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Temporary ‘Safe Street’ measures extended until January

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Temporary ‘Safe Street’ measures extended until January

 

By Sean Moriarty

 

Kerry County Council is to extend the temporary pedestrian measures in the town centre until at least January next year.

The move, which is sure to anger some traders in the town, reverses a previous decision by the council to run the Safe Streets Programme until next week.

The plan, introduced in July, was designed to make Killarney’s streets safer for visitors and locals. Footpaths were widened and Plunkett St is closed to traffic 24 hours a day instead of its usual overnight closure. A section of Kenmare place is also sectioned off from traffic. The temporary measures were due to end on September 2.

The initial plan upset traders, it came at a cost of around 50 off street parking spaces and some councillors believe it’s a covert plan to introduce fulltime pedestrianisation to the town and without the correct consultation process.

Long-serving councillor, Donal O’Grady, has been particularly vocal on the situation.

Early this month he raised concerns that the footpath widening plan could have a detrimental effect on town centre business and that once the tourist season is over in September the centre will be empty of locals who have better parking options at out of town shopping centres.

Last week Kerry County Council told the Killarney Advertiser that the measures were temporary but within days of issuing that statement officials backtracked and announced the scheme’s extension.

“Following the introduction of the “Safe Streets Safe Town Plans” a commitment was given to carry out a review of the measures put in place to provide a safe environment, particularly for vulnerable road users, whilst supporting the reopening of business in the town. This Plan was developed in accordance with Government’s Roadmap for Reopening Society and Business and included the temporary closure of Strand Street in Dingle and Plunkett Street in Killarney," a council spokesperson told the Killarney Advertiser.

O’Grady is now seeking legal advice as he believes Kerry County Council and Killarney Municipal District do not have the powers to bring in such widespread changes in the town centre with a proper consultation process that involves input from elected councillors, traders and residents.

Meanwhile Mayor Brenda Cronin, a long-time supporter of pedestrianisation plans in the town centre has welcomed the move.

“In the fine evenings during the summer, as I walked from College St to Plunkett St, it was great to see the tables out on the streets and people enjoying themselves, “ he told the Killarney Advertiser. “Even New St was full of atmosphere, something we have not seen before.”

Killarney Municipal District cited several reasons to extended the duration of the Safe Streets Programme.

This includes a potential rise in COVID-19 cases, an increased footfall in the town centre through the months of July and August and an anticipated boom in Christmas shopping.

The council is also hopeful that the tourism season could be extended as people are restricted from overseas travel but the ‘staycation’ market is growing.

"The Council is committed to reviewing the overall Safe Streets Plans for the towns and villages of the county, taking into account the tourist season and the reopening of the schools," added the council spokesperson. " Additionally, the full measures identified in the Government’s Roadmap have not been implemented, with the public heath advice remaining for persons to maintain a two metre social distance from others, with additional requirements now imposed for restaurants/cafes and for vulnerable persons."

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New Patient Advocacy Service offering support to Kerry people

A newly established Patient Advocacy Service is offering support to people in the Kerry area who want to make a complaint about the care they have received in a public hospital. The service provides free, independent and confidential information and support to people making a formal complaint about their care in a Health Service Executive […]

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A newly established Patient Advocacy Service is offering support to people in the Kerry area who want to make a complaint about the care they have received in a public hospital.

The service provides free, independent and confidential information and support to people making a formal complaint about their care in a Health Service Executive (HSE) funded public acute hospital.

People in the Kerry area looking for support can contact the Patient Advocacy Service confidential helpline on 0818 293003 to speak to a trained advocate who will help them to get information on the HSE’s complaints investigation process, called ‘Your Service, Your Say’.

The professionally trained independent advocate will support and empower the person making the complaint, with the aim of highlighting their views and concerns.

The advocate will explain to the person how to write a formal complaint and what to include in it. They will also help the person prepare for meetings with the HSE about their complaint, and they will help the person explore their options following a response from the HSE to their complaint.

“Until now, people in Kerry and across Ireland who experienced difficulties in the Irish health service often felt there was nowhere for them to turn,” Service Manager for the Patient Advocacy Service, Claire Lehane, said.

GUIDANCE

“The newly established Patient Advocacy Service offers patients the guidance and information they need to make a complaint when they are unhappy with the care they receive. It is free, independent and run by our professionally trained patient advocates who will use their compassion and knowledge to guide people through the HSE complaints process.”

The helpline is open Monday to Friday from 10am until 4pm, including lunchtimes. You can also email info@patientadvocacyservice.ie or for more information see patientadvocacyservice.ie.

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New Kerry Dublin flight takes off

By Sean Moriarty The Kerry-Dublin air route returned to the skies for the first time in nearly seven weeks today (Wednesday). Budget airline Ryanair has taken over the route following the collapse of Stobart Air on June 12. At around 1pm, one of Ryanair’s Boeing 737-800 aircraft landed at the airport after completing its 50 minute […]

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By Sean Moriarty

The Kerry-Dublin air route returned to the skies for the first time in nearly seven weeks today (Wednesday).

Budget airline Ryanair has taken over the route following the collapse of Stobart Air on June 12.

At around 1pm, one of Ryanair’s Boeing 737-800 aircraft landed at the airport after completing its 50 minute journey for Dublin.

Less than 25 minutes later it was back in the sky again for its return journey to the capital.

The flight will operate once a day until September 1 when the frequency will increase to twice daily.

“We are happy to report a positive start to the service which has been absent since early June,” the airport’s CEO John Mulhern told the Killarney Advertiser. “Ryanair intends to operate the route once a day until the end of August and has committed to restoring a twice-daily service from September.”

The route is operated on a commercial basis by Ryanair. Since 2011, Aer Lingus, through its subsidiary Aer Lingus Regional or its partners Aer Arran and Stobart Air operated the flight as a Government support Public Service Obligation (PSO). Previously, between 2008 and 2011 Ryanair operated the route on a commercial basis but withdrew at short notice as it could not make it profitable.

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