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No end in sight in Plunkett St row

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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.

 

 

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Ian makes his debut as a radio presenter

By Sean Moriarty Ian O’Connell said he is delighted with the messages of support following his first broadcast as a presenter on Radio Kerry this week. The well-known and popular Killarney man was left with life-changing injuries after falling from his bike in Killarney National Park in 2017. Since the accident he has been a […]

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By Sean Moriarty

Ian O’Connell said he is delighted with the messages of support following his first broadcast as a presenter on Radio Kerry this week.

The well-known and popular Killarney man was left with life-changing injuries after falling from his bike in Killarney National Park in 2017.

Since the accident he has been a champion for the less fortunate under his mantra: “If you can’t stand up – standout”.

This was the inspiration behind his brand new radio show which aired for the first time on Wednesday evening.

‘Stand Out with Ian O’Connell’ will feature interviews with people who have overcome great adversary to reach even greater heights.

His first guest was fellow Killarney man Jordan Lee. The Paralympian represented Ireland in the Tokyo Olympics this summer.

“I was used to being in the studio from people interviewing me, but this time I turned the table,” he told the Killarney Advertiser.

“It was great to have Jordan on, two Killarney men! I really enjoyed it, it got a massive reaction and I got loads of emails and messages afterwards and into Thursday morning.”

Ian will reveal his guest for the show on the previous Monday through various social media channels.

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Sinead is queen of the court

By Con Dennehy With a mix of excitement, drama and impressive solo performances on offer, the Spa/Killarney Handball Tournament on Monday night showcased the best of upcoming talent in the sport. Competitions for Beginners and Advanced players at the magnificent Spa GAA facility has ensured the long term success of the sport in the greater […]

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By Con Dennehy

With a mix of excitement, drama and impressive solo performances on offer, the Spa/Killarney Handball Tournament on Monday night showcased the best of upcoming talent in the sport.

Competitions for Beginners and Advanced players at the magnificent Spa GAA facility has ensured the long term success of the sport in the greater Killarney region.

One of the most impressive performances on the night was in the Beginners Category where local star Sinead Moriarty secured a number of electrifying victories to win the overall title.

“This was a very competitive competition. In the opening games Neill Horgan was defeated by Rosin King from Glenbeigh 13-15 with Sinead Moriarty getting the better of exchanges with Bríd Horgan (Spa) 15-8. In the other game Niamh Faulds from Glenflesk lost to Elena O’Donoghue (Spa) 15-10 despite a very brave effort from Niamh,” said Eoin O’Donoghue, secretary of Spa Killarney Handball Club.

In the semi-finals Sheila Kelliher lost to Elena O’Donoghue (Spa) 15-11 with Sinead Moriarty defeating Rosin King 15-12.

“In a pulsating final Sinead saw off the dogged challenge of Elena O’Donoghue 15-11. While Sinead dominated this game, she looked in control and played a brilliant tournament throughout and was a deserving overall winner.”

In the Advanced category there were wins for Evan Enright and Eoin O’Donoghue in the opening games.

In the quarter finals Even Enright saw off the challenge of Brendan O’Donoghue 15-8 while Eoghan Daly defeated Eoin O’Donoghue 15-11, Aoife Walsh (Currow) defeated Maggie Quirke (Glenbeigh) 15-7 and Brian McEvoy beat Michael Clifford 15-6.

Semi-final success for Evan Enright and Eoghan Daly saw them battle it out in a pulsating final with Daly taking the title on a 15-12 scoreline.

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