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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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Artists invited to showcase work at Wine and Art night

It’s back – and not before time – the hugely popular Killarney Rotary Club evening of Wine and Art will return this November. The pandemic enforced its absence and now […]

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It’s back – and not before time – the hugely popular Killarney Rotary Club evening of Wine and Art will return this November.

The pandemic enforced its absence and now every effort is being made to make up for lost time.

Widely regarded as one of the social highlights of the year in Killarney, this year’s gathering will take place in the Great Southern Killarney on Wednesday, November 30, commencing at 7.15pm.

Tickets, which will be available at the door, are priced at €20 and all proceeds raised on the night will go to deserving local charities and community organisations.

Over the years the evening of wine and art has raised tens of thousands of Euro for great causes and the 2022 proceeds will be of enormous benefit to the chosen groups.

This year, once again, the event is being held in association with Daly’s SuperValu and supported by Killarney Brewing and Distilling Company.

Rotary Club President, Rayla Tadjimatova, has appealed to all artists who might like to showcase their work on the night to get in touch with club members, as soon as possible, to guarantee inclusion.

“We are reaching out not only to artists who have supported the event in the past but to any new artists who wish to take the opportunity to place their work in front of a very appreciative local audience of up to one thousand people on the night,” she said.

Those interested should email killarneyrotaryclub@gmail.com as soon as possible.

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Gardai seek whereabouts of missing Kerry teen

Gardaí are asking the public for their help in locating a 15-year-old teenager. Nicolas O’Sullivan has been missing from Ballyvelly, Tralee, since Monday (October 3). He is described as being […]

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Gardaí are asking the public for their help in locating a 15-year-old teenager.

Nicolas O’Sullivan has been missing from Ballyvelly, Tralee, since Monday (October 3).

He is described as being approximately 6ft in height, of a slim build with brown hair and green eyes. When last seen Nicolas was wearing grey tracksuit bottoms and a black hoody top. He was also carrying a black bag.

Anyone with information on Nicolas’ whereabouts is asked to contact Tralee Garda Station on 066 710 2300, the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111, or any Garda Station.

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