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Councillors lay in to Irish Water staff




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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Eight month wait for a driving test in Killarney

A Killarney councillor is calling for action in an effort to reduce the driving test wait list in Killarney The current wait list for a test in Killarney sits at […]




A Killarney councillor is calling for action in an effort to reduce the driving test wait list in Killarney

The current wait list for a test in Killarney sits at eight months.

Cllr John O’Donoghue raised the issue at Monday’s full meeting of Kerry County Council.

He proposed that driving instructors should be employed to carry out the final test to reduce the current backlog.

At Monday’s meeting he asked that hat Kerry County Council would write to the Minister for Transport to ask him to consider giving driving instructors temporary powers to issue a temporary Driving Licence/Certificate of Competence to those on the waiting list for tests.

“The wait is currently far too long and the system is in danger of becoming completely overwhelmed,” he said.

“The huge waiting list for young drivers is well documented at this stage. In a case I am familiar with, a young person passed their theory test in January 2022 and he immediately applied for his mandatory 12 driving lessons. When these were completed, he applied for his driving test on the 2nd of December 2022. Some weeks ago, he still had not received an application to apply for his driving test. This wait is placing him and his family under considerable extra cost and stress which is completely unacceptable.”

In the course of his research into the matter Cllr O’Donoghue discovered that the next available date for a driving test in Killarney is May 25, 2024, while Tralee is June 3 2024.

“Bear in mind, these are only the dates on which you receive an invitation to book your test, the test itself will then be an estimated three to five weeks later.

“This is an appalling situation and one which needs to be rectified as a matter of urgency. I am proposing that driving instructors, which presumably are fully trained up on the rules of the road, be granted temporary powers to be allowed to issue temporary driving licences to young people. When the waiting list time has been reduced, I would still propose that these people sit the test as usual, but the current pressure needs to be alleviated as soon as possible. There is precedent as I believe that in the 1970s, a cohort in this country were issued driving licences without having sat a test as the wait time for the test was too long.”


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Ballymac charity vintage run on October 1

The Ballymac Vintage Club is hosting a classic car, tractor and Honda 50 run on October 1. The run will leave from and return to the Halfway Bar, Ballymac. Registration […]




The Ballymac Vintage Club is hosting a classic car, tractor and Honda 50 run on October 1.

The run will leave from and return to the Halfway Bar, Ballymac.

Registration begins at 9:30am and sets off at 11am.

“There will be two separate routes with one for tractors and the other for cars and motorbikes. Proceeds on the day are in aid of Castleisland Day Care Centre and we’ll have plenty of spot prizes to giveaway too in the morning,” said the club’s PRO Kieran Glover.


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