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‘Homelessness is not caused by asylum seekers or immigrants,’ say Barraduff sisters

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FIVE sisters have set up a petition as a reaction to the recent protest at Linden House in Killarney.

The protest, which took place in December as the first of 55 male asylum seekers moved into the former guesthouse on New Road, saw picketers call for solutions to the homelessness crisis.

Concerns were also raised about an absence of consultation between the Department of Justice and the community on the decision as to the use of Linden House.

Augustine, Mala, Martina, Julianna and Ava O'Donoghue, originally from Barraduff, said they found the image of the protest “very disturbing” and felt it targeted “a vulnerable group living in Killarney”. “Asylum seekers, like those in Killarney, have fled war, persecution and torture. The idea that they are in some way privileged or favoured over the so-called ‘native’ Irish is completely false,” they stated.

They added: “Homelessness is not caused by or exacerbated by asylum seekers or immigrants.”

Focusing on one house in Killarney where asylum seekers are seeking refuge “is outrageous and complete flawed”, added the sisters. “The solution to the housing crisis is to build more social housing and utilise the existing 180,000 homes that currently lie empty," said Mala.

The sisters set up the petition at Change.org

At the protest, Independent councillor Donal Grady addressed the gathering, before handing in a petition stating the concerns of the protesters, outlining the lack of consultation with the community. “Firstly, to make clear we believe that people from war-torn areas like Iraq and Syria should be accepted in our country,” Cllr Grady said before outlining concerns about the lack of consultation."

Days ahead of the confirmation that Linden House would be used as an accommodation centre for asylum seekers, Kerry County Council member Donal Grady had called for the property to open its doors to homeless people in Killarney.
 


 
Above: Ava and Martina O'Donoghue with their petition.

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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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