Umbrella plan for Killarney blown off the agenda

It look as if visitors to one of our main tourist towns — notorious for the rain — will have to bring their wet own gear for some time to come.

Plans “to put a roof over Main St, Killarney’’, in the form of large portable umbrellas, have stalled since the abolition of the local town council in June.

The idea was to help tourists remain dry and to provide cover for musical and cultural events in the heart of Killarney. Annual rainfall in so-called Heaven’s Reflex is among the highest in Ireland and about twice the levels recorded on the east coast.

It had been hoped to have the umbrellas up in time for the 2014 season, but no funds are available at present, so another season is likely to pass with tourists and shoppers left to the mercy of the elements.

The matter got an airing at this week’s meeting of Killarney Municipal Authority after Independent councillor Michael Gleeson asked if the eagerly awaited umbrellas had been “blown off the agenda’’.

The former town council had agreed the proposal, he pointed out, and he was concerned about an apparent lack of progress.

He was told by officials the issued had slipped down the agenda in the process of changing from a town council to a municipal authority.

Municipal manager John Breen said details and specifications had previously been agreed with a specialist supplier, but the tender process had not been completed prior to the town council’s abolition.

Councillors clearly indicated that they still supported the project and asked that it be expedited.

With strong winds and rain and sleet falling outside the chamber, the meeting was told the umbrellas could withstand gusts of up to 60km/h, but would be closed in those conditions.

They would also be closed at night.

The cost was initially estimated at €50,000.


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