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Road closure angers business owners

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DIVERSION: Essential road works will close a portion of the Ring of Kerry road for two weeks.

 

By Sean Moriarty

Angry business owners this week say a move by Kerry County Council to close a portion of the Ring of Kerry road - just as the tourist season gets into full swing – will be detrimental to their business and put jobs at risk.

The Council have decided to close the N71 Ring of Kerry road between Torc Waterfall and the car park for Dinis Cottage from this Monday (June 24) until July 5 to facilitate emergency repairs to a section of the retaining wall and road at Dinis.

There has been widespread disbelief by the people of Killarney and the business community  following the announcement.

In recent weeks a stop-go traffic light system was in place to keep traffic away from the partially collapsed wall.

Contractors engaged will carry out the works at night “to minimise the duration of the road closure” according to a Kerry County Council statement.

A diversion will be in place via the N22 (Cork Road) and Kilgarvan (R569) and advisory signage will be erected.

One of the tourist businesses effected by the closure is the craft shop at Ladies View. Owner Raymond O’Shea said he understood the work has to be done but expressed disappointment at the timing. His business depends on passing trade and he also said staff would suffer too.

“Safety of the road users is paramount and it would be a lot worse if there was a tragic accident there or if the road collapsed fully and we were closed for six months or more,” he told the Killarney Advertiser. “We have no control over the works but it is going to affect business. We depend on passing trade and won’t have any during the works. We have a good team here, but they won’t get their full hours either during the works.”

The franchisee at Dinis Cottage, Denise O’Sullivan, said the closure will be detrimental to her business. She employs up to 12 people during peak hours, but has taken the decision to reduce her staff to just two people during the works.

Her business is further damaged as National Park staff have taken the extra decision to close the cycle path to the cottage. Cyclists observe a one-way system to access the cottage but with the return road via the N71 now closed it is not possible to allow cyclists start the route.

“It will be detrimental to my business,” she told the Killarney Advertiser. “I am not sure it is worth staying open for the two weeks. I will have to wait and see what happens. The timing of this is ridiculous and the info we have been getting is very limited. I found out on social media. The majority of my customers come from the car park which is closed and now they have cut off the access for the cyclists too.”

Access will be maintained from Killarney to Muckross House, Torc Waterfall and the ‘Cardiac Steps’ walkway.

Access to Ladies’ View and Moll’s Gap will be maintained from the Kenmare/Sneem side.  The only way to access the car park for Dinis Cottage from Killarney is to make the long journey via Kilgarvan and Kenmare.

“Kerry County Council, in consultation with the contractor, is endeavouring to minimise the duration of the road closure, in particular for local businesses, tourism operators and the upcoming Ring of Kerry Cycle which is scheduled to take place on Saturday, July 6,’ said a Council statement.

 

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Develop skills and improve employability

By Niamh Dwyer, Chairperson of the Kerry Branch of Guidance Counsellors Traineeships are developed and delivered on an ongoing basis by Education and Training Boards (ETBs) nationwide and are open to potential participants of all ages and backgrounds including school leavers, mature learners and those in or seeking employment. Developed in partnership with industry representatives […]

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By Niamh Dwyer, Chairperson of the Kerry Branch of Guidance Counsellors

Traineeships are developed and delivered on an ongoing basis by Education and Training Boards (ETBs) nationwide and are open to potential participants of all ages and backgrounds including school leavers, mature learners and those in or seeking employment.

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Second level or higher education students who are interested in participating in a Traineeship Programme should contact their local ETB, adult learners should contact the Adult Education Guidance Service through their local ETB, and jobseekers will be able to access information through their local Intreo Office or Local Employment Service. For those currently unemployed, a training allowance or income support may be available. You can check out the range of opportunities offered through Traineeships nationwide on www.fetchcourses.ie and more locally check out the www.kerrycollege.ie.

Niamh Dwyer is a Guidance Counsellor in Scoil Phobail Sliabh Luachra, Rathmore, and Chairperson of the Kerry Branch of Guidance Counsellors. She is also a Career Consultant – For details see www.mycareerplan.ie or follow @mycareerplan on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.

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KNOW YOUR RIGHTS: Return to work courses

Answer: Springboard+ provides free higher education courses for people who are unemployed (or were self-employed) and those looking to return to the workforce. Courses are offered in different areas including Information and Communications Technology (ICT), medical technologies, cybersecurity, sustainable energy and financial services. The courses range from certificate to master’s degree level – Levels 6 […]

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Answer: Springboard+ provides free higher education courses for people who are unemployed (or were self-employed) and those looking to return to the workforce.

Courses are offered in different areas including Information and Communications Technology (ICT), medical technologies, cybersecurity, sustainable energy and financial services.

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During COVID-19, you can find comprehensive integrated information online at citizensinformation.ie/covid19/ and you can get daily updates on what’s changed on Twitter at @citizensinfo. You can also get information and advice from:

Tralee on Tel: Call 0761 07 7860, Monday – Friday (10am-4pm)
The Citizens Information Phone Service: Call 0761 07 4000, Monday to Friday, 9am – 8pm
Our national call back service: Visit citizensinformation.ie/callback to request a phone call from an information officer

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