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Calls to end “the scourge” of illegal parking in town centre

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By Sean Moriarty

Elected members of Killarney Municipal District are to take a two-pronged approach to solving illegal parking issues in the town centre. Members are to seek a special meeting with the Council’s executive ahead of the next open meeting which is scheduled for early March.

They want clarity on the existing by-laws in the town regarding parking, and action to be taken against some motorists who Mayor Cllr Brendan Cronin says are “abusing the system”.

At last week’s KMD meeting, Cllr Donal Grady asked for an update on the by-laws connected with the ‘Safe Streets’ programme.

The programme was introduced to the town centre last summer in an effort to encourage more footfall in the town centre while at the same time providing for COVID-19 related social distancing measures.
The plan includes the full-time closure of Plunkett St to traffic, an issue that has divided the Council on many occasions. It also includes the provision of short-term “age friendly" parking spaces in town.

DEBATE

Mr Grady’s notice of motion led to a wider debate with some councillors stating that motorists are abusing the temporary parking arrangements as there is confusion over the application of by-laws in such parking bays.

“Current by-laws do not cover these arrangements and people know that. It is a slap in the face for progression,” said Cllr Niall Kelleher. “I urge the Council executive to bring the parking strategy before us as soon as possible as it is having an exceptional impact on the town of Killarney.”

In recent months, the Killarney Advertiser has covered several illegal and inconsiderate parking stories in the town centre. These include the prevention of a bus carrying people with special needs accessing the Christmas display at St Mary’s Cathedral and cars parked on double yellow lines in College Square which reduces access to the two “blue badge" parking zones directly across the street.

Last November Mayor Cronin, Gardai, Council officials and school principals met to discuss illegal parking on New Road at school time.

At the time the Council promised to increase the presence of the traffic warden in the area but, up to the Christmas break, the last time all of the schools in the area were open, there were still repeated incidents of cars parking on footpaths.

This prompted Cllr Michael Gleeson to bring the issue up at last Monday’s full meeting of Kerry County Council - where he demanded that the Council take action "as there has been considerable reconfiguration of streets, roads and footpaths in recent months, that the Council in conjunction with an action to prevent and punish the scourge of vehicles parking on footpaths".

"It's an illegal activity that demonstrates a gross disrespect for all pedestrians, very particularly for people with disability and for persons pushing prams and buggies,” he told the meeting.

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Therapy dog begins first day of school

By Michelle Crean A four-month-old puppy is the latest addition to school life at one local secondary school and his homework is to help students and staff. On Wednesday, there was great excitement as therapy dog Zoomer joined the school community at St Brigid’s on New Road – the second post primary school in the county […]

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By Michelle Crean

A four-month-old puppy is the latest addition to school life at one local secondary school and his homework is to help students and staff.

On Wednesday, there was great excitement as therapy dog Zoomer joined the school community at St Brigid’s on New Road – the second post primary school in the county to welcome such a dog.

It’s part of the My Canine Companion (MCC) charity which has a number of therapy dogs in schools across the country.

Deirdre Horgan from MCC paid a visit to schools looking for families for the charity’s socialisation programme. ​​​​​​

Zoomer is a mix of a sheepdog and a poodle and Deirdre’s dog Fifi is his mother.

In May Fifi had 10 puppies all named with the letter ‘z’. Just recently Fossa National School welcomed Zoomer’s sister Zazu to their classrooms, and puppy Zoro went to the CBS in Tralee.

The dogs not only provide comfort and support to pupils and students with Autism but to all in the school.

“There is an increasing body of research to support the benefit of a dog in school,” Ber O’Connor, a teacher in St Brigid’s, said.

Zoomer will be under the guidance of Ms O’Connor and some Transition Year students who will undertake a specific training programme for the therapy dog.

“The dog will be based in different rooms around the school but will have a timetable of interactions. We hope Zoomer settles in well and brings joy to many of our students lives. You can follow all the updates of Zoomer’s life on Instagram by following @zoomersbk or his TikTok account ‘zoomerthepuppy’.

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Brian James secures much sought after award

A local business is celebrating receiving a very special accolade – beating off stiff competition from UK and Irish retailers – by taking home the title of ‘Menswear Independent of the Year 2021’. Brian James, whose business is located on Main Street, secured the award at the internationally acclaimed Drapers Independents Awards in London last […]

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A local business is celebrating receiving a very special accolade – beating off stiff competition from UK and Irish retailers – by taking home the title of ‘Menswear Independent of the Year 2021’.

Brian James, whose business is located on Main Street, secured the award at the internationally acclaimed Drapers Independents Awards in London last week.

The highly respected and sought after Drapers Awards celebrate the very best of independent fashion retail and Brian James saw off exceptionally tough competition from other menswear stores to bring home this much coveted award.

Brian James were announced the winners at a celebratory luncheon in The Hilton London Bankside amongst fashion industry leaders and were presented with the iconic Drapers mannequin bust to much applause.

Commenting that Brian James has been a destination for fashion-conscious shoppers for more than 15 years, the judges praised Brian James’ strong “roster of brands” and said that it “offers an aspirational experience in Killarney”.

“Killarney is an incredible town to trade in – it is a brand in itself, offers the best of everything to those that are lucky to live here and an unbeatable experience for those that visit,” Brian O’Shea, who founded and runs Brian James for the last 15 years, said. “This award recognises Brian James and Killarney as a superior shopping destination town. Brian James and the other superb retailers in Killarney are an important piece of the jigsaw – the Park, the lakes and mountains, the hotels, restaurants and bars… it is the whole picture which guarantees the experience is first class.”

He added that his team are a key element of the experience at Brian James.

“My sincere thanks go to each of the team as without them we could not provide the customer experience and service we aim to ensure each and every time. Brian James’ success is also down to the partnerships we have developed over time with key international brands. On the store itself, of course we have relocated to our new super store on Main Street and more than doubled our floor space. Although it has been great to be able to design and create this stunning space to enhance the customer experience, it also allowed us to add more brands to our menswear mix. This year we will have added Hugo Boss and Eden Park to our familiar brands such as Tommy Hilfiger, Calvin Klein, Gant, Barbour, Bugatti and Farah. The new space also plays host to ladies collections from Tommy Jeans, Calvin Klein, Diesel and Superdry and this is an exciting new element we are really enjoying too!”

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