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“Great Friday” turns out to be just average

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Judging by the furore generated by the abolition of the Good Friday drinking ban, a lot of people were expecting carnage when the day finally came around. The reality, however, was a lot less exciting.

Last Friday was the first time Irish bars were officially permitted to serve alcohol in 91 years and critics of the new amendment to the Liquor Act lamented the casting aside of a longstanding religious tradition. Amidst cries of, “Can we not have one day off the beer a year?” others, myself included, hailed another positive step towards personal freedom. To be honest, I did actually think that a lot of people might go on the lash for “Great Friday”, just for the novelty of it more than anything.

From speaking to local publicans, however, predictions of a new national holiday were wide of the mark. “It was business as usual, really,” said Colm Foley of Charlie Foley’s Bar. “There was a lot of talk that it was going to be the best day ever but there wasn’t too much of a change from a normal Friday.”

I spoke to some tourists over the weekend and they couldn’t believe it when I told them it was the first Good Friday in almost a century that the bars were open. If they couldn’t go to the pub, they said, they would have been stuck in their hotel rooms for the night. For a town so dependent on tourism, the new law is clearly good for business and good for the reputation of Killarney.

So, all in all, the day seemed to go off without incident. Contrary to what certain people might think, maybe we are capable of showing some modicum of restraint. Maybe we are smart enough to make these kinds of decisions on our own, without the help of an outside body. I think the most important thing for a town like ours is that if it’s good for tourism, it’s good for all of us

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Future Kerry railway plans revealed

By Sean Moriarty Elected members of Kerry County Council have led calls for Iarnród Éireann’s timetable to fall into line with airline schedule at Kerry Airport. On Monday of this week Barry Kenny of Iarnród Éireann gave a presentation to elected members of the council. During the meeting he outlined some of the railway company’s plans […]

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By Sean Moriarty

Elected members of Kerry County Council have led calls for Iarnród Éireann’s timetable to fall into line with airline schedule at Kerry Airport.

On Monday of this week Barry Kenny of Iarnród Éireann gave a presentation to elected members of the council.

During the meeting he outlined some of the railway company’s plans and ambitions from now until 2027.

These include an increase in frequency on the Tralee to Mallow line.

It is hoped to have one train an hour operating on the line at peak times and two-hourly off-peak.

In a perfect world, the rail station at Farranfore would be placed across the road from the airport and not a 1km walk away but such a move is not likely to happen.

Cllr Norma Moriarty, of the Kenmare Municipal District explained how she was on trip to Yorkshire a few years ago.

“I flew from Kerry to Manchester and was able to get a connecting train to Yorkshire without ever leaving the airport building,” she said. “The people I was visiting were very surprised to hear me talk about this so much – it is normal to them.”

Under the Strategy 2027 plan Killarney rail station will get repainted and new signs will be put in place during 2022.

Additional parking spaces will be created at Farranfore Railway station and this lead to calls for a similar expansion at Rathmore.

“A lot of people from South Kerry use Rathmore railway station,” said local councillor Niall Kelleher. “They drive up from Kenmare and cut across by Glenflesk.”

Mr Kenny said he would take the Rathmore comments back to the Iarnród Éireann engineer in charge of parking strategy.

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Walking and cycling projects set for upgrade 

Commuters and nature enthusiasts will benefit from €4.13m in funding allocated to Kerry County Council for walking and cycling projects. €350,000 has been allocated for Transport/Mobility Plans for Killarney, Tralee and Listowel. Locally €704,835 is being given towards an interconnected network of cycleways on Rock Road, while there’s €70,000 funding for the Deerpark Road/Gealscoil Junction to include […]

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Commuters and nature enthusiasts will benefit from €4.13m in funding allocated to Kerry County Council for walking and cycling projects.

€350,000 has been allocated for Transport/Mobility Plans for Killarney, Tralee and Listowel.

Locally €704,835 is being given towards an interconnected network of cycleways on Rock Road, while there’s €70,000 funding for the Deerpark Road/Gealscoil Junction to include an interconnected network of cycleways. €300,000 is planned for an interconnected network of cycleways for the Gaelscoil Road/Chestnut Drive area, while The Flesk Walkway and Cycleway, Killarney is to get €123,866, as well as a further €186,527 for Rock Road.

Deputy Government Chief Whip, Brendan Griffin TD has said the funding from the National Transport Authority (NTA) will deliver high quality upgrades to walking and cycling infrastructure, with sustainable transport modes vital as the county emerges from the pandemic.

“I am pleased that Kerry County Council has been awarded funding which is part of an overall total of €289 million for approximately 1,200 Active Travel projects across the country,” Deputy Griffin said.

“Ensuring we have a good and efficient transport system in Kerry is essential for the future as we aim to make our communities and town centres more vibrant, in addition to making commuting to work and school safer and easier. Over the past two years we have spent more time enjoying our outdoor amenities and investing in active travel will also help us to meet our climate change obligations.”

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