By Sean Moriarty
The future of the Flesk Walkway and Cycleway could be placed in jeopardy unless a row between local residents and Kerry County Council is resolved.
The row centres on four proposed vehicle access points to Killarney Racecourse that have only recently been revealed.
Construction on the €450,000 project started this week after years of planning and public consultations.
In documentation seen by the Killarney Advertiser, back in 2017 the local residents were assured by Killarney Municipal District staff that the new pathway would be for use by pedestrians and cyclists only.
It was one of the key details of an agreement between KMD and the residents of Castle Falls and Priory Paddocks to allow the project to go ahead.
However, during last Friday’s KMD annual Draft Budgetary Plans the elected councillors were served a bombshell that Killarney Racecourse is to be allowed four access gates along the walkway to be used as an emergency exit for horses from the venue.
In another letter, also seen by the Killarney Advertiser, and dated on Monday of this week, the residents accused Kerry County Council of “having a sweetheart deal” with the Killarney Racecourse Company.
“[This] gives them the vehicular access which they always wanted, but to try and put it in such a way for emergency access for horses is an insult to our intelligence,” the residents’ letter stated. “Killarney Municipal District have totally ignored the residents of both estates. This is blatant disregard for us residents and we ask that they reverse their decision to do a deal with Killarney Racecourse behind our backs.”
EMERGENCY ACCESS ONLY
Killarney Municipal District Angela McAllen confirmed on Wednesday during an online meeting with elected councillors and local media that four gates would be used by the racecourse for emergency reasons only.
The elected membership were not so convinced and asked who would man such gates and decide what was an emergency or not. All elected members said that the Council had let down the local residents with this latest move.
“I am raising concerns that this will jeopardise the whole project,” said Cllr Maura Healy-Rae. “Residents were misled and were duped.”
Cllr Niall ‘Botty’ O’Callaghan raised concerns over funding for the project.
“The funding is for a cycleway,” he said, worried that any change in the plans could prevent the Council from drawing down the funding allocation.
“What will these accesses be used for?” asked Cllr Niall Kelleher. “We must have clean hands when it comes to the residents.”
“We all want this to go ahead,” added Cllr Marie Moloney. “We can’t walk rough-shot over the residents.”
Cllr Donal Grady referred to the previous promise 10 years ago.
“The residents have been ignored,” he said, citing another enforcement order that was served on Killarney Racecourse in September 2010 regarding another entrance that he claims has not been properly dealt with by the Council’s legal department.
“I am devastated by what has come to pass,” said Cllr Michael Gleeson. “There is more than adequate room within the racecourse [for alternative access]. The people feel betrayed. Where do we stand if the residents have a legal challenge. There was a legal agreement in place in 2017.”
Mayor Brendan Cronin was also disappointed but warned that there are other factors at play like what would be the outcome if there was a genuine emergency on the site and the four access points were not available.
“I share the disrespect shown to residents having arrived at such a situation,” he said. “We need to talk to the residents and talk to the racecourse and accommodate both sides.”
For now construction will continue from the Flesk River side of the walkway, while elected councillors, KMD officials, residents and Killarney Racecourse attempt to work out a resolution.
Training day for junior rowers
By Michelle Crean Junior members of Muckross Rowing Club were delighted to take part in a training day recently to fine tune their skills for upcoming events. Beginner to Junior 18 members competed in 19 races. The 500m sprints were held in octuples, quads and doubles. “Taking part in this sprint regatta will help Junior […]
By Michelle Crean
Junior members of Muckross Rowing Club were delighted to take part in a training day recently to fine tune their skills for upcoming events.
Beginner to Junior 18 members competed in 19 races. The 500m sprints were held in octuples, quads and doubles.
“Taking part in this sprint regatta will help Junior Members prepare for upcoming regattas which are hoped to take place this summer,” Shóna O’Sullivan said.
“Those racing were cheered on by their fellow team mates at the Garden Quays. The races were exciting to watch, especially the races that ended in a photo finish.”
The competitors refuelled with a barbecue cooked by Bernie and Seamus O’Sullivan, she added.
“Thanks to Bernie, Seamus, all coaches and committee members that helped this training session run successfully in accordance with COVID-19 guidelines.”
On the same day Seán Daly Chairperson of Muckross Rowing Club presented Jane and Lila Ryan with Honorary Associated Membership for their generous contribution of €500 to the club.
“Our rowing club are extremely grateful for their generosity.”
Hike up Strickeen Mountain for air ambulance
Locals and visitors are being invited to join a guided ascent of Strickeen Mountain on July 4 to raise funds for the Irish Community Air Ambulance. The hike, described as an easy to moderate climb and family friendly well be led by Killarney-based Irish Community Air Ambulance volunteer and tour guide Krzysztof Szwab. It […]
Locals and visitors are being invited to join a guided ascent of Strickeen Mountain on July 4 to raise funds for the Irish Community Air Ambulance.
The hike, described as an easy to moderate climb and family friendly well be led by Killarney-based Irish Community Air Ambulance volunteer and tour guide Krzysztof Szwab.
It is expected that the 7.5km hike will take around three hours to complete and participants will benefit from the expertise of Krzysztof for a minimum donation €10 per person or €20 per family.
Strickeen Mountain is the eastern most peak of the MacGillycuddy’s Reeks and the hike will start from the Gap of Dunloe at 11am on the day.
As an added bonus fruit and water, donated by local supermarkets including Lidl, Aldi and Daly’s SuperValu, will be provided. The first 20 to register will receive a limited edition Irish Community Air Ambulance face covering snood.
“This is an ideal opportunity for someone who has never climbed this mountain, but wants to do it with the help of an experienced guide,” Donie Lucey, who is one of the Irish Community Air Ambulance’s chief fundraisers, said.
Further details are available from Donie on 086 854 5873 or from Krzysztof on 087 7589697 after 6pm.
Golf club launches Summer Series competition
By Sean Moriarty Competitive golfing has resumed at Killarney Golf and Fishing Club marking another step towards normality in the locality. The O’Mahony’s Point course hosted an open singles event on Monday last and this competition will continue every Monday for the rest of the summer. Meanwhile the club’s ‘TaylorMade’ Summer Series gets underway at […]
By Sean Moriarty
Competitive golfing has resumed at Killarney Golf and Fishing Club marking another step towards normality in the locality.
The O’Mahony’s Point course hosted an open singles event on Monday last and this competition will continue every Monday for the rest of the summer.
Meanwhile the club’s ‘TaylorMade’ Summer Series gets underway at the famed Killeen course this coming Wednesday (June 23). This series will continue every Wednesday for eight weeks and top five scorers on each date will qualify for a Grand Final which is scheduled for Sunday, August 22.
“We are delighted to launch the ‘TaylorMade’ Summer Series. This is a singles stableford event taking place on the Irish Open course, Killeen,” said the club’s marketing manager Meg Dalton. “With over €8,000 worth of prizes to be won, this is an event not to be missed. The first opportunity to qualify for the grand final is Wednesday.”
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