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Killarney’s 4th of July celebration another success

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Thousands of spectators lined the streets of the town centre on Monday evening to welcome back the first 4th of July Parade since 2019.

FESTIVAL: The town centre is awash with colour this 4th of July.Photo by Sean Moriarty

FESTIVAL: The town centre is awash with colour this 4th of July.Photo by Sean Moriarty

 

It was the key event in Killarney Chamber of Tourism and Commerce's annual celebration of The United States' Independence Day.

The festival’s official opening ceremony took place just after 3pm on Monday when Mayor Niall Kelleher and Chamber of Tourism and Commerce vice-president hoisted the American and Irish flags over the town hall.

“It is very important that we are back after two years,” Mayor Kelleher told the Killarney Advertiser.

“It is great to see all the vibrancy and craic and welcome our American visitors.”

A local group of musicians entertained the large crowd that had gathered outside the town hall and they sang both the Irish and American national anthems.

Pat Mulcahy, the first lieutenant of the American Legion pledged allegiance to the American flag and many of the gathered crowd joined him in his recitation of the verse.

New for this year was the presentation of state flags to US visitors. American visitors were invited to take their state flag and join in the celebration and there was at least one person there from each of the 50 states.

These people were invited to lead the parade later that evening and added extra colour and vibrancy to the event.

Thousands of people, many waving American flags,lined the streets of the town for the big parade and that was followed by a lively hour-long Beat on the Street from 8pm.

Ireland’s multi-award winning soul performer Buck Taylor entertained the masses at the Soul in the Park at 9pm and at 10 o’clock the celebrations continued in fabulous fashion with an open air screening of the hit movie 'The Greatest Showman' on the lawns of Killarney House and Gardens.

The Killarney 4th of July celebration concluded with a fireworks display just after 11pm.

The festival is organised by Killarney Chamber of Tourism and Commerce with support from Kerry County Council and Fáilte Ireland as well as sponsors Heineken.

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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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