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‘Safe Streets’ to be extended until Easter

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By Sean Moriarty

The ‘Safe Streets’ programme and concurrent road closures in Killarney town centre are set to continue until at least next Easter.

Safe Streets was introduced by Killarney Municipal Council in July to allow ‘social distancing’ on the town’s streets as part of an effort to reopen the town following the first COVID-19 lockdown.
It was further extended in September to allow for an anticipated strong footfall and an increase in visitor numbers before and after Christmas.

The ‘Safe Streets’ plan includes the permanent pedestrianisation of Plunkett St and Kenmare Place and the widening of several town centre footpaths and the cost of about 50 car parking spaces.
The plan divided the elected members of Killarney Municipal Council with some claiming it is a covert attempt to introduce full-time pedestrianisation to the town without a proper public consultation. Others say the plan enhances the town centre and helps promote the town as a tourist destination.
This is outside of a long-running row on the previous arrangement to pedestrianise Plunkett St from 7pm to 7am every day.

At Wednesday’s Killarney Municipal Council, town manager Angela McAllen revealed that the ‘Safe Streets’ programme will be extended for another four months to include the double Bank Holiday Easter Weekend which falls on April 3 to April 5 next year.
“Why four months? Easter is a very busy part of the year for Killarney,” she told the meeting. “This can be reviewed in the event that we don’t need it.”

In a move different to previous ‘Safe Streets’ closures, KMD will be inviting submissions from the public. An invitation to participate in the public consultation will be published in the Killarney Advertiser in early December where members of the public will find details on how to submit their own proposals for the ‘Safe Streets’ programme.

Public consultation welcomed

The public consultation process has been welcomed by Cllr Maura Healy-Rae.
She raised a motion at Wednesday’s meeting asking Kerry County Council to liaise with town centre retailers, but particularly Plunkett St traders ahead of a future extension of the ‘Safe Streets’ programme.
“It was like a foreign tourist destination there during the summer, and I am not talking about the positive connotations of a tourist resort,” she told the meeting. “We need to look at it so it doesn’t favour one type of business over another.” KMD confirmed that the public would be invited to make submissions.

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NPWS survey to find out impact of fires

By Michelle Crean The National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) has commissioned a comprehensive survey on the impact of fires over the past four decades – in particular Killarney National Park in April. The tender, worth €300,000, and named ‘Study on the Impact of Fires On The Biodiversity of Killarney National Park’, seeks to find […]

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By Michelle Crean

The National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) has commissioned a comprehensive survey on the impact of fires over the past four decades – in particular Killarney National Park in April.

The tender, worth €300,000, and named ‘Study on the Impact of Fires On The Biodiversity of Killarney National Park’, seeks to find out the biological impacts of the fires in the 26,000 acre park.

The fires in April burned from Friday night on April 23 until around 12pm the following Monday when they were finally brought under control.

Parts of the Park were scorched resulting in flora and fauna being wiped out. Some fires came as close as 10 metres to a church and school in the Black Valley area.

Fires raged near Tomies Wood and fire crews from five different districts quenched fires near the properties under threat. A real threat was for The Oak Woods but fire fighters managed to avert danger.

The fire is believed to have begun on the Kenmare Road area escalated by the strong winds.

“The purpose of this tender is to commission a comprehensive survey of the impacts, and the chrono-sequence of fire recovery or otherwise, on lands burned over the past four decades, as well as surveys in unburned areas, in order to assess the biological impacts of the fires, in particular the fire of April 2021, on the biodiversity of Killarney National Park,” an NPWS spokesperson told the Killarney Advertiser.

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Killarney spin will bring comfort to patients

By Michelle Crean Ahead of this year’s ladies only 54321 Challenge a number of spinathons are taking place, including in Killarney town. Sunday, August 15 a group of 10 ladies plan a spinathon day in Killarney ahead of their four day epic adventure from Thursday, August 19 to Sunday 22. This year due to COVID […]

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By Michelle Crean

Ahead of this year’s ladies only 54321 Challenge a number of spinathons are taking place, including in Killarney town.

Sunday, August 15 a group of 10 ladies plan a spinathon day in Killarney ahead of their four day epic adventure from Thursday, August 19 to Sunday 22.

This year due to COVID restrictions the 54321 team will run with two teams of five people, all female – who are raising funds for one single charity – Comfort for Chemo Kerry.

Their four day challenge will include a cycle the Ring of Kerry on day one (Thursday 19), a climb up Carrantuohil on day two (Friday 20), a cycle from Killarney to the foot of Cnoc Na Tobair and then climb Cnoc Na Tobair on day three (Saturday 21) finishing off with a cycle of the Skellig Ring on day four (Sunday 22).

In advance of the ninth annual challenge they will first participate in the spinathons at various locations to help raise much needed funds for this year’s chosen charity.

The first of the spinathons will take place on Saturday, July 31 in Listowel, Killorglin, Dingle, Cahersiveen. On the day volunteers will take to the spinning bikes from 10am to 5pm in different locations around these towns.
This will be followed by Killarney on Sunday, August 15, and Tralee on Saturday, August 28.

When choosing this year’s charity, organisers contacted a past participant and a dear friend, Mairead Dunphy from Glencar who is currently on her own journey with cancer.

“We wanted to show our support to Mairead and knowing that she would like to support those who have supported her on her journey so far, she had already being looking at ideas to raise much needed funds for Comfort for Chemo Kerry,” TJ O’Connor said.

“Please support Comfort for Chemo Kerry by giving what you can.”

For more information about the spinathons go to www.54321challenge.org or the Comfort for Chemo Kerry Facebook page for online donation information.

There’s also a GoFundMe page: ‘Comfort for Chemo Kerry – 54321 Challenge 2021’ which has a €20,000 target set up.

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