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“More lives will be lost” at Finnegan’s Cross

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By Sean Moriarty

Locals fear more lives will be lost unless works are urgently  done to make safety improvements to Finnegan’s Cross.in Kilcummin.

DEPUTATION: Cllr Marie Moloney brought local residents Tony Sugrue and his neighbour Tom O’Shea to a Killarney Municipal District meeting so they could air concerns about the lethal Finnegan's Cross junction.

The accident blackspot has been the scene of several serious accidents including a double fatality there in January 2020.

Elected councillors have been pushing for improvements works at the junction for years but it's been pushed back for various reasons including lack of funding, expired funding and land acquisition issues.

Frustrated by the lack of progress, Councillor Marie Moloney invited local residents to outline their concerns at Wednesday’s Killarney Municipal District Meeting.

“I could have filled the room with people spitting fire,” she said, explaining the frustration felt by people in the locality.

Retired Garda Tony Sugrue and his neighbour Tom O’Shea outlined their concerns and fears to elected councillors and members of Kerry County Council’s management executive.

Mr Sugrue, who said he was aware of two different fatal accidents in the area over the last four years, proposed that the junction coming from the Coolick side should be staggered and that the line of sight from the Lawlor’s Cross road should be extended.

During his Garda career he cited a similar issue that was prevalent in Donoughmore in County Cork and that a staggered junction eventually solved that problem.

All of the councillors gave their accounts of near misses and serious accidents in the area.

Cllr Donal Grady, who is a retired Fire Officer who worked in the Killarney district, witnessed the aftermath of several accidents there during his career.

“We are not doing enough, lives have been lost and there will be more lives lost,” he said.

Cllr Brendan Cronin said that recent road surface improvement works had actually “increased the speed of traffic" travelling towards the junction from the Lawlor’s Cross side.

“It is a very risky manoeuvre trying to cross the road there,” Cllr Cronin told the meeting, while Cllr John O’Donoghue called for a staggered junction in a similar proposition to the one made by Mr Sugrue.

Cllr Niall ‘Botty’ O’Callaghan offered to use his and his colleagues annual funding allocation to speed up works in the area.

“The locals feel nothing is being done,” Cllr Moloney added.

Killarney Municipal District Engineer, John Ahern said, in the short term, he will put "yellow bar road markings" on the approach roads but this job would require an extended spell of dry weather.

Other works in the area fell foul of very strict funding requirements. Money was allocated during previous road funding scheme allocations but the job requires land acquisition and the Council did not have the budget to both buy land and do the works under the one scheme.

He said he was very hopeful that additional funding will be made available this year under the same funding allocation. That round of funding is expected to be announced around February 15.

“It is our priority number one,” he said.

He praised locals who were engaging and receptive towards potential property acquisitions but warned that such moves take time.

Ahern was hopeful that progress would be made in the first months of this year.

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Trilogy of comedy on offer by Dóchas Drama

By Sean Moriarty Dóchas Drama Group will present a series of three short comedy plays next week. All three plays are written and produced by Dóchas and will be acted […]

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By Sean Moriarty

Dóchas Drama Group will present a series of three short comedy plays next week.

All three plays are written and produced by Dóchas and will be acted out by the group’s members.

The opening act, ‘Flossing Around’ is written by Ger Madden and directed by Brian Bowler.

“A woman has an innate fear of the dentist. We go on the journey with her as she faces her fears, with hilarious consequences,” explained the group’s Liz Ryan.

This will be followed by ‘Faraway Hills’ which is written by Mary Quirke and directed by Michael Mills.
It is a tongue in cheek look at family life.

“A son wants to get away from small town life. His mother wants to keep him at home but his father can’t wait to see the back of him,” added Liz, who plays the mother in this short play.

Brain Bowler wrote the third instalment called ‘A Little Visitor’ which is directed by Ryan Jones.

“There are lots of misunderstandings when a hypochondriac visits a group of doctors who have other things on the their minds,” added Liz.

The run, which will feature all three performances each night, starts Wednesday next week and continues Thursday and Friday (February 8 to 10) at the Killarney Avenue Hotel. Tickets are €10 and are available at the door.

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Killarney secures three gold medals in national business awards

Three hotels in Killarney have won gold medals at the Virgin Media Business Gold Medal Awards. Now in its 33rd year, the awards the best of the best in the […]

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Three hotels in Killarney have won gold medals at the Virgin Media Business Gold Medal Awards.

Now in its 33rd year, the awards the best of the best in the hotel and catering sectors across the country.

This year, judges received over 460 entries from 150 hotels, guest houses, country houses, restaurants, cafés, bars and catering companies from around Ireland.

“An important factor in the Gold Medal Awards is the credibility and impartial nature of the judging process. Every property that undergoes this process is subject to benchmarking against a strict set of criteria and a blind site inspection conducted by the judging panel,” said an event organiser.

“This panel comprises respected industry experts from across the hospitality, culinary and catering sectors.”

Three Killarney hotels took top awards in different categories at the awards ceremony held at the Galmont Hotel and Spa in Galway on Tuesday night.

The Great Southern Hotel was named as the best Business and Conference Hotel in Ireland.

“To be recognised among the greatest hotels in Ireland is a marvellous achievement for Great Southern. It is fantastic news and has provided all our staff with a little morale boost. Our Business & Conference partners and customers are extremely important to us with some relationships in place annually for over 30 years. Receiving this recognition for the service we provide is a fantastic achievement and testament to the incredible work of our outstanding staff,” said Michael Jacobi Managing Director said.

The best front of house team award went the staff at the Aghadoe Heights Hotel and Spa.

In the Hotel Casual Dining Experience category the Dunloe Hotel and Gardens came out on top.

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