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Construction starts on outdoor dining but Jarveys not happy

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By Sean Moriarty

The much awaited €600,000 outdoor dining project for the town finally began construction this week - but not everyone is happy about its timing due to the start of the tourism season.

CHAOS: One Jarvey said that the construction work will cause traffic chaos during the summer months.

DANGER: Coach passengers were forced to join their tour in live traffic.

The Bord Fáilte funded scheme, part of the town’s response to COVID-19, will include a 620 square-metre outdoor dining area consisting of paving, landscaping, and lighting, of which 210 square-metres will be a covered dining area, was given the green light in September last year. It was hoped to have been fully completed last month at the very latest.

After months of planning, funding applications and a tender process, construction work finally began this week.

A new protective hoarding has been erected on Kenmare Place to prevent members of the public accidently walking into the construction site and to prevent construction material spilling on to public walkways.

As a result the roadway has become much narrower. The bus setdown area in Kenmare Place is no longer available and the number of Jarvey stands at the adjacent HaHa have been reduced.

While Jarveys are not opposed to the overall plan, they believe the timing of the project is wrong as the town prepares to enter its peak tourism season. However, one of the funding conditions for the public outdoor dining area is that construction must be completed by a certain date.

ACCIDENTS

Jarveys say that there is a health and safety issue as they have witnessed buses picking up and dropping off passengers from nearby hotels in live traffic. They have also seen a number of accidents – including a collision between two buses in the street since the hoarding went up earlier this week.

Apart from the reduced number of Jarvey stands, as a result of the narrower road, the jaunting car operators say they are losing business as potential customers cannot see the Jarvey stand at the other side of the black construction hoarding.

“We are not against this, the timing is wrong, anything that helps Killarney we are for it,” Jarvey Michael O’Grady told the Killarney Advertiser. “But they seem to have forgotten the céad míle fáilte in this case.”

The Jarveys also raised concerns about traffic and said that the noise of the construction works will frighten horses.

“There will be chaos here in the summer time,” added Jarvey Mike Griffin. “And if a horse shies we are in trouble again.”

His colleague Patrick O’Sullivan added that “buses are now loading in the Jarvey stand”.

Kenmare Place was selected for the scheme due its proximity to Killarney House and National Park, the recently developed ANAM Arts and Cultural building, Killarney Jarvey stand, Christ the King Monument and St Mary’s Church.

Kerry County Council said at the time of the grant application Kenmare Place was the most suitable location based on Fáilte Ireland criteria.

“This outdoor infrastructure area currently being constructed at Kenmare Place has been the subject of a statutory public consultation process which was widely publicised. Council staff have met with, and will continue to meet with, any groups, businesses or residents who have issues of concern while the works are taking place. The project commenced construction this week and the Council looks forward to its completion at the earliest opportunity,” a Council spokesperson told the Killarney Advertiser.

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Wildflowers are not always simple to grow

By Debby Looney, gardening expert There is nothing quite like the low, humming sound of insects in the garden. I always find the different pitches of the buzzing fascinating, from […]

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By Debby Looney, gardening expert

There is nothing quite like the low, humming sound of insects in the garden. I always find the different pitches of the buzzing fascinating, from the drone of a big, furry bumble bee to the high pitched whirring of hoverflies.

And wasps always seem to have a dangerous sound – it is unique to them, in any case. It is possible to help pollinators into your garden at almost any time of the year, solitary bees such as bumbles and leafcutter bees, will come out of hibernation on a sunny December day if there are some heather flowers nearby. tulips, hyacinths, crocus and snowdrops provide sustenance in early spring, along with shrubs such as hamamelis, daphne, viburnum and willow. In April, the small flowers of the field maple attract many insects, as do the large trumpet shaped flowers of rhododendrons and azaleas. Wildflowers are now beginning to bloom, and they are the subject of today’s column!

While it seems counterintuitive, wildflowers are not always simple to grow, especially as we mean ‘pretty meadow blooms’ as opposed to ‘weeds’! Creating an area for wildflowers takes some preparation. Most important is that it is a weed free area. Kill off any grass or weeds before sowing, either by using conventional weedkillers, or by laying down a sheet of black polythene or weed suppressant. Make sure any seeds which germinate are removed also, and that problematic plants such as rushes, are dug out. Most importantly, ensure all grass is gone, as wildflowers do not compete well against its vigorous growth. Rake the top layer of the soil loose to a fine tilth, and do not add fertiliser! Wildflowers will generally not do well in a rich soil. When your area is ready, decide which seeds are best for your spot. There is much to choose from, for example, single varieties such as ragged Robin, teasels and poppies, or mixtures. There are seed mixes for perennial meadows, ones which attract birds – these usually have a high volume of seed bearing flowers, mixes for bees, ladybirds or certain colour mixes. There are also soil specific mixes.

SOWING SEEDS

Sow your seeds thinly and evenly onto the prepared ground. I tend to cover with netting at this time of year, because, although it is the best time of year to sow, and there is a very high germination rate, birds are also a problem!

The only maintenance really is to keep an eye on slug damage – I scatter in a few pellets when I sow anything – and if there are very dense clumps of seedlings forming, thin them out. When the flowers have gone to seed in the autumn, just cut them to ground level, leave the cuttings a few days for the seeds to drop out, and rake the foliage up. If left to rot in situ, it will make the soil too fertile for a good display the following year.

I mention the use of slug pellets. To the best of my knowledge, the use of metaldehyde poison in slug pellets has been banned for a few years now, and pellets are made of ferric phosphate which is not harmful to pets or birds unless ingested in very large amounts. However, there are some ingredients used in slug pellets which may potentially cause damage to earthworms and other soil dwellers, so please, always use sparingly and where possible, not at all!

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Routine and balance are crucial in the run up to exams

By Niamh Dwyer, Chairperson of the Kerry Branch of Guidance Counsellors As you approach the countdown to the beginning of the Junior and Leaving Cert Exams on June 8, it […]

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By Niamh Dwyer, Chairperson of the Kerry Branch of Guidance Counsellors

As you approach the countdown to the beginning of the Junior and Leaving Cert Exams on June 8, it is very important to maintain a healthy balance so that you can pace yourself properly.

It can be tempting to try to pack in long hours of last minute study at this stage and become more focused on what you don’t know instead of what you do! Stress is a normal part of facing exams and in fact a certain amount of it is helpful to ensure that it mobilises you to perform well, but it is essential that you keep it, and the exams, in perspective. After many years of supporting students before, during and after exams, I know too well how overwhelming the experience can be so I urge you to do everything you can to look after your well-being at this stage.

Before the exams

Stick to a good routine with a healthy balance in terms of revision, rest, fresh air, sleep and diet. Don’t be tempted to work late at night as it is usually unproductive and impacts on your concentration the following day. Approach your last minute revision in a targeted way with the guidance you have been given by your teachers. Have a schedule with your exam dates/times highlighted hanging up where it is obvious and visible at home and take a photo to save on your phone.

During the exams

Set two alarms for the mornings of exams and allow lots of extra time. You will need to be in your assigned seat in the exam centre at least 30 minutes before the start of the exam on day one and 15 minutes before all other exams. Hydration is really important during the exams to help with concentration so make sure you have plenty of water. The first thing to do when you look at the paper is to read the instructions carefully, your teacher will have gone through these many times with you. Mark all the questions you are going to do and write out a quick time plan for yourself. Focus on exactly what you are being asked; the most common feedback from examiners is that students give a lot of irrelevant information so keep glancing back at the question to keep yourself on task to target the marks.

Breathing

If you feel you are becoming really anxious in the exam hall, focus on controlling your breath to bring a sense of calm. Breathe in through your nose for two seconds, hold your breath for one second, and breathe out through your mouth for four seconds. Repeat for one minute.

After the exam

Try to avoid too much discussion after each paper, ‘post-mortems’ of the exams are rarely helpful and can add to stress levels so once each exam is done, take a break and then move on to preparing for the next one. I can tell you that regardless of what happens in each exam, you will have lots of options available to you and an interesting journey ahead.

Keep in mind that while the Leaving Cert is an important exam and big milestone, it will not define you for the rest of your life. Best of luck to the class of 2022!

Niamh Dwyer is a Guidance Counsellor in Scoil Phobail Sliabh Luachra, Rathmore, and Chairperson of the Kerry Branch of Guidance Counsellors. She is also a Career Consultant. For details see www.mycareerplan.ie or follow @mycareerplan on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.

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