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‘I want to be a mayor that is representative of the wider community’

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PARKING and traffic management in Killarney are among issues Killarney Municipal District’s new mayor highlighted as he took office this morning.

As he donned the chain of office, Councillor Niall Kelleher also pledged to focus on the need for improved safety at the Upper Lewis Road junction leading to the Killarney Bypass road, an issue on which Killarney Advertiser has also strongly campaigned. This along with a number of other junctions such as Madam’s Hill, Coolcaslagh and Pike Hill, all need to be made safer, he said.

Councillor Kelleher, who is three years in to his first term as an elected representative, said he believes he now has the knowledge to be able to approach the role from a different perspective.

“I welcome the new chain of office which is representative of the entire municipal district and it’s important because the town of Killarney and the hinterland, stretching to our other towns of Castleisland, my own native Rathmore and the wider communities, co-exist and are very much interlinked in our daily lives, whether through sport, through music, through work or through socialising,” said Cllr Kelleher.

“I want to be a mayor that is representative of this wider community and to further promote inclusivity and dialogue among all groups, both commercial and voluntary.”

Councillor Kelleher said he looked forward to working with groups such as the Chamber of Tourism & Commerce in Killarney, the Chamber in Castleisland, Rathmore Community Council and with the many community, voluntary and sporting organisations in the towns and villages of the Killarney Municipal District.

“This is important as it’s only through dialogue and sharing each other’s experiences and motivations that we all move forward together, working for the greater good of our community as a whole,” said Cllr Kelleher.

“We have a special and unique district and I believe we are the well placed to achieve many things but we need to constantly strive to build on this and make our community the best place to grow up in, to be educated in, to work in, to do business in and to grow old in.”

Buildings like the Aras Phádraig and the Pretty Polly site are of unique importance to the town, said Mayor Kelleher. “I want to ensure that these sites are developed and life brought back into them and creating employment for our town,” he said.

“My own town of Rathmore needs major development to one make it brighter, both during the day in its appearance and at night and we need a vastly upgraded public lighting system there to entice business back onto our Main Street and to reopen some of the units closed during the recession.

“Castleisland has many similar difficulties in that there are many vacant units. We need to introduce a rates incentive scheme for non-competing new businesses and proactively deal with the long-term parking difficulties on the Main Street as well as the lack of a proper infrastructure to allow safe turning around at the top of the town.”

Cllr Kelleher is also in favour of broadcasting council meetings on the Internet. “As we haven’t been able to deliver this, for a variety of reasons, I’m hoping to bring our meetings into the heart of communities we represent,” he said.
“Instead of meeting in the same place all the time, I believe we should also go out into the community and meet the people, by hosting at least one meeting in our three towns and also for example at our airport where we can sit down with the stakeholders to see how we can help to promote this vitally important asset in our municipal district.

“I’m not afraid to work hard and I’m passionate about the work I do. I am never afraid to speak my mind but I won’t speak for the sake of it and if I feel it’s for the betterment of the people and the area we live in, I shall continue speaking out for the people and raising their concerns.”
 


 
Above:
Mayor of Killarney, Cathaoirleach of Killarney Municipal District, Cllr Niall Kelleher (FF) and his stepdaughter Portia Gor.
PICTURE: DOMNICK WALSH

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Picture This announce Killarney gigs

Following on from being the fastest act ever to sell out the Gleneagle INEC Arena, with tickets going in under five minutes, Picture This have announced their only Irish shows of 2021 with a three-night run at the Killarney venue on December 16 -18. These exclusive gigs coincide with the release of their brand-new album […]

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Following on from being the fastest act ever to sell out the Gleneagle INEC Arena, with tickets going in under five minutes, Picture This have announced their only Irish shows of 2021 with a three-night run at the Killarney venue on December 16 -18.

These exclusive gigs coincide with the release of their brand-new album ‘Life in Colour’ set to be released June 25 via Republic Records.

“We are so excited to be playing at the INEC Arena this December,” Picture This frontman, Ryan Hennessy said.

“It is a place that holds many fond memories for us from starting out in the Acoustic Club to selling out the arena in record time. We have missed the atmosphere and the people so much and can’t wait to be reunited!”

Representing music’s biggest global underdog story, Picture This have unassumingly captivated listeners in every corner of the world, amassing nearly 300 million total streams, selling out stadiums, and inspiring praise from Billboard, ThisSongIsSick, and many more.

Their new album ‘Life in Colour’ boasts hits such as ‘Things Are Different’, ‘LA House Party’ and ‘Unconditional’. Thus far, tracks from the record have already gathered over 25 million total streams and counting prior to its arrival.

Tickets from €49.90 plus booking fees for these exclusive shows go on sale this Friday at 9am www.inec.ie and www.ticketmaster.ie.

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Renowned chef to host men’s charity cookery demo

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To celebrate International Men’s Health Week, cancer support charity Recovery Haven Kerry has organised a live cookery demonstration with renowned chef, Mark Doe.

It takes place on Tuesday next, June 15.

Open to all men dealing with cancer, the free Zoom cook-along event will take place from 6.30pm to 7.30pm, where the famous Just Cooking cookery school founder will share some of his expertise with participants.

Mark has chosen a simple marinated chicken in pitta bread with wedges and coleslaw as his dish of choice for the evening, and will be taking participants through the steps to create their very own meal via this live cook-along event.

“We wanted to do something special to mark International Men’s Health Week and we are honoured that Mark has agreed to come on board to host this exciting event,” Recovery Haven manager Siobhan MacSweeney said.

“The free event is open to all men who are dealing with cancer, not just our own clients, so we are encouraging as many men as possible to sign up for what promises to be a great, fun evening.”

Anyone interested in taking part is required to register in advance by phoning Recovery Haven Kerry on 066 7192122.

Once registered you will receive a Zoom link to join the cook-along on the evening as well as the list of ingredients you will need.

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Loss of Kerry to Dublin route a “severe blow” 

  Ths loss of the Stobart Air Kerry to Dublin routes – which was announced yesterday (Sunday) that it’s to cease trading with immediate effect – will have a serious impact on the county, in particular the tourism and hospitality industry. Kerry Tourism Industry Federation (KTIF) is urgently requesting the Government act quickly on the collapse of the […]

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Ths loss of the Stobart Air Kerry to Dublin routes – which was announced yesterday (Sunday) that it’s to cease trading with immediate effect – will have a serious impact on the county, in particular the tourism and hospitality industry.

Kerry Tourism Industry Federation (KTIF) is urgently requesting the Government act quickly on the collapse of the airline and appoint a replacement.

The tourism group said that the loss of the routes is “such a severe blow to an industry that has been the most impacted by COVID for over 15 months and will take years to recover”.
 
Passengers affected are advised not to travel to the airport and to check the Aer Lingus website for updated information.

The Department of Transport is currently examining the implications of the announcement while Kerry County Council said it has full confidence in the future of Kerry Airport and will work closely with airport management to ensure the quick restoration of this key route and the future development of further air traffic routes into the county.

Minister for Education and Kerry TD Norma Foley said that she was “saddened to hear the announcement”.

“I have spoken directly on the issue with Kerry Airport and Minister Eamon Ryan and officials regarding the importance of the restoration of services, including the Dublin/Kerry route which is vital to the region. We are all committed to finding a pathway forward for the restoration of connectivity as a matter of urgency.”

The Government is acutely aware of the devastating impact that COVID-19 restrictions are having on the aviation sector.

By the end of June, the sector will have received approx. €300 million in State funding spanning employment supports, waiver of commercial rates and deferral of taxes. The bulk of the support to airlines is through the TWSS/EWSS wage subsidy schemes which were specifically designed to maintain the link between employers and employees. Liquidity support has also been made available by ISIF to large aviation enterprises.

This is in addition to PSO support of approximately €7 million per annum for the affected routes.

LIFEBLOOD

Tourism in Kerry generates €661 million annually, employing some 14,000 people. COVID-19 has forced 82% out of the workforce into unemployment. Tourism supply and support businesses have also been severely affected with thousands of employees out of work and companies struggling to survive.

“Connectivity and transport is the lifeblood to rebuilding tourism,” Pat O’Leary, Chairman of KTIF said. “The tourism and aviation sector is critical to the economy and viability of life in Kerry, it impacts on every household. It was the first industry to feel the economic devastation of the COVID-19 pandemic and the last to recover. The Government can save vital tourism and businesses connectivity by moving swiftly and confidently appointing a replacement to service these crucial routes. Our thoughts are with the employees at Stobart Air, our colleagues in Kerry Airport and the tourism and aviation industry who are all working so hard on recovery and reopening plans.”

Killarney Chamber of Tourism and Commerce said that Stobart operated the Kerry-Dublin service with great professionalism and customer care was always a priority, and that they wish them well as the face a very difficult time.

“Killarney Chamber won’t be found wanting in its commitment to support Kerry Airport and we have every confidence that John Mulhern and his team possess the ability, the knowledge and the determination to bring about the restoration of the service,” Niall Kelleher, President, Killarney Chamber of Tourism and Commerce, said. 

“Going forward, Kerry Airport will be critical to reopening the Kerry economy and we must all work to build on any opportunities that arise to provide greater access into the county. Killarney Chamber of Tourism and Commerce is fully committed to help find a pathway forward for the restoration of connectivity.”

 

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