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Make Way Day highlights issues that people with disabilities  face every day

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Make Way Day highlights issues that people with disabilities  face every da

By Sean Moriarty

Members of Killarney Access Group and well-known local people with disabilities took to the streets of Killarney on Thursday to highlight obstacles they meet on an everyday basis.

Poorly parked cars and trucks, wheelie bins left on the streets for collection, bicycles chained to fences and lamp posts, suitcases being loaded into tour coaches and even dogs tied to railings are just some of the obstacles wheelchair users and visually impaired people face every day.

Thursday was Make Way Day, a national day of action organised by the Disability Federation of Ireland and locally by the Killarney Access Group and the Municipal District Council.

Well-known local musician Morgan Pierce is visually impaired. He uses a cane to find his way around.

“Suitcases on the footpath are the bane of my life,” he told the Killarney Advertiser. “I enjoy running too and often go for a run out the Muckross Road. People ask me why I need a cane to get around town and can go running without one. It is simple, I just know there will be no obstructions out the Muckross Road.”

Morgan’s cane is fitted with a special golf ball-sized extension. It helps him identify cracks in the pavement and other potential hazards that could lead him to trip or fall.

“The new pedestrian zone in Tralee has a special groove in the footpath that acts like a guide,” he added and would like the Municipal District Council to consider adding the same in future Killarney improvement works.

Municipal District officer Eileen O’Donoghue confirmed that the local council has done an audit in the town centre and that there is now a programme of works based on the results of that audit.

“One of the reasons we put the new bike racks into various town centre locations was to discourage people from chaining their bicycles to railings and other places that may cause an obstruction,” she explained.

Timo O’Sullivan, a well-known member of Lough Lein Anglers Association and a long-time campaigner has been in a wheelchair for 35 years following a workplace accident.

“Since day one things have improved immensely,” he told the Killarney Advertiser. “Killarney is not a bad town but we have to strive for better.”

His biggest issue is poorly parked cars and cars and delivery trucks parked in dedicated blue zones.

“I heard a story where a group of wheelchair users parked several of their chairs in an ordinary parking zone and left notes saying ‘back in five minutes’ on them to get a message across,” he added.

 

 

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NPWS survey to find out impact of fires

By Michelle Crean The National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) has commissioned a comprehensive survey on the impact of fires over the past four decades – in particular Killarney National Park in April. The tender, worth €300,000, and named ‘Study on the Impact of Fires On The Biodiversity of Killarney National Park’, seeks to find […]

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By Michelle Crean

The National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) has commissioned a comprehensive survey on the impact of fires over the past four decades – in particular Killarney National Park in April.

The tender, worth €300,000, and named ‘Study on the Impact of Fires On The Biodiversity of Killarney National Park’, seeks to find out the biological impacts of the fires in the 26,000 acre park.

The fires in April burned from Friday night on April 23 until around 12pm the following Monday when they were finally brought under control.

Parts of the Park were scorched resulting in flora and fauna being wiped out. Some fires came as close as 10 metres to a church and school in the Black Valley area.

Fires raged near Tomies Wood and fire crews from five different districts quenched fires near the properties under threat. A real threat was for The Oak Woods but fire fighters managed to avert danger.

The fire is believed to have begun on the Kenmare Road area escalated by the strong winds.

“The purpose of this tender is to commission a comprehensive survey of the impacts, and the chrono-sequence of fire recovery or otherwise, on lands burned over the past four decades, as well as surveys in unburned areas, in order to assess the biological impacts of the fires, in particular the fire of April 2021, on the biodiversity of Killarney National Park,” an NPWS spokesperson told the Killarney Advertiser.

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Killarney spin will bring comfort to patients

By Michelle Crean Ahead of this year’s ladies only 54321 Challenge a number of spinathons are taking place, including in Killarney town. Sunday, August 15 a group of 10 ladies plan a spinathon day in Killarney ahead of their four day epic adventure from Thursday, August 19 to Sunday 22. This year due to COVID […]

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By Michelle Crean

Ahead of this year’s ladies only 54321 Challenge a number of spinathons are taking place, including in Killarney town.

Sunday, August 15 a group of 10 ladies plan a spinathon day in Killarney ahead of their four day epic adventure from Thursday, August 19 to Sunday 22.

This year due to COVID restrictions the 54321 team will run with two teams of five people, all female – who are raising funds for one single charity – Comfort for Chemo Kerry.

Their four day challenge will include a cycle the Ring of Kerry on day one (Thursday 19), a climb up Carrantuohil on day two (Friday 20), a cycle from Killarney to the foot of Cnoc Na Tobair and then climb Cnoc Na Tobair on day three (Saturday 21) finishing off with a cycle of the Skellig Ring on day four (Sunday 22).

In advance of the ninth annual challenge they will first participate in the spinathons at various locations to help raise much needed funds for this year’s chosen charity.

The first of the spinathons will take place on Saturday, July 31 in Listowel, Killorglin, Dingle, Cahersiveen. On the day volunteers will take to the spinning bikes from 10am to 5pm in different locations around these towns.
This will be followed by Killarney on Sunday, August 15, and Tralee on Saturday, August 28.

When choosing this year’s charity, organisers contacted a past participant and a dear friend, Mairead Dunphy from Glencar who is currently on her own journey with cancer.

“We wanted to show our support to Mairead and knowing that she would like to support those who have supported her on her journey so far, she had already being looking at ideas to raise much needed funds for Comfort for Chemo Kerry,” TJ O’Connor said.

“Please support Comfort for Chemo Kerry by giving what you can.”

For more information about the spinathons go to www.54321challenge.org or the Comfort for Chemo Kerry Facebook page for online donation information.

There’s also a GoFundMe page: ‘Comfort for Chemo Kerry – 54321 Challenge 2021’ which has a €20,000 target set up.

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