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Planning permission granted for new Killarney Community Hospital

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By Sean Moriarty

Killarney’s much-awaited new community hospital has taken another step towards reality this week after Kerry County Council approved planning permission for the project.

Last October, Cork Kerry Community Healthcare lodged a planning application for a new 130-bed Community Nursing Unit.

The permit was granted this week, but it is unknown when construction might begin on account of the current restrictions put in place to fight COVID-19. In normal circumstances the development should be finished by the end of 2022, but with start dates now likely to be pushed out that date remains fluid.

This development, which will be built on the grounds of St Finan’s Hospital, will replace the current St Columbanus Home and the District Hospital's Short Stay Unit.

The development will include 130 en-suite bedrooms, including 30 rooms specifically for dementia patients.

A new entrance will be constructed at the Lewis Road-side of the site, which will also include overnight visitor accommodation, as well as a laundry and hair salon.

Existing farm buildings on St Finan’s site will be demolished to accommodate the new structure, but the hospital itself, which is a protected Victorian-era building, will not be subject to any works during this development.

Independent TD Danny Healy-Rae made several submissions to Dáil Eireann to get the project off the ground.

“I welcome this decision by KCC as it is the first step of a very important process in providing a new community hospital for the town of Killarney,” Deputy Healy-Rae told the Killarney Advertiser.

“I have been highlighting the need for this for a very long time, in fact, I was the first to ask for it at a HSE South Forum, also in KCC and the Dáil at every given opportunity.”

Mayor of Killarney, Cllr Michael Gleeson, a long-time campaigner for action on the redevelopment of the St Finan’s site, welcomed the planning decision but asked what will become of the old community hospital as there are concerns it could become derelict.

He is one of the Kerry representatives on the HSE South Forum and wants the HSE to confirm its intentions regarding the site. In November it was revealed that the site could be sold to private investors.

“I am very pleased that the application has been successful as per the planning application. I hope that the HSE will be in a position to proceed with the development in the relatively near future,” he told the Killarney Advertiser.

“At a HSE South meeting (on February 20) I asked if the HSE had any definite plans for the existing community hospital and St Columbanus Home. The reply stated that as of yet no plans had been formulated but that there would be consultation with other State agencies regarding their future."

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Ballycasheen junction to get upgraded this year

A long awaited solution to traffic problems where Ballycasheen Road meets the N22 Cork Road looks like finally being resolved this year. Late last year Transport Infrastructure Ireland allocated €1.2m to be spent on the section of road between the Park Road roundabout and Ballycasheen junction. “Technical Approval for the improvements, along this section which […]

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A long awaited solution to traffic problems where Ballycasheen Road meets the N22 Cork Road looks like finally being resolved this year.

Late last year Transport Infrastructure Ireland allocated €1.2m to be spent on the section of road between the Park Road roundabout and Ballycasheen junction.

“Technical Approval for the improvements, along this section which include Active Travel provision and Junction Improvements at Ballycasheen, is being sought from TII before commencing,” a council spokesperson confirmed. “The elected members will be briefed on the proposals ahead of the commencement of the statutory process in early 2022.”

The council official was responding to a request by Cllr John O’Donoghue who sought an update on progress being on a promised “more user friendly junction.”

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€2.3m funding for Kerry schools under Summer Works Programme

Minister for Education and Kerry TD Norma Foley has today (Monday) announced funding of €2.3 million for the approval of 24 projects across Kerry under the Department’s 2022 Summer Works Scheme. This funding is part of the overall package of €65m for a total of 497 projects around the country. “I am delighted to confirm […]

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Minister for Education and Kerry TD Norma Foley has today (Monday) announced funding of €2.3 million for the approval of 24 projects across Kerry under the Department’s 2022 Summer Works Scheme.

This funding is part of the overall package of €65m for a total of 497 projects around the country.

“I am delighted to confirm this significant tranche of funding which will provide further investment for schools in Kerry under the Summer Works Scheme,” Minister Foley said.

“School communities have shown great resilience, flexibility and leadership in adapting to the many challenges that arose over the course of the pandemic. This funding is a further endorsement of the excellence in education provided by schools across the county. I am announcing the Summer Works Scheme projects now so that schools have a good lead-in period to plan and deliver the projects in summer 2022,” she said.

“Today’s announcement follows on from the enhanced minor works funding which was delivered to schools a number of weeks ago.”

The projects for Kerry included in today’s announcement include Mechanical Works at Two Mile Community NS and Spa National School, Science Labs including Gas Works at Community College Killorglin and Castleisland Community College, as well as Roof Works at Scoil Phobail Sliabh Luachra. 

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