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Outdoor dining gets the green light

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By Michelle Crean

Plans for the addition of an outdoor dining area at Kenmare Place got the go ahead from councillors this week.

At Wednesday's Special Killarney MD Meeting held in the ANAM Cultural Centre, six councillors present voted for the project to go ahead despite some concerns over access for buses, the right of way at Brewery Lane, the separation of the public and private seating, clearing of rubbish from tables, and night-time enforcement.

The Fáilte Ireland Weatherproofing and Outdoor Dining Scheme costing €604,505 will include a 620 square-metre outdoor dining area consisting of paving, landscaping, and lighting, of which 210 square-metres will be a covered dining area, and it is hoped to be ready for March of April next year.

There will be a 700mm high boundary wall along the road edge with glass screening, as well as the provision of two bus set down bays on East Avenue and two 15 minute parking set down bays in front of Handy Stores.

During the public consultation process seven submissions were received including from An Garda Síochána who had concerns that the proposal would have an impact on traffic management in this location.

"This displacement of buses and delivery vehicles must be addressed in a tangible way to reduce any negative impact on East Avenue Road. Any obstruction on East Avenue Road will seriously impact the town centre and Muckross Road traffic flows."

In their response the Council said that they have "developed additional parking facilities in the town", that there is "adequate capacity to address the removal of eight parking spaces", and that "one dedicated bus set down area and one bus set down/loading bay are being provided along East Avenue Road".

Arrangements are also to be put in place for deliveries at College Square which is traditionally used, the Council said.

Accessibility

Cllr Brendan Cronin raised the issue of the accessibility to Brewery Lane in the case of emergencies and for pedestrian access.

In their response the Council said it will be maintained and the pergola changed to a moveable umbrella to facilitate access in an emergency.

Additional soft landscape is to be provided, a light natural colour in keeping with the surrounding area will be used to support the pergola structure. Appropriate lighting will also be provided.

Niall ‘Botty’ O’Callaghan voiced his concern about the addition of plants which he says could attract flies and bees while customers are eating outside.

“I’ve seen in it other places,” he said. "It looks really well but when you bring in the flowers, trees and we’re all for biodiversity, but when people are trying to eat their food it’s not going to be a comfortable area. It’s just something to take on board,” he said.

He added that the “big elephant in the room” for him is the issue of buses setting down outside hotels during the busy tourist season.

“This plan is great and I’m ok with it”, but added that it could be “creating a monster” when it comes to traffic and that “one space” provided in the area is not “going to be the answer”.

One solution he had was to use the OPW car park on Ross Road.

“As you go down the Ross Road on the right hand side you could get two to three buses in there.”

On the issue of outdoor seating, Cllr Donal Grady raised his concerns.

"It's very important for me to know where private and public seating will be, we don't want any rows," he said.

He was assured by town engineer John Ahern that seating, although it will not have different colours, "will be clearly identified".

In her report Angela McMahon said that the facility will "be subject to regular monitoring by the Council".

"The Council has provisionally engaged with local business on the management and upkeep of the facility. Dining space will be allocated to businesses on an annual basis. Any business which is allocated space in this outdoor dining area will be required to maintain their allocated space as well as the public dining tables."

The land will also revert back to the people of Killarney in the future when it is no longer in use.

Mr Ahern also confirmed that additional funding of €275k for the enhancement of various other areas of the town has been approved.

"We're in the process of drawing it down," he said, adding that there is a shortage of the supply of materials, but once sorted, work will begin.

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“I’m not fit enough”

How many of you have said or thought “I’m not fit enough” or even heard others say it? Quite frankly it grinds my gears. That mentality is going to hold you back. Change your “I’m not fit enough” to “I will get fit”. Break free from this limiting belief If you think you are not […]

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How many of you have said or thought “I’m not fit enough” or even heard others say it?

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Lack of street lights a concern

By Sean Moriarty Two roads in the wider Killarney area will not get any additional street lighting despite requests to install them by Cllr. John O’Donoghue. Mr O’Donoghue called on the council place extra lighting on the Muckross Road near the old Whitegates Hotel. “The area is considerably darker now and is presenting a serious danger […]

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By Sean Moriarty

Two roads in the wider Killarney area will not get any additional street lighting despite requests to install them by Cllr. John O’Donoghue.

Mr O’Donoghue called on the council place extra lighting on the Muckross Road near the old Whitegates Hotel.

“The area is considerably darker now and is presenting a serious danger to pedestrians crossing the road, particularly between Woodlawn Cross, and what was formerly the Whitegates Hotel,” he told a recent meeting of Killarney Municipal District.
The council said that the area was subject to a recent upgrade and that additional lighting would not be installed along this section of road on top of the 19 LED lights already placed there.”
“The lighting was installed, commissioned, light levels checked and provides adequate illumination to meet the relevant lighting design standards,” a council spokesperson told the meeting.
Mr O’Donoghue also called for a new street light to be placed on the junction where the L.3015 meets the slip road by Glenflesk National School: “to facilitate the safe passage of school children walking home during the Winter months.”
Kerry County Council reviewed the request but said: “This proposal would not comply with Kerry County Council’s Public Lighting Policy.”

COMMENT BY KILLARNEY ADVERTISER

While this Killarney Municipal District meeting took place hours before the horrific murder of Ashling Murphy in Tullamore, it drives home the importance that all our citizens are entitled to feel safe in their locality. The addition of a few extra street lights in the areas mentioned is not too much to ask.

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