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KERRY'S EYE THIS WEEK - Published Thursday 29th January, 2015

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The Headlines from Kerry's Eye this week

NEWS

 

Month of disruption on Tralee-Killarney train

Passengers travelling by train between Tralee and Killarney could face weeks of delays and disruptions due to essential engineering works on the line, Irish Rail have announced.

The works will take place between 10am and 4pm from Monday to Thursday, beginning next Monday, February 2nd and continuing until Thursday, February 26th.

Longer disruptions will take place over Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Works will begin at 10am on Tuesday mornings and continue straight through until 4pm Wednesday evenings.

Early morning trains will not be affected by the works, according to Irish Rail.

There will be 34 bus transfers running per week for the duration of the works, the company said, with buses expected to depart Casement Station in Tralee as per normal train times.

However, Irish Rail warned that there may be some delays to services.

Andrew Roche, business development manager with Iarnród Éireann, is advising people to contact their local station or call Iarnród Éireann to check their depart time.

“We aren’t expecting many delays as the buses will be there to take people to Killarney.

“We will have normal services running at the weekends and outside the other hours. We will have minimal disruption,” he said.

Trains travelling from Killarney outside the county will not be affected.

 

Mountain

warning

after dramatic rescue

The dangers posed by lethal climbing conditions following heavy snowfalls in the Reeks mountains was highlighted last Saturday by a helicopter rescue of three climbers.

by Breda Joy

Six members of Kerry Mountain Rescue Team were airlifted by the Shannon Coast Guard helicopter onto the summit of Carrauntoohil to rescue two men and a woman who were trapped in an extremely steep and demanding ascent route called Curve Gulley.

In the wake of the rescue, which took place in very demanding conditions, KMRT has repeated its warnings to inexperienced climbers to avoid the mountains in snow and to experienced climers to equip themselves with ice axes and crampons.

“In thaw cycles, the snow becomes more compact and slippier,” Alan Wallace said.

“There is a Met forecast for quite a lot more snow. We  are anxious to reiterate our safety message to climbers to be prepared.”

The team has warned of hard packed snow in all gullies on the Reeks, particularly around Carrauntoohil, and ice along exposed ridges.

 

Woman was ambushed

in park by

Kilcummin man

A Kilcummin man who ambushed a woman walking her dog during an attempted robbery in a Dublin park was this week ordered to pay €8,000 in compensation to his victim.

Damien Fleming (28), who is now living in Cork,  grabbed the woman from behind but fled when she managed to get free.

He was caught as he made his getaway and handed over to gardaí by three passers-by, Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard.

Gardaí later found a carpet knife in his pocket but the court heard this was not produced during the incident.

He later told gardaí that he was in the middle of a drinking binge and that he was trying to get money from the woman, but that he then changed his mind.

Judge Martin Nolan imposed a suspended sentence of three years and ordered Fleming to pay over €8,000 to the victim.

He said that if the victim rejects the compensation he will decide where it goes.

Fleming pleaded guilty to attempted robbery at Herbert Park in Ballsbridge on November 4th, 2013.

 

TK Maxx

set to lift

Killarney

The expected opening in Killarney of the popular clothing outlet TK Maxx this summer will set the tourist town’s economy on a new high.

Negotiations between TK Maxx and a local business firm, MD O’Shea and Sons, are understood to be at an advanced stage. If successful, the deal will represent a major boost for the tourist town’s retail sector and its jobseekers.

The property which the shop developers is close to finalising a deal on is a major new extension under construction to the rear of the former MD O’Shea shop on Main Street.

Confirming that the negotiations were advancing, a source said, “They have to cross the Is and dot the Ts still.”

The two-storey building is an estimated 7,000 sq ft. It is roofed and interior work is expected to to be completed by June.

 

 

Third attack on business causes outrage in community

Criminals targeted an elderly business owner for the third time in three months at the weekend - leaving him in a state of shock and prompting locals to demand the return of a full-time garda to help keep their village safe.

The community in Ardfert is backing calls for increased garda presence after yet another break-in at the small grocery owned by 74-year-old Jimmy Collins in the centre of the village.

In the latest attack last Thursday evening between 5.30pm and 7pm, thieves made off with up to €900 worth of cigarettes after breaking the machine and smashing up the shop on Church Street.

They also ransacked the adjoining house, which left Mr Collins distressed and shaken after he made the discovery.

The incident - described by locals as a scene of total destruction - is being investigated by gardaí, but has left Jimmy heartbroken, according to his nephew Justin Horgan.

“Jimmy is still very, very shocked and devastated,” Justin said. “They tore the place asunder and that really shook him up.

“We’ve now had to put in a new security door, CCTV, secure fencing and an alarm.”

Justin and members of the community who rallied to help Jimmy this week said that rural Ireland is being forgotten by decisions made at garda headquarters.

Read the full story in Kerry's Eye or log on to the digital edition

 

Tralee woman wins electric car for year

Tralee woman Ciara O’Callaghan is all set to drive into the future - behind the wheel of one of the most modern cars on the road - after winning the Grand Prize in our massive 40th Anniversary Giveaway Competition.

Ciara will spend the next year driving the all-electric Nissan Leaf, after her name was chosen from over 9,000 entries in the big competition.

Ciara (31), from Clash Cross in Tralee, was thrilled when she received the call telling her the good news.

“I’m delighted and really looking forward to having the car. I can’t believe my luck. I found out I had won on Monday - it certainly wasn’t a blue Monday for me,” Ciara said.

Ciara decided to enter the competition weeks ago. She doesn’t often enter competitions and was shocked when she discovered she won.

“I was so shocked. I was actually speechless for once. I entered the competition well before Christmas and wasn’t expecting to win at all. I would rarely enter competitions. It was my mom that suggested I should enter so I did,” Ciara said.

The Tralee native is looking forward to parking up her Volkswagen Polo for the next year and plugging in the Leaf.

“I’ve been driving for almost seven years but I have never driven an automatic. I am a bit nervous - but I’m sure I’ll get the hang of it soon.

Read the full story in Kerry's Eye or log on to the digital edition

 

An Taisce under pressure as hundreds expected

for N86 demonstration

A massive campaign to pile pressure on An Taisce and the government and save the €65 million N86 road project is gathering pace, and hundreds are expected to attend a demonstration in support of the project next week.

The county’s top council official, Moira Murrell, along with Kerry Mayor, John Brassil, want a meeting with An Taisce in Dublin in a desperate bid to have them withdraw the High Court challenge now threatening the project - the biggest roads scheme in the county for decades.

An Taisce have secured  a date for a judicial review in March, claiming that An Bord Pleanála erred when it decided to grant planning  permission.

Meanwhile, An Taisce’s planning officer in Kerry, Catherine McMullen, distanced herself from the controversy this week and said while she was made aware of the legal challenge, the court battle was initiated by An Taisce’s head office in Dublin.

Read the full story in Kerry's Eye or log on to the digital edition

Fresh bid to lobby minister on

multi-million euro LNG project

The Mayors of Kerry and Tralee, John Brassil and Jim Finucane, have secured  a meeting  with Energy Minster, Alex While, in a last-ditch plea to get the Shannon LNG project off the ground in north Kerry.

by Aidan O’Connor

Eight years after the €1 billion gas project was first announced, at least €65 million has been spent by Shannon LNG - but the project still hasn’t gone to construction.

Shannon LNG wants to construct a €600m liquefied gas terminal and a €400m combined heat power plant.

The project has been stalled by a legal battle since 2011, and the company is fighting a change in policy relating to tariffs paid for interconnectors linking Ireland’s gas supplies to Britain.

LNG argues that they shouldn’t pay because they don’t intend to use them - they plan to ship gas to north Kerry from elsewhere around the world.

Read the full story in Kerry's Eye or log on to the digital edition

 

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Liebherr footballers eye All-Ireland title

Up to 3,000 supporters are expected in Killarney for the All-Ireland Inter-Firm Football final, which will star Liebherr Ireland and a side yet to be decided.

The factory’s side beat Portlaoise Prison Officers by 2-19 to 2-05 at the Crokes grounds last Saturday to book their final spot.

Buoyant employee numbers and a new influx of young recruits at the German-owed plant at Fossa are being credited with the strength of the firm’s football side.

“The set-up is the same as a GAA club,” secretary Mick Clifford said. “There is a new focus with young fellows coming in. There are over 750 employees. A new flock of young fellows are starting up.”

The Liebherr team has a panel of 27 players who all train with their own clubs because it would be logistically difficult to get them all together as a company team.

The team manager is Kieran O’Mahony - brother of Kerry footballer, Aidan O’Mahony. The captain is Luke Quinn of Dr Croke’s.

Kerry star Declan O’Sullivan, who joined Liebherrs last year, is the team’s former captain.

He is currently injured but the team is hopeful that he will have recovered in time for the final, also at the Croke’s facility in Killarney in February.

The team members are drawn from as far afield as Cullen, Kiskeam and Templenoe as well as Killarney, Fossa and Gneeveguilla.

Read the full story in Kerry's Eye or log on to the digital edition

 

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