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Opinion: Killarney faces further government building dereliction

Indecisiveness by a government agency could lead to more dereliction in Killarney.

This week the Health and Safety Executive said it was to review the future of both the District Hospital and St. Columbanus Home.

The new community hospital is currently under construction on a site adjoining the by-pass on the old St Finan’s site.

It is expected to open later this year or early next year and while it is a welcome addition to the town, there should also be alarm bells going off.

Government agencies and Killarney have a very poor record when it comes to managing state-owned assets that are no longer in public use.

St Finan’s is a prime example. Vacant since 2012, nobody seems to know what should be done with the listed building and the more the never-ending debate continues the more it falls into further disrepair.

But that is not the only building in Killarney that has been allowed to depreciate over the years.

The Áras Phádraig on Lewis Road in another example.

Plans for the redevelopment of Áras Phádraig were given the go ahead by elected councillors last year.
The popular local community centre has been idle since May 2009 when the Franciscan Community attempted to transfer ownership of the facility to the town council; however this ran into trouble as the authority is not a charity.
It took until 2017 before the legal hitch could be overcome with the site now derelict and in need of considerable investment.
Five years later Killarney Municipal District approved plans to re-develop the site under Urban Regeneration and Development Fund.

To qualify for the funding, councillors were told that the inclusion of the Primary Care Unit was a redline issue as without it funding under Urban Regeneration and Development Fund the would not be forthcoming for the entire project.
That in itself raises further alarm bells. A year on nothing has been done to the Lewis Road site and we are fast approaching 15 years of idleness.
But, this week at a Cork/Kerry Community Health Forum meeting TD Danny Healy-Rae asked that when the District Hospital and St. Columbanus Home become unoccupied that, at least one of them could be turned into a primary care unit.
“I again raised a very important issue about the Minor Injuries Unit and pointed out they will have two wonderful sites available to them when Killarney closes as these are ideal locations with adequate parking for the Minor Injuries Unit and central to East Kerry, Mid Kerry and South Kerry and would also help to reduce the chaos at the A and E in University Hospital Kerry, I am glad that I received a favourable response from the HSE where they said they would give this request active consideration,” he said.

So, if Healy-Rae’s proposal gets the favourable response he has been promised what becomes of the Áras Phádraig plans.

Killarney does need a primary care unit, it does not need two. So either the Lewis Road project gets shelved to make way for the Healy-Rae proposal or the latter idea never gets off the ground.

What eveR the outcome, one this is certain, Killarney faces more state-owned dereliction and the town’s track record in suce matter is very, very poor.

AnONE know what is happening at the council-owned Pretty Polly site?

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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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