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Progress on town centre CCTV

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Significant progress will be made on the introduction of CCTV in the town centre “over the course of 2022”.

The much-mooted CCTV plan has grown in urgency following a recent survey.

Respondents to the Killarney Chamber of Tourism and Commerce commissioned survey (63.7%) said CCTV and the maintaining the town’s Purple Flag status for a safe night time economy (48.5%) were high on their list of priorities for the town.

A further 52.0% of businesses expressed concerns about there being a very high risk of anti-social behaviour on the streets and car parks with 31.4% saying there was a high risk to the town’s reputation as a safe place to visit and socialise.

It is anticipated, but not confirmed, that the CCTV control room would be situated in Killarney Garda Station.

Cllr Niall Kelleher has been pushing for the introduction of CCTV in Killarney since the last election in May 2019.

“We’ve seen in surveys published that there’s a very high risk to the reputation of Killarney in relation to anti-social behaviour and loitering…this system, because it can be in the Garda station and they can have real-time live access, will be a fantastic resource to deal with issues as they arise in our town,” he told a recent meeting of Killarney Municipal District.

However, he expressed concerns on the timelines and the lack of a launch date for the CCTV system.

Kerry County Council is in the course of preparing a Data Protection Impact Assessment (DPIA).

“Once the DPIA is completed it will be necessary to consult with the Data Protection Commission (DPC) in relation to the proposals for CCTV as set out in the DPIA and in relation to the range of measures to ensure that the rights and freedoms of individuals are safeguarded in accordance with the legislative requirements taking account of guidance from the DPC and recent actions by the DPC in this area,” a Council official told the meeting.

“Following this consultation with the DPC it will be necessary to update the Garda Commissioner’s authorisation for the project prior to the commencement of the infrastructural works associated with the project and a formal application to the Garda Commissioner will be required in respect of same.”

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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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