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“Don’t shut Main Street” plead town retailers

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PLEA: Members of Killarney Town Centre Retail Action Group are pleading with the Council not to pedestrianise Main St at the weekends over the summer months. Pictured are: Eoin Reen (Reen’s Pharmacy), Michael Spogler (The Continental Cafe), Denis O’Leary (O’Leary’s Electrical), Geraldine Casey (The Dungeon Bookshop), William Sheahan (Sheahan’s Pharmacy), Aileen O’Brien (Healy’s Newsagents), Sean O’Donoghue (Blackthorn Gifts), Denis Cronin (Cronin’s Butchers), Moolan O’Neill (Orchid Day Spa), and Denis O’Neill (O’Neill's Fishing Tackle). Photo: Michelle Crean

By Michelle Crean

Killarney town retailers - left frustrated and angry after large crowds turned the town into chaos last weekend - are pleading with the Council to keep Main St open for fear of repeat behaviour over the summer months.

Some retailers were forced to close early on Saturday, and again on Sunday, as their doorways in Punkett St and other areas of town were blocked by the groups who were drinking on the street while others sat on shop window sills drinking, singing and dancing in the streets into the early hours of the morning. In the aftermath rubbish was left strewn all over the town - which was later cleaned up by Kerry Council Council (KCC) staff.

With plans for Main Street to be pedestrianised at the weekends throughout July and August, Killarney Town Centre Retail Action Group, which has 30 members, have said that they've written to the Council to plead with them to cancel plans as they fear a continuation of the anti-social behaviour every weekend.

"Main St is the main artery of our town," William Sheahan, of Sheahan’s Pharmacy, told the Killarney Advertiser. "We want Kerry Council Council to listen and back us."

Denis O’Neill, from O’Neill's Fishing Tackle on Plunkett St, told the Killarney Advertiser that he had to let his staff go home early on Saturday and Sunday due to the crowds gathered outside the door of his shop.

"It completely inhibited my ability to trade. For my staff, it wasn't a safe environment for them as the crowd was getting too big."

William added that the only reason the town didn’t hit national headlines was because the spotlight was on similar scenes on South William Street in Dublin which occurred the same weekend.

"We fear if they [Kerry County Council] close Main St that it could become permanent, that there'll be repeat incidents similar to last summer and last weekend on Plunkett St and it'll drive more locals and certain types of businesses out of town and the town centre will only trade for the summer months. We want Killarney town to be a safe friendly place for both locals and tourists. The gardai are doing the best they can.”

They added that Killarney did an exemplary job last summer containing COVID and now there’s a fear that cases could be brought from Limerick into town. 

"We want people to leave Killarney thinking what a great job Killarney did in protecting us given the current pandemic and last weekend certainly did not reflect that."  

They also said that they didn't recognise any locals in the crowds.

"I didn't recognise anybody in the street," Denis said.

"Locals wouldn't do this," William added.

They added that "plastic glass drinking cannot become the normal for the town" and they want the pubs and rest of hospitality to reopen as soon as possible.

"We want pubs and restaurants to reopen fully, it's a controlled environment."

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Christmas magic begins as Santa arrives in Killarney

He came dashing through the town on Saturday night and packed streets greeted him with huge excitement. Yes, that’s right – Santa Claus took some time out of his very […]

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He came dashing through the town on Saturday night and packed streets greeted him with huge excitement.

Yes, that’s right – Santa Claus took some time out of his very busy schedule and arrived to town for the annual switching on of the Christmas lights and magic parade.

The streets were lined with children and their families and they’d huge smiles on their faces when they spotted the man in the red coat making his way around the town on the colourful float.

Grace O’Hare was pictured with her dad Conor – she had the best seat in the town to watch Santa Claus as she was perched high on her dad’s shoulders.

It was the same for the Patterson family, Alex, Irene, Catherine and Robert, while Parade safety steward, Marie Brosnan-Leahy, was on hand to make sure everything went off OK.

Killarney Municipal District Councillors, Cllr Niall ‘Botty’ O’Callaghan, Cllr Donal Grady, Cathaoirleach Killarney Municipal District Cllr John O’Donoghue, Cllr Brendan Cronin, Cllr Marie Moloney, also enjoyed the occasion while the Sam Maguire took pride of place and centre stage in Killarney for the annual fun filled event.

And while he was in town Santa took some time off to have a chat with Killarney Advertiser columnist Marie Carroll-O’Sullivan – check it out on page 14 of this week’s edition.

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Women’s health the focus of HeartBeat meeting

By Sean Moriarty HeartBeat Killarney will present a special meeting dedicated to women’s health next week. Hosted by HeartBeat nurse Anna O’Donoghue, the meeting tomorrow evening (Tuesday) will feature specific […]

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By Sean Moriarty

HeartBeat Killarney will present a special meeting dedicated to women’s health next week.

Hosted by HeartBeat nurse Anna O’Donoghue, the meeting tomorrow evening (Tuesday) will feature specific discussions on every decade of women’s lives.

Special guest on the evening will be Obstetrician and Gynaecologist Dr Mary McCaffrey.

“Topics will include hormones and how they affect health from puberty, the importance of bone health, a cameo on female cardiac symptoms, heart health and mid-life, as well as common health symptoms specific to women’s well-being,” said HeartBeat chairman Billy O’Sullivan.

“We welcome women of all ages to this important meeting which is an opportunity not to be missed, especially if you have health worries.”

The meeting will take place at 8pm at the Parish Centre on Park Road.

It will be followed by a Q&A session and there is an optional blood pressure and pulse clinic from 7.30pm.

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