A group of traders and residents in Killorglin are calling on Kerry County Council to consider partially pedestrianising the Square in Killorglin to help local business following the pandemic.
Several local businesses feel that this area, normally the location of the Puck Fair stand during the famous festival, is under-utilised and could serve as an outdoor dining and public-realm space in the town. It would also improve the appearance of the entrance to the town as traffic travels up the hill to Upper Bridge Street.
Brian Jones of Jone's Eurospar in Killorglin said, currently, traffic renders the Square unusable, but changes to traffic layout would provide a welcome space for the town.
"If Kerry County Council changed traffic flow, the footpaths could be extended and the Square size could be reduced with removable barriers. It would brighten up the place...In the last year, things have changed, and this could help businesses get back on their feet quickly," he said.
Donal 'Dodo' Sheahan of Francie Sheahan's bar said that such a suggestion has been made previously but was never progressed.
"It could be pedestrianised on the right-hand side with traffic coming up on the left, allowing it to turn right or left. Businesses in the Square could use it... Plans like this are happening everywhere. Dublin City Council has really pushed for it and Cork too. We would like the same," he said.
Former Sinn Féin Councillor Damian Quigg, a member of the Killorglin Access 4 All group, is also helping with the proposals, which he says will help local businesses but also help ensure Killorglin leads the way with access for everyone, including those with disabilities, by creating spaces such as a pedestrianised Square.
He said there are avenues for funding.
The Kerryman also understands that it is hoped to set up a traders organisation, like one which existed previously, to move projects like this forward.