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Killarney’s poor history of allowing public buildings fall into disrepair

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By Sean Moriarty

Progression of the Killarney Nursing Unit on the site of St Finan’s Hosptial is both welcome and alarming.

The first phase of construction of the new hospital – the replacement building for existing community hospitals – will be completed by the end of this month the HSE has confirmed to the Killarney Advertiser.

Works due to be completed this month include the marking out of the site with a main contractor due to be appointed in the coming weeks once the procurement process is complete.

The development, which will be built on the grounds of St Finan’s Hospital, will replace the current St Columbanus Home and the District Hospital (short stay unit).

It will be made up of four 25-bed units and a 30-bed dementia unit.

However, while the progression of the hospital development is welcomed, it also begs the question, what will become of both the current St Columbanus Home and the District Hospital once construction of the new hospital is completed.

Killarney has a poor history of letting public buildings, that are no longer in use, fall into disrepair.

Back in 2009, the Franciscan Order donated the Áras Phadráig to the town council and 12 years on, and despite countless promises and plans, it remains undeveloped.

The same applies to the former Pretty Polly factory on Park Road – also unoccupied since 2009 and in public ownership since that time. Kerry County Council plans to build houses on part of the site but overall it has been allowed to fall into disrepair.

The new hospital facility, is being built on the site of the former St Finan’s hospital. This beautiful building has been idle since September 2012.

Kerry County Council have an interest in a small part of that site but this iconic building has also been allowed to fall into disrepair and there are no signs of a potential buyer.

“Kerry County Council have confirmed that they wish to acquire 5.77 acres to the north of the Ring Road at Ballydribeen and the disposal of this element is being progressed with Kerry County Council,” a HSE spokesperson told the Killarney Advertiser this week.

“There has been no further interest in the former St Finan's building, and surrounding lands, to date from other state agencies, and so it is the HSE’s intention to dispose of the remainder of this property, via public sale, in the future in accordance with HSE Property Disposal protocols.”

Both the St Columbanus Home and the District Hospital can be added to the growing list of unoccupied public buildings in the town.

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Vaccination centre leaves basketball club homeless

By Sean Moriarty With the National Basketball League set to get underway in two weeks’ time, Scott’s Lakers St Paul’s Killarney Basketball Club are still unsure where they will play their homes games this season as their usual venue is being used as a COVID-19 vaccination centre. The local side play Limerick Celtic away on […]

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By Sean Moriarty

With the National Basketball League set to get underway in two weeks’ time, Scott’s Lakers St Paul’s Killarney Basketball Club are still unsure where they will play their homes games this season as their usual venue is being used as a COVID-19 vaccination centre.

The local side play Limerick Celtic away on the weekend of October 8 and 9 and their first home game is set for October 16.

Currently their home venue at Killarney Sports and Leisure Centre is unavailable as it is being used as a COVID-19 vaccination centre and according to the Health Service Executive (HSE) this week, there are no plans in place, as of yet, to move out.

Killarney Cougars, the town’s newest addition to the National League, has secured the use of the gym at St Brigid’s Secondary School in the town centre but, as it stands, St Paul’s remain homeless as the season opener looms.

“It is ridiculous at this stage,” said head coach Jarlath Lee. “If you look at what is happening at the Sports Centre, there are very few people in and out of there now compared to the start [of the vaccination roll-out].”

The HSE when contacted by the Killarney Advertiser this week said that they would not be adding to a previous statement issued earlier this month, which said: “In relation to Killarney Sports and Leisure Centre, we are very grateful to staff and management for the use of their facility as a vaccination centre.

“Planning work is well underway for the next phase of the vaccination programme, locally and nationally. This includes a review of where vaccinations are administered in future, but we cannot confirm any decisions in relation to any particular location at this point in time.”

However, the HSE did confirm this week, that the Tralee Vaccination Centre, located at the Munster Technology University, will re-locate to the recently vacated Borg Warner factory in the town. The move is expected to be completed within the next week to 10 days.

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Triple treat for car lovers this weekend

Killarney car fans are in for a triple treat this weekend with three different events to look forward to over two days. Tomorrow (Saturday), Cannonball will blast through the town. Over one hundred supercars, ranging from firm favourites like McLaren, Lamborghini, Ferrari, Aston Martin, Porsche, Maserati, Rolls Royce and Bentley are expected to take part […]

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Killarney car fans are in for a triple treat this weekend with three different events to look forward to over two days.

Tomorrow (Saturday), Cannonball will blast through the town.

Over one hundred supercars, ranging from firm favourites like McLaren, Lamborghini, Ferrari, Aston Martin, Porsche, Maserati, Rolls Royce and Bentley are expected to take part while raising funds for the HOPE Foundation.

The cars will leave Kenmare at around 11.30am and will travel via Moll’s Gap to Killarney and onwards to Farranfore and Tralee.

“The cars will not be stopping in towns this year to avoid gatherings,” said an event spokesperson, but the Killarney Advertiser understands that the high-powered convoy will be stopping in Tralee for a lunch halt before making their way to Tarbert and the Shannon Ferry.

On Sunday, and as revealed by the Killarney Advertiser last week, the Killarney Valley Classic and Vintage Club will host its annual classic motorshow at the racecourse from 11am. This event will raise funds for St Francis’s Special School in Beaufort.

Cars n’Coffee Killarney will join the vintage club on Sunday. After a successful 2019 season at KC Print, Cars n’Coffee is looking for a new home in Killarney, and Sunday’s collaboration with the vintage club could pave the way for further events at the racecourse.

“Having events of this quality in Killarney shows that the town could soon become the car culture capital of Ireland,” said Cars n’Coffee organiser Ger Neeson.

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