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Call for shoppers to use “common sense” parking

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CREATE SPACE: John Ferguson (Programme Assistant/Driver) pictured with wheelchair user Bernard James are calling on the public to be patient and allow more access for people with disabilities during the last shopping week before Christmas. Photo: Michelle Crean

By Michelle Crean

With days to go to Christmas and a huge surge in shopping expected - one local group is calling on the public to keep access open for shoppers with disabilities.

The Irish Wheelchair Association (IWA) is asking Killarney businesses to keep their pathways and disability parking clear for shoppers in wheelchairs and their families, as lockdown ends and for the public to be mindful of where they park.

Illegal parking in disabled spaces, double parking on footpaths, and even family members using a disability disc inappropriately cause a huge inconvenience and lack of access for those who need it most.

​​​​A recent Irish Wheelchair Association survey found that 77% of people with physical disabilities have poor or no access to public spaces and amenities because of issues with pavements, parking, pedestrian crossings and more.

Now, as shoppers descend on Killarney town in the coming days, the IWA has launched a special Christmas appeal calling on the public to think twice and think of others.

This week Bernard James, a service user with the IWA Killarney branch at the Reeks Gateway, says people with disabilities have a right to go shopping too but are fearful that the next few days are going to be manic in relation to parking.

He says that it's daunting to go out and about during normal shopping times and lack of parking or bad parking such as up on footpaths coupled with bad weather will make it very difficult.

"It depends on the weather also as I might have to travel far to get to the shop I need to go to. I understand everybody has to shop but I am just asking for people to be more aware of where they park."

Terry O'Brien, Service Coordinator for the IWA Kerry, says people need to "use a common sense approach" to parking and access.

"We're not trying to scaremonger anybody but giving a gentle reminder to people that people in wheelchairs are also excited about shopping for Christmas. The last thing we want is that in the middle of the madness that there will be wheelchair users that can't access parking to go shopping. We're asking that people don't abuse the disabled parking spaces."

The IWA has also launched its Christmas fundraising appeal, which supports services for people with physical disabilities through community centres and sports clubs. To support Irish Wheelchair Association this Christmas visit www.iwa.ie/donate.

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Spa GAA lights up – continues each Wednesday night

By Sean Moriarty Spa GAA club has signed up to participate in the Ireland Lights Up winter walking initiative. The lights will be on every Wednesday night between 7pm and 8pm for the next few weeks at the club’s new walking track. This week marked the second week of night walking but the club also held […]

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By Sean Moriarty

Spa GAA club has signed up to participate in the Ireland Lights Up winter walking initiative.

The lights will be on every Wednesday night between 7pm and 8pm for the next few weeks at the club’s new walking track. This week marked the second week of night walking but the club also held a candle-light vigil in memory of Ashling Murphy, the Offaly school-teacher who was murdered while out for a walk two weeks ago.

“Participants can follow the walking track that offers a safe off-road path and this activity is open to everyone in the community. If anyone would be available to help with registration or stewarding any night, all help is greatly appreciated,” said club PRO Deirdre O’Sullivan-Darcy.

Any volunteers that can help any evening or any questions please contact Margaret Doyle on 0879181970.

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Specialists to examine Killarney trees ahead of future storms

By Sean Moriarty Killarney Municipal District is to appoint the services of a tree specialist to exam the condition of trees in the wider district. The move follows last December’s Storm Barra. during which several tress were toppled. One motorist had a lucky escape when a tree fell on their car during the storm. Another fallen […]

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By Sean Moriarty

Killarney Municipal District is to appoint the services of a tree specialist to exam the condition of trees in the wider district.

The move follows last December’s Storm Barra. during which several tress were toppled. 
One motorist had a lucky escape when a tree fell on their car during the storm. Another fallen tree blocked access to the Moll’s Gap road near Muckross.
Both Cllrs John O’Donoghue and Donal Grady raised the issue at a recent Killarney Municipal District meeting.
“In order to mitigate against such events, the Killarney MD Office are in the process of preparing tender documents to procure assessment of specific trees that are in the charge of Kerry County Council.” A council official told the meeting.
“This will allow the MD to make determinations on individual trees in its charge. Individual property owners are responsible for the welfare and maintenance of trees within and along the boundary of their property lines.”

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