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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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Shock at the death of “wonderful community activist”

There was a great sense of shock over the weekend when new of the death of Yvonne Quill, a Tidy Towns champion and wonderful community activist, became known. Yvonne, from […]

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There was a great sense of shock over the weekend when new of the death of Yvonne Quill, a Tidy Towns champion and wonderful community activist, became known.

Yvonne, from Barleymount and formerly of the Cafe, College Street, passed away following a short illness on Friday. Requiem Mass takes place this morning (Monday) at 11am in The Prince of Peace Church, Fossa, followed by burial in Aghadoe Lawn Cemetery.

Killarney Chamber of Tourism and Commerce President Niall Kelleher said she will be very fondly remembered as an incredibly dedicated woman, a strong personality who led by example and spearheaded the town’s Tidy Towns committee with such passion for over 25 years.

He recalled that her proudest day was when, as chairperson of the Killarney Looking Good Committee, she inspired Killarney to the prestigious overall national award in 2011 which had proved so elusive prior to that.

“Yvonne led by example and she never asked anyone to do something she wouldn’t do herself. You would seldom see her without the yellow bib, playing her part and showing us all what needed to be done to give Killarney the edge,” Mr Kelleher said.

“While winning the overall prize was something special, Killarney has never been far from the top and it has won a gold medal almost every year which is testament to Yvonne’s great ability to organise, her steely determination and her unrivalled ability to rally the troops,” he added.

The Chamber President also remembered her as a great businesswoman, a master baker and confectioner whose café on College Street was a must-visit for a whole generation of Killarney people and visitors.

“Yvonne Quill has left a great legacy in her home town. We thank her for what she has done, we’ll remember her incredible work ethic and we’ll ensure her name will live on in Killarney by continuing the commitment to the Tidy Towns initiative.”

Johnny McGuire, a member of the executive of Killarney Chamber of Tourism and Commerce, who worked alongside Yvonne at the helm of the Tidy Towns committee, said she was a born leader who inspired the whole community and always led by example.

“Killarney would never have won the All-Ireland Tidy Towns award without her. She was the inspirational captain of the winning team. Yvonne worked night and day and, when it came to Tidy Towns, there was no downtime for her,” Mr McGuire said.

“Her commitment to the cause brought her into every school and every housing estate in Killarney. Working closely with the late Fr Michael Murphy, her great friend, Kathleen Foley, and others, they really put Killarney in contention for the top awards every year. The name Yvonne Quill was known and respected in Tidy Towns circles throughout the entire country – she really was a legend and everything she turned her hand to,
she succeeded. Killarney will miss her,” he added.

She will be deeply missed by her husband John, children Peter, Sandra and Sean, her son-in-law Peter, daughter-in-law Mairéad, grandchildren Anna, Jake, Ted, Abby and Luke, sister Angela Mulvey, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, and extended family, friends, neighbours and the community.

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Jim awarded for life-long service to the community

By Michelle Crean Listry local Jim O’Shea was honoured last week as members of the community council presented him with an award for his life-long service to the community. Jim […]

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By Michelle Crean

Listry local Jim O’Shea was honoured last week as members of the community council presented him with an award for his life-long service to the community.

Jim received the O’Shea Award for 2022 at a meeting of Directors of Listry Community Council held on September 21.

Jim has been involved in Athletics from a very early age both as a competitor and administrator.

He was very much involved with Community Games in Milltown/Listry as organiser and coach. He was also involved with the Farranfore Maine Valley Athletic Club since its foundation.

Over the years Jim has competed in athletic events, mainly high jump and long jump, both in Ireland and abroad.

Recently he travelled to Derby in the UK in the British Masters Championship and won Gold in the 100 metres and Long Jump and finished second in the High Jump.

Jim, who is a very modest man, was actively involved with Listry Community Council as a volunteer driver for Meals on Wheels and for his commitment to keeping our community litter free by organising a number of litter picking days each year.

Always interested in fitness, Jim often came along to the Listry Seniors Social day and led the group in gentle exercises.

“Jim is a very worthy recipient of the O’Shea Award 2022 and we thank him for a lifetime of service to others,” Tony Darmody, Chairman, said.

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