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Water rescue service receives funding for additional radios

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By Michelle Crean

The role of volunteers and the emergency personnel for a local water rescue service will become a lot stronger thanks to funding for additional equipment.

Killarney Water Rescue has purchased five additional VFH radios after receiving funding from Kerry County Council via the COVID-19 Community Support Fund.

The new equipment will also allow teams to separate into smaller groups to cover a large area when preforming their own operations or when assisting emergency services, such as Killarney Fire Service during the wildfires in April which devastated the National Park.

"This funding is vital for the club, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic as our fundraising efforts have been greatly affected," Michael MacSweeney, PR Officer, told the Killarney Advertiser.

Club History

Killarney Water Rescue was established in 1995 following the disappearance of a local man in the Lakes of Killarney. At the time, there was no water rescue service in the Killarney area, which includes several lakes and waterways.

Boyne Fishermen’s Rescue, who are based in Drogheda, were invited to help with the search for the man alongside many local fishermen. Following his recovery, it was decided to establish Killarney Water Rescue for the purpose of assisting in such searches and bring closure to the families.

Since 1995 the club has grown in strength and skill and is no longer only working in the Killarney area.

"The club has been called out to searches in areas as far away as Armagh and has not restricted itself to freshwater operations as we also conduct searches in the sea and coastal areas," he said.

Killarney Water Rescue is an entirely voluntary based service and operates 24/7, 365 days a year and supports other clubs and services such as Kerry Mountain Rescue, Boyne Fishermen’s Rescue, Irish Underwater Search and Recovery Council, National Parks and Wildlife Service, and the Irish Coast Guard.

"We are also a declared resource of Kerry County Council and An Garda Síochána. We are always looking for new members, no matter how little experience they have and would encourage anyone who may be interested in joining to contact us. Visit www.killarneywaterrescue.ie or find us on Facebook!"

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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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