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 Council split over the future Plunkett St

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Elected members of Killarney Municipal District Council are divided over the future of Plunkett St.

Two years ago the council introduced a pedestrian-only plan for the street between 7pm and 7am every day.

The recently elected council met for the first time on Tuesday July 2 and one of the hottest topics on the agenda was two proposals by elected members to reverse the decision and re-open the street to traffic as soon as possible.

Cllr Niall O’Callaghan, who was back in the chamber after a five year absence tabled a motion to reverse the decision to pedestrianise the street. He said the barrier at the top of the street is creating a perception that the town centre ends at the barrier and people are turning around at this point and not visiting businesses along College St.

“Business is down 25 per cent on College St,” he told the meeting.

The motion was backed by Cllr Donal Grady who called for the street to be re-opened as soon as possible, and like O’Callaghan he felt that barrier was effecting business in the area.

Opposition for the plan came from both councillor Brendan Cronin and Mayor Michael Gleeson.

“What we have created is a family friendly street where people with buggies or wheelchairs can comfortably relax,” said Cronin. “In the run up to the election I spoke to only three people that had negative views on the street. Killarney is 20 years behind, when it comes to pedestrianising compared to other, even smaller, tourist towns. Business is down because  of Brexit and other reasons but not because of Plunket Street.”

Mayor Gleeson supported Cronin’s motion.

“I have been a very strong advocate of  pedestrianising in Killarney,” he said. “Pedestrianising is fundamental to the financial well-being of the town.”

A survey of businesses effected by the closure is being carried out by Killarney Municipal District Council but as the closure was sanctioned via a Section 38 order a second  Section 38 process including public consultations would have to carried out before the decision could be reversed.

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Pedestrianisation poll: Our readers have their say

By Sean Moriarty The question of pedestrianisation in the town centre has divided Killarney for years but a survey by the Killarney Advertiser this week shows the town slightly more in favour of it. A total of 37.14 percent of respondents want the pedestrianisation of Plunkett St to remain as it is – closed to […]

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By Sean Moriarty

The question of pedestrianisation in the town centre has divided Killarney for years but a survey by the Killarney Advertiser this week shows the town slightly more in favour of it.

A total of 37.14 percent of respondents want the pedestrianisation of Plunkett St to remain as it is – closed to traffic on a permanent basis while 24.76 want it to go back to its pre-pandemic arrangement where the street was only closed to vehicular traffic between 7pm and 7am each night.

An additional 34.29 percent want to see an increase in pedestrianisation in town centre by extending the Main St arrangement that was in place during the summer. In that period the town’s main thoroughfare was closed to traffic, day and night, during the weekend.

Only 20 percent of the respondents want to abolish pedestrianisation altogether, but that is still a significant number ensuring that this debate will linger on for a long time yet.

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National television exposure for local campaign

By Michelle Crean A local group hosting a life-saving information day tomorrow (Saturday) are to receive huge exposure on national TV after a crew came down to interview them about their campaign. Members of Killarney Cardiac Response Unit (KCRU) – who are planning a ‘Restart a Heart Day’ to raise awareness about life-saving techniques – […]

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By Michelle Crean

A local group hosting a life-saving information day tomorrow (Saturday) are to receive huge exposure on national TV after a crew came down to interview them about their campaign.

Members of Killarney Cardiac Response Unit (KCRU) – who are planning a ‘Restart a Heart Day’ to raise awareness about life-saving techniques – invited journalist Paul Byrne and Virgin Media TV crew to town this week.

It’s hoped their campaign will be broadcast tonight (Friday) or tomorrow (Saturday).

The KCRU event takes place tomorrow in ANAM Arts and Cultural Centre between 10.30am and 4pm as part of the European Restart a Heart Day. It’ll include CPR demos, public information, an art display, a video launch w️ith many prizes to be won.

“The crew interviewed Community Responder Helen Duggan who explained the events taking place on Saturday,” Kevin O’Leary from KCRU told the Killarney Advertiser.

“European Restart a Heart Day was founded with the support of the European parliament and takes place on October 16 every year. We’re spreading the message that 20 minutes of your time could make all the difference saving a life.”

In 2021, the focus of the event is on survivors with the hashtag #CPRSavedMyLife.

“With this campaign we want to create awareness that everyone can learn CPR and facilitate BLS courses in schools and public locations.”

He said they hope that Kerry TDs Danny Healy-Rae, Brendan Griffin and Minister for Education Norma Foley will be in attendance throughout the day, and the public are invited to attend.

“Find out how simple actions can save lives. Prizes include a three day First Aid course valued at €300, two First Aid kits, and a voucher for a local business.”

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