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Another step towards back to normal as school traffic wardens return to work

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Another step towards back to normal as school traffic wardens return to work

After almost five months off the job, popular School Traffic Warden Anne Breen returned to duty last week.

She took up her post the New Road/Rock Road junction on Wednesday morning, her first day at work since the national shut down was announced on March 12.

Originally from Ballyhaunis in County Mayo, the Countess Grove woman arrived in Killarney on November 1, 1983 to take to work in the newly opened Tesco (or Quinnsworth as it was known back then).

“There might have been a man involved,” she joked, as she hid her smile behind her Mayo facemask. Anne is married to well-known council worker and former fireman Anthony Breen.

“The Mayo mask is temporary, we are due to get the face shields later today,” she said on Wednesday – officially her first day back at work but she and her colleagues did participate in a health and safety briefing on Tuesday.

“It was all about keeping myself safe and keeping the children safe, keep your distance, common sense stuff, really,” she said.

This is her second year working as a school traffic warden and although employed by Killarney Municipal Council, she works very closely with The Mon and Holy Cross National Schools on New Road.

“We will help the secondary school students too, but in reality, we are here to work for the National Schools and work to their timetables,” she added.

Clearly well-respected by her ‘customers’ as parents and grandchildren encouraged their children to welcome her back to work as she escorted them across the road. She knew most of them by name and Anne’s reappearance at the school crossing signalled the return of some degree of familiarity to early morning town life.

Of course, there was some degree of confusion too, it is all of 24 weeks since March 12, so many motorists had forgotten that it is not permitted to turn right on to New Road during school drop-off and pick-up times. Some angry drivers let their feelings known through their hooters.

“They will have to get used to it,” said Anne, without getting too stressed about it. “It is great to be back. I was a little nervous but so far so good. We are waiting on the council to put down ‘Two Metre’ signs on the footpaths to encourage people to keep their distance. “

While Wednesday morning was relatively quiet, only the two primary schools were open to take in a new wave of junior infants. Anne is expecting that to change on Monday as the secondary schools re-open. First-Year students will begin their secondary school lives from Monday but by Thursday next, all schools will be operating at capacity – meaning traffic will be back to capacity too.

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NPWS survey to find out impact of fires

By Michelle Crean The National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) has commissioned a comprehensive survey on the impact of fires over the past four decades – in particular Killarney National Park in April. The tender, worth €300,000, and named ‘Study on the Impact of Fires On The Biodiversity of Killarney National Park’, seeks to find […]

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By Michelle Crean

The National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) has commissioned a comprehensive survey on the impact of fires over the past four decades – in particular Killarney National Park in April.

The tender, worth €300,000, and named ‘Study on the Impact of Fires On The Biodiversity of Killarney National Park’, seeks to find out the biological impacts of the fires in the 26,000 acre park.

The fires in April burned from Friday night on April 23 until around 12pm the following Monday when they were finally brought under control.

Parts of the Park were scorched resulting in flora and fauna being wiped out. Some fires came as close as 10 metres to a church and school in the Black Valley area.

Fires raged near Tomies Wood and fire crews from five different districts quenched fires near the properties under threat. A real threat was for The Oak Woods but fire fighters managed to avert danger.

The fire is believed to have begun on the Kenmare Road area escalated by the strong winds.

“The purpose of this tender is to commission a comprehensive survey of the impacts, and the chrono-sequence of fire recovery or otherwise, on lands burned over the past four decades, as well as surveys in unburned areas, in order to assess the biological impacts of the fires, in particular the fire of April 2021, on the biodiversity of Killarney National Park,” an NPWS spokesperson told the Killarney Advertiser.

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Killarney spin will bring comfort to patients

By Michelle Crean Ahead of this year’s ladies only 54321 Challenge a number of spinathons are taking place, including in Killarney town. Sunday, August 15 a group of 10 ladies plan a spinathon day in Killarney ahead of their four day epic adventure from Thursday, August 19 to Sunday 22. This year due to COVID […]

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By Michelle Crean

Ahead of this year’s ladies only 54321 Challenge a number of spinathons are taking place, including in Killarney town.

Sunday, August 15 a group of 10 ladies plan a spinathon day in Killarney ahead of their four day epic adventure from Thursday, August 19 to Sunday 22.

This year due to COVID restrictions the 54321 team will run with two teams of five people, all female – who are raising funds for one single charity – Comfort for Chemo Kerry.

Their four day challenge will include a cycle the Ring of Kerry on day one (Thursday 19), a climb up Carrantuohil on day two (Friday 20), a cycle from Killarney to the foot of Cnoc Na Tobair and then climb Cnoc Na Tobair on day three (Saturday 21) finishing off with a cycle of the Skellig Ring on day four (Sunday 22).

In advance of the ninth annual challenge they will first participate in the spinathons at various locations to help raise much needed funds for this year’s chosen charity.

The first of the spinathons will take place on Saturday, July 31 in Listowel, Killorglin, Dingle, Cahersiveen. On the day volunteers will take to the spinning bikes from 10am to 5pm in different locations around these towns.
This will be followed by Killarney on Sunday, August 15, and Tralee on Saturday, August 28.

When choosing this year’s charity, organisers contacted a past participant and a dear friend, Mairead Dunphy from Glencar who is currently on her own journey with cancer.

“We wanted to show our support to Mairead and knowing that she would like to support those who have supported her on her journey so far, she had already being looking at ideas to raise much needed funds for Comfort for Chemo Kerry,” TJ O’Connor said.

“Please support Comfort for Chemo Kerry by giving what you can.”

For more information about the spinathons go to www.54321challenge.org or the Comfort for Chemo Kerry Facebook page for online donation information.

There’s also a GoFundMe page: ‘Comfort for Chemo Kerry – 54321 Challenge 2021’ which has a €20,000 target set up.

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