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“We will bounce back from this” – Killarney hotelier

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STAYING POSITIVE: Bernadette Randles says the tourism industry will bounce back.

By Sean Moriarty

Bernadette Randles, Chairperson of the Kerry Branch of the Irish Hotels Federation says it is impossible to put a figure on the job losses and unemployment issues the local industry faces in the wake of the current COVID-19 crisis.

Tourism in Kerry employs almost 16,000 people and it contributes over €600 million to the local economy. The Kerry IHF branch has over one hundred hotels and guesthouses as members.

Each job in the sector is responsible for a half of another job in associated trades like the food supply chain and taxis.

A conservative estimate suggests that over 25,000 people in Kerry are affected by the tourism industry shutdown alone and this figure does not include third-party trades like garages who would supply repairs and fuel to the car hire industry.

Ms Randles, who is one of Killarney’s most respected hoteliers, said closing her two hotels and telling her 90 staff she had no work for them was the hardest thing she had to do in a lifetime in the hospitality industry.

Her family own and operate the Dromhall Hotel and Randles Court Hotel on the Muckross Road and as well as her role in the local branch she was recently elected national vice-chair of the Irish Hotels Federation.

As a gesture of goodwill, she made food packages up from leftover supplies in her hotels’ kitchens so her staff would not be without essentials in the weeks ahead.

They repaid the gesture by turning up for work on Tuesday, without pay, and helped prepare for the shutdown by turning off electrical appliances like televisions in all rooms.

“We will bounce back from this,” she told the Killarney Advertiser. “It was very upsetting for me and the staff to have to close the hotels, but we will rebuild and we will come through this.”

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Ian makes his debut as a radio presenter

By Sean Moriarty Ian O’Connell said he is delighted with the messages of support following his first broadcast as a presenter on Radio Kerry this week. The well-known and popular Killarney man was left with life-changing injuries after falling from his bike in Killarney National Park in 2017. Since the accident he has been a […]

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By Sean Moriarty

Ian O’Connell said he is delighted with the messages of support following his first broadcast as a presenter on Radio Kerry this week.

The well-known and popular Killarney man was left with life-changing injuries after falling from his bike in Killarney National Park in 2017.

Since the accident he has been a champion for the less fortunate under his mantra: “If you can’t stand up – standout”.

This was the inspiration behind his brand new radio show which aired for the first time on Wednesday evening.

‘Stand Out with Ian O’Connell’ will feature interviews with people who have overcome great adversary to reach even greater heights.

His first guest was fellow Killarney man Jordan Lee. The Paralympian represented Ireland in the Tokyo Olympics this summer.

“I was used to being in the studio from people interviewing me, but this time I turned the table,” he told the Killarney Advertiser.

“It was great to have Jordan on, two Killarney men! I really enjoyed it, it got a massive reaction and I got loads of emails and messages afterwards and into Thursday morning.”

Ian will reveal his guest for the show on the previous Monday through various social media channels.

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Sinead is queen of the court

By Con Dennehy With a mix of excitement, drama and impressive solo performances on offer, the Spa/Killarney Handball Tournament on Monday night showcased the best of upcoming talent in the sport. Competitions for Beginners and Advanced players at the magnificent Spa GAA facility has ensured the long term success of the sport in the greater […]

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By Con Dennehy

With a mix of excitement, drama and impressive solo performances on offer, the Spa/Killarney Handball Tournament on Monday night showcased the best of upcoming talent in the sport.

Competitions for Beginners and Advanced players at the magnificent Spa GAA facility has ensured the long term success of the sport in the greater Killarney region.

One of the most impressive performances on the night was in the Beginners Category where local star Sinead Moriarty secured a number of electrifying victories to win the overall title.

“This was a very competitive competition. In the opening games Neill Horgan was defeated by Rosin King from Glenbeigh 13-15 with Sinead Moriarty getting the better of exchanges with Bríd Horgan (Spa) 15-8. In the other game Niamh Faulds from Glenflesk lost to Elena O’Donoghue (Spa) 15-10 despite a very brave effort from Niamh,” said Eoin O’Donoghue, secretary of Spa Killarney Handball Club.

In the semi-finals Sheila Kelliher lost to Elena O’Donoghue (Spa) 15-11 with Sinead Moriarty defeating Rosin King 15-12.

“In a pulsating final Sinead saw off the dogged challenge of Elena O’Donoghue 15-11. While Sinead dominated this game, she looked in control and played a brilliant tournament throughout and was a deserving overall winner.”

In the Advanced category there were wins for Evan Enright and Eoin O’Donoghue in the opening games.

In the quarter finals Even Enright saw off the challenge of Brendan O’Donoghue 15-8 while Eoghan Daly defeated Eoin O’Donoghue 15-11, Aoife Walsh (Currow) defeated Maggie Quirke (Glenbeigh) 15-7 and Brian McEvoy beat Michael Clifford 15-6.

Semi-final success for Evan Enright and Eoghan Daly saw them battle it out in a pulsating final with Daly taking the title on a 15-12 scoreline.

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