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Legal challenge to Killarney’s Safe Streets plan

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By Sean Moriarty

A Killarney councillor has issued legal proceedings against Kerry County Council and Killarney Municipal District in opposition to current street layouts in the town centre.

Cllr Donal Grady believes the Council’s Safe Streets programme is illegal as the correct levels of public and political engagement were not followed.

In early July the Council widened footpaths and closed Plunkett St and Kenmare Place to vehicular traffic as part of its plan to encourage social distancing in the town centre.

The initial plan was to run the Safe Streets programme until September 2 but this has now been extended until January 6 as the virus remains prevalent in society.

Ahead of the extension Council officials stated many reasons, including an unexpected increase in footfall in the town centre during the summer, an anticipated busy Christmas period as well as COVID-19 safety protocols.

Grady believes the current street scape will remain permanent, even after the January expiry date and, has in the past, accused the Council of acting in a covert way to bring permanent pedestrianisation to the town centre without the correct public consultations.

This prompted him to instruct his solicitor to take legal proceedings on the matter.

Killarney Municipal District Manager Angela McAllen prepared a detailed report on the matter and presented it at Thursday's Council meeting.

She told the meeting that a separate meeting to discuss the current and future plans would take place in September and that elected members could attend.

“This is about keeping Killarney safe,” she said. “However, as there is now a legal schedule I am not in a position to comment further.”

Current public health guidelines continue to state that people should stay two metres apart but Cllr Marie Moloney asked for confirmation on the future of footpath widening plans should that recommendation be reduced to one metre.

“What are ye [the Council] going to do, dig up all the footpaths and kerbing and waste a lot of money?” asked the Kilcummin-based councillor.

In a separate move, Cllr Grady put forward a motion to reopen Plunkett St to traffic during the day. Under the current Safe Streets plan the town centre street is closed 24 hours a day and will remain so until January at least.

Prior to Safe Streets being implemented, the street was only closed to vehicular traffic between 7pm and 7am, and Grady wanted to revert to this format.

A proposal by Cllr Niall ‘Botty’ O’Callaghan to amend Grady’s motion to revert Plunkett St to overnight closures once the pandemic was over was overruled by the Council executive as motions cannot be changed mid-meeting.

It seemed there was a lot of support for Cllr O’Callaghan’s idea butCllr Grady failed to find a seconder for his original plan and the motion fell.

It will take at least six months before another motion on the future of Plunkett St can be put forward but one thing for sure is that battle is far from over.

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Hairdresser reveals women “open up” on safety while getting their hair done

By Sean Moriarty Nicole Coffey of Nicole’s Hair Salon on St Anne’s was inspired to run a fundraiser for a women’s refuge after hearing distressing stories from some of her clients. On Saturday last she offered a wash and blow-dry to clients and rather than charging them for the her services her customers made a […]

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By Sean Moriarty

Nicole Coffey of Nicole’s Hair Salon on St Anne’s was inspired to run a fundraiser for a women’s refuge after hearing distressing stories from some of her clients.

On Saturday last she offered a wash and blow-dry to clients and rather than charging them for the her services her customers made a donation to Adapt Women’s Refuge in Tralee.

Nicole was inspired to run the charity day because a lot of her regular clients opened up to her while they were getting their hair done.

The timing of her charity day was poignant as it came just days after Ashling Murphy was murdered while out for a run in her own town of Tullamore.

“People open up while I do their hair, many of them would not know that there is a refuge in Kerry,” she told the Killarney Advertiser. “I have experience with clients who are struggling. I had this idea to create more awareness for Adapt.”

She raised €2,000 for Adapt and the cheque was handed over to the Tralee-based charity on Thursday night this week.

Such was the success of her charity day Nicole worked from 7am to 7pm and as well as cash donations customers also donated vouchers and care packs to the charity.

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Traffic calming on the approach to Killarney Athletic

By Sean Moriarty Killarney Municipal District is preparing plans to place traffic calming measures on the approach to Killarney Athletic Football Club’s grounds on Woodlawn Road. Cllr Maura Healy-Rae asked for measures to be implemented to improve pedestrian safety and access at the club. “We are currently preparing documentation required for the provision of Traffic […]

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By Sean Moriarty

Killarney Municipal District is preparing plans to place traffic calming measures on the approach to Killarney Athletic Football Club’s grounds on Woodlawn Road.

Cllr Maura Healy-Rae asked for measures to be implemented to improve pedestrian safety and access at the club.
“We are currently preparing documentation required for the provision of Traffic Calming at this location,” a council spokesperson told a recent Municipal District meeting. “
It is expected to brief the members at the next Municipal Meeting [in March]. From the records of the Road Safety Authority, no incidents have been recorded at this location.”

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