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Senator Mark Daly listens to key issues during visit

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Senator Mark Daly visited Ukrainians in the Innisfallen Hotel who are temporarily protected by Ireland due to the war against Ukraine.

Ukrainians from Killarney previously invited the senator to the K-Fest Festival, where they organised a day of Ukrainian culture.

The senator talked to Ukrainians in an informal atmosphere. The key issues raised by the newcomers to Ireland were the introduction of simplified procedures for the recognition of Ukrainian diplomas in Ireland, the access of young people to higher education and the creation of additional housing for Ukrainians.

"Among the newly arrived Ukrainians there are many highly qualified people, such as doctors, teachers, psychologists, lawyers," Natalya Krasnenkova, local community coordinator, said.

"All of them can and want to work in specialties that contribute to the Irish economy and fill existing vacancies. But now the confirmation of Ukrainian diplomas is long and bureaucratic, which rejects our fellow citizens to low-paid working specialties. For example, a family medicine hospital director with 20 years of experience is forced to work as a waitress, while Killarney lacks doctors. Or we see a lot of vacant truck drivers, but no one knows how a Ukrainian driver can reschedule driving training to work."

The senator promised to do everything possible so that Ukrainian specialists can get involved in the economy as soon as possible.

In addition, Ukrainians have talked about higher education, as Ukrainian students who are not EU citizens have to pay a high price for tuition from €16,000 to €40,000 per year. It also narrows opportunities for talented and motivated young people.

HOUSING

"Today, Ireland is in dire need of housing, even for its fellow citizens. Therefore, after some time, the pressure on the housing market will increase, when all 33,000 newly arrived Ukrainians will leave temporary shelters or hotels, and will look for the potential to rent accommodation. Ireland should now think about creating modular houses or other options for fast housing," said the Ukrainians.

As a token of gratitude for Senator Daly's continued support, Ukrainians presented him with the work of young Ukrainian artist Anastasia Shkurko 'Ukrainian Phoenix Remembrance'. The work is dedicated to Ukrainian women who have suffered from torture, mass rape and other crimes committed by Russian troops in Ukraine.

"Impersonal images of women in national costumes symbolise Ukrainian women victims of the Russian-Ukrainian war. The pitchfork in their hands means the impossibility of forgiving crimes against humanity.
Nevertheless, I believe that these Ukrainian phoenixes will be reborn and find their peace of mind. I hope that the presented picture draws attention to the topic of crimes against civilians." Senator Mark Daly promises to put this work in his office.

In all, since the beginning of the war, Ireland has received more than 33,000 Ukrainian refugees. 1,900 of them are in Killarney. Senator Mark Daly is a lobbyist on the Ukrainian issue. One week ago, he submitted to the Senate a resolution recognising the genocide status of Russia's aggression against Ukraine and called for Ukraine to be a candidate for EU membership.

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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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