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Publicans fear a different landscape post Coronavirus

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By Sean Moriarty

Life after the current Coronavirus pandemic will be very different for tourism - particularly pubs - according to two well-known Killarney bar owners.

Pubs were the first to be asked to close as the country strived to contain the spread of the virus, but it looks likely to be the last type of business to be allowed to re-open.

Publicans say they agree with the current measures to protect the health of the country’s citizens, but their thoughts are already turning to measures they will need to take once they are given the green light to reopen.

Patrick O’Sullivan, who runs the Tatler Jack on Plunkett St, is calling for a Government-led aid package to stimulate growth in the sector.

“There has to be a package and it needs to come from the Government and be trashed out with the Vintners Federation,” he said. “There will have to be a lot of thought put into it."

He also says any delay in reopening pubs will only further postpone the tourist season as he feels Killarney’s nightlife is equally part the tourist package as the scenery and other attractions.

“Pubs are part of the jigsaw and we can’t finish the puzzle with a piece missing,” he said. “If we don’t have the full jigsaw, we won’t have the footfall and everyone will suffer.”

Kate O’Leary who runs the Laurels Bar and Restaurant at Market Cross has similar concerns.

“Pubs are part of our unique selling point and this is why so many people come here from all over the world,” she said. “Struggling pubs should be assisted – they are fundamental to our tourism.”

Both publicans are calling for better Government direction, in terms of preparations and what are they allowed do when they do re-open.

“Can I open the restaurant and service it from the bar?” she asked. “How will we manage social distancing in a bar? Some people outside will decide themselves if a place is too busy and won’t enter, and the days being wedged into an Irish pub could change, people won’t be comfortable to be elbow-to-elbow in a bar.”

Kate also raised concerns about potential claims against owners of a public building if a cure cannot be found for COVID-19 and if someone takes legal action after they, potentially, catch the virus in such a building.

“We live in a very litigious society, we are at risk of being open to claims,” she added.

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30 years of Innisfallen Island MassThe annual special concelebrated Mass on Innisfallen Island takes place next week.

Next Friday (June 21), members of the public are invited to attend the Mass taking place at 6.30pm. Now in its 30th year, the Mass was originally an idea by […]

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Next Friday (June 21), members of the public are invited to attend the Mass taking place at 6.30pm.

Now in its 30th year, the Mass was originally an idea by Geoffrey O’Donoghue who sadly died four years after it began.

“There was an Augustinian Monastery on Innisfallen Island and the people, including priests and monks and they say Brian Boro, went out there to study. The lake, Lough Lein is called ‘The Lake of Learning’,” said his wife Mary who carries on the tradition in his memory.

“My husband Geoffrey was a descendent of the O’Donoghues and he wanted to have Mass on the island. The O’Donoghues built Ross Castle and owned the lands and the lake surrounding it which was later donated by John McShane to the people of Killarney. He [Geoffrey] asked one of the friars and one day he got a call from the OPW that there would be a plaque unveiled to John McShane and they asked if the Mass could coincide with it. It was attended by Sr Pauline, John McShane’s daughter.”

She added that all the public are welcome to attend. Boats, which will have a nominal fee to cover their costs, will be carrying passengers out from 4pm onwards.

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Photo of “hidden gem” wins Camera Club’s latest competition

A photograph of one of Killarney’s hidden beauty spots was deemed the winner of Killarney Camera Club’s most recent competition. Th standard was high throughout all categories but in the […]

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A photograph of one of Killarney’s hidden beauty spots was deemed the winner of Killarney Camera Club’s most recent competition.

Th standard was high throughout all categories but in the Novice category, Iryna Halaieva’s photograph of O’Sullivan’s Cascade was deemed the winner.

“A waterfall is my favourite waterbody and long exposure is my favourite photographic technique,” she said. “I do my best to have as many waterfalls as possible in my photo collection. I heard a lot about O’Sullivan’s Cascade and wanted to visit that hidden gem of Kerry. So, shortly before our club competition I went with a friend to Tomies Wood to photograph it. It was a dream come true for me.”

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