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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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Relegation battle has town divided

By Sean Moriarty This is bigger than the county final itself – with the main prize on offer being bragging rights in the town. After an unprecedented run of events during this year’s Kerry Senior Football championship Killarney’s two biggest clubs, Dr Crokes and Killarney Legion are set to face off in a relegation battle […]

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By Sean Moriarty

This is bigger than the county final itself – with the main prize on offer being bragging rights in the town.

After an unprecedented run of events during this year’s Kerry Senior Football championship Killarney’s two biggest clubs, Dr Crokes and Killarney Legion are set to face off in a relegation battle that is sure to divide the town.

In sporting terms, the outcome of the big game, set for December 5, is simple enough. The winner stays in the Senior Championship next season and the losers will have to play in the Intermediate Championship.

Fans of the black and amber or the green and white face an anxious week. Winning the county title is one thing – consigning your cross town rivals to second division football in football is altogether a bigger prize.

Senior officials from both clubs are being very guarded on a potential outcome as both sides know the significance of this play off.

“It is a pity that two Killarney clubs, with a long tradition of playing football in the top tier, find themselves in the position of having to play off to avoid relegation,” Matt O’Neill, Cathaoirleach of Dr Crokes, told the Killarney Advertiser.

“Both teams will fight tooth and nail to stay in the senior ranks. I am confident that on Sunday week our lads will do themselves and the club proud, as always, and give their all in the quest to keep the black and amber to the fore.”

Crokes are based off the Lewis Road with Legion a short distance away on the other side of the bypass.

“Everyone has an opinion on this,” Legion PRO, Elaine O’Donoghue, told the Killarney Advertiser. “Both sides will be nervous – may the best team win. There are a lot of questions, are the Crokes suffering after defeat to Kerins O’Rahillys [in the semi-final]? Are our lads suffering after losing to St Brendan’s for the third year in a row?”

Every football fan will be keeping a close eye on next weekend’s Intermediate County Final too which takes place on December 4.

The winners of the match between Beaufort and Tralee side Na Gael will be automatically promoted to replace the losers of the Killarney play-off in the Senior Championship next season.

Should Beaufort prevail, a (relatively) local team could replace a town team in the top flight.

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Handball off the wall in Killarney

By Con Dennehy The popularity of handball as one of the fastest growing sports in Kerry is set to continue in the East Kerry region with the continued development of Spa/Killarney Handball Club. On Monday night the progressive club hosts a Beginners and Advanced League at their magnificent indoor facility located at the Spa GAA grounds […]

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By Con Dennehy

The popularity of handball as one of the fastest growing sports in Kerry is set to continue in the East Kerry region with the continued development of Spa/Killarney Handball Club.

On Monday night the progressive club hosts a Beginners and Advanced League at their magnificent indoor facility located at the Spa GAA grounds in Killarney. The club boasts two state-of-the-art indoor handball walls which were designed and built by local player and sportsman Mike Casey. It was opened in May 2018.

“On Monday night the games will tip off at 7pm with 11 players in the Advanced League and seven in the Beginners League. The format of the competition will see quarter finals in the first round progressing to overall winners on the night. It promises to be a great night of exciting handball and we welcome spectators,” said Eoin O’Donoghue, secretary of the club.

Competitors taking part in the Beginners League are Sheila Kelliher, Elena O’Donoghue, Niamh Faulds, Rosin King, Brid Horgan, Neill Horgan and Sinead Moriarty.

Players signed up for the Advanced League include Aoife Walsh, John Daniel Cronin, Eoin O’Donoghue, Kieran O’Brien, Brendan O’Donoghue, Michael Clifford, Evan Enright, Eoghan Daly, Brian McEvoy, Jerry Cronin and Maggie Quirke.

One player set to receive a warm welcome will be Brendan O’Donoghue. At the 2019 All-Ireland Hardball championships in Mayo, Brendan became the first Spa/Killarney man to win an All-Ireland Handball medal. He achieved this unique and much publicised honour in the highly ranked Master’s 55 B final.

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