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Stage is set for Celtic Steps return

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By Michelle Crean

The anticipation is palpable - for not only for cast and crew - but also the audience as one local show is set to finally return to the stage this weekend.

The stage is all set at Killarney Racecourse as this Sunday night Celtic Steps The Show makes comeback at 8pm ahead of a busy season.

The popular show, which has been a notable absence on the Killarney entertainment scene for the past two years due to nationwide restrictions, will return to enthral guests with a sensational production of Ireland’s best loved songs and stories, traditional music and dance, featuring the country’s most celebrated musicians and world champion Irish dancers.

“We are absolutely thrilled to be finally making a comeback to the stage and to our home of the Killarney Racecourse this weekend," David Rea of Celtic Steps said.

"It has been a tough two years of setbacks and uncertainties, but the time feels right and we are hopeful for the season ahead."

Co-producer of Celtic Steps, Sean Murphy, added that they have been getting huge support in anticipation of the show's return.

“The feedback and support that we have been getting so far from tour operators and agents as well as businesses locally is that guests are genuinely excited to come back to Killarney and experience all that the town has to offer and we are certainly ready to entertain them."

Meanwhile, the cast and crew of the show have been delighting fans across social media with a series of videos of their behind-the-scenes preparations to coincide with the countdown to the big opening night this Sunday.

Celtic Steps The Show will run six nights a week, Sunday to Friday, at the Killarney Racecourse, from April 3 and five nights a week from Sunday to Thursday at the Brandon Conference Centre in Tralee from May 3.

All tickets are now available online at www.celticsteps.ie.

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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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