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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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Killarney centre stage for Pride Festival

The award-winning Kingdom Pride in Kerry festival is back next week and Killarney will take centre stage. Kingdom Pride will be celebrated in towns all across the county from July […]

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The award-winning Kingdom Pride in Kerry festival is back next week and Killarney will take centre stage.

Kingdom Pride will be celebrated in towns all across the county from July 17 to 21.

The organisation’s flagship Party in the Park event will be held again in Killarney House and Gardens, following the Pride march in the town centre on July 20.

This year, in solidarity with the people of Palestine, Kingdom Pride in Kerry is inviting the people of Kerry to come to show their unity by bringing Palestinian flags and kites to the march, and to the Party in the Park.

“Pride is a protest for human rights all over the world. Here in the Kingdom, we have been so lucky to receive tremendous community support from our allies and supporters, and we see the struggle for liberation of all peoples as a united cause,” said Daniel Quirke, chairperson of the organising committee.

“Our events have always welcomed everyone, regardless of gender, orientation, religion, or nationality. We truly believe that together we can create positive change through caring for and loving one another. This year is no exception, and we look forward to helping to highlight the Palestinian cause, and to bringing people together to keep generating positive change for all people.”

Events will take place in Cahersiveen, Listowel, Killorglin, Tralee and Dingle, and include an Irish comedy night with Áine Gallagher, an Irish-language movie screening, yoga, sea swimming, poetry and storytelling, bowling, pitch and putt, a lively drag night at the INEC, and plenty more for people of all ages.

“We do our best to keep tickets as low-cost as possible, and we have lots of events that are totally free to attend. It is important to us that people can share Pride with us, regardless of income. Especially with the rise of the cost of living putting a strain on people’s pockets.” added the chairperson.

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A weekend of Live Music, Fun and Entertainment, at FleskFest 2024

The organisers of the annual FleskFest have “a tremendous line-up, with a weekend full of entertainment to suit all” for the July 18 to 20 event. “It promises to be […]

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The organisers of the annual FleskFest have “a tremendous line-up, with a weekend full of entertainment to suit all” for the July 18 to 20 event.

“It promises to be the festival weekend of the summer, an event you don’t want to miss out on. Last year’s Festival was a fantastic memorable experience for our community, a time to get together and celebrate,” said festival PRO Seán Daly.

Organised by Glenflesk GAA, FleskFest 24 will take place at the Barraduff Community Field next week.
There will be a fully licensed bar in the Fest Marquee, some amazing live music on The Big Stage, food trucks and much more.
Glenflesk GAA club’s biggest fundraiser of the year includes a new-for-2024 Texas Holdem Poker Tournament on Thursday night.
Weekend highlights include old-time waltzing, jiving and polka sets with Paudie McAuliffe and Paudie Coffey Band on Friday,
On Saturday, the new Well Flesk event will take place.
“A morning of self-care and wellness at Flesk Fest featuring masterclasses in yoga, pilates, mindfulness, spinning, fitness sessions, workouts, firewood sauna and ice pods with a range of experienced and qualified instructors,” added Daly.
Leading local musician Johnny Courtney and Friends, Sam and Ina, The O’Donoghue Sisters, Reigning All Ireland Champions Glenflesk Ballad Group, and The Border Boys will take to the Big Stage over the weekend.
Sunday is Family Fun Day with children’s entertainment and disco and the All-Ireland Hurling Final Live on the Big screen followed by music with Thingamajig.
The festival will finish with a Sunday evening session with the Meadhbh Walsh Band.

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