Dingle's parking issues 'every bit as important' as Killarney's

Tadhg Evans

Parking in Dingle was again prominent at last Friday's South and West Municipal District meeting in Kenmare, with councillors Michael O'Shea, Seamus 'Cosaí' Mac Gearailt and Johnny Healy Rae all putting questions to the council about parking issues in the west Kerry town.

Councillor Healy-Rae said issues with parking in the town, famed for its attractiveness to tourists, "are every bit as important as the traffic jams in Killarney".

"I suppose the most important thing here…is the review of the parking bye-laws [in Dingle]. At the harbour you have paid parking; in the town, you don't. The town and the streets are choked. For the town to maintain its draw for people…this is of extreme importance."

Martin O'Donoghue said that the chamber in Dingle accepts, in principle, the need for a fully integrated car-parking plan. The Council said such a review will include plans to expand car-parking charges and proposes to carry out this review of parking bye-laws before the year's end.

Cllr Mac Gearailt enquired about progress on the plan to enhance and extend a car park by St Mary's Church on Green Street, which sets out to provide an additional 75 car spaces. The Council explained that it is in the final clauses of a long-term lease to extend the car park and that it is pursuing funding through grants from the Department of Rural and Community Development.

"The Council is also currently concluding a multi-annual lease of the parking area in front of Marglann an Daingean Teoranta to secure its continuing use as a public car park," the response continued. "Furthermore, we are continuing to make enquiries regarding securing additional cost-effective sites for car-parking."

Earlier in the meeting, Councillor Michael O'Shea explained that residents of Goat Street have requested designated parking by the old hospital over fears they will lose parking space during works on the Dingle Relief Road.

"The detailed design of the final layout associated with the junction of Phase Four of the Dingle Relief Road and Goat Street is currently being concluded," Engineer Padraic Teahan said. "Following completion of same, any requirement for the removal of parking spaces will be apparent, and alternative parking, if feasible, can be considered in the context of the junction design."

The extension of the footpath on the right on the way up to the hospital will also be examined, and Mr Teahan said the Council is open to informal discussions with those impacted by the works.