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Pedestrianisation continues to divide the town

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By Sean Moriarty and Tristan O’Donoguhe

Pedestrianisation of the town centre remains as divisive as ever following the results of several different surveys this week.

On Monday next most COVID-19 restrictions will be lifted in Ireland. However, this week Kerry County Council announced that the ‘Safe Streets’ project will continue until least December 31 this year.

This means Plunkett St will remain pedestrianised and footpaths in the town centre will retain their wider footprint.

This temporary measure has been in place since July 2020 to allow for “COVID-19 Town Centre Mobility Measures”.

Killarney Advertiser Survey

The Killarney Advertiser asked readers online "after nearly two years should the current pedestrianisation of Plunkett St (and associated projects) continue or should the town return to its pre-COVID-19 layout".

Some respondents (54.12%) want to keep the current layout while 45.88% want the town centre to return to its pre-pandemic layout.

Chamber Survey

Killarney Chamber of Tourism and Commerce published the results of its extensive ‘Killarney Sentiment Survey’ this week too.

The business body, through research agency Repucon, engaged with locals, business people and visitors through three different, but linked, surveys.

Analysing that research, it would appear the pedestrianisation of Plunkett Street and Main Street in Killarney has been a hit with 58.5% of businesses saying it was effective, 34.0% not agreeing, and 7.5% saying they don’t know.

In the community survey, 72.3% described the pedestrianisation of Plunkett Street as effective, 22.4% did not agree, and 5.3% said they don’t know while, in relation to Main Street, 56.9% of the community respondents thought pedestrianisation was effective, 37.1% didn’t agree, and 6.1% had no opinion.

Under a separate survey question 38.0% would be in favour of introducing pedestrianisation all year round, 36.5% said they would prefer to continue with the current level of car free zones, and 25.5% were in favour of removing it altogether.

In related matters, 55.9% of business responses were in favour of the decision to increase the width of footpaths in the town centre during the pandemic, 34.4% were against and 9.7% didn’t know.

In the community survey responses, 57.1% were in favour of wider pavements, 36.8% were opposed and 6.0% didn’t give an opinion.

For more on the extensive 'Killarney Sentiment Survey' turn to page 12.

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Retiring Garda Sergeant began career in Killarney

Antoinette Cunningham who retired last week from An Garda Síochána and the Association of Garda Sergeant’s and Inspector’s as their General Secretary started her career 33 years ago in Killarney. […]

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Antoinette Cunningham who retired last week from An Garda Síochána and the Association of Garda Sergeant’s and Inspector’s as their General Secretary started her career 33 years ago in Killarney.

Sergeant In charge at Killarney Garda Station Dermot O’Connell paid tribute to her achievements and her unrelenting commitment to improving the policing environment.

As a former Chairman, Secretary and delegate of the Kerry Branch, Sergeant Dermot O’Connell worked closely with Antoinette in AGSI for many years.

“Her support for members of the Association was second to none. Antoinette always pursued what was right and just. Her ability, knowledge and professionalism was acknowledged both internally and externally by other representative bodies and also professional bodies,” he said.

“When Antoinette arrived here at her first station, the late Jack McGrath was the Sergeant In Charge.”
“As many know Sergeant Jack McGrath frequently walked the beat. During this time Jack shared much of his experience with Antoinette who proved her ability as a competent Garda to Sergeant Jack McGrath. “
“Jack was very impressed by her ability even at that early stage, he always spoke highly of Antoinette and followed her career path with great interest.”

Antoinette subsequently transferred to Limerick (Roxboro Road and Mayorstone Garda Stations). As a Sergeant she moved to the Garda College and completed a Master’s Degree in Adult Learning and a BA in Training and Education.
In 2021 Antoinette was honoured by University Galway with an Alumni Award for her significant contribution in the field of policing.

She became the first female member to serve with the Association of Sergeants and Inspectors at Branch level, National Executive level, President, Deputy General Secretary and finally General Secretary.

“On behalf of the Kerry Branch of AGSI I wish Antoinette the very best in whatever the future holds for her and her family,” added Sergeant O’Connell.

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‘The Bumblebee1000’ Supercar event arriving in Killarney on Saturday

The ‘Bumblebee1000’ supercar run will arrive in Killarney around 5pm on Saturday. Around 40 supercars will leave Barberstown Castle in County Kildare on Saturday morning.After stops at Portlaoise Plaza (11am) […]

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The ‘Bumblebee1000’ supercar run will arrive in Killarney around 5pm on Saturday.

Around 40 supercars will leave Barberstown Castle in County Kildare on Saturday morning.
After stops at Portlaoise Plaza (11am) and Cashel Palace Hotel (1pm) the convoy will arrive the Europe Hotel and Resort at 5pm.
“’The Bumblebee1000’ is not just about horsepower and adrenaline rushes; it’s about making a difference. As participants roar through the countryside, they’ll also be driving towards a noble cause. This event is dedicated to raising awareness and funds for The Little Blues Heroes charity, supporting the children of the Little Blue Heroes, and making a positive impact on their lives,” said an event spokesperson.
“The Bumblebee1000” is not just a journey; it’s an experience that blends luxury, adventure, and philanthropy in a seamless fusion. Whether behind the wheel of a sleek supercar or a supporter cheering from the sidelines, everyone is invited to be part of this remarkable event.
The cars will depart the Europe Hotel and Resort at 10am on Sunday and will stop off at a charity cars and coffee event in Tarbert at 11am before finishing in Adare at around 2pm.

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