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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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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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