Although a similar proposal was first mooted about 20 years ago, county council officials in Kerry are examining the likelihood of a public private partnership (PPS) initiative to ease traffic flow in Killarney.
Independent councillor Danny Healy-Rae has called for action “to alleviate the parking chaos”.
He said: “This is an ongoing problem and a lot more parking spaces must be provided for all the people coming to Killarney.”
Raising the issue at a council meeting, Mr Healy-Rae proposed the Department of Environment be asked to provide funding to develop underground and over-head floor parking in the current town centre facility, Glebe car park.
A council spokesman said consultants were being engaged to carry out a traffic management study in Killarney. The study will examine existing and future needs and the range of parking required. It will also provide details to calculate the cost benefit of a multi-storey car parking solution.
There had been warnings, previously at council meetings, that traffic congestion and a lack of parking spaces were turning visitors away from the top tourist retreat.
Cllr Niall Kelleher (FF) said cars were illegally parked as not enough spaces were available. The situation would become worse in 2016, he said, when Killarney House and Gardens — currently undergoing a €7m refurbishment — would be opened as a major attraction. The house, only a few minute’s walk from the town centre, will not have its own parking facilities.
Currently, there are almost 1,600 parking spaces in the town, including 433 available on streets. The council said it was continuing to seek additional land for parking.