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Anger as Port Road development heads for An Bord Pleanála

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By Sean Moriarty

Kerry County Council has recommended that planning permission be granted for a controversial development on Port Road despite widespread objections from elected councillors.

Portal Asset Holdings Ltd has lodged planning permission with Kerry County Council for the construction of a development of 76 houses, 56 duplexes and 96 apartments on a greenfield site to the rear of the District Hospital on St Margaret’s Road and to the rear of the traditional cottages on Port Road.
It is proposed to build an access road off the Port Road too.

The proposed development includes upgrade works to Port Road, a pedestrian connection to Millwood Estate, and improvements to the stormwater network on St Margaret’s Road as part of enabling infrastructure for the project.

Last month the application caused anger amongst residents of the area who fear their quality of life will be affected by the development.

The application is set to go before An Bord Pleanála.

On Wednesday, Kerry County Council’s senior planner Damien Ginty gave a presentation on various issues and concerns connected with the application at a Killarney Municipal District meeting.

The 30 page report outlined pros and cons on why the development should or should not go ahead.

“The proposed development provides a mix of housing sizes and types to facilitate a wide demographic of housing need, but in particular provides an increased number of small units which typifies housing demand in Killarney and the surrounding area,” stated the report. “It is recommended that permission be granted for the proposed development.”

ANGER

Mr Ginty’s conclusion was met with anger from all seven elected councillors. They were unanimous in their calls that such a large development should not go ahead in the area.

And while they all admitted that Killarney urgently needs more houses they felt that there were too many local issues to allow this particular development go ahead in its current format.

One of the proposals is to include a pedestrian access point from the existing Millwood estate into the new development which will include a crèche.
Cllr Niall ‘Botty’ O’Callaghan said Millwood would become a “a drop off point” for parents.

“I am not in favour to the connectivity to Millwood,” he told the meeting, “This is something that this estate does not deserve. I am disappointed by a lot of things in the report – they don’t wash with me. My view is I am not in favour of what is being proposed.”

Cllr Brendan Cronin raised concerns about the potential increase in traffic in an already congested area.

“I have very serious concerns regarding the size and scale of this development on a number of fronts,” he told the meeting. “The scale and size [of the development] with only one access will create traffic chaos in an already busy road. This planning should be downsized to an appropriate level.”

Cllr Maura Healy-Rae was also concerned about traffic issues in the area if the development goes ahead.

“We are well aware of the traffic congestion in that area,” she said. “That road is often gridlocked.”
She also raised concerns about the size of the development. “I am not against housing development,” she added. “But there are issues there in terms of scale, height, number of houses and the impact on traffic.”

Cllr John O’Donoghue echoed his colleagues' concerns regarding traffic in the area “that is already blocked up three or four months of the year”.
He has raised concerns about stormwater drains coming from the site that “will have a colossal impact on the lakes”.

Cllr Donal Grady said the proposal was “a concrete jungle”.

“We badly need houses but what is happening here is ridiculous,” he said.

Cllr Niall Kelleher took a similar stance.

“We need houses but we need it done properly,” he told the meeting.

Mayor Marie Moloney concluded the discussion.

“I am not against housing but I am against the scale of this development. It is too big and too imposing,” she said.

A separate issue arose concerning lands belonging to the Kerry Education Training Board (KETB) which sit adjacent to the proposed development.

It is proposed that two pedestrian/cycle routes will connect the development with ETB’s lands.

Both Mayor Moloney and Cllr O’Callaghan sit on the ETB board and both said that the ETB has not given consent for such a move.

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The ultimate Quest makes a welcome return to Killarney

Adventure race enthusiasts from around the country gathered in Killarney on Saturday for the much anticipated return of Quest Killarney. Last held in 2019, this year’s event attracted over 2,500 […]

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Adventure race enthusiasts from around the country gathered in Killarney on Saturday for the much anticipated return of Quest Killarney.

Last held in 2019, this year’s event attracted over 2,500 participants who signed up to run, cycle and kayak their way around some of the most iconic scenery in the country.

Gap of Dunloe, Ladies View, Mangerton Mountain and Torc Waterfall were just some of the stunning locations along five routes of varying distances: 25km, 55km, 66km (run and cycle only), 75km, and 83km. The choice of routes allowed everyone from beginners to those with more experience to take part, as well as taking into account varying post-lockdown fitness levels!

Taking part this year were a couple of popular first-timers. Fresh from RTÉ’s Hell Week was Kerry’s own viral Instagrammer Tadgh Fleming who completed the 55k Sport Route. A fresh looking Tadgh said at the finish that Quest Killarney was, “Nothing like Hell Week, a bit harder I think! But really enjoyed it, I’d highly recommend it, going for the Pro next time!”

Incorporating Quest Killarney on her transformative weight loss journey was an elated Patricia Lewis (Trisha Transformations) who completed the 27km Challenge route, and had this to say as she crossed the finish line: “Anyone who’s thinking about doing it, don’t even hesitate, register now!”

Now on its tenth event, Quest Killarney, the world’s biggest adventure race, enjoys a growing reputation as a challenging race with a friendly atmosphere. It is also popular with visitors and participants alike as they are introduced to the stunning natural charm of Killarney’s glorious lakes and imposing mountains.

First home in the 83km Expert route was Niall Davis in a time of 04:17:55. In second place was Sebastien Giraud (04:32:47), and in third was Garry Carroll (04:34:24).
Kerry’s own Ellen Vitting (based in Kenmare) and RTÉ Hell Week finalist, was the first female home in 05:02:07. In second position was Laura O’Driscoll (05:18:43), in third position was Eimear O’Brien (05:27:13).

Overall male winner in the 73km Pro route was Dwayne Flynn (03:48:47) and overall female winner was Siobhan Dineen (04:08:37). Overall winners in the 55km ‘Sport’ route were Kevin McGuinness (02:13:08) in the men’s race and Orlaith Smith (02:34:45) in the women’s race. Winners of the 65km ‘Dual’ route were men’s race Liam Aherne (02:40:40) and women’s race Emer Monaghan (03:09:49). Winners of the 27km ‘Challenge’ route were Larry Stapleton for the men (01:13:27) and Niamh Hickey for the women (01:21:08).

Competitors were treated to hot food and music at the finish line, with prize-giving at The Gleneagle Hotel whose significant sponsorship and exceptional support continues to contribute to a positive day for everyone.

“We are thrilled that Quest Killarney has once again proven so popular with adventurers who are looking for a new challeng,” Oliver Kirwan, Race Organiser, said.

“Killarney itself is a great draw to visitors both from Kerry and further afield, introducing new people every year to its inspirational terrain. We are very much looking forward to preparing for 2023 as we encourage more people to discover their next adventure and put themselves to the Quest! We are grateful to everyone who gave us support and volunteered their time. We’d like to thank our main event sponsors Volvo and The Gleneagle Hotel, and also the contribution of our event partners All Real, Gnarly Peaks, Nuasan and MCG Kayaks.”

Organisers Elite Event Management are delighted to announce their event dates for 2023: Quest Kenmare on 11 March 2023, Quest Glendalough on 1 April 2023, Quest Lough Derg on 9 September 2023, and Quest Killarney on 7 October 2023.

For more information on next year’s events please visit www.questadventureseries.com.

 

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€8.6m funding for Further Education centres in Kerry

A new 21,000 sq ft apprenticeship training building will be part of the €3.7m plans for Kerry Education and Training Board (KETB). This Substantial Capital Investment – a total of […]

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A new 21,000 sq ft apprenticeship training building will be part of the €3.7m plans for Kerry Education and Training Board (KETB).

This Substantial Capital Investment – a total of €8,696,719 – was announced by Simon Harris TD, the Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research Innovation and Science when he visited Kerry College of Further Education and Training (FET) Campuses, in Monavalley Tralee and Listowel yesterday (Monday) under the FET Strategic Infrastructure Upgrade Fund.

This investment will provide new modern facilities for FET staff and learners in both Tralee and Listowel that have traditionally been provided from a building in Listowel shared with Coláiste Na Ríochta post-primary school and rented premises in Tralee.

The announcement for these two projects is part of the first tranche of capital investments under this fund, with 13 projects being funded nationally.

Kerry ETB has become an innovative provider of FET services since their establishment of the first fully integrated college of Further Education and Training in Ireland.

Kerry College of Further Education and Training was established in September 2019 when Kerry ETB integrated the former training centre and post-Leaving Certificate college into a single college structure.

Kerry College’s continued development since 2019 has been a welcomed and positive one for the sector, leading the way in terms of embedding a new approach to a FET provision that is fully aligned to the SOLAS FET Strategy 2020 – 2024 and their vision of the FET College of the Future. The capital investment announcement is a very important step on this journey.

“Both of Kerry ETB’s proposed projects under the SIUF are included in the first phase of projects to be advanced under the initiative,” Minister Harris said.

“This is a testimony to Kerry ETB’s strategic vision and commitment to advancing the development of the FET College of the future concept.”

In welcoming this announcement an Cathaoirleach of Kerry ETB, Cllr Jim Finucane thanked Minister Harris.

“This funding is very significant and supports Kerry ETB in its vision of ensuring that the learners of Kerry have access to further education and training opportunities locally. In our ETB Strategy Statement 2018-2022 we emphasised the need to enhance the working and learning environment for staff and learners and this investment announcement is another milestone in working towards achieving this objective.”

The Investment announced for the Listowel Campus will provide funding for the refurbishment and expansion of the Building at Clieveragh Business Park, Listowel purchased by the ETB in 2021.

The Kerry College Monavalley Campus is synonymous with the provision of innovative FET programmes and apprentice programmes for decades. The expansion of the campus facilities is very important and this investment is welcomed.

Campus Manager Con O’Sullivan said that Kerry College Monavalley Campus has a long and established tradition of delivering apprenticeship training in Kerry.

“[The] announcement by the Minister will further enhance our training capacity and increase the campus profile from a national context. We view this investment announcement as a vote of confidence in the work we do at Kerry College and we look forward to the completion of these works as we plan for continued development of this Campus”

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