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Return of town councils in Kerry back on the cards if FF Bill is passed

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Killarney Town Hall.

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A NEW Bill would give power back to local communities, according to Kerry Fianna Fáil TD John Brassil. Deputy Brassil said the return of Killarney and Tralee Town Councils, and potentially Listowel, will be on the cards if the Dáil votes to support a new Bill from his party that is currently before the Dáil.

Deputy Brassil made the prediction as Fianna Fáil put forward The Local Government (Establishment of Town Councils Commission) Bill 2017 which aims to re-establish town councils in every county across Ireland.

The Dáil is set to debate a Fianna Fáil Bill which aims to re-establish town councils in every county across Ireland.

“Back in 2014, the last Fine Gael and Labour government made the short sighted and destructive decision to abolish all 80 town councils in the country, including councils in Tralee, Killarney and Listowel,” said Deputy Brassil.

“Our Bill will create a Commission under the Local Government Act to review the geographical distribution of proposed town councils. This Commission will also examine their powers and how they are financed. The purpose of this is to provide a sound, fair basis to further legislative for the re-establishment of town councils.

“The fundamental purpose of the Bill is to empower local communities by enabling towns across Ireland to have a strong voice to fight their corner.

“Fine Gael took a slash and burn approach to local democracy. Abolishing town councils has left many urban areas without a voice. It resulted in paltry savings and instead robbed people of local representation and deprived towns of having a council dedicated solely to fighting their corner. Its replacement, the Municipal District system, has clearly left towns at a disadvantage.

“Even the Labour Party, which was part of the Government that dissolved town councils, has now recognised what a mistake it was to abolish them. This Bill will ensure a new system is set up to give power back to those communities.

"Instead of simply re-storing the old system which had a number of flaws it aims to establish a fair mechanism and clear powers for a new town council structure.

“Centralising power in Dublin is not the best way to run the country. The Local Government reforms of 2014 left Ireland with the weakest system of local Government in Europe. We need local solutions to local problems. A new town council system, with real powers and resources, will help us achieve that.

“I hope to engage with the new Minister for Local Government John Paul Phelan to make sure the Government lives up to its commitments by taking real action to give power back to local communities. The Bill sets out a strict timeframe that will have the new structures up and running by the next local elections which are due to be held in May 2019.

The Kerry D added: "I am calling on the Government and all other parties to support this important piece of legislation so that local communities can be empowered in the decision making process.”

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Killarney postcode V93 home to the county’s most-expensive properties

With properties both for rent and for sale in short supply, prices in the Killarney area have remained strong. In fact, houses with the V93 eircode were, once again, the […]

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With properties both for rent and for sale in short supply, prices in the Killarney area have remained strong.

In fact, houses with the V93 eircode were, once again, the most expensive homes in Kerry over the past 12 months according to data published by the CSO Residential Property Price Index. The report shows that in the year to December 2023, the average cost of buying a home in Kerry was €242,000 up 5% from the previous year’s figure of €230,000
Nationally that figure now stands at €327,000.
The average house price within the V93 eircode region was €284,000, 17% approx. above the average price for a home within the county.
With supply levels at an all time low and with very little new construction in the pipeline, there is little sign of this changing in the immediate term.

Commenting on the market, Ted Healy of DNG, has expressed concern with the low volume of properties available for sale at present.
‘We have lots of interested buyers seeking property in the Killarney area but unfortunately, we cannot satisfy the demand at present. The past 12 months has seen us securing sales in record time for record levels.”

DNG Ted Healy will be launching a new development of townhouses in the Woodlawn area to the market in the coming months and report that demand is exceptionally high.
The expect these properties to sell out in record time.
And with construction due to commence shortly on another scheme of detached houses on Muckross Road, it is looking like a busy year ahead.
However, this will not be enough to satisfy the demand at present. Properties within the V93 area are highly sought after and in very short supply, resulting in strong prices being achieved.
So is now a good time to sell your property? Yes, according to DNG Ted Healy who is actively seeking properties for sale to satisfy their ever expanding list of buyers.

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500,000 coffee cups prevented from going to landfill in Killarney

The team behind Killarney’s ban on single-use cups is launching an adult education programme later this year. Since its inception in July last year (up to December 31), 506,000 cups […]

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The team behind Killarney’s ban on single-use cups is launching an adult education programme later this year.

Since its inception in July last year (up to December 31), 506,000 cups have been prevented from going to landfill or becoming litter in Killarney National Park.
Additionally, the scheme has saved 872,413 litres of water and 279 trees.
The decision to ban single-use cups was underpinned by complaints that some of Killarney’s most visited beauty spots were being polluted and studies of clean-ups in the National Park revealed that one of the most common forms of waste recovered was single-use coffee cups.
With this in mind, the team behind the project, in conjunction with the Munster Technology University, will launch an adult education programme.
Late last year secondary school students attended a series of workshops in Killarney House hosted by the Killarney Coffee Cup project.
The session began with the task of matching the common items of litter to the time it takes for them to decompose.
The items ranged from crisp packets, banana skins and single-use coffee cups. The aim of this activity was to highlight the importance of minimising waste and litter, to protect the unique Biosphere Reserve that is Killarney National Park.
The plan now is to roll out a series of workshops aimed at adults with support from the National Parks and Wildlife Service.
“This is still in the very early stages,” said project lead Louise Byrne who is also the Sustainability Manager at The Killarney Park and The Ross hotels. “Why should we care?”
Byrne cited a recent article by The Guardian newspaper in Britain.
“The entire lifecycle of disposable cups, from raw material extraction to production and transportation, requires significant energy, contributing to environmental degradation. The slow decomposition of disposable cups, especially those with plastic linings, can lead to the release of microplastics into the environment and on the off chance that your disposable cup winds up in waste bound for incineration, that process can release pollutants into the air,” said a report on coffee cup waste by the Kent School of Business and published in the London newspaper.
Byrne believes there is still far too much litter, including coffee cups, ending up disposed of in the National Park and this is one of the key drivers behind the new adult education programme.
Meanwhile the scheme won two more awards this week. Eco Hero group at the Outsider Magazine gave the scheme its Eco Hero award and the scheme won the Green Transformation Award at the Green Awards.

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