By Michelle Crean
Killarney town is to implement a 'Safe Streets and Safe Destination Programmes' mobility plan as part of a major new countywide campaign to ensure that Kerry is a safe place to visit and stay as COVID-19 restrictions continue to be phased out over the coming weeks.
The goal is to make Kerry the safest and cleanest of destinations to visit and stay in and at a Killarney MD meeting yesterday (Thursday) at 2pm in Killarney Sports and Leisure Centre Town Manager Angela McAllen said that "all measures are temporary during what is still a pandemic".
The COVID-19 crisis has resulted in restrictions which have understandably created numerous challenges for retailers and businesses locally.
Kerry County Council is putting the measures in place to make town centres safe and welcoming for shoppers, local residents and staff, to support the wider return to commercial and economic activity as soon as possible.
Hub towns which include Killarney and Tralee, regional towns with significant commercial activity have been examined, so too have 14 district towns, whilst villages will be examined having regard to any site-specific risks, such as tourist attractions, which may have a significant footfall.
In Killarney, measures being put in place by the Council include a footpath width of approximately 2.5m to facilitate social distancing where there is a high level of footfall, significant level of vehicular traffic flow and increased potential for close contact.
Proposed interventions include signage and stencilling as appropriate in many areas, Plunkett St is to close full-time from July 8 to September 2, while parking on High St was a big concern at the meeting as it was proposed to remove a number of parking spaces and widen footpaths.
"We need to help business every way we can," Cllr Donal Grady said at the meeting. "A lot of people, as many as 25 percent, won't open their doors I am hearing. We are in deep deep trouble. We are totally dependent on tourism."
Niall 'Botty' O’Callaghan very passionately said that what is needed is “positivity”.
“We need to send out the message Killarney is the best value for money town in all of Europe. We are spoilt in this town for value, this is the best town in the world, with the most beautiful National Park. "Shop with your feet not with your finger," he said of need to counter online shopping.
As part of the ‘Safe Destination Programme’, which will ensure that those who begin to visit and holiday in Kerry again can do so in the knowledge that it is a safe place to visit and stay, there'll be a bespoke training programme for tourism and retail and a tourism marketing campaign to promote staycations in Kerry.
The bespoke training programme for staff in the tourism and retail industries in the county has been rolled out by Kerry County Council and the Kerry Education and Training Board (ETB). Over two thousand employees have already signed up for the training. It aims to ensure that Kerry tourism and retail staff are trained in infection prevention, hygiene and cleanliness and dealing with customers in the new environment to the highest international standards as they reopen for business.
Business premises whose staff have completed the suite of training courses will receive the ‘Safe Destination’ badge.
Chief Executive of Kerry County Council, Moira Murrell said that Kerry had always been an exemplar in tourism and was now meeting the challenge posed by the new and evolving restrictions to ensure Kerry can welcome visitors back to county with the firm reassurance that is it safe to do so.
"We want to reassure our visitors that they are safe in Kerry. We know that the tourism industry in Kerry is more impacted than any other in Ireland so that is why we are working to position the county to welcome visitors back to a destination which will implement and observe the highest standards of safety to restrict the spread of the coronavirus," she said.
Katie celebrates 20 years in business
If you enjoy what you do, sure it’s not work at all – and that has been the case for Katie Hickey who has been in business locally for two decades. For the past 20 years Katie has been successfully running Sheer Beauty which is now located at 1 Hogans Lane (Hillary’s Lane). She […]
If you enjoy what you do, sure it’s not work at all – and that has been the case for Katie Hickey who has been in business locally for two decades.
For the past 20 years Katie has been successfully running Sheer Beauty which is now located at 1 Hogans Lane (Hillary’s Lane).
She said that it was a milestone she felt she may not reach on more than one occasion after coming through a pandemic, a recession, a re-location, and three maternity leaves.
However, she said that the loyalty of her clients over the years have given her great encouragement.
“Sincere thanks to my clients past and present who, without doubt, have been the reason I kept going,” Katie said.
Originally located in Fleming’s Lane for 19 years, Katie then re-located her business to Hogan’s Lane in Norma’s Flair for Hair.
“The beauty industry has evolved so drastically over the past 20 years. For me it is keeping things simple and enjoyable. Realising a client’s needs may not be the treatment itself but the time you give to them. Through the years you get to know your clients so well and some beautiful friendships have developed. I hope my clients have gained from me what I have from them. I have so many people I would like to thank and I will personally, but without doubt my husband Andrew and my family, 20 years in business would not have been achieved.
“ She has remained loyal to the brands she has carried over the years including Lycon Waxing, Aviva Tanning, Shellac and Jessica Manicure and Pedicure.
“I was also delighted to bring on board the fabulous facial range that is Killarney Organic. Killarney has been incredibly kind to me. I’m so proud to be part of such a wonderful community. If the past 19 months have proved anything for business it is together we are stronger.”
County Board open to GAA museum proposals
By Sean Moriarty The Kerry County GAA Board said it would operate “an open door policy” for any plans to build a GAA museum in the county. There have been talks at a political level to build such a museum in Kerry with political rivals in Killarney and Tralee both pushing for it to be built […]
By Sean Moriarty
The Kerry County GAA Board said it would operate “an open door policy” for any plans to build a GAA museum in the county.
There have been talks at a political level to build such a museum in Kerry with political rivals in Killarney and Tralee both pushing for it to be built in their home town.
Before he retired from politics in April, Michael Gleeson was campaigning to build a GAA and cultural museum on the grounds of Fitzgerald Stadium.
His campaign goes back several years before the recession set in, with a €0.5 million bridging loan secured from Croke Park along with funding from Fáilte Ireland. That funding was lost with the onset of the recession before 2010.
Tim Murphy, the outgoing chairman of the Kerry County Board, has confirmed to the Killarney Advertiser that no approaches have been made to the County Board at executive level during his five year stint at the helm.
However, he said the Board would be open to such approaches provided there is sound financial planning behind the project in place.
“The first and most important aspect is the capital funding and my understanding is there needs to be Fáilte Ireland funding in place first,” he told the Killarney Advertiser. “If it gets up and running, there needs to be very clear talks with all stakeholders so everyone knows each others expectations. A museum attracts footfall, but it costs a lot of money to run. We would offer an open door policy to all proposals but funding, first from a capital point of view and then from an operational point of view, will need to be in place.”
Katie celebrates 20 years in business
If you enjoy what you do, sure it’s not work at all – and that has been the case for...
County Board open to GAA museum proposals
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