Connect with us


“We need to know what is happening so that we can prepare”




By Michelle Crean

Local groups are demanding that the International Protection Accommodation Services (IPAS) and other agencies keep Killarney fully briefed on additional refugees or asylum seekers coming to the town.

Sheila Casey Chairperson of KASI.

Concern has been expressed by Killarney Chamber of Tourism and Commerce and the Killarney Asylum Seekers Initiative (KASI) that essential wrap-around services, such as medical care and day-to-day community and supports, are already at snapping point and the town is struggling to cope with the demand.

According to the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth, currently there's a total of 360 International Protection (IP) applicants residing in Hotel Killarney including single males, females and families, and a total number of 572 International Protection applicants living in Killarney.

"The people who are being accommodated are recent arrivals to Ireland who have made International Protection Applications," the Department said in a reply to a Killarney Advertiser query, yesterday (Thursday).

They also said that they can't give a clear answer how long they will be staying "having regard to the ongoing crisis in the numbers of IP applicants arriving and the scarcity of more appropriate accommodation".

There are 1,304 Ukrainian women and children housed across Killarney.

Chamber President Niall Kelleher said the town was delighted to play its part when agreeing to accommodate Ukrainian refugees, mainly women and children, fleeing from the terrors of war, but it is dreadful that the necessary follow-on support services required have not been put in place.

The Chamber said while Killarney has probably the highest ratio of refugees and asylum seekers per head of population in the entire country, there has been little or no communication from IPAS, Government departments or the non-governmental organisations charged with sourcing suitable accommodation.

“All too often, the first we hear of developments is when buses pull up outside accommodation centres with people on board. We need to know what is happening so that we can prepare and the only way to achieve that is through proper dialogue,” Mr Kelleher said.


The Chamber acknowledged that there is growing concern locally that the State agencies seeking to house refugees and asylum seekers are merely identifying available beds in Killarney – given its tourism base – but there seems to be very little thought going into providing the related professional services required, particularly access to medical services, school places and support systems.

“The lack of access to proper services is not fair on them, it is not fair on the service providers who are under strain and if the current trends continue, it can only lead to a complete systems failure,” Chamber stated.

KASI – which provides key support services to the asylum seekers and refugees – said it simply doesn’t have the staff or the space to cope with demand and there is a complete lack of communication from the agencies involved.

Chairperson Sheila Casey said people are queuing out on the street waiting to be seen but KASI has only four staff and very inadequate office space.

“We can’t cope with the situation, the health service can’t cope and the schools can’t cope with the huge demand."

Nationally, from the beginning of 2022 to date, over 11,300 people have arrived in Ireland seeking protection. As of October 16, there are over 16,500 people accommodated in the International Protection Accommodation System (IPAS) as a whole compared with 7,250 people at this time last year. This figure is in addition to the arrival of almost 54,000 Ukrainian nationals of whom over 42,700 are currently seeking accommodation from the Department.

"The pressure on the State to accommodate over 58,000 people currently has led to significant shortages particularly for the international protection cohort," the Department said.

"All of the limited accommodation capacity within the IPAS system is currently being used. Officials continue to seek accommodation solutions to the increasing numbers of IP arrivals."

In terms of medical care, local GPs have said they can no longer accept new referrals to ensure they can provide a safe service to existing patients.



Promoting Killarney as a business and conference destination

Two prominent Killarney businesses were in Frankfurt this week to promote Ireland and Kerry as an ideal place to host business conferences. The Europe Hotel and Resort and Killarney Convention […]




Two prominent Killarney businesses were in Frankfurt this week to promote Ireland and Kerry as an ideal place to host business conferences.

The Europe Hotel and Resort and Killarney Convention Centre attended IMEX Frankfurt 2024 in Germany this week to promote the island of Ireland for corporate meetings and incentive travel ~

Tourism Ireland – together with Fáilte Ireland and Tourism Northern Ireland, as part of the ‘Meet in Ireland’ team – is showcasing Ireland as a world-class Business Events destination to thousands of buyers who organise international meetings and incentive travel.

IMEX Frankfurt is one of the leading global exhibitions for Business Events i.e., the corporate meetings, events and incentive travel industry. Thirty-five tourism companies specialising in Business Events from around the island of Ireland – including The Europe Hotel & Resort and Killarney Convention Centre were on the ‘Meet in Ireland’ stand at IMEX.

Around 1,900 commercial meetings will be conducted with global meeting and incentive travel planners this week, which will, in turn, deliver Business Events for Ireland from around the world worth millions of euro in 2024 and beyond. Tourism Ireland’s goal is to enable thousands of commercial Business Events meetings this year – connecting our tourism partners from Ireland with overseas buyers to grow Business Events and support businesses across the island.
According to the latest CSO figures for overseas tourism, Ireland welcomed almost 1 million Business Tourists, for the 12 months from April 2023 to March 2024.

“IMEX Frankfurt is a key event in the industry calendar and an extremely important platform for us to promote the island of Ireland as a premier destination for Business Events. Business travel is high value and often midweek and off season by its nature, thereby aligning with Tourism Ireland’s strategy to grow overseas tourism revenue outside of the peak summer season,” said, Siobhan McManamy, Tourism Ireland’s Director of Markets, said:

“We are delighted to have 35 tourism companies from across the island of Ireland with us at this year’s IMEX Frankfurt. They’re engaging in almost 1,900 commercial meetings and showcasing the best of Ireland to influential meeting and incentive travel planners from around the world.”

Continue Reading


One way traffic system mooted for St Oliver’s National School

The Killarney Advertiser understands that a one-way traffic management system will be introduced at St Oliver’s National School. The plan remains subject to confirmation by Kerry County Council and other […]




The Killarney Advertiser understands that a one-way traffic management system will be introduced at St Oliver’s National School.

The plan remains subject to confirmation by Kerry County Council and other statutory bodie. It is  understood that the system will be trialled at the beginning of the new school year in September.

The area is subject to serious traffic congestion during school drop-off and pick-up times every day.

Over 650 pupils and 80 staff attend the school every day. New housing developments in the area have added to traffic congestion.

Cllr Martin Grady has being pushing for enhanced road safety measures at the school since his co-option to the council in September 2023.

“The issue has worsened in recent years with Woodlawn, Rookery Road and Ballycasheen having more domestic property developments which brings with it more road activity,” Grady told the Killarney Advertiser.

“I’ve seen first-hand several accidents occur when dropping and collecting my children from the school. It needs a safe solution by means of a drop off- pick up point or a traffic management system put in place.

“It is unfair on all stakeholders involved. I will keep working on this until results are achieved in the interest of everyone’s safety. “

The lack of urban school bus services, not just at St Oliver’s but at all schools is adding to Killarney’s traffic woes.

“I would like to see school bus services return for all students, in both urban and rural schools, this service was a massive loss, it would greatly reduce the volume of traffic on our roads and mitigate the risk of accidents and near misses,” added Cllr Grady.


Continue Reading

Last News