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Kerry’s newest mayor says it’s the “greatest honour” of his life

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By Michelle Crean

Kerry's newest Cathaoirleach, elected unanimously in County Buildings today (Monday), said it's "the greatest honour of my life".

Fianna Fáil's Cllr John Francis Flynn from from Upper Tullig, Killorglin was proposed by Cllr Norma Moriarty (Fianna Fáil) and seconded by Cllr Michael O'Shea (Fianna Fáil). Age 31, he is one of the youngest to hold the position of Mayor of Kerry in the county.

He replaces outgoing mayor Cllr Jimmy Moloney (Fianna Fáil) who finished up his year long term as the county's First Citizen.

Fine Gael councillor, Bobby O’Connell, who represents the Castleisland-Corca Dhuibne Municipal District, was elected Leas-Cathaoirleach/Deputy Mayor of the Council.

Mayor Flynn represents the Kenmare Municipal District and is the 67th person to hold the position of chairperson of the Council. He has been a member of Kerry County Council since 2014.

"This is a great honour for me, my family and friends, and hometown of Killorglin," Mayor Flynn, whose family have roots in Rockfield Killarney, said.

Paying tribute to Cllr Moloney from Listowel, he said that he "will be a hard act to follow".

Priorities for the new mayor's term include housing, health and well-being, accommodation for third level students especially during the current housing crisis, connectivity in rural areas, and strengthening relationship with the Irish Diaspora.

He praised the great work being done by Kerry Airport, the Global Irish Festival 2022 and the greenway projects across the county.

"Kerry is a great county and has so much to be incredibly proud of. To be elected Mayor of Kerry is simply the single greatest honour of my life and I will endeavour as the First Citizen of our wonderful county to represent Kerry County Council and the people of the Kingdom to the best of my ability."

Cllr Michael O'Shea said that "history has been made here today" as John Francis Flynn is the first councillor from Killorglin elected Mayor of Kerry since the late Chubb O'Connor in 1974 before he became a TD.

ELECTED

The Annual Meetings of the five Municipal Districts in Kerry also took place today and the following councillors were elected:

Killarney Municipal District
Cathaoirleach – Cllr Niall Kelleher (FF)
Leas-Cathaoirleach – Cllr John O’Donoghue (Ind)

Tralee Municipal District
Mayor – Cllr Mikey Sheehy (FF)
Deputy Mayor – Cllr Terry O’Brien (Lab)

Kenmare Municipal District
Cathaoirleach – Cllr Patrick Connor-Scarteen (FG)
Leas-Cathaoirleach – Cllr Michael Cahill (FF)

Castleisland-Corca Dhuibhne Municipal District
Cathaoirleach – Cllr Michael O’Shea (FF)
Leas-Cathaoirleach – Cllr Bobby O’Connell (FG)

Listowel Municipal District
Cathaoirleach – Cllr Aoife Thornton (FG)
Leas Cathaoirleach – Cllr Michael Foley (FG)

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Kerry Airport to get almost €1.5m funding

Kerry Airport is in line for nearly €1.5m in funding under the Regional Airports Programme 2021-2025. All five regional airports in the country will share a total of €21,100,051 released […]

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Kerry Airport is in line for nearly €1.5m in funding under the Regional Airports Programme 2021-2025.

All five regional airports in the country will share a total of €21,100,051 released under the scheme.

Kerry Airport will get €1,434,355 to put towards vital safety operations like air traffic control, fire services and security.

The CEO of Kerry Airport, John Mulhern, welcomed the funding.

“We are grateful to Minister Naughton, the Department of Transport and Kerry’s two Government TDs, Minister Norma Foley and Deputy Brendan Griffin for their continued support,” he said.

“The funding will help to ensure that Kerry Airport remains compliant with regulatory requirements in key areas, such as air traffic control, fire services and security.”

Funding this year for airports will total over €37 million building on the €161 million provided in unprecedented aviation supports during 2021.

“I welcome this funding which will deliver further vital financial supports to Kerry Airport with a particular focus on safety, security operations and air traffic control,” Minister Foley said.

“This funding reinforces the importance and value that Government places on the vital role of our regional airports and how connectivity directly supports tourism and enterprise in Kerry.”

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Should they stay or should they go?

Town centre Safe Street programme extended by 12 months to allow full review By Sean Moriarty The temporary closure of Plunkett St to vehicular traffic has been extended by another […]

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Town centre Safe Street programme extended by 12 months to allow full review

By Sean Moriarty

The temporary closure of Plunkett St to vehicular traffic has been extended by another 12 months.

The closure was revealed by the Killarney Advertiser last month and this week Kerry County Council has started its public consultation into the closure.

The town centre street was fully pedestrianised to allow food businesses to serve meals outside and to facilitate social distancing during COVID-19.

Other measures included the widening of footpaths on New St and High St.

The current temporary closing of roads order expires on December 31 but will now be extended to the same date next year.

The purpose of this new closure is to examine the success or failure of several measures that were brought in during the pandemic to allow social distancing on the town’s streets.

“This involved the creation of buildouts to accommodate Outdoor Dining and the creation of public realm areas, which the closure of Plunkett Street facilitated. Feedback from businesses in particular has been very positive, allowing enhanced offerings to the public who have also voiced their support for these developments in the town,” said Angela McAllen, Killarney Municipal District Manager, said at the November KMD meeting.

However, Cllr Donal Grady believes that several of these ‘buildouts’ need to be decommissioned as they are not being used for their designated purpose and are taking up car parking spaces in the town centre.

“Any place that is not being utilised needs to be turned back into parking spaces,” he told the Killarney Advertiser this week.

He added that the lack of parking “is driving people out of town”.

Ms McAllen said the Council would look at what areas are being used to their full potential and their future will be decided during the latest closure’s term.

Town centre regeneration is set to commence next year under the Urban Regeneration and Development Fund (URDF).

“The URDF town centre and street upgrade for Killarney was approved in September to proceed to planning and detailed design stage and allows for the consideration for potential inclusion of some of these measures in the wider development of the town centre,” she added.

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