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Calls for on street dining and seating in Killarney town centre

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OUTDOOR DINING: Street scenes like this are common in Europe and Cllr Michael Gleeson says the time is right to explore such an idea in Killarney.

By Sean Moriarty

 

A plan to roof the centre of Killarney to allow people to socialise outside in all weathers could be back on the agenda thanks to Coronavirus restrictions.

The idea to place retractable umbrellas over Main St had been given approval by the previous town council but that idea was pushed off the agenda in 2014 when town councils were merged with the Council and were restructured as municipal districts.

The idea was first put forward by Cllr Michael Gleeson seven years ago and the Independent Alliance politician sees merit in re-introducing the idea as a solution to indoor socialising that has been restricted as a result of the pandemic.

At the time local engineer Paudie O’Mahoney devised a plan to keep the rain off of tourists and locals alike. It included placing an ‘artificial roof’ over the streets of Killarney which can be removed in the summer when the weather is nice and put back up when it's raining.

The plan is to make the artificial roofs from large sections of heavy-duty canvas.

"This canopy cover system could be introduced on a trial basis in a lane way or even on one of the main streets and I can see it taking off all over the country in a very short space of time,” Paudie said in 2013.

A year later Kerry County Council said details and specifications had been agreed with a specialist supplier, but the tender process had not been completed prior to the town council’s abolition.

Cllr Gleeson raised the matter at a Killarney Municipal District meeting earlier this month as part of a debate surrounding pedestrianisation and the Safe Streets project.

His idea is to put a covered seating area in the centre of the town’s streets which would be owned and maintained by the Municipal District Council and placed in such a way that it would not favour any particular business.

Mr Gleeson says the idea works well on the continent, particularly Belgium which enjoys a similar climate to Ireland.

“It is time to look at Al Fresco dining on the streets of Killarney,” he told the Killarney Advertiser. “I have seen something similar in a large hotel in Dublin and it is quite common in Europe. It would enhance Killarney as a tourist destination as tourists and locals could socialise in a safe distance. Belgium can be colder than here in the winter but it works there.”

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Killarney centre stage for Pride Festival

The award-winning Kingdom Pride in Kerry festival is back next week and Killarney will take centre stage. Kingdom Pride will be celebrated in towns all across the county from July […]

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The award-winning Kingdom Pride in Kerry festival is back next week and Killarney will take centre stage.

Kingdom Pride will be celebrated in towns all across the county from July 17 to 21.

The organisation’s flagship Party in the Park event will be held again in Killarney House and Gardens, following the Pride march in the town centre on July 20.

This year, in solidarity with the people of Palestine, Kingdom Pride in Kerry is inviting the people of Kerry to come to show their unity by bringing Palestinian flags and kites to the march, and to the Party in the Park.

“Pride is a protest for human rights all over the world. Here in the Kingdom, we have been so lucky to receive tremendous community support from our allies and supporters, and we see the struggle for liberation of all peoples as a united cause,” said Daniel Quirke, chairperson of the organising committee.

“Our events have always welcomed everyone, regardless of gender, orientation, religion, or nationality. We truly believe that together we can create positive change through caring for and loving one another. This year is no exception, and we look forward to helping to highlight the Palestinian cause, and to bringing people together to keep generating positive change for all people.”

Events will take place in Cahersiveen, Listowel, Killorglin, Tralee and Dingle, and include an Irish comedy night with Áine Gallagher, an Irish-language movie screening, yoga, sea swimming, poetry and storytelling, bowling, pitch and putt, a lively drag night at the INEC, and plenty more for people of all ages.

“We do our best to keep tickets as low-cost as possible, and we have lots of events that are totally free to attend. It is important to us that people can share Pride with us, regardless of income. Especially with the rise of the cost of living putting a strain on people’s pockets.” added the chairperson.

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A weekend of Live Music, Fun and Entertainment, at FleskFest 2024

The organisers of the annual FleskFest have “a tremendous line-up, with a weekend full of entertainment to suit all” for the July 18 to 20 event. “It promises to be […]

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The organisers of the annual FleskFest have “a tremendous line-up, with a weekend full of entertainment to suit all” for the July 18 to 20 event.

“It promises to be the festival weekend of the summer, an event you don’t want to miss out on. Last year’s Festival was a fantastic memorable experience for our community, a time to get together and celebrate,” said festival PRO Seán Daly.

Organised by Glenflesk GAA, FleskFest 24 will take place at the Barraduff Community Field next week.
There will be a fully licensed bar in the Fest Marquee, some amazing live music on The Big Stage, food trucks and much more.
Glenflesk GAA club’s biggest fundraiser of the year includes a new-for-2024 Texas Holdem Poker Tournament on Thursday night.
Weekend highlights include old-time waltzing, jiving and polka sets with Paudie McAuliffe and Paudie Coffey Band on Friday,
On Saturday, the new Well Flesk event will take place.
“A morning of self-care and wellness at Flesk Fest featuring masterclasses in yoga, pilates, mindfulness, spinning, fitness sessions, workouts, firewood sauna and ice pods with a range of experienced and qualified instructors,” added Daly.
Leading local musician Johnny Courtney and Friends, Sam and Ina, The O’Donoghue Sisters, Reigning All Ireland Champions Glenflesk Ballad Group, and The Border Boys will take to the Big Stage over the weekend.
Sunday is Family Fun Day with children’s entertainment and disco and the All-Ireland Hurling Final Live on the Big screen followed by music with Thingamajig.
The festival will finish with a Sunday evening session with the Meadhbh Walsh Band.

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