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McDonald’s say they could close Drive Thru if traffic disruption persists



A customers service agent working for McDonalds Restaurants has told a Killarney councillor that they “may determine it necessary to close Drive Thrus if there is local disruption.”

TRAFFIC: Scenes like this are common place at the entrance to McDonalds.

CONCERNS: Emergency vehicles cannot access the estate because to traffic issued at McDonalds.

For the third time in less than six months concerns have been raised over traffic congestion at fast food outlet.
Traffic at the popular fast food restaurant has increased as a result of the pandemic. Diners are encouraged to eat take away food and the indoor section of McDonalds remains closed.

Traffic, at certain times during the day, queues along Park Road, as the wait their turn at the drive through.

Once they are served, motorists then park on double yellow lines or on footpaths while they await their order or to eat their meal in the car.
The illegal parking is causing stress for locals who live in the large estate to the rear of the restaurant.

They are also concerned that emergency vehicles will not be able to gain access to the estate as a result of the inconsiderate parking.
At a recent meeting of Killarney Municipal District Meeting, Mayor Marie Moloney said: “This is not good enough, people cannot get into their own homes,” while Cllr John O’Donoghue added: “residents are prisoners in their own homes.”

Meanwhile Cllr Donal Grady contacted McDonalds directly. In correspondence seen by the Killarney Advertiser he was told: “We are working with Local Authorities and police and we may determine it necessary to close Drive Thrus if there is local disruption or puts the safety of our employees and customers at risk.” 

One proposal being put forward is to remove the lawn area at the front of the restaurant and to create a slip road in its place. The council also has plans to put extra road markings there.

“It is intended to extend and increase the visibility of road markings. The road lining contractor has been awarded the works and it is envisaged that the works would be completed by the end of January. Kerry County Council Traffic Wardens will monitor and if required, enforce for any illegal parking at this location. If illegal parking continues, Kerry County Council can look at alternative measures,” a council official told  a recent Killarney Municipal District meeting.

A McDonalds spokesperson told the Killarney Advertiser: 
“We are aware of the wider traffic issues in the area and we’re keen to play an active role in addressing any problems. We strive to be a good neighbour and would welcome the opportunity to work with local agencies to help consider solutions.” 



Fossa School says ‘bonjour’ to French classes



Fossa National School is giving its pupils a headstart in learning a new language.

The school signed up to Language Sampler scheme as part of the ‘Say Yes to Languages’ initiative in primary schools organised by Post Primary languages Ireland in 2021. This is the school’s third year running the module.

Hélène Olivier-Courtney, the school’s French teacher and director of French For All Killarney School of French, covers ten schools in Kerry over the three terms.

The success of the initiative relies on an all-school approach and the active involvement of class teachers and management.

“The whole staff in Fossa certainly helped make this new journey a special and enjoyable experience for the children as we learnt French through art, songs, games and food tasting! This year, we also organised a catwalk on our last day. Our sixth-class students will have such a head start before secondary school and most importantly will have develop curiosity interest and love for the language,” said Hélène.


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Opinion: Silent majority needs to stand up and call out far-right hate



By Chris Davies

Last Friday’s Dublin Riots should not have come as a surprise to anyone. It has been bubbling under the surface of Irish society for a good number of years now. The actions of a small minority last week was a culmination of years of racism, hatred and misinformation shared online by far-right groups.

Late on Friday night a disturbing WhatsApp voice note was doing the rounds on social media where a far-right actor could clearly be heard encouraging violence on the streets of Dublin. 

“’Seven o’clock, be in town. Everyone bally up, tool up…Any foreigner, just kill them”

Watching the Riots unfold on social media brought me back to when I was working in Dublin a number of years back. My morning commute from Skerries to the city centre involved a dart to Connolly Station followed by a short trip on the Luas to the Jervis. Every week, without fail, I would witness at least one racial slur or attack on someone who didn’t fit the narrow minded view of what an Irish person should look, dress or talk like. I don’t know if it is the eerie silence of public transport that seems to amplify the situation, but that’s where I found it to be most common. The abuse was usually perpetrated by a group of youths or someone who was clearly under the influence of drink or drugs. The victims were always of colour, often dressed smartly enough to presume they were on their way, or coming from work. A far cry from the perpetrators who you could tell were roaming aimlessly around the city looking for trouble.

While shameful to admit, I would often look on and watch the abuse unfold, only to spend the rest of my work day thinking about the poor person who was told to “F*&K off back to your own country”. I would sit at my desk questioning why I didn’t step in and say something. There were one or two occasions where I did step in and call it out, but not nearly often enough.  

This disgusting behaviour is much more visible in our cities. Since moving back to Killarney I wouldn’t witness as much direct abuse on the streets but working with the Killarney Advertiser I would be tuned in to local news and some of the comments I read on our social platforms are far worse than anything I witnessed during my time in Dublin.  

There is a significant group of people in Ireland that I would call the ‘silent majority’. We are not as outspoken on issues we care about. We tend to observe and consume the news quietly, and only speak of our support or disgust on certain issues in close circles, too afraid we might offend someone. The problem with this is that we are leaving these far-right groups unchallenged, to become louder, more aggressive and more hostile as seen last week. 

The past week Sinn Fein and the Social Democrats have been busy in the media expressing no confidence in Justice Minister Helen McEntee and Garda Commissioner Drew Harris but I would suggest that there is a large percentage of the Irish population that bears some of the responsibility. We witness racism in our communities and online every day and we need to start speaking up and calling it out. 

On the issue of immigration in Killarney, there is no doubt resources are being stretched and our tourism industry is suffering as a result of an influx of immigration. Locals have also raised concerns in relation to the placement of so many male international protection applicants in one setting and we only have to look back on the incident in Hotel Killarney last year where a number of men were involved in a harrowing stabbing incident to see how that played out.  

However, being concerned around immigration is not the same as anti-immigration. It is important to raise these issues with local representatives and Kerry TD’s but also to separate ourselves from far-right groups who are only interested in encouraging violence.  

The anarchy we witnessed last week should never be the answer and research shows it is completely unnecessary. Harvard University have looked at hundreds of protests over the last century, and found that non-violent campaigns are twice as likely to achieve their goals as violent campaigns and that it only takes around 3.5% of the population actively participating in the protests to ensure serious political change.

Let’s continue to protest peacefully for issues we believe in, but stand up and speak out against people and movements in our community that incite hate and violence. 

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