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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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Fans return to Fitzgerald Stadium after eight months

By Sean Moriarty Officials from Fitzgerald Stadium remain hopeful that crowd capacity at the venue can be increased to 500 spectators in time for the Munster final on July 25 – subject to both national health guidelines and Kerry qualifying for the game. Last Saturday evening’s National League semi-final between Kerry and Tyrone was the […]

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By Sean Moriarty

Officials from Fitzgerald Stadium remain hopeful that crowd capacity at the venue can be increased to 500 spectators in time for the Munster final on July 25 – subject to both national health guidelines and Kerry qualifying for the game.

Last Saturday evening’s National League semi-final between Kerry and Tyrone was the first game at the stadium since the 2020 Kerry Petroleum Intermediate Club Football Championship Quarter-Final when Glenbeigh-Glencar played Beaufort on October 4 last year.

Due to current restrictions only 200 fans were allowed attend Saturday’s big match. That will remain in place for Kerry’s opening Munster Championship tie with Clare on June 26.

“It had been more than eight months since Fitzgerald Stadium welcomed back fans to the venue,” stadium PRO Tatyana McGough told the Killarney Advertiser. “Everything went exceptionally well.”

She is hopeful that more restrictions will be eased on July 5, paving the way for an increase in capacity to 500 fans in time for the July 25 Munster Final.

“It is likely that from July 5 up to 500 spectators may be permitted to attend games. We hope this number will increase for the Munster Final. If it is a Cork versus Kerry Munster Final the game will be fixed for Sunday July 25 at 4pm in the Fitzgerald Stadium. The stadium’s staff are very confident in being able to host any number of fans that may be allowed.”

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Garda appeal to park legally at beaches and public amenities

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An Garda Siochana is appealing to the public to park legally in designated car parks and spaces when visiting beaches, beauty spots and other public amenities. 

The good weather has seen an increase in dangerous illegal parking at these locations across the country in recent weeks. An Garda Siochana wants people to enjoy the summer but do so safely.

Parking illegally can lead to unnecessary risk and dangers such as pedestrians being forced to walk along dangerous roads. It can also prevent emergency services from gaining access to these amenities a seaside locations which could lead to the loss of life. 

“We encourage the public to plan their journeys and think safety first when parking your vehicle,” the Gardai said in a statement. 

“The outcome of parking illegally could be far more serious than a FCPN or vehicle towing and puts others and your own life at risk. 

An Garda Siochana reminds and encourages the public to social distance and follow public health guidelines when attending these locations this Summer.

An Garda Siochana is also supporting National Water Safety Awareness Week (June 14th – 20th). Information on this campaign and general water safety can be found on Water Safety Irelands Website – www.watersafety.ie/national-water-safety-awareness-week/

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IFTA nomination for Jessie Buckley

By Michelle Crean  Killarney’s Jessie Buckley is up for an award as the 2021 Irish Film and Television Awards (IFTA) nominations were announced this week. Jessie has been nominated as Best Actress in a Lead Role Film category for her work in Charlie Kaufman’s surreal ‘I’m Thinking of Ending Things’. Winners will be announced at […]

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By Michelle Crean
 

Killarney’s Jessie Buckley is up for an award as the 2021 Irish Film and Television Awards (IFTA) nominations were announced this week.

Jessie has been nominated as Best Actress in a Lead Role Film category for her work in Charlie Kaufman’s surreal ‘I’m Thinking of Ending Things’. Winners will be announced at a virtual IFTA awards ceremony which will be broadcast on Virgin Media One on Sunday, July 4.

Other well-known Irish actors up for awards include Brendan Gleeson for ‘The Comey Rule’, Paul Mescal for ‘Normal People’, Dervla Kirwan ‘Smother’ and Gabriel Byrne for ‘Death of a Ladies Man’.

Over the past few months during lockdown, the Irish Academy Members have been busy viewing, deliberating, and shortlisting the very best work from across great Irish films, performances, and achievements.

Nominations have been shortlisted by Irish Academy members alongside a specialist jury panel of industry experts from around the world.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, there will be no physical IFTA Awards Ceremony until March 2022, in keeping with COVID guidelines and best international practice.

Further details about the show and the international guest participants will be announced shortly.

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