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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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Motorists urged to be vigilant during deer breeding season

Deer are most active from late September until early November as the breeding season gets underway – but this causes huge problems for drivers especially from dawn and dusk. “While the rut is an amazing experience to witness it is also a time when there is an increased incident of road traffic accidents involving deer […]

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Deer are most active from late September until early November as the breeding season gets underway – but this causes huge problems for drivers especially from dawn and dusk.

“While the rut is an amazing experience to witness it is also a time when there is an increased incident of road traffic accidents involving deer as male deer go in search of females and younger males are ousted by dominant males forcing deer to cross roads and motorways,” Damien Hannigan from the Irish Deer Commission said.

Drivers are being advised to reduce speed, stay alert and dip their headlights as the full beam may cause the deer to freeze.

“If a deer has crossed in front of your vehicle, be aware that others may follow. Do not approach an injured deer. If you are involved in a deer road traffic accident or come across a deer that has been involved in a road traffic accident, immediately contact the local Gardaí.”

The Irish Deer Commission operate a humane deer dispatch scheme with 75 trained volunteers assisting agencies and charities who deal with an increasing number of deer vehicle collisions nationally.

On Sunday October 10 the Irish Deer Commission will hold a Red Deer Rut Watch event in Killarney National
Park. It has taken place in Killarney continuously for over 5,000 years and Killarney National Park is acknowledged as one of the best locations in Europe to observe the red deer rut.
This family friendly event is being hosted by the National Parks and Wildlife Service and is free. There will be talks by a Conservation Rangers and the Irish Deer Commission, along with a display of native red deer antlers.

Booking is available only online via visit www.irishdeercommission.ie.

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Happy Birthday Sham

Well-known Killarney character Seamus ‘Sham’ Courtney celebrated his 75th birthday yesterday (Thursday) at his favourite town centre watering hole. Sham who has entertained countless tourists over the years with his pronounced Kerry accent is one of the town’s best loved characters. One video recorded by RTE’s Today Show around the time of his 71st birthday […]

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Well-known Killarney character Seamus ‘Sham’ Courtney celebrated his 75th birthday yesterday (Thursday) at his favourite town centre watering hole.

Sham who has entertained countless tourists over the years with his pronounced Kerry accent is one of the town’s best loved characters.

One video recorded by RTE’s Today Show around the time of his 71st birthday has amassed 7.5 million viewers.

Yesterday he visited one of his favourite pubs, Jack C O’Shea’s on High St, where proprietors John and Joan O’Shea and their ever-present dog Ginny placed decorative balloons around the bar to mark the occasion.

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