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Spa GAA is the place to be this weekend

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By Sean Moriarty

Spa GAA is preparing to host one of the biggest Gaelic Football tournaments ever to hit Killarney.

TOURNAMENT: Spa teammates Mags Cronin Roisin Kearney Megan Cronin and Alma Cronin will contest the 7s Tournament at Spa GAA this weekend.

JERSEY: Spa GAA players Ciaran Spillane Megan Cronin Mike Foley and Ryan O'Carroll show off their specially commission jerseys for the weekend's Sevens Tournament.

On Saturday and Sunday the club has organised a fundraising Club 7s GAA competition at its venue near Tiernaboul.

The 7-a-side tournament will begin at 10am on Saturday and 11am on Sunday, with senior men’s and ladies teams from Kerry, Cork, Dublin, Limerick, Waterford, Tipperary and London competing over the weekend.

As well as the football competition, the club will have live music every day from 12 noon at a special Rockshore marquee that has been installed in the club’s grounds for the weekend.

“This is the first time the club have hosted such an event, and as well as the senior men’s and senior ladies 7-a-side tournament, with teams competing to win a share of the €10,000 prize money, there will be live music each day from 12 noon to 10pm, a variety of food vendors serving hot food and snacks, as well as a kid's play zone. It will be a family-friendly event with something for all ages,” said the club’s PRO Deirdre O'Sullivan Darcy.

Full details on the event, teams, and the entertainment schedule can be found on www.killarneyclub7s.ie.

Tickets are priced at €20 for a day pass or €30 for a weekend pass and U18s are free but must be accompanied by an adult.

Gates are open at the event from 9.30am to 9pm Saturday and 10am to 9pm on Sunday.

“All entrants to the event, including players, must wear an entry wristband. You will get your wristband by purchasing a ticket online. The wristbands will be given at entry to the event,” she added.

“There has a been a huge effort from our club members and volunteers working to get the grounds ready to welcome thousands of people to Spa over the weekend and a big thank you to everyone who is helping out."

The men’s clubs entered are Kerins O'Rahillys, Austin Stacks, Cuala, Lucan Sarsfields, St Kiernans of London and Mitchelstown GAA.

The Ladies squads are Southern Gaels, Brian Boru, Castleknock, Valley Rovers, Castlehaven, Feohanagh Castlemahon, Bantry, MKL Gaels and Clonakilty.

Three clubs have entered teams in both competitions, Spa, Eire Óg and Na Fianna.

Volunteers are still needed for the weekend so if anyone would be available to help out either day please contact Deirdre on 085 1216359.

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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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