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Another accident at nightmare junction

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CRASH: Another crash occurred at the Lewis Road Junction on Tuesday evening between a car and a motorcyclist. Photo: Michelle Crean

By Michelle Crean

Locals voiced their concerns after yet another accident this week between the Lewis Road Junction onto the bypass.

On Tuesday evening, at approximately 6pm, a car and a motorcyclist collided when one vehicle exited right from the junction.

The Killarney Advertiser took photos at the scene of the crash, which was attended by local Gardai, and it sparked a huge reaction on our Facebook page - reaching over 15,000 people, with 35 shares and 51 comments as locals voiced their concerns that something urgent needs to be done before a fatality occurs.

In June, newly elected Killarney councillors vowed to keep the pressure on central Government in an effort to get the much needed northern relief road into construction phase – which could take up to seven or more years to complete.

The junction has been the scene of several fatal accidents in recent years and plans for its realignment are seen as a major priority in Killarney by both residents and politicians alike.

In May, the Killarney Advertiser ran a story showing an artist’s impression of what the new road layout and adjacent community area will look like.

The plans show a new pedestrian underbridge linking Bridgefield housing estate to a new recreation area which will be constructed in the cut-off lands between the existing and new Kilcummin roads.

However, concerns remain that a fatal accident could occur at the junction before works begin.

Mayor of Kerry, Cllr Niall Kelleher, told the Killarney Advertiser this week that he will press the Council to get planned works started as soon as possible, in two phases if possible, to prevent further similar accidents.

“What I’ll be asking the Council to do now is to do the work in two stages, to implement a left hand turn only, particularly do the work required from the Lewis Road Junction to Cleeny, and whatever work needs to be done. The sooner this is done the better.”

“Inaction is not an option at this stage”

Opinion: By Rory O’Brien

They say the definition of insanity is repeatedly doing the same thing but expecting a different outcome. Well in the case of the Lewis Road junction and the Killarney bypass, that insanity manifests itself in the lack of any intervention to the current traffic flow, expecting the regular accidents to stop.

There are now regular accidents at this junction, ranging from minor to loss of life.

But still, our esteemed elected officials deem changes only worthy of press releases, but no actual changes to the status quo. And so, the driving public toss the dice and take their chances. Throw into this organised chaos of traffic policy, tourists in rental cars, already driving on what is for them the wrong side of the road, and you have a scene usually found at Birds Bizarre. But alas, the implications of collision does not end in a laugh and scream of excitement.

The reality of two vehicles colliding is a terrifying ordeal leading to trauma, injury and shock. The dogs in the street know that this junction is an accident waiting to happen, although that wait can be only a week or two-long. It's a regular occurrence, and that's only counting actual collisions.

I personally have witnessed three near misses, and not two weeks ago, wrote my car off into the side of a rental BMW. Having admitted responsibility for the accident, the driver said he thought he had right of way. In fairness, there are no roadside instructions to the contrary. We shook hands, exchanged details and laughed nervously at the outcome. He had his wife and son in the car, and I should have had my daughter in the passenger seat. She went to pick-up last-minute bits and pieces for her imminent start to Fifth Year instead.

The passenger side took the majority of the impact! The possible outcomes don't bear thinking about - but thinking is what I have been doing.

And so, what is the answer? The only definite answer is that inaction is not an option at this stage. Make Lewis Road left turn only, put up accident black spot signs, reduce the speed limit to 20kph, erect yield signs for the bypass to Lewis Road, put up enlarged photos of previous crashes, hire a clown holding a poster saying, 'slow down or die'. From sensible to surreal, the options are there. I can't say for sure what would work. I can say for sure that doing nothing is insanity.

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Ring of Beara Cycle launches school programme

The Ring of Beara Cycle is for kids too! As part of its commitment to make a positive impact on the local community, the Ring of Beara Cycle are proud […]

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The Ring of Beara Cycle is for kids too! As part of its commitment to make a positive impact on the local community, the Ring of Beara Cycle are proud to continue to with two great initiatives: its Kids’ Cycle and its sponsorship of the School Cycle Safety Programme.

The Ring of Beara Cycle will take place on May 25 with over 4,000 cyclists taking part. The event starts and finishes in Kenmare town, Co Kerry to complete either a 110km or 140km route encompassing the magnificent mountains, valleys and the rugged coastline of the Beara Peninsula.

Kids’ Cycle
Adults are not the only ones getting on their bikes on May 25 for the Ring of Beara Cycle. The event also has its very own cycle for children around the town of Kenmare. Not only does this give kids a chance to join in the days’ activities with their parents, but it’s free and a great way for kids to get outdoors and exercise in a fun and safe environment.
Open to any child in national school between third and fifth class and following a 2km route around Kenmare and a slightly shorter route for tinier ones, registration is from 9.15am in Kenmare town square. Parents and guardians are welcome to cycle with their children. All participants should bring and wear a safety helmet for the cycle.
School Cycle Safety Programme
Another community initiative from the Ring of Beara Cycle is the Cycle Right Programme, working with local schools to get kids’ up to speed on road safety and cycle best practices.
The Ring of Beara Cycle is working with Cycle Sense and Wheely Good Cycling Academy to deliver this 4-week programme to local schools in and around Kenmare and the Beara Peninsula.
Some 250 students across 8 schools are participating in this initiative, and the schools involved are: St John’s National School, Realt Na Mara National School , Lauragh National School and Tulloha National School in Kenmare, and on the Beara Peninsula: Scoil Chaitigheirn in Eyeries, Oir Cheann iNational School in Eyeries, Cahermore National School in Allihies, Scoil An Croi Ro Naofa in Castletownbere, Mhichil Naofa in Castletownbere, Adrigole N S in Bantry, and Trafrask Mixed N S in Ardrigole.
This initiative is normally paid for by the schools themselves but is now free for all the children taking part thanks to a generous donation by the Ring of Beara Cycle Committee that covers the cost of delivering the programme to these schools.
Cycle Right is the National Standard for Cycle Training and provides practical cycle safety and skills training through Department of Transport, the Road Safety Authority and Cycling Ireland. The aim of the programme is to promote cycle confidence on the road in increasingly complex scenarios delivered by qualified, registered trainers.
No stranger to giving back to the local community, not only does the Ring of Beara Cycle make a significant, positive impact on the local economy, it also encourages kids to enjoy themselves on their bikes and to do this safely with confidence.

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Browne’s Agri Open Day is a must-attend event

Browne’s Agri Open Day is always one that was marked in  Agri calendars as a ‘must-attend event’. This year’s event is taking place on Wednesday May 22 on their site […]

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Browne’s Agri Open Day is always one that was marked in  Agri calendars as a ‘must-attend event’.

This year’s event is taking place on Wednesday May 22 on their site in Castleisland.

The event was always renowned for getting great advice on the Agri topics of the day as well as a window into modern developments taking place in all aspect of Agriculture and country living.

The extending of the yard area will allow more space to be given over to even more exhibitors, ensuring all areas of agriculture, and rural life will be showcased on the 22.

There will be experts on hand to advise on Calf Rearing, Grassland management, Weed control, Drainage, Fencing , Shed and Yard Layouts as well as bee keeping, and helpful health advice.

“As well as the great advice, you will be ensured of great deals, great food, great craic and free entry to the many spot prizes that will be available on the day,” said general manager Denis O’Connor.

“All that is asked is your attendance and if at all possible, to make a small contribution to our chosen charity Pieta House.”

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