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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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What to look out for when viewing second hand homes

By Ted Healy of DNG TED HEALY After spending so long saving for a mortgage and filling in countless application forms, you are now ready to begin your house hunting in earnest. Set yourself a budget and have a look to see what is available in your desired locations within that budget. Viewing appointments can […]

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By Ted Healy of DNG TED HEALY

After spending so long saving for a mortgage and filling in countless application forms, you are now ready to begin your house hunting in earnest.

Set yourself a budget and have a look to see what is available in your desired locations within that budget.
Viewing appointments can be arranged via a telephone call or a simple email to the selling agent. When making the appointment make it clear that the mortgage is in place and you are ‘ready to go’.

This week we will deal with viewing second hand homes and what to look out for on that first property viewing.

When you arrive at a house, you’ll get a general feel outside of how well it’s been maintained. Arrive early and study the exterior of the property before going in, and have a glance at neighbouring properties. This will help you to get your bearings before continuing with the viewing.

If viewing an older house, a musty smell is the first red flag for signs of damp. Also be wary of the smell of fresh paint; was this done to simply freshen the property up or what is it covering up? Is paintwork bubbling or flaking?

Take note of any wall cracking; hairline cracks in walls and ceilings are generally fine, but if you can spot a crack from the other side of the room, then it’s probably big enough to be concerned about.

In older houses, take a good look at windows and roofs. Window frames can slope downward if there are poor ground conditions underneath, and the roof of the house can sag in too.

Is there room to extend? If you are lucky enough that there is have a look for external manhole covers; it gives a good indication of the drainage and pipe layout which may complicate a future extension.

Don’t be afraid to ask the nosy questions; why is the house for sale? How long has it been on the market? How long have the current owners resided there? Has the house been rented out frequently? How many times has it changed hands in the last decade? Have there been any refurbishments? Has it been rewired/replumbed? Who are the neighbours? What is included in the selling price?

It is a good idea to take photos (with the agents consent) or videos as this will help you remember the property after you have returned home.

And finally, don’t be afraid to ask for more time. Spend as much time as you think you need to and don’t hesitate to request a second viewing.

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Bus to Belfast to stay on the road

A Kerry TD has today (Monday) welcomed the news that the Bus to Belfast is to stay on the road. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae said assurances from the Department of Health that The Northern Ireland Planned Healthcare Scheme (NI PHS), which has been in effective operation since January 1 this year, will remain in place until […]

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A Kerry TD has today (Monday) welcomed the news that the Bus to Belfast is to stay on the road.

Deputy Michael Healy-Rae said assurances from the Department of Health that The Northern Ireland Planned Healthcare Scheme (NI PHS), which has been in effective operation since January 1 this year, will remain in place until a new a statutory scheme is put in place.

The Kerry deputy avails of this service for his constituents on a regular basis and said many were concerned that the scheme may come to an end due to Brexit.

“What this will mean to so many of my constituents is that they can continue to avail of this scheme for treatments for cataract removals by travelling from Kerry by bus to Belfast so that they can get treated in a timely manner and get back to living their lives in a healthy manner,” Deputy Healy-Rae said.

“I am delighted that the Government has seen the good sense to help continue this scheme and I’m delighted that the pressure of representation that I have brought to this scheme will see it continue.”

The Scheme was first introduced to mitigate the loss of access to care from private providers in Northern Ireland under the EU Cross Border Directive, which ceased to apply as a result of Brexit. However, the Government intends to place the administrative NI PHS on a statutory basis and an extensive examination of options to inform the drafting of a General Scheme is currently underway with confirmation that the administrative scheme will remain until such time that a statutory scheme is in place.

Patients also continue to have access to health services under the EU Cross Border Directive Scheme in all other remaining EU/EEA countries.

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