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Chamber fully supports Safe Streets plan extension

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The business community in Killarney has welcomed and fully supports the decision to extend the Safe Streets plan until January 6, 2021.

 

The measures adopted by Kerry County Council, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, have been designed to provide a safer environment – particularly for vulnerable and older people – while at the same time supporting the reopening of local businesses.

Pedestrianisation has been implemented, footpaths have been significantly widened and several no parking and age friendly zones have been introduced and that has proved particularly beneficial given that the level of footfall experienced over the past two months was significantly higher than was originally envisaged.

Killarney Chamber of Tourism and Commerce said the Safe Streets plan will be even more beneficial when the visitor profile changes considerably in the coming weeks with a more mature clientele anticipated.

“With pubs due to reopen on September 21, and the Christmas season rapidly approaching, the streets of Killarney will become quite busy and space is required to facilitate social distancing guidelines,” Chamber President Paul Sherry said.

“We all need to band together going forward to ensure we take every necessary caution to counter the increase in COVID-19 cases reported throughout the country and we wholeheartedly and enthusiastically support Kerry County Council in its Safe Street work.”

Extensive recent research commissioned by Killarney Chamber of Tourism and Commerce, in association with the Institute of Technology – the results of which will be released shortly – indicates that a significant majority of people in Killarney fully support the measures contained in the Safe Streets plan.

At a national level, worries have been voiced by public health officials about the spread of the virus and its potential to impact on society and business. Public health advice remains that people must maintain a two-metre social distance from others.

Kerry County Council has noted that in Killarney, Christmas shopping during December has traditionally seen a relatively high level of footfall so the proposal is to keep the Safe Streets plan in place until January 6.

Furthermore, given the high concentration of schools in Killarney town centre, the Council has held discussions with Bus Éireann and An Garda Síochána on Safe Streets measures that are required to manage the safe drop-off and collection of students.

The current public health advice from the Department of Health, with increasing numbers of confirmed COVID cases and with more community transmission, is that the requirement to provide for safe social distancing will remain for some considerable time.

“The Council considered it necessary to extend the current road closures in Killarney until next January to provide a safe environment for pedestrians and cyclists,” Mr Sherry said.

“The impact of these closures, as well as the other measures put in place, are to be subject to further review and, in the meantime, Chamber fully supports the Safe Streets project.”

 

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Killarney Triathlon Club’s open water swim on the lake

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On Tuesday evening last, members of the Killarney Triathlon Club took part in a breathtaking open water swim, starting from Dundag Beach and spanning the middle lake to a nearby island. Covering a distance of approximately 1.5 kilometers, the event saw all participants return safely, basking in a well-deserved sense of accomplishment.

Set against the stunning backdrop of Killarney National Park, swimmers enjoyed views of woodlands,  mountains, and Muckross House. Safety was paramount during the swim, as it is in all the club’s events. Essential precautions included the use of tow floats, safety kayakers, and safety boats, ensuring the well-being of all participants.

“Our club is incredibly fortunate to be surrounded by such a beautiful environment,” said Caitriona Shanahan, PRO of Killarney Triathlon Club. “The views during our swims are truly spectacular, and the safety measures we implement help everyone feel secure and enjoy the experience.”

Killarney Triathlon Club offers numerous benefits to athletes of all levels. These include structured training programs, expert coaching, group workouts and more. 

“We welcome all levels and abilities. Joining our club not only improves physical fitness but also offers great fun and the added benefits of stress relief from sea swimming. There truly is nothing like the calming effect of a group swim in the sea.” Caitriona added.

For those interested in joining the Killarney Triathlon Club, more information can be found on their social media platforms and their website, Killarneytri.com.

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Danny Healy-Rae welcomes decision to push back changes for cataract payments

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The Health Service Executive has deferred a move to cut the price it reimburses people for cataract treatments in the European Union and in Northern Ireland, under its overseas treatment schemes and a separate system for the North.

The prices were due to change from the start of this month, but the HSE has pushed the date back so that no one is disadvantaged, and to fully communicate with patients, treatment consultants and providers, cost changes will not come into effect until September 1.

The payments for less complex eye treatments were due to fall from €1,912 to €863 or the National Health Service equivalent of £766 in Northern Ireland. The most common cataract procedure payments were due to reduce from €1,456 to €1,171.

The HSE said that the vast majority of procedures fall into this new payment price. It said that the more complex glaucoma/cataract treatment payments will rise from €1,912 to €4,206.

Danny Healy Rae welcomed the news saying, “Following my representations and raising of this matter in the Dáil, I am glad that the HSE have agreed that they will continue to reimburse the higher rates for cataract procedure for those carried out up to the end of August 2024.

“I am advising anyone who needs to have their cataracts removed to do so now before the change to reimbursement amounts comes in.”

All cataract treatment carried out in Belfast after the 1st September 2024 will be subject to the new DRG rates.

Honouring the Kerry women of the revolutionary period

Kerry County Council is to invite expressions of interest next week for the commissioning and development of a commemorative and artistic piece which will honour the role played by women in Kerry during the revolutionary period between 1912 and 1923.

The project follows a joint motion by the five female members of Kerry County Council who called for the development and commissioning of a meaningful and lasting commemorative piece which would reflect the significant and diverse roles and activities of women and their involvement in the campaign for Irish Independence at the beginning of the twentieth century.

A Working Group, including the five female councillors, has been developing a design brief, and the Council intends to publish a detailed brief for the memorial next week and expressions of interest will be invited.

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