Council ain't budging on Plunkett Street

Sinead Kelleher

Cllr Niall 'Botty' O'Callaghan has strongly criticised Killarney Town Council management over their lack of a plan for 'pedestrianisation of Killarney' which he says is leading to traffic backlog and is detrimental to businesses on College Street.

He plans to  bring another motion before Killarney Municipal District seeking for Plunkett street to be re-opened to traffic after his proposal was refused at this week's meeting. 

However, council management have the final decision on whether or not to open the street.  

Cllr O'Callaghan had put down a motion this week seeking that Plunkett Street be re-opened to traffic at night-time but it was defeated with the casting vote by Mayor of Killarney, Cllr Michael Gleeson, who voted to retain the night-time pedestrianisation of the street. 

Currently Plunkett Street in Killarney is pedestrianised from 7pm to 7am daily.

A public consultation process took place on day time pedestrianisation plans earlier this year. Following this council management were to speak to the local businesses and compile a report on the effects of pedestrianisation. 

This was not completed for this month's Killarney Municipal District meeting because council management were unable to meet with all the businesses.  

Cllr O'Callaghan is adamant that pedestrianisation is not working. 

"There is no plan for the flow of traffic or for the flow of people. They put up a 'cow gate' at the end of Plunkett Street and people think the town ends there," he said.

"They have left the businesses in College Street down. I may be biased in a way but the businesses I spoke to all agree. This has not been thought through," he said. 

Cllr Callaghan said that he is not against pedestrianisation but wants the council to look at the situation properly. He said that he will bring another motion before the council executive. 

Cllr Donal Grady, who was not at this month's meeting, and is opposed to the night-time pedestrianisation, also had a motion before the council executive but this was deferred previously.

Cllr Niall Kelleher, who voted to retain the night-time pedestrianisation of Plunkett Street accepts that there are issues to be resolved but he said that night-time pedestrianisation has added to the town.

 He is however, opposed to day-time plans, which had been trialled and put out to public consultation.

However, the night-time pedestrianisation will remain in place.