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“Don’t shut Main Street” plead town retailers



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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Arrival of Born is great news for Killarney

One of Ireland’s leading fashion retailers is to open a major new store in Killarney next week. In what is a very significant and welcome commercial boost for the town, […]




One of Ireland’s leading fashion retailers is to open a major new store in Killarney next week.

In what is a very significant and welcome commercial boost for the town, fashion giant Born is to set up in a 4,734sq ft store at Killarney Outlet Centre.

The business will occupy the former Edinburgh Woollen Mills units, numbered 13 to 15, on the ground floor of the landmark commercial premises.

The bright and breezy new store will open at 11am on Thursday, April 6 with free goodie bags for the first 30 customers to make a purchase.

An added attraction is that there will be a sensational offer of 20 percent off everything on the opening day.

With a reputation for making fashion accessible and fun, Born opened its first premises in 2009 and now boasts 23 stores nationwide, as well as offering a top class online option.

Born is dedicated to bringing fabulous fashion at affordable prices to style conscious ladies and men who love to look great and offers the very latest trends for less.

Alongside popular brand names, Born will also specialise in their two in-house brands for ladies, Emily & Me and Luna, and their exclusive Phoenix brand for men ensuring that customers can pick up something different that no other high street store will have.

“We listen to our customers and deliver on style,” a spokesperson said.

“Each day we’re inspired to be the best we can. We are focused and committed on giving our customers the experience they deserve, both in-store and online.”

Killarney Outlet Centre Manager, Paul Sherry, said the arrival of Born is a great news story for Killarney and it will be a major attraction going forward.

“They see the huge potential in the town and it will give locals and visitors a whole new retail experience based on quality, choice and value,” he said.

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Proinsias says farewell to Gaelscoil after 33 years

By Michelle Crean For over three decades one face has been constant at Gaelscoil Faithleann but today (Friday) it all changes as the school’s first and only Principal to date […]



By Michelle Crean

For over three decades one face has been constant at Gaelscoil Faithleann but today (Friday) it all changes as the school’s first and only Principal to date says a fond farewell.

It’s a day full of mixed emotions for Proinsias Mac Curtain who was appointed the school’s Principal on September 1, 1989.

Today, the school’s 245 children and staff will host a number of events at the school for him which are sure to stir a few emotions.

It follows a special Mass on Innisfallen Island on Saturday morning as 150 children, staff members, parents council and Board of Management members boarded a boat for the occasion. And the location was apt as the school is called after the island, Proinsias explained to the Killarney Advertiser.

“It was lovely, it was meaningful as the school is called after Innisfallen Island. I’ve been blessed with the school community down through the years. It was a pleasure to work with school staff and parents, Boards of Management – but the most important is the children. I’m proud of them and their achievements. They are great children and I’ll miss them.”

He said the school will be in great hands as Lisa Ni Iarlaithe, who has been at the school since 1991, takes over as Principal.

He also praised the hardworking staff.

“I’ll miss it but I’m comfortable to step back as the school is in excellent hands.”

Proinsias is originally from Tournafulla Co Limerick. He began his career as a teacher in Scoil Iognáid in the centre of Galway city, the largest Gaelscoil in the country at the time.

Shortly before he died his father Jerry, who loved to holiday for a few days a year in Killarney, had heard of a new school opening here and phoned Proinsias to tell him. The rest they say is history.

He says his love of Irish language was inspired by Tournafulla Primary School Principal Liam O Loineacháin and in St Ita’s College Abbeyfeale by Jim Tierney and the late Johnny Nelligan.

And although three decades is a long time, Proinsias says it flew by and that he has seen many changes over the years. The first is seeing the children of former pupils coming to school. The second is the advancement of technology – some good and some not so good!

“The biggest change was the growth of technology, the changeover to the whiteboard and the use of devices which makes it challenging for parents. It’s wonderful you can access so much, but there are advantages and disadvantages.”

He added a huge thanks to his wife Karen who supported him down through the years when he was out late at meetings, adding that she was “very patient”.

He also thanked Sean O Luanaigh.

“He has been my chairperson since the start and has been such a tremendous support, help and guidance down through the years.”

In retirement he plans to spend more time with his family including his three children Ruadhán, Meadhbh and Cormac.

He also plans to get more involved in Beaufort Tidy Towns as well as the Annals of Innisfallen project.

“It’s always been an interest of mine. I also plan to relax for a few weeks, make more time for family, and I look forward to playing more trad music, bee keeping, gardening and travel.”


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