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Smaller than perceived visitor numbers in Killarney – says hotelier

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By Sean Moriarty

 

A recent survey by hotel operators in the Killarney area revealed that the number of overseas visitors, who are staying in local hotels, are well below the perceived numbers reported in the town.

Bernadette Randles, the Chair of the Kerry Branch of the Irish Hotel Federation (IHF) and owner/operator of both the Dromhall Hotel and The Randles Court Hotel in Killarney surveyed 11 different hotels in the town centre area.

The results, which did not include guesthouses, Airbnb properties, self-catering units and camping and caravan facilities, found that there were no overseas tourists booked into to IHF member properties last weekend.

The findings go against colloquial evidence that suggest Killarney is overrun with foreign tourists as locals continue to remain very nervous about the potential spread of COVID-19 in the locality.

Ms Randles said local IHF members were taking every precaution possible to ensure both staff and permitted guests remain safe in the current challenging climate.

These include monitoring email addresses and mobile phone numbers at the time of booking. She also reported a large number of ‘no shows’ from American visitors who made their bookings in February but have decided now not to travel.

She explained that one of the reasons there is a perception that there are a lot of foreign visitors in the area is because international citizens who now live in Ireland full-time are enjoying staycations.

“I am aware of one booking from an Italian family who were at pains to point out they have been living in Dublin for the last 10 years,” she told the Killarney Advertiser yesterday (Thursday). “Another hotel took a booking from a Scottish man. It was clear from his accent he was Scottish but he has been living Tulla, Co Clare for years. There has been a long tradition of Northern Irish visitors coming to Killarney in and around the July 12 weekend as they do not want to be part of the parade culture that exists there at this time.”

SELF-ISOLATION RULES

She is calling for more Government support and feels hoteliers are been asked to police the so called 'self -isolation’ rules.

As it stands, overseas visitors are required to fill out a locator form and quarantine for two-weeks. However, the law is vague in this matter and the only legal requirement is to fill out the form. Visitors are free to nominate a hotel as their quarantine location.

Ms Randles feels this is an unfair position to place hotel owners in.

Despite taking every precaution in the pre-booking process she admits that it is possible that some bookings will slip through the net.

“What am I supposed to do if an American family arrive at my reception looking for a bed,” she asked. “I can’t turf them out on the street, I will have to give them a room, but one that is in a quieter portion of the hotel. I would give them the room for one night only, I would report it the HSE and inform members of the IHF in the area. I won’t be able to sell that room for another two or three days after they leave as I can’t ask my staff to clean that room. The Government need to give us clear directions and take charge of this. How can we police it? It is unfair on hotels to expect them to do it, we must protect staff too.”

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Motorists urged to be vigilant during deer breeding season

Deer are most active from late September until early November as the breeding season gets underway – but this causes huge problems for drivers especially from dawn and dusk. “While the rut is an amazing experience to witness it is also a time when there is an increased incident of road traffic accidents involving deer […]

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Deer are most active from late September until early November as the breeding season gets underway – but this causes huge problems for drivers especially from dawn and dusk.

“While the rut is an amazing experience to witness it is also a time when there is an increased incident of road traffic accidents involving deer as male deer go in search of females and younger males are ousted by dominant males forcing deer to cross roads and motorways,” Damien Hannigan from the Irish Deer Commission said.

Drivers are being advised to reduce speed, stay alert and dip their headlights as the full beam may cause the deer to freeze.

“If a deer has crossed in front of your vehicle, be aware that others may follow. Do not approach an injured deer. If you are involved in a deer road traffic accident or come across a deer that has been involved in a road traffic accident, immediately contact the local Gardaí.”

The Irish Deer Commission operate a humane deer dispatch scheme with 75 trained volunteers assisting agencies and charities who deal with an increasing number of deer vehicle collisions nationally.

On Sunday October 10 the Irish Deer Commission will hold a Red Deer Rut Watch event in Killarney National
Park. It has taken place in Killarney continuously for over 5,000 years and Killarney National Park is acknowledged as one of the best locations in Europe to observe the red deer rut.
This family friendly event is being hosted by the National Parks and Wildlife Service and is free. There will be talks by a Conservation Rangers and the Irish Deer Commission, along with a display of native red deer antlers.

Booking is available only online via visit www.irishdeercommission.ie.

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Happy Birthday Sham

Well-known Killarney character Seamus ‘Sham’ Courtney celebrated his 75th birthday yesterday (Thursday) at his favourite town centre watering hole. Sham who has entertained countless tourists over the years with his pronounced Kerry accent is one of the town’s best loved characters. One video recorded by RTE’s Today Show around the time of his 71st birthday […]

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Well-known Killarney character Seamus ‘Sham’ Courtney celebrated his 75th birthday yesterday (Thursday) at his favourite town centre watering hole.

Sham who has entertained countless tourists over the years with his pronounced Kerry accent is one of the town’s best loved characters.

One video recorded by RTE’s Today Show around the time of his 71st birthday has amassed 7.5 million viewers.

Yesterday he visited one of his favourite pubs, Jack C O’Shea’s on High St, where proprietors John and Joan O’Shea and their ever-present dog Ginny placed decorative balloons around the bar to mark the occasion.

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