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Pressure mounts on council regarding future of St Finan’s

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By Sean Moriarty

Elected officials from the Killarney Municipal District are puting Kerry County Council management under pressure to make decisions on the future of the St Finan’s Hospital site.

The old hospital – idle since 2012- and its surrounding gardens is currently owned by the Health Services Executive.

The HSE is to offer the property for sale on the private market – this was confirmed to the Killarney Advertiser last month.

Kerry County Council is in the process of buying 5.5 acres of the extended site which is part of the HSE land portfolio (and prior to the construction of the bypass part of the St Finian’s complex) but it is not part of the now separate St Finian’s site south of the By-pass.

The dynamics changed last week when Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien announced the “Housing for All” national homebuilding strategy.

One of the key recommendations of the plans is the release of state owned land for residential construction.

At Wednesday’s Killarney Municipal meeting, Cllr Niall Kelleher asked: “if there discussions with the Land Development Agency regarding acquiring land in Killarney?”

A council official replied: “All options regarding the availability and potential purchase of lands for Housing purposes in Killarney continue to be considered and pursued,”

Mr Kelleher told the meeting that this response was not good enough. Earlier he had said that Killarney is facing a housing problem and that there are ten people for every available rental property in the town.

The majority of the elected councillors agreed that the building needs to be acquired for homebuilding purposes and other uses. They called for the old hospital to be refurbished into apartments and in line with the new national plan.

Only Donal Grady opposed the move citing its former use as a mental hospital as a reason it should not be used for housing.

“A lot of bad things happened up there,” he said.

However all agreed that the building should not be allowed fall into disrepair like other buildings including the Aras Padraig and the Pretty Polly factory.

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Dan Tim to drive sheep over London bridge

London-based South Kerry man, Dan Tim O’Sullivan, will exercise his rights as a Freeman of the city by herding sheep over a London bridge on Sunday. Mr O’Sullivan from Kells, was awarded the Freedom of the City of London in 2019, in recognition for his work in the construction industry. He employs over one thousand […]

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London-based South Kerry man, Dan Tim O’Sullivan, will exercise his rights as a Freeman of the city by herding sheep over a London bridge on Sunday.

Mr O’Sullivan from Kells, was awarded the Freedom of the City of London in 2019, in recognition for his work in the construction industry.

He employs over one thousand people through his labour hire firm ‘Danny Sullivan and Sons’, and has employed countless Kerry people, many of them from his native South Kerry, since its foundation in the mid-1980s.

The Freedom of the City of London allows the bearer to herd one hundred sheep over the landmark Tower Bridge.

However, logistical issues and traffic management plans mean the number of sheep has been reduced to less than 10 and the event will now take place over nearby Southwark Bridge.

London-based news channels, including the BBC, are expected to cover the event while hundreds of his family and friends from South Kerry will be in London to witness the unique event.

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BIG CELEBRATION

Well-known Killarney man, Donncha Crowley, who lives in Woodlawn Park, was joined by his friends and staff from Centra, Muckross Road, to help him celebrate his very special 50th birthday on Saturday. Donncha is a keen cyclist, and well-known for his mastership of Suduko, and expertise on puzzles and general knowledge quizzes, winning many competitions […]

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Well-known Killarney man, Donncha Crowley, who lives in Woodlawn Park, was joined by his friends and staff from Centra, Muckross Road, to help him celebrate his very special 50th birthday on Saturday. Donncha is a keen cyclist, and well-known for his mastership of Suduko, and expertise on puzzles and general knowledge quizzes, winning many competitions down through the years. Photo: Valerie O’Sullivan

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