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Showcasing Killarney to an influential audience

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For tourism industry professionals, the Skal President’s Dinner is the social highlight of the year, but was also a perfect opportunity to show the best of Killarney.

GALA: Melanie and John Hurley at the Skal President's Dinner on Saturday night. Photo: Alexandra Bozic

PRESIDENT'S DINNER: Caroline Hennigan Molly O'Mahony and Geraldine O'Mahony at the Skal President's Dinner. Photo: Alexandra Bozic

SCHOOL: The singers and dancers from St Brigid's Presentation Secondary School who performed at the Skal President's Dinner on Saturday night. Photo: Alexandra Bozic

The gala event in the Plaza Hotel on Saturday night was hosted by Kerry Skal President Michelle Rosney and she used the occasion to highlight the best of Killarney’s performing arts talent, cuisine and locally produced drinks.

There were special performances on the night by singers and dancers from St Brigid’s Presentation Secondary School, Killarney and the West End House School of Arts who brought The Liberator, Daniel O’Connell, back to life for one night only to deliver a passionate dramatisation of a famous speech.

Food served included local produce from the Killarney Urban Farm project on East Avenue Road.

The tipple of choice for the traditional after dinner toast was the Liberator Irish Whiskey supplied by Maurice and Francesca O’Connell of Wayward Irish Spirits based in Fossa.

On display on the night were the All-Ireland Junior and Intermediate trophies recently won by Fossa and Rathmore respectively, and although the Sam Maguire was unavoidably absent, Kerry Skal President Michelle Rosney promised guests that, all going according to plan, Sam would be on display in 2024, 2025 and 2026.

Skal is the largest international hospitality networking organisation in the world with 13,000 members in 308 clubs in almost 90 countries.

Special guests in attendance included Fáilte Ireland chairperson Paul Carty, Skal Ireland President Margaret Cahill, Skal Ireland Treasurer Francis Brennan, lifelong Skal member Dermot Cronin of Cork, Mayor of Killarney Cllr Niall Kelleher, MEP Seán Kelly, Kerry College and ETB Chairman Cllr Jim Finucane, Kerry branch of the Irish Hotels Federation Chairperson Bernadette Randles and Bishop of Kerry Ray Browne.

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One way traffic system mooted for St Oliver’s National School

The Killarney Advertiser understands that a one-way traffic management system will be introduced at St Oliver’s National School. The plan remains subject to confirmation by Kerry County Council and other […]

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The Killarney Advertiser understands that a one-way traffic management system will be introduced at St Oliver’s National School.

The plan remains subject to confirmation by Kerry County Council and other statutory bodie. It is  understood that the system will be trialled at the beginning of the new school year in September.

The area is subject to serious traffic congestion during school drop-off and pick-up times every day.

Over 650 pupils and 80 staff attend the school every day. New housing developments in the area have added to traffic congestion.

Cllr Martin Grady has being pushing for enhanced road safety measures at the school since his co-option to the council in September 2023.

“The issue has worsened in recent years with Woodlawn, Rookery Road and Ballycasheen having more domestic property developments which brings with it more road activity,” Grady told the Killarney Advertiser.

“I’ve seen first-hand several accidents occur when dropping and collecting my children from the school. It needs a safe solution by means of a drop off- pick up point or a traffic management system put in place.

“It is unfair on all stakeholders involved. I will keep working on this until results are achieved in the interest of everyone’s safety. “

The lack of urban school bus services, not just at St Oliver’s but at all schools is adding to Killarney’s traffic woes.

“I would like to see school bus services return for all students, in both urban and rural schools, this service was a massive loss, it would greatly reduce the volume of traffic on our roads and mitigate the risk of accidents and near misses,” added Cllr Grady.

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Planning rules “nonsensical in a housing crisis” Cllr Healy-Rae

A planning rule which prevents people from building houses on their own land next to major roads is being challenged by Cllr Maura Healy Rae. The current planning policy states […]

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A planning rule which prevents people from building houses on their own land next to major roads is being challenged by Cllr Maura Healy Rae.

The current planning policy states that any application house along national primary and national secondary roadways exiting from existing entrances will not be considered.
Healy-Rae says this problem is particularly acute in the Killarney Municipal District given the amount of national roadway surrounding the area with the N22, N71 and N72.
“It is nonsensical that where an individual is living at home and using an existing entrance, can’t be considered to build their own house and use existing entrance they are already using,” she told the Killarney Advertiser.
“How Transport Infrastructure Ireland can quantify this as additional traffic is preposterous. Given we are in a housing crisis, given all the challenges surrounding planning, given exorbitant house prices and the lack of affordable housing, it is ludicrous that this is a reason people are being refused planning.”
She called on Kerry County Council to write to the TII, the Minister for Transport and the Minister for Local Government requesting that the current blanket policy be lifted.
“It [the policy] has directly resulted in numerous planning applications being refused and even considered at the pre-planning stage,” she added.
Kerry TD Danny Healy-Rae has also raised the issue in Dáil Éireann.

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