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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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The tax you’re really paying for your health

By Brian Foley from Activate Fitness With the budget just squared away, there’s always an air of “how did I do out of it?” In Ireland, we enjoy a public healthcare system which is touted to become a universal healthcare system. Maybe “enjoy” is the wrong word. We have it, and we use it, and, […]

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By Brian Foley from Activate Fitness

With the budget just squared away, there’s always an air of “how did I do out of it?”

In Ireland, we enjoy a public healthcare system which is touted to become a universal healthcare system. Maybe “enjoy” is the wrong word.

We have it, and we use it, and, of course we pay for it. We justify the constant ratcheting-up of our tax burden to pay for rising health-care costs. That tax is on our wallets.

We also pay another type of tax: When we’re unhealthy, we don’t get to do the things we like. When we’re overweight, we don’t always say “YES!” when our kids ask to go to the swimming pool.
When we’re unfit, we don’t take our buddy’s invitation for a weekend hiking and camping trip. We can’t start jogging because our knees hurt; can’t lift weights because our back hurts; can’t cut down calories because we feel we need the energy.

Those things are taxes. Physical taxes, but they’re not the worst taxes we pay.

The worst tax we pay is the mental tax.

When we’re self-conscious about our fitness or health, we don’t want to start exercising. We don’t want to look dumb or fail.

We don’t want to start a new lifestyle because our families will say “good for you”, because they know we need it, or they’ll say “you don’t need that …” and lie. Or they’ll roll their eyes because they know we’ve failed before.

When we’ve been away from the gym for four months, we don’t want to do that first workout because we’re going to be last. It’s going to suck and we might get embarrassed.

SELF IMPOSED TAX

The Government makes us pay financial tax, but the other two – physical and mental – are self-imposed.

No one cares if you’re slow.

No one cares if you finish last.

No one cares if you blow your nutrition this week and have to start all over again.

You’d stop caring about what others thought about you if you realised how rarely they actually do.

Everyone thinks about themselves, mostly. That’s the tax they’re paying – and most of us overpay.

We’re taxed enough. Stop worrying about what you look like and start caring about what makes you feel good.

If you’d like to start taking steps in the right direction with your health and fitness, call in for a free consultation with us at Activate. Visit www.activate.ie/free-intro for more information.

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Tractor run raises €500 for charity

By Sean Moriarty Members of Killarney Valley Vintage and Classic Club raised €500 for the Kerry Mental Health Association during their first tractor run since April 2019. 30 tractors took part on Sunday including two rare Ford 3000s from 1974 and an even rarer Zetor Crystal from 1980. Departing from the club’s new ‘Vintage Shed’ […]

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By Sean Moriarty

Members of Killarney Valley Vintage and Classic Club raised €500 for the Kerry Mental Health Association during their first tractor run since April 2019.

30 tractors took part on Sunday including two rare Ford 3000s from 1974 and an even rarer Zetor Crystal from 1980.

Departing from the club’s new ‘Vintage Shed’ on Lewis Road, the convoy travelled to the communications mast near Coolick in Kilcummin, where participants enjoyed views of the wider Castleisland district and Killarney Valley.

“Some of the drivers were never up there before and they were amazed with the views across the two valleys,” organiser Tom Leslie told the Killarney Advertiser.

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