By Sean Moriarty
Elected members of Killarney Municipal District remain divided on the subject of permanently pedestrianising Plunkett Street.
In March 2018 it was agreed by the then elected Council to permanently pedestrianise the street.
Some councillors see the move as a prelude to further pedestrianisation in the town, with Mayor Michael Gleeson saying: “Killarney is 40 years behind the times when you look at other European cities”.
However, opponents to the current situation, not to mind future plans, say it is having a detrimental effect on business and the current plans needs to be reversed.
The row is ongoing since the election of the new Council in May.
At the Council’s September meeting, a motion to have second public consultation was overruled. It was felt at the time that having a second consultation would delay further progress but there were also concerns that a full report being prepared by the officers of the Council was not made available to the meeting.
The report, prepared by officer Eileen O’Donoghue, was presented at this week’s district meeting. It was part of wide ranging report into traffic management and the development of the public realm in the town. It included proposals to develop the laneways off Killarney’s main streets, which in turn, would encourage more use of peripheral car parks which could potentially pave the way for further pedestrianisation in the town centre.
Ms O’Donoghue spoke to several businesses in the town centre and the Council received 89 submissions on the proposals.
The report stated: ‘The general consensus was positive towards night time pedestrianisation, and the atmosphere and vibrancy it created in the town’.
The report highlighted five observations; impact on traffic flows in the town centre, confusion regarding the operation of the scheme, the impact it had on businesses outside the scheme, delivery difficulties and aesthetics of the area.
It was this very part of the report that, surprisingly, united elected members’ opinion, but not for the reasons the Council had hoped for.
The unification occurred when councillors were voting on a proposal to create a pedestrian friendly zone between Casey’s Corner and College St which would extend the scope of the current zone.
Every councillor present was adamant the full details of the 89 observations should have been presented to the meeting and not just the five observations.
“I vehemently oppose any attempt to end night time pedestrianisation,” said Cllr Niall Kelleher. “But we can’t vote on five points out of 89 (submissions).”
Precedent in previous similar votes shows that all such missions are made available ahead of voting.
“We should be able to see all submissions in their entirety,” said Cllr Maura Healy Rae. “The five points are perceived by the Council. We, as members, need to have seen and read them before we make a decision.”
Cllr Donal Grady opposed Cronin’s motion but backed calls for the additional information to be made available.
“It is incomplete,” he said. “We don’t have all the submissions.”
Cllr Marie Moloney said the issue is not going away.
“I ask all submissions to be brought before us.”
Cllr Niall ‘Botty’ O’Callaghan, is against the current system on Plunkett St. His family run the Failte Hotel on College St. He was disappointed the motion went to debate stage without the 89 submissions being made available.
“I represent the businesses and make no secret my mother owns a business here,” he said. “But that was a waste of 45 minutes of my life. There has to be a plan and this is what I am saying all along. In four months-time this will be before the Council again.”
Every councillor praised the work and effort of Ms O’Donoghue in the preparation of the document.
She explained that difficulty in interviewing business owners on one topic could often lead to other issues coming up.
“In talking to businesses, 90 percent are happy with night time pedestrianisation, the concern is day time pedestrianisation,” she said.
Senior council officials confirmed to the meeting that the reason the 89 submissions were not made public were connected with GDPR concerns.
Develop skills and improve employability
By Niamh Dwyer, Chairperson of the Kerry Branch of Guidance Counsellors Traineeships are developed and delivered on an ongoing basis by Education and Training Boards (ETBs) nationwide and are open to potential participants of all ages and backgrounds including school leavers, mature learners and those in or seeking employment. Developed in partnership with industry representatives […]
By Niamh Dwyer, Chairperson of the Kerry Branch of Guidance Counsellors
Traineeships are developed and delivered on an ongoing basis by Education and Training Boards (ETBs) nationwide and are open to potential participants of all ages and backgrounds including school leavers, mature learners and those in or seeking employment.
Developed in partnership with industry representatives and employers, these programmes combine learning in the classroom with a minimum of 30 percent of learning on-the-job. The focus is on ‘learning on the go’ and developing perspectives that are in tune with the ever evolving world of work. They span across a range of industry sectors including business and retail, media, manufacturing, agriculture, horticulture and mariculture, care, construction, engineering, animal science, fashion and beauty, finance, ICT, hospitality, sports and leisure, and logistics.
At the core of the scheme is a strong collaboration with the ETBs in the provision of work-based learning opportunities on existing and new programmes. Traineeships lead to an award at Levels 4-6 on the National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ) and are between six to 24 months in duration. Over 75 programmes are available nationwide – although not all of them will be available nationally at all times – and the content, award and duration may vary. They are designed for flexible delivery to include online, face-to-face and blended learning.
Second level or higher education students who are interested in participating in a Traineeship Programme should contact their local ETB, adult learners should contact the Adult Education Guidance Service through their local ETB, and jobseekers will be able to access information through their local Intreo Office or Local Employment Service. For those currently unemployed, a training allowance or income support may be available. You can check out the range of opportunities offered through Traineeships nationwide on www.fetchcourses.ie and more locally check out the www.kerrycollege.ie.
Niamh Dwyer is a Guidance Counsellor in Scoil Phobail Sliabh Luachra, Rathmore, and Chairperson of the Kerry Branch of Guidance Counsellors. She is also a Career Consultant – For details see www.mycareerplan.ie or follow @mycareerplan on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.
KNOW YOUR RIGHTS: Return to work courses
Answer: Springboard+ provides free higher education courses for people who are unemployed (or were self-employed) and those looking to return to the workforce. Courses are offered in different areas including Information and Communications Technology (ICT), medical technologies, cybersecurity, sustainable energy and financial services. The courses range from certificate to master’s degree level – Levels 6 […]
Answer: Springboard+ provides free higher education courses for people who are unemployed (or were self-employed) and those looking to return to the workforce.
Courses are offered in different areas including Information and Communications Technology (ICT), medical technologies, cybersecurity, sustainable energy and financial services.
The courses range from certificate to master’s degree level – Levels 6 to 9 on the National Framework of Qualifications (NFQ). Most of the courses are part-time and last for one year or less, but there are some full-time courses.
You can access a free Springboard+ course, if you are getting a qualifying social welfare payment such as Jobseeker’s Allowance, Jobseeker’s Benefit or the COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP). You can get a full list of qualifying payments for Springboard+ on citizensinformation.ie
If you are not getting a qualifying social welfare payment, you will have to meet the residency criteria for Springboard+.
You can also apply for a Springboard+ course if:
* You are a qualified adult of working age (under 66) on someone else’s social welfare payment
* You are signing for social insurance credits
* You are on an employment support scheme such as Community Employment (CE) or TUS
To apply for a Springboard+ course, you choose the course(s) you are interested in on springboardcourses.ie and apply online, following the instructions on the website. You can apply for up to 10 courses, but you can only take one course.
If you are getting a social welfare payment, you should notify your Intreo Centre or local Social Welfare Branch Office and check what further steps (if any) you need to take.
If Springboard+ doesn’t meet your needs, there are several other ways to go back to education.
During COVID-19, you can find comprehensive integrated information online at citizensinformation.ie/covid19/ and you can get daily updates on what’s changed on Twitter at @citizensinfo. You can also get information and advice from:
Tralee on Tel: Call 0761 07 7860, Monday – Friday (10am-4pm)
The Citizens Information Phone Service: Call 0761 07 4000, Monday to Friday, 9am – 8pm
Our national call back service: Visit citizensinformation.ie/callback to request a phone call from an information officer
Develop skills and improve employability
By Niamh Dwyer, Chairperson of the Kerry Branch of Guidance Counsellors Traineeships are developed and delivered on an ongoing basis...
KNOW YOUR RIGHTS: Return to work courses
Answer: Springboard+ provides free higher education courses for people who are unemployed (or were self-employed) and those looking to return...
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