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Crackdown on anti-social behaviour in Killarney

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There is to be a no-nonsense crackdown on public disorder and anti-social behaviour arising from large groups of people congregating in certain parts of tourist hotspots Killarney at weekends.

Garda patrols are being increased on the streets and extra personnel will be assigned to monitor behaviour and to engage with the public.

Authorities in the town have advised people not to attend such open air gatherings as it is leading to law and order issues and proving to be very upsetting for residents and others.

Although people have been congregating in large groups in a number of locations, the Beech Road car park is a particular area of concern and An Garda Siochana and Killarney Chamber of Tourism and Commerce have appealed to people to desist from gathering there, particularly at night.

Several instances of public disorder were reported in the area during recent weekend nights and it led to arrests being made.

On one night alone, a number of underage drinkers were arrested and brought to Killarney Garda Station from where their parents were contacted and informed.

Killarney Garda Superintendent, Flor Murphy, said parents and guardians have an important role to play in ensuring their children and teenagers are behaving themselves when they are not at home.

“Our message to parents is to take the necessary steps to ensure that they are not the next people we will be contacting late at night or in the early hours of the morning to tell them that their child is in Garda custody,” he said.

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Supt. Murphy also appealed to people not to supply alcohol to or purchase it for people under 18 years of age as, apart from the obvious health and safety risks involved, it is an offence to do so.

“We will not tolerate any anti-social behaviour or underage drinking and that message needs to go out loud and clear,” Supt Murphy said.

The authorities are concerned that the majority of those congregating in the open areas are younger people, most of whom have still to receive the COVID-19 vaccinations, and they are the most at risk group from the surge in the Delta variant.

“People must take individual responsibility and they must act and behave in a proper manner,” he stated.

Killarney Chamber of Tourism and Commerce has stressed the need for public health guidelines to be adhered to and pointed out that the Safe Streets programme implemented by Kerry County Council is designed for that purpose.

“There are areas specifically designated for socialising and, to ensure people are kept safe, these plans must be respected,” said Chamber President Niall Kelleher.

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Kerry County Council has put in place a detailed operational plan to manage various issues like outdoor dining, litter management and extended opening hours for public conveniences and the local authority has enforcement officers on duty, outside of normal working hours, to ensure that public safety regulations are adhered to.

“Everybody in Killarney has worked hard to build the town’s deserved reputation as a safe, pleasant and welcoming place to visit and we must ensure that our night-time economy is every bit as attractive and appealing as Killarney’s natural attractions are during daylight hours,” the Chamber President said.
“Killarney worked tirelessly to secure its Purple Flag status which rewards excellence in managing the night-time economy in terms of safety, vibrancy and diversity and we will do everything possible to protect that status,” he added.

An inter-agency communication and cooperation policy has been put in place in the town with regular meetings between representatives of An Garda Siochana, Killarney Chamber of Tourism and Commerce, the Mayor of Killarney, Kerry County Council, Killarney Vintners and the Kerry branch of the Irish Hotels Federation.

The meetings are designed to ensure that all stakeholders are communicating regularly to ensure that everyone has a safe and enjoyable summer.

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County Board open to GAA museum proposals

By Sean Moriarty The Kerry County GAA Board said it would operate “an open door policy” for any plans to build a GAA museum in the county. There have been talks at a political level to build such a museum in Kerry with political rivals in Killarney and Tralee both pushing for it to be built […]

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By Sean Moriarty

The Kerry County GAA Board said it would operate “an open door policy” for any plans to build a GAA museum in the county.

There have been talks at a political level to build such a museum in Kerry with political rivals in Killarney and Tralee both pushing for it to be built in their home town.

Before he retired from politics in April, Michael Gleeson was campaigning to build a GAA and cultural museum on the grounds of Fitzgerald Stadium.

His campaign goes back several years before the recession set in, with a €0.5 million bridging loan secured from Croke Park along with funding from Fáilte Ireland. That funding was lost with the onset of the recession before 2010.

Tim Murphy, the outgoing chairman of the Kerry County Board, has confirmed to the Killarney Advertiser that no approaches have been made to the County Board at executive level during his five year stint at the helm.

However, he said the Board would be open to such approaches provided there is sound financial planning behind the project in place.

“The first and most important aspect is the capital funding and my understanding is there needs to be Fáilte Ireland funding in place first,” he told the Killarney Advertiser. “If it gets up and running, there needs to be very clear talks with all stakeholders so everyone knows each others expectations. A museum attracts footfall, but it costs a lot of money to run. We would offer an open door policy to all proposals but funding, first from a capital point of view and then from an operational point of view, will need to be in place.”

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Loreto pupils are happy to help save the planet

By Michelle Crean School pupils are fast becoming the next generation of environmentalists thanks to a brand new litter-picking campaign. Happy to help save the planet one bit of litter at a time are the children from Scoil Bhríde, Loreto NS, who are currently partaking in the Picker Pal Programme. It’s all about taking on […]

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By Michelle Crean

School pupils are fast becoming the next generation of environmentalists thanks to a brand new litter-picking campaign.

Happy to help save the planet one bit of litter at a time are the children from Scoil Bhríde, Loreto NS, who are currently partaking in the Picker Pal Programme.

It’s all about taking on a litter-picking adventure in their local area as well as learning songs, reading storybooks, filling in activity books while witnessing that their real-world actions are making a positive difference and inspiring others to join the movement.

Picker Pals is a unique primary school programme that gives children the tools and motivation to become the next generation of environmentalists, teacher Claire O’Meara explained.

“The Picker Pal Programme is a fantastic initiative and will go a long way to raise awareness of the impact litter has on our environment,” she told the Killarney Advertiser.

Real litter-picking is motivated by a Picker Pack made from upcycled dinghy sails and containing adult and child litter-picking tools, gloves, hi-vis vests and safety information.

“This pack is then taken home by a different pupil every week. That child takes their adult on a litter-picking adventure. The children then tell the story of their litter-picking adventures through art and writing. Raising awareness is an essential part of the solution to littering. Picker Pals gives young people the tools and positive motivation to steward their local environment and make the world a better place.”

The programme, run by environmental NGO VOICE Ireland, is funded by the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications and various local authorities across Ireland.

Now in its third year of operation, over one thousand schools all across Ireland will be taking part in the Picker Pals programme this year. In Kerry, 29 schools are taking part, and Scoil Bhríde, Loreto is delighted to be included, she added.

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