Anger as roadworks hit tourist season

Plans to carry out roadworks in Killarney at the height of the busy tourist season are leading to objections in the Co Kerry town.

Local Independent councillor Niall O’Callaghan said he could not understand why such works could not be done at “quieter times” of the year.

“It makes absolutely no sense to be digging up roads when traffic is at its heaviest. We should be making it as easy as possible for people to get around, rather than doing the opposite.”

Kerry County Council is planning to replace the water main on St Margaret’s Rd later this month and in early August.

“We might as well wait until the Munster [football] final to dig the road up. Best of luck with the phone calls,” Cllr O’Callaghan told council management.

However, Killarney Town Council manager John Breen said there was only a limited time when allocations for such works could be drawn down and work had to be completed within that period. “That time period could be five, or six months and we have to avail of it.”

Concerns were also raised about plans to resurface the Muckross road in Killarney in September. The road contains numerous hotels and guesthouses and is the principal route to Killarney National Park. Killarney Town Council is to ask the county council to defer the works until October.

It was also decided to write to relevant government departments asking for special consideration for tourist areas in regard to the timing of road works.

However, there was a warning from former Killarney mayor Sean Counihan, about any failure to avail of finance when it was due to be spent.

“There are many other places which would only be too glad to spend the money,” he said.

“There’s no guarantee the money will come back to us if we don’t spend it at the specified time. It could be lost to us.”

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