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Government launches initiative to check well-being of older people

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Mr Michael Ring TD, the Minister for Rural and Community Development, has today (Thursday) announced a new befriending phone-call initiative to support participants of the Seniors Alert Scheme which is being funded by the Department of Rural and Community Development.

The initiative will allow older people to receive a regular phone call to check on their well-being and needs during the current COVID-19 emergency. The befriending scheme will be operated in conjunction with POBAL and ALONE.

Minister Ring is using his Department’s Seniors Alert Scheme, which provides monitored alarms for older people in their homes, to enable this initiative. The initiative aims to provide peace of mind and local assistance to older people, of whom more than 80,000 are registered on the Seniors Alert Scheme.

The new befriending initiative requires users to test their alarms to ensure that they are still active. Monitoring providers or local community groups operating the Senior Alerts Scheme service will contact the user.

Once the user tests their alarm, they will be called back and asked if they would like to avail of a befriending call service through ALONE, and either the number of ALONE is given to the participant, or their consent is sought for ALONE to be provided with their contact details to be included in the befriending service.

Minister Ring has urged older people who have the personalised alarms to ensure they are activated.

“Now is the time to make sure your alarm is working, and contact your local community organisation if you have any concerns,” he said.

“This initiative is an example of how we are adapting the way we work and using all tools at our disposal to ensure that everyone feels supported and connected at this time. ALONE, POBAL and the Seniors Alert Scheme monitoring providers will deliver this service and the 670 registered groups will play a vital role in connecting participants to this service, as they are the groups that know their communities best.”

The ALONE Helpline can also be contacted on 0818 222 024 if you have concerns about your own well-being, or the well-being of an older person you know.

 

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One way traffic system mooted for St Oliver’s National School

The Killarney Advertiser understands that a one-way traffic management system will be introduced at St Oliver’s National School. The plan remains subject to confirmation by Kerry County Council and other […]

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The Killarney Advertiser understands that a one-way traffic management system will be introduced at St Oliver’s National School.

The plan remains subject to confirmation by Kerry County Council and other statutory bodie. It is  understood that the system will be trialled at the beginning of the new school year in September.

The area is subject to serious traffic congestion during school drop-off and pick-up times every day.

Over 650 pupils and 80 staff attend the school every day. New housing developments in the area have added to traffic congestion.

Cllr Martin Grady has being pushing for enhanced road safety measures at the school since his co-option to the council in September 2023.

“The issue has worsened in recent years with Woodlawn, Rookery Road and Ballycasheen having more domestic property developments which brings with it more road activity,” Grady told the Killarney Advertiser.

“I’ve seen first-hand several accidents occur when dropping and collecting my children from the school. It needs a safe solution by means of a drop off- pick up point or a traffic management system put in place.

“It is unfair on all stakeholders involved. I will keep working on this until results are achieved in the interest of everyone’s safety. “

The lack of urban school bus services, not just at St Oliver’s but at all schools is adding to Killarney’s traffic woes.

“I would like to see school bus services return for all students, in both urban and rural schools, this service was a massive loss, it would greatly reduce the volume of traffic on our roads and mitigate the risk of accidents and near misses,” added Cllr Grady.

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Planning rules “nonsensical in a housing crisis” Cllr Healy-Rae

A planning rule which prevents people from building houses on their own land next to major roads is being challenged by Cllr Maura Healy Rae. The current planning policy states […]

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A planning rule which prevents people from building houses on their own land next to major roads is being challenged by Cllr Maura Healy Rae.

The current planning policy states that any application house along national primary and national secondary roadways exiting from existing entrances will not be considered.
Healy-Rae says this problem is particularly acute in the Killarney Municipal District given the amount of national roadway surrounding the area with the N22, N71 and N72.
“It is nonsensical that where an individual is living at home and using an existing entrance, can’t be considered to build their own house and use existing entrance they are already using,” she told the Killarney Advertiser.
“How Transport Infrastructure Ireland can quantify this as additional traffic is preposterous. Given we are in a housing crisis, given all the challenges surrounding planning, given exorbitant house prices and the lack of affordable housing, it is ludicrous that this is a reason people are being refused planning.”
She called on Kerry County Council to write to the TII, the Minister for Transport and the Minister for Local Government requesting that the current blanket policy be lifted.
“It [the policy] has directly resulted in numerous planning applications being refused and even considered at the pre-planning stage,” she added.
Kerry TD Danny Healy-Rae has also raised the issue in Dáil Éireann.

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