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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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Family to run in memory of the late Linda Eviston

By Sean Moriarty The family of a much-loved Killarney woman who passed away from cancer almost a year ago plan to run a marathon past her favourite local landmarks in her memory. Linda Eviston died on October 10 last after a long battle with cancer. Her husband Patrick and son Erik, with the support of […]

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By Sean Moriarty

The family of a much-loved Killarney woman who passed away from cancer almost a year ago plan to run a marathon past her favourite local landmarks in her memory.

Linda Eviston died on October 10 last after a long battle with cancer.

Her husband Patrick and son Erik, with the support of her daughter Alannah, will run a 42.2km course, on the day before her anniversary to raise funds for the Irish Cancer Society.

The route will be based on landmarks that were an important part of Linda’s life. Starting from the family home in Dromkerry, before heading for the town centre and passing the Eviston House Hotel, Linda’s grandmother’s home at Park Road, Linda’s childhood home and national school in Glenflesk, Loreto where Linda attended secondary school, back to Killarney and finishing at Linda’s pride and joy – Brook Lodge Hotel.

“It is tough but we wanted to do something in Linda’s memory and help other people who might find themselves in similar circumstances,” Pat told the Killarney Advertiser. “We originally hoped to do the Dublin City Marathon but that got cancelled. This route is much better, but much tougher as it’s more hilly.”

All proceeds will be donated to the Irish Cancer Society and donations can be made via: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/inhonouroflinda.

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Women bravely bare all for Kerry’s first ‘Dip in the Nip’

By Michelle Crean  It really was girl power at its finest – as 170 women of all ages braved the elements on Sunday to bare all for charity at the weekend. Shore Acre in Camp was the location which was only revealed to the participants for Kerry’s first ever ‘Dip in the Nip’. And amongst […]

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By Michelle Crean
 

It really was girl power at its finest – as 170 women of all ages braved the elements on Sunday to bare all for charity at the weekend.

Shore Acre in Camp was the location which was only revealed to the participants for Kerry’s first ever ‘Dip in the Nip’. And amongst the all female grouping were some Killarney ladies who joined in the empowering adventure for what was described as “a special and unforgettable morning” all in aid of Recovery Haven Kerry.

According to Marisa Reidy from Recovery Haven, the women were of all ages and all walks of life who came together for so many personal reasons.

“Some were still on their own cancer journey, some were celebrating coming out the other side and of course, many were there to honour friends and loved ones who they had lost to cancer, but we were all equal on the day – flaws and all,” Marisa, who also took part in the event, told the Killarney Advertiser.

“It was a truly uplifting and exhilarating experience and we are so, so grateful to each and every lady who joined us for a morning we will never forget. One woman described it as ‘companionship among strangers’ and that really sums it up perfectly. It was emotional, there were some tears, but lots of laughter and we couldn’t have asked for anything more. When the ladies hit the water, they all formed a circle and held hands in a gesture that was totally unplanned – it just happened organically and it was quite overwhelming.”

She added that a very special mention has to be made to Michaela and John Edwards and their team from Wild Water Adventures for their support and expertise in ensuring no stone was left unturned in making it a fabulous, safe event.

“It was an all-female team from beginning to end, from our own volunteers, stewards, registration, Gardai, teas and coffees, lifeguards, sea rescue – girl power at its finest! Now all that’s left to do is start planning for 2022!”

Donations are still being taken via the link on the Recovery Haven Kerry Facebook page.

“So far we are close on €9,000 which is just fabulous.”

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