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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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Relief as indoor dining finally resumes

By Michelle Crean After almost 500 days of closures the sense of relief was evident this week as restaurants, cafés and bars were finally allowed to welcome customers back in. Some had reopened for outdoor dining previously to help keep their businesses afloat but it was back to normal on Monday. According to the new […]

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By Michelle Crean

After almost 500 days of closures the sense of relief was evident this week as restaurants, cafés and bars were finally allowed to welcome customers back in.

Some had reopened for outdoor dining previously to help keep their businesses afloat but it was back to normal on Monday.

According to the new rules as set out by Fáilte Ireland and the Government, in order for customers to access indoor service, they must show proof that they are fully vaccinated or have recovered from COVID-19 in the past six months. Those who are not yet vaccinated can only be served outside.

A maximum of six people aged 13 and over are allowed per table and it’s advised that face coverings be worn when not at the table, there is no time limit, customers can only eat or drink at a table and not at the bar or counter, and one person must give their details for contract tracing purposes. Live music and dancing is not allowed.

The Killarney Advertiser spoke to a number of businesses this week and overall the feeling was relief that they can finally get back to normal service but the issue of staffing still remains.

Brian Murphy from Courtney’s Bar said he was feeling nervous.

“I’m feeling nervous as we don’t have enough staff,” he said. “It’s a Monday so hopefully we can cope. Things will settle down and we’ll find a level we are all happy with.”

At the Porterhouse Restaurant Lee O’Callaghan said “It’s great to be back open and have people coming into the restaurant”.

“Hopefully we have a long season after being closed for so long.”

Staff at Reidy’s, Ellen Shannon, Rory Carroll and Jack Sweeney, added that they’re delighted to return to indoor dining.

“Hopefully we get back to normal soon and to brighter days ahead.”

At Jimmy Brien’s Bar in Fair Hill, customers echoed the same sentiments about being finally open.

“We are delighted to be back,” Danjoe Aherne said.

“We appreciate everything Alan Breen has done for us. We’re glad to be back home again!” Charlie Buckingham said.

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Time to get your skates on!

By Sean Moriarty People of Killarney are being urged to have their say on a new skateboard park before next week’s deadline. A public consultation on the project has been launched by Kerry County Council. Cllr Donal Grady, who first put forward the idea of a Killarney skateboard park in 2018, is urging the people […]

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By Sean Moriarty

People of Killarney are being urged to have their say on a new skateboard park before next week’s deadline.

A public consultation on the project has been launched by Kerry County Council.

Cllr Donal Grady, who first put forward the idea of a Killarney skateboard park in 2018, is urging the people of the town to have their say.

It is proposed to build the park on land adjacent to the Killarney Sports and Leisure Centre with help and support from the KDYS.

“In 2017 a group of skateboard enthusiasts approached me, they had no designated safe area to enjoy their sport. Sport is vital for youths, stakeboarding increases metabolism, improves balance and enhances coordination use,” Cllr Grady told the Killarney Advertiser.

“Skateboarding is now an Olympic sport. I commend Kerry County Council, management, engineers and the planning team for getting the project to this stage, it’s now up to the people of Killarney to have their say. It’s vital positive submissions are lodged by Wednesday, August 25,”

Submissions can be lodged to the Playground Unit, Finance Dept, Kerry County Council.

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