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Fossa plans get go-ahead despite reservations on traffic management

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By Sean Moriarty

Local councillors and politicians often accuse Dublin-based government agencies of being out of touch with daily happenings in rural Ireland.

This was laid bare at Wednesday’s Killarney Municipal District meeting where plans for the €2 million traffic calming plan in Fossa were put to the elected members.

Senior Kerry County Council engineers unveiled detailed plans for the much awaited project.

Plans included a shared-use cycle and pedestrian path on each side of the road, provision of a controlled pedestrian crossing at Fossa National School and the extension of existing public lighting in the village.

The plan also includes the realignment of the junction at the Gap Road but does not include the provision of dedicated bus stops along the redevelopment.

These last two items caused a huge degree of bewilderment with the elected councillors.

While they were allowed to make recommendations to change some aspects of the plans – the school crossing was changed from a Zebra crossing to a push-button crossing – the latter two items could not be changed as they fall under Transport Infrastructure Ireland guidelines for rural traffic management schemes.

Councillors were left with a dilemma, accept the proposals as they stood or risk losing the anticipated funding which will come on stream by the end of the year.

Councillors raised concerns that traffic attempting to turn into the Gap Road will have to stop and leave exiting traffic out and then cross a continuous white line to complete the manoeuvre.

Such was the concern of recently elected Mayor, Niall Kelleher, he sought legal advice on the matter. However that was overturned when Cllr Brendan Cronin moved a motion to accept the plans with two changes allowed.

Colleagues were concerned that if the plans were not accepted on Wednesday, that the whole project would be put on hold.

“We cannot redesign national standards. Amendments must fit with national guidelines,” said Municipal District Manager John Breen warned the elected councillors ahead of the vote.

“We don’t have the authority or the forum to change national design standards.”

As a result, all seven elected members voted, some reluctantly, to accept the plan.

They felt that the people of Fossa would not thank them for delaying it further but warned that when the plan comes to fruition that they will have answer questions on why traffic at the Gap Cross is coming to a standstill to allow traffic motorists make the turn.

They raised similar concerns that the lack of a dedicated bus stop will cause traffic disruption in the village – some cited the delays experienced in Farranfore as an example of why this should be changed. However, that discussion was met with the same response as the Gap Road junction – the national design standards cannot be changed by elected councillors.

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Sam Maguire to feature at next week’s AugustFest

Killarney Racecourse is set to host the exciting three-day summer horse-racing festival from Thursday August 18 to Saturday 20 inclusive. The festival also marks 200 years of racing at Killarney Races […]

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Killarney Racecourse is set to host the exciting three-day summer horse-racing festival from Thursday August 18 to Saturday 20 inclusive. The festival also marks 200 years of racing at Killarney Races offering patrons great racing, history, socialising, entertainment and so much more at Ireland’s most scenic racecourse.

With lots of ticket levels and packages including food and beverage options to choose from, whether it is close to the action general admission tickets or silver service fine dining, there is something for everyone at Killarney Races. Live music, fashion, and fun for all the family complement the best of summer racing at the track this August.

Thursday and Friday are evening meetings and Saturday is an afternoon event with all race cards offering seven thrilling races for spectators to enjoy each day.

Thursday is Sam Maguire evening. And to mark Kerry’s recent success and Killarney Races bi-centenary celebration, Killarney Races are offering an amazing deal on the opening day of their three-day event. On Thursday August 18 patrons will enjoy admission, a racecard and a €5 free bet all for €20! The first race is approximately 5pm with gates open from 3pm. Come early, bring along your jersey and camera, it’s going to be a great evening.

Friday will see the new entrance officially open, as racing officials and elected representatives unlock the gate to the next 200 years at the popular Killarney track, first race at approximately 5pm with gates open from 3pm. With music on the lawn from Donal Lucey and from Tom Cats in the Jim Culloty bar after racing the après racing party is sure to be a ‘winner alright’!

Saturday is AYU Ladies Day and all about the glamour as fashionistas bring the curtain down on AugustFest in fine style. AYU is an Irish based and Irish owned cosmetics company set up by renowned make-up artist Suzie O’Neill. With over €1,500 in prizes for the most stylish ladies to dress up for, what’s not to love! Gates open from 12 noon with the first off at approximately 2pm.

“At AugustFest we will be celebrating a major milestone here at Killarney Races, 200 years of racing in Killarney which is amazing,” Killarney Racecourse Chairman, Gerard Coughlan said.

“I would like to take this opportunity to encourage all locals and visitors to Killarney to come along and be part of the 200 year celebrations and share in this historic moment with us as we officially open the gates on the next 200 years! It’s a rare opportunity to be able to say ‘I was there the day they celebrated the bi-centenary’ anywhere and what a great story to share with the grandchildren in years to come. On that note, we are looking forward to welcoming multiple generations of families during AugustFest, so make a plan and come along and join us for what will be a most remarkable festival at our beautiful boutique racecourse this August!”

The feature race on the opening day of AugustFest is the Vincent O’Brien Ruby Stakes (listed), the Kingdom Gold Cup Handicap of €50,000 and the Gain Advantage Race Series. On Friday, the day two feature is the Grade B Handicap Hurdle of €50,000 and the EBF Novice Hurdle, with four competitive chase races. The final day of the festival the feature is the Grade B Handicap Chase of €50,000.

Adult tickets are available from €20 and children under 14 go free ensuring a great day out for all the family. For those who love a deal, the “Punter’s Pack” is a great value-added option and if you want to live it up check out the Maurice O’Donoghue Suite and Panoramic Restaurant options.

For all ticket details and festival programme information visit killarneyraces.com.

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Jessie Buckley’s album shortlisted for prestigious award

Killarney superstar Jessie Buckley has been shortlisted for the 2022 Mercury Prize Album of the Year. Her collaboration with Bernard Butler ‘For All Our Days That Tear the Heart’ is […]

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Killarney superstar Jessie Buckley has been shortlisted for the 2022 Mercury Prize Album of the Year.

Her collaboration with Bernard Butler ‘For All Our Days That Tear the Heart’ is one of 12 albums shortlisted for the prestigious award which will be revealed in London on September 8.

“Neither of us really knew each other and it was actually a blessing in disguise because we met each other in the moment and trusted each other, took a leap of faith and in a way come in just the way we were and not because of who we are,” she told a press conference at the awards announcement in London last week.

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