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Flesk Walkway and Cycleway row rumbles on

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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.

KEY DETAILS

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.”

PREVIOUS PROMISE

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.

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Killarney man to launch second Irish history book

By Sean Moriarty Killarney native Patrick O’Sullivan Greene will launch his second book in the Great Southern Killarney on December 2. O’Sullivan Greene explains Éamon de Valera’s mission to gain […]

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By Sean Moriarty

Killarney native Patrick O’Sullivan Greene will launch his second book in the Great Southern Killarney on December 2.

O’Sullivan Greene explains Éamon de Valera’s mission to gain recognition for the newly formed Irish republic in New York in 1919 in his latest book ‘Revolution at the Waldorf: America and the Irish War of Independence’.

Without American recognition and funding the young Irish Government was sure to fail against the might of the British Empire and the book tells the story of how de Valera and Ireland-based Michael Collins – much to the defiance of the British authorities at Dublin Castle – got the new State off the ground.

O’Sullivan grew up in New Street and is now based in Beaufort after a career in finance took him all over the world including Dublin, London, New York and France.

“Killarney is the natural place for me to launch the book,” he told the Killarney Advertiser.

“There will be an interesting mix of people there.”

O’Sullivan Greene published his first book, ‘Crowdfunding the Revolution: The First Dáil Loan and the Battle for Irish Independence’, in 2020.

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Caring group craft charity blankets

By Michelle Crean One community group have shown that they care deeply for others by crafting handmade blankets for charity. Using their range of skills and some colourful wool, members […]

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By Michelle Crean

One community group have shown that they care deeply for others by crafting handmade blankets for charity.

Using their range of skills and some colourful wool, members of Kilcummin Community Care worked together to make blankets for service users on the Kerry Cork Cancer Health Link Bus.

“Each blanket is assigned as a personal gift to the clients using the Cancer Link Bus and is kept by them,” Kate Fleming, Chairperson of Kilcummin Community Care, said.

The knitting of the squares to make the blankets began at a gathering in the Rose Hotel in 2018. It was a gathering of different volunteer groups.

The Kerry Cork Cancer Health Link Bus were requesting knitted squares to make blankets for the clients who were using their facilities, she explained.

“Kilcummin Community Care were knitting at the time, so it was decided to help out this worthy cause. We received donations of wool from people in the parish and surrounding areas. Kilcummin ICA also got involved in the efforts.”

During the two years of COVID-19, members of both organisations continued to knit and are still knitting to the present day.

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