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Councillors lay in to Irish Water staff

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By Sean Moriarty

Senior officials from Irish Water felt the wrath of elected councillors at Monday’s monthly meeting of Kerry County Council.

Senior Irish Water staff were invited to give a presentation to Kerry County Council as a result of an increasing number of water breaks all over the county – but particularly in the Mid Kerry, Killcummin and Park Road areas.

Sean Laffey, head of asset management, outlined the state body’s plans to alleviate a range of problems with the water supply in the area.

He was left reeling by concerns raised by elected members as he attempted to explain away the issues that face residents all over the county.

Irish Water was described as a Third World service, the firm was accused of making ‘half assed’ attempts at solving water issues in the area and one Killarney Councillor went as far as saying that Irish Water should be disbanded.

One of the key concerns was the delay of the Killcummin Water Scheme. The scheme was all set to go ahead last year – a January 2020 Killarney Municipal District meeting was told as much – only for Irish Water to reverse its plans by March.

Cllr Marie Moloney, who lives in the area, accused Irish Water of electioneering. The Killcummin announcement was made in the run up to the February 2020 General Election.

“Once they got their votes the whole thing stopped,” she told the meeting. “It is very hard to take the word of Irish Water.”

Multiple breaks on the Park Road in Killarney was another issue that was at the fore of Monday’s meeting.

“For me as a councillor, I have no confidence in Irish Water,“ Niall ‘Botty’ O’Callaghan told the meeting. “People of Killcummin are being treated abysmally and Irish Water half-assed attempts at solving the issues. There are weekly breaks on the Park Road. I want to see action, I want to see diggers in Killarney.”

Cllr Brendan Cronin lives in the Listry, Faha, Rockfield area, another area that has seen multiple breaks in recent weeks.

“Irish Water are a public embarrassment,” he told the meeting. “I have lost all faith in Irish Water.”

Moloney raised further concerns on the road network in Killcummin. Several roads along the proposed Irish Water Scheme have been resurfaced in recent weeks. This was a decision taken by elected councillors and Kerry County Council officials after Irish Water reversed its previous promise to complete the scheme.

“Ye will be putting the roads back exactly as ye got them,” she warned. “Why are ye so slow – get a plan together and stick to it.”

Newly co-opted councillor John O’Donoghue made his first contribution to a council debate.

“This is a case of historic neglect,” he said as he raised concerns about sewage entering the river network. “This is a criminal act, Kilcummin is deplorable, the Park Road is like a swimming pool.”

Cllr Niall Kelleher went on the attack too.

“How does Irish Water do its business,” he said. “Heretofore it has not been productive.”

Cllr Donal Grady called for the body to be disbanded.

“They have left us down again,” he told the meeting. “We have to disband them, from County Kerry at least.”

Cllr Michael Cahill said: “Kerry is like a Third World country when it comes to water and waste management,” while Maura Healy-Rae said: “The people of the Killarney Municipal District have been enormously disrespected.

Earlier in the meeting Mr Laffey said he would return to Killarney in January but after listening to the Councillors he moved that meeting to September.

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Killarney centre stage for Pride Festival

The award-winning Kingdom Pride in Kerry festival is back next week and Killarney will take centre stage. Kingdom Pride will be celebrated in towns all across the county from July […]

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The award-winning Kingdom Pride in Kerry festival is back next week and Killarney will take centre stage.

Kingdom Pride will be celebrated in towns all across the county from July 17 to 21.

The organisation’s flagship Party in the Park event will be held again in Killarney House and Gardens, following the Pride march in the town centre on July 20.

This year, in solidarity with the people of Palestine, Kingdom Pride in Kerry is inviting the people of Kerry to come to show their unity by bringing Palestinian flags and kites to the march, and to the Party in the Park.

“Pride is a protest for human rights all over the world. Here in the Kingdom, we have been so lucky to receive tremendous community support from our allies and supporters, and we see the struggle for liberation of all peoples as a united cause,” said Daniel Quirke, chairperson of the organising committee.

“Our events have always welcomed everyone, regardless of gender, orientation, religion, or nationality. We truly believe that together we can create positive change through caring for and loving one another. This year is no exception, and we look forward to helping to highlight the Palestinian cause, and to bringing people together to keep generating positive change for all people.”

Events will take place in Cahersiveen, Listowel, Killorglin, Tralee and Dingle, and include an Irish comedy night with Áine Gallagher, an Irish-language movie screening, yoga, sea swimming, poetry and storytelling, bowling, pitch and putt, a lively drag night at the INEC, and plenty more for people of all ages.

“We do our best to keep tickets as low-cost as possible, and we have lots of events that are totally free to attend. It is important to us that people can share Pride with us, regardless of income. Especially with the rise of the cost of living putting a strain on people’s pockets.” added the chairperson.

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A weekend of Live Music, Fun and Entertainment, at FleskFest 2024

The organisers of the annual FleskFest have “a tremendous line-up, with a weekend full of entertainment to suit all” for the July 18 to 20 event. “It promises to be […]

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The organisers of the annual FleskFest have “a tremendous line-up, with a weekend full of entertainment to suit all” for the July 18 to 20 event.

“It promises to be the festival weekend of the summer, an event you don’t want to miss out on. Last year’s Festival was a fantastic memorable experience for our community, a time to get together and celebrate,” said festival PRO Seán Daly.

Organised by Glenflesk GAA, FleskFest 24 will take place at the Barraduff Community Field next week.
There will be a fully licensed bar in the Fest Marquee, some amazing live music on The Big Stage, food trucks and much more.
Glenflesk GAA club’s biggest fundraiser of the year includes a new-for-2024 Texas Holdem Poker Tournament on Thursday night.
Weekend highlights include old-time waltzing, jiving and polka sets with Paudie McAuliffe and Paudie Coffey Band on Friday,
On Saturday, the new Well Flesk event will take place.
“A morning of self-care and wellness at Flesk Fest featuring masterclasses in yoga, pilates, mindfulness, spinning, fitness sessions, workouts, firewood sauna and ice pods with a range of experienced and qualified instructors,” added Daly.
Leading local musician Johnny Courtney and Friends, Sam and Ina, The O’Donoghue Sisters, Reigning All Ireland Champions Glenflesk Ballad Group, and The Border Boys will take to the Big Stage over the weekend.
Sunday is Family Fun Day with children’s entertainment and disco and the All-Ireland Hurling Final Live on the Big screen followed by music with Thingamajig.
The festival will finish with a Sunday evening session with the Meadhbh Walsh Band.

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