted their application for student funding in academic year 2020-21 to do so now by applying online at www.susi.ie. The priority closing date for new applications is this Thursday, July 9.

“I encourage all further and higher education students planning to apply for funding for the new academic year to check out susi.ie and begin the process now. Students who submit their application on or before July 9 will receive priority processing,” advised Eleanor Murphy, SUSI’s Communications and Customer Services Manager.

“Our aim is to have as many grant application decisions as possible with students before the start of the new academic year. The sooner we receive the application, the sooner the student will receive an outcome,” she added.

Students do not need to have their Leaving Cert results, or to have accepted a course, in order to apply. They can simply supply details of the course they hope to study and can update their final course choice online at a later date.

SUSI, which is in its ninth year of operations, opened for applications for academic year 2020-21 on April 23. To date over 77,000 applications have been received from new and returning students with over 43,000 students already awarded funding.

SUSI will continue to accept applications for student funding after July 9, however these applications will not receive priority processing. On average, it takes approx. five weeks to process an application. Students who have applied for funding can track their application’s progress online through their SUSI account.

In the last academic year, SUSI processed almost 96,000 applications with over 76,000 students awarded funding.

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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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