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Time to end Dublin Airport’s monopoly

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By Sean Moriarty

More flights should be scheduled in and out of regional airports to solve the current overcrowding issues in Dublin to make the smaller airports more viable.

That is according to Limerick Chamber who have called on the Department of Transport to compel the Dublin Airport Authority (DAA) to partner with airports in the regions to solve its capacity crisis and to ensure that passenger delays are avoided.

Limerick Chamber CEO Dee Ryan said that the problems at Dublin Airport can be relieved by transferring certain flights to Shannon, Cork, Ireland West (Knock) and Kerry airports, all of which have significant spare capacity, particularly as the COVID recovery in airports outside the capital is happening at a much slower pace.

“Dublin Airport’s problems are not good for passengers, for Dublin Airport or our tourism reputation. There is an obvious solution here and that is to make use of the spare capacity of airports in other regions. If Dublin Airport won’t do this, the Department of Transport should step in and compel it to open conversations with Shannon, Cork, Knock and Kerry airports with a view to using their spare capacity,” said Ryan.

“Not one of those airports are near capacity at present. Prior to COVID they were not near capacity, and they are still significantly off their pre-pandemic passenger numbers."

Her calls came in a week when Dublin Airport continued to see long delays at its departure security when Minister Hildegarde Naughton announced the allocation of just over €1 million in Exchequer funding to Kerry Airport under the Regional Airports Programme 2021-2025.

The allocation will contribute towards capital investment in the areas of safety and security at airports, whilst also supporting projects with a sustainability focus.

“The rest of the country have been inconvenienced by travelling to Dublin for decades for flights so it’s not inconceivable that the opposite would also happen. What we are seeing now with the chaos and confusion at Dublin Airport was almost predictable. We had warned, in fact, that Dublin Airport’s monopoly of the aviation market would deepen in the COVID recovery unless there was policy intervention.”

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The ultimate Quest makes a welcome return to Killarney

Adventure race enthusiasts from around the country gathered in Killarney on Saturday for the much anticipated return of Quest Killarney. Last held in 2019, this year’s event attracted over 2,500 […]

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Adventure race enthusiasts from around the country gathered in Killarney on Saturday for the much anticipated return of Quest Killarney.

Last held in 2019, this year’s event attracted over 2,500 participants who signed up to run, cycle and kayak their way around some of the most iconic scenery in the country.

Gap of Dunloe, Ladies View, Mangerton Mountain and Torc Waterfall were just some of the stunning locations along five routes of varying distances: 25km, 55km, 66km (run and cycle only), 75km, and 83km. The choice of routes allowed everyone from beginners to those with more experience to take part, as well as taking into account varying post-lockdown fitness levels!

Taking part this year were a couple of popular first-timers. Fresh from RTÉ’s Hell Week was Kerry’s own viral Instagrammer Tadgh Fleming who completed the 55k Sport Route. A fresh looking Tadgh said at the finish that Quest Killarney was, “Nothing like Hell Week, a bit harder I think! But really enjoyed it, I’d highly recommend it, going for the Pro next time!”

Incorporating Quest Killarney on her transformative weight loss journey was an elated Patricia Lewis (Trisha Transformations) who completed the 27km Challenge route, and had this to say as she crossed the finish line: “Anyone who’s thinking about doing it, don’t even hesitate, register now!”

Now on its tenth event, Quest Killarney, the world’s biggest adventure race, enjoys a growing reputation as a challenging race with a friendly atmosphere. It is also popular with visitors and participants alike as they are introduced to the stunning natural charm of Killarney’s glorious lakes and imposing mountains.

First home in the 83km Expert route was Niall Davis in a time of 04:17:55. In second place was Sebastien Giraud (04:32:47), and in third was Garry Carroll (04:34:24).
Kerry’s own Ellen Vitting (based in Kenmare) and RTÉ Hell Week finalist, was the first female home in 05:02:07. In second position was Laura O’Driscoll (05:18:43), in third position was Eimear O’Brien (05:27:13).

Overall male winner in the 73km Pro route was Dwayne Flynn (03:48:47) and overall female winner was Siobhan Dineen (04:08:37). Overall winners in the 55km ‘Sport’ route were Kevin McGuinness (02:13:08) in the men’s race and Orlaith Smith (02:34:45) in the women’s race. Winners of the 65km ‘Dual’ route were men’s race Liam Aherne (02:40:40) and women’s race Emer Monaghan (03:09:49). Winners of the 27km ‘Challenge’ route were Larry Stapleton for the men (01:13:27) and Niamh Hickey for the women (01:21:08).

Competitors were treated to hot food and music at the finish line, with prize-giving at The Gleneagle Hotel whose significant sponsorship and exceptional support continues to contribute to a positive day for everyone.

“We are thrilled that Quest Killarney has once again proven so popular with adventurers who are looking for a new challeng,” Oliver Kirwan, Race Organiser, said.

“Killarney itself is a great draw to visitors both from Kerry and further afield, introducing new people every year to its inspirational terrain. We are very much looking forward to preparing for 2023 as we encourage more people to discover their next adventure and put themselves to the Quest! We are grateful to everyone who gave us support and volunteered their time. We’d like to thank our main event sponsors Volvo and The Gleneagle Hotel, and also the contribution of our event partners All Real, Gnarly Peaks, Nuasan and MCG Kayaks.”

Organisers Elite Event Management are delighted to announce their event dates for 2023: Quest Kenmare on 11 March 2023, Quest Glendalough on 1 April 2023, Quest Lough Derg on 9 September 2023, and Quest Killarney on 7 October 2023.

For more information on next year’s events please visit www.questadventureseries.com.

 

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€8.6m funding for Further Education centres in Kerry

A new 21,000 sq ft apprenticeship training building will be part of the €3.7m plans for Kerry Education and Training Board (KETB). This Substantial Capital Investment – a total of […]

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A new 21,000 sq ft apprenticeship training building will be part of the €3.7m plans for Kerry Education and Training Board (KETB).

This Substantial Capital Investment – a total of €8,696,719 – was announced by Simon Harris TD, the Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research Innovation and Science when he visited Kerry College of Further Education and Training (FET) Campuses, in Monavalley Tralee and Listowel yesterday (Monday) under the FET Strategic Infrastructure Upgrade Fund.

This investment will provide new modern facilities for FET staff and learners in both Tralee and Listowel that have traditionally been provided from a building in Listowel shared with Coláiste Na Ríochta post-primary school and rented premises in Tralee.

The announcement for these two projects is part of the first tranche of capital investments under this fund, with 13 projects being funded nationally.

Kerry ETB has become an innovative provider of FET services since their establishment of the first fully integrated college of Further Education and Training in Ireland.

Kerry College of Further Education and Training was established in September 2019 when Kerry ETB integrated the former training centre and post-Leaving Certificate college into a single college structure.

Kerry College’s continued development since 2019 has been a welcomed and positive one for the sector, leading the way in terms of embedding a new approach to a FET provision that is fully aligned to the SOLAS FET Strategy 2020 – 2024 and their vision of the FET College of the Future. The capital investment announcement is a very important step on this journey.

“Both of Kerry ETB’s proposed projects under the SIUF are included in the first phase of projects to be advanced under the initiative,” Minister Harris said.

“This is a testimony to Kerry ETB’s strategic vision and commitment to advancing the development of the FET College of the future concept.”

In welcoming this announcement an Cathaoirleach of Kerry ETB, Cllr Jim Finucane thanked Minister Harris.

“This funding is very significant and supports Kerry ETB in its vision of ensuring that the learners of Kerry have access to further education and training opportunities locally. In our ETB Strategy Statement 2018-2022 we emphasised the need to enhance the working and learning environment for staff and learners and this investment announcement is another milestone in working towards achieving this objective.”

The Investment announced for the Listowel Campus will provide funding for the refurbishment and expansion of the Building at Clieveragh Business Park, Listowel purchased by the ETB in 2021.

The Kerry College Monavalley Campus is synonymous with the provision of innovative FET programmes and apprentice programmes for decades. The expansion of the campus facilities is very important and this investment is welcomed.

Campus Manager Con O’Sullivan said that Kerry College Monavalley Campus has a long and established tradition of delivering apprenticeship training in Kerry.

“[The] announcement by the Minister will further enhance our training capacity and increase the campus profile from a national context. We view this investment announcement as a vote of confidence in the work we do at Kerry College and we look forward to the completion of these works as we plan for continued development of this Campus”

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