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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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Maine Valley Golf Club raises €13,050



Maine Valley Members Golf Club hosted a Comfort for Chemo Golf Fundraiser in memory of Kathy Scannell. The fundraiser was a great success raising €13,050. Clonkeen Forestry Services sponsored the event, and a cheque  was presented to Mary Fitzgerald, Paul McCarthy and Mary Horgan on behalf of Comfort for Chemo.

Maine Valley Members Golf Club and Clonkeen Forestry services would like to thank all those who sponsored T-boxes, golf teams, and those who purchased tickets for the event. They would also like to thank Tom Barry from Killarney Printing for all the print works.


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Dóchas Drama Group’s series of short plays  is go!

The Dóchas Drama Group will run a series of short plays at the Muckross Schoolhouse from December 5 to 7. The group’s annual performance has been switched to the Muckross […]




The Dóchas Drama Group will run a series of short plays at the Muckross Schoolhouse from December 5 to 7.

The group’s annual performance has been switched to the Muckross venue as its traditional base – the ballroom in the Killarney Avenue Hotel is being refurbished.

“If you are fed up with the incessant rain and constant bad news. Do you need a break? Are tired of listening to advice about your Christmas cake recipe? There is a perfect solution,” said the group’s Liz Ryan.

“We will present six short plays and some of the questions you may ask yourself are: 

“Why is Jane suddenly so honest?

“What did happen on December 9. Will Tiffany be promoted? Will Mags eventually find love?

“Can lost love be re-kindled? What do grandparents get up to when they’re babysitting?

For answers to these questions and more, come along to Muckross Schoolhouse on December 5, 6 and 7.”


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