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New plans for New Street, Finan’s, Áras and car parks unveiled

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The Killarney Municipal District has unveiled a draft local area plan for the next six years and there are some interesting developments on the cards for the likes of New Street, St Finan’s and the Áras Phádraig. There are also plans in place to tackle the traffic and parking issues plaguing the town.

The plan has set out 20 objectives in total in the categories of Residential Development, Opportunity Sites/Regeneration, Arts, Heritage and Culture, and Roads/Infrastructure. A period of pre draft public consultation ran from December 8, 2016 to January 26, 2017 during which the public were invited to make submissions/observations.

It is hoped to facilitate the development of 685 residential units within the settlement boundary, and particular mention is made to New Street which has been identified as an area where residential regeneration is necessary.

“A residential regeneration area contains vacant properties that can be brought back into use as new homes,” the plan states. “It is proposed that any vacant commercial units within these predominant residential areas be converted to residential use.”

The disused St Finan’s Hospital and adjacent grounds have long been slated for redevelopment and this extensive draft plan also lays out aims for the iconic site. The goal, according to the Municipal District, is “to sustainably preserve and develop this large landmark building and associated brownfield site as a new mixed use urban area in order to ensure a sustainable urban extension to existing facilities and infrastructure.”

“Any future development will need to protect and enhance the existing character and views of the hospital building,” the plan continues. “The site has potential for significant mixed use development, including a cultural/tourist use.

“Development on the site should incorporate a strong social and community element which reflects the historic use of the site particularly with respect to improvements to the public realm and the development of civic amenity. In line with this 30% of the total site shall be set aside for social/community use.”

The old Áras Phádraig, located close to the town centre, has been another bone of contention for the people of Killarney for years and here at the Killarney Advertiser we have called for the redevelopment of the area as a civic plaza (see artist’s impression). Officials now say the aim for this site is to sustainably re-develop it as a mixed cultural/heritage/community use with associated car-parking provisions. We are pleased to hear that this is now the official plan and we look forward to seeing how the project progresses.

It’s no secret that traffic and parking are major problems in the town and the draft plan outlines a number of objectives to tackle these issues, such as implementing traffic management measures, providing bus set-down areas/shelters and bicycle parking, creating more cycle lanes and providing car parks at suitable locations on approach roads throughout the town.

The latter is likely to come as a bit of a surprise to locals, some of whom have expressed their view that additional parking is required in the town centre itself.

Kerry County Council has a statutory obligation to secure the implementation of the objectives of the Killarney Municipal District Local Area Plan. The plan itself can be viewed online in the planning section of the Kerry County Council website (www.kerrycoco.ie).

Submissions are currently being accepted and will be taken up until June 15. What do you think of the objectives outlined in the new plan? What are your ideas? Let us know via newsdesk@killarneyadvertiser.ie.

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Better late than never Christmas present for St Francis Special School

By Sean Moriarty St Francis Special School received a very late Christmas present this week – a specially adapted bike for the pupils to use. Husband and wife team Ciaran […]

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By Sean Moriarty

St Francis Special School received a very late Christmas present this week – a specially adapted bike for the pupils to use.

Husband and wife team Ciaran and Karen Dwyer, directors of Guerin Engineering and Pumps Ltd in Kilcummin, presented the special adapted bicycle to the staff and pupils at the Beaufort school on Tuesday.

After seeing an online request last December that the school needed the bike, they decided to gift one.

They contacted Glencar Medical, a Dublin-based firm that specialises in the supply of equipment to schools like St Francis, and ordered the bicycle.

However, nothing is straightforward in the current climate, Brexit, COVID and war all contributed to a delay in getting the bike to Ireland. Once it was in Dublin there were further delays in sourcing the special straps that St Francis’ children need to ride the bike safely.

It all came to a happy ending this week when the Dwyers were finally able to present their Christmas present to the school.

“We saw this request and we contacted the school and said we wanted to buy one, they told us where to get one, and we ordered it,” Karen told the Killarney Advertiser.

“We had it paid for by the end of the year but then it took three months to get it into the country. It took more time to import the specialist parts. The costs were increasing but we did not mind at all.”

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Jordan Lee to tell his story to the county’s schools

Paralympian Jordan Lee will share his experiences with schools all over Kerry. The Killarney man has embarked on a countywide tour ‘Jordan’s Drive’ in association with Kelliher’s Garage, a series […]

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Paralympian Jordan Lee will share his experiences with schools all over Kerry.

The Killarney man has embarked on a countywide tour ‘Jordan’s Drive’ in association with Kelliher’s Garage, a series of informal talks on his achievements and how he overcame his disability to reach the top of his chosen sport.

The 21-year-old was born with a foreshortened left arm known as amniotic band syndrome but has enjoyed a successful sports career which included representing Ireland at the Tokyo Olympics last summer.

Now he wants to share his story and inspire other students to follow their dreams.

His tour started last week at Colaiste na Sceilge in Cahersiveen and over the next few weeks, depending on his training schedule, will visit schools in Firies, Milltown, and Killarney.

“Don’t be afraid of people with disabilities or different backgrounds,” he said. “A few years ago there was only typical people in classrooms – you never came across people with disabilities or from various different countries. It is a lot more mixed now. I want to inspire people to treat everyone on the same level.”

‘Jordan’s Drive’ is made possible thanks to his role as a brand ambassador for Kelliher’s Garage, dealer principal, Tim Kelliher explained to the Killarney Advertiser.

“Having got to know Jordan so well over the last couple of years we have come to realise how much of an inspiration he is so we decided to ask him to hop into his Toyota CHR Hybrid and bring his story out into the highways and byways of the Kingdom,” he said.

“Headlined ‘Jordans Drive’ and organised by my marketing team headed by Yvonne McMahon they have travelled to many of the schools around Kerry from Cahersiveen to Beaufort, Killorglin and with other dates planned for Firies and Milltown to name but a few. He has spoken his many words of wisdom to the children who have been in awe of the journey and his achievements, and we at Kelliher’s Garage are delighted and proud to have him as our brand ambassador.”

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