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KERRY'S EYE THIS WEEK - Published Thursday 26th February, 2015

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The Headlines from Kerry's Eye this week

NEWS

 

 ‘Last chance saloon’ for

650-jobs project

The planned €1 billion LNG development in north Kerry will be abandoned by the end of the year unless the government and the EU proves its support within the  next few months.

The mayors of Kerry and Tralee and  County Council Chief Executive Moira Murell, held “a last chance saloon” meeting with Energy Minister Alex White and top government officials in Dublin last Thursday.

They warned the minister that investors are running out of patience and money, and the project - which has the potential to deliver hundreds of jobs - is at risk of being lost for good.

It is now feared that the companies behind the project are no longer willing to stay committed unless movement is made quickly on announcing tariffs, and help is given to secure EU funding.

Over the last nine years, developers Hess and Poten have invested €67m in the Shannon LNG plans - but legal battles and government inaction are keeping the project stalled.

Mayor  of Kerry John Brassil said the  project is in “the last chance saloon” and fears investors’ patience is running out.

 

 Up to 10,000 expected for Killarney protest

Killarney town centre and the town’s main tourist artery, Muckross Road, will be on lock-down for up to two hours this Saturday when traffic is restricted in response to the anti-austerity march to the national Labour Party Conference at the INEC.

The conference will attract over 1,000 people and is estimated to be worth about €500,000 to the local economy.

Gardaí and the protest organisers are predicting a peaceful protest. Estimates of the attendance at the march, which begins from the Market Cross at 12.30pm, vary from 2,000 to 10,000.

 

 

 ‘Ed cases’ line up for Sheeran tickets!

 

 

 

 

Wind, rain, cold - nothing was putting off die-hard fans of Ed Sheeran, who began queuing for tickets for his Croke Park concert on Wednesday, a full 19 hours before they were due to go on sale.

Tickets for one of the summer’s biggest concerts go on sale at Ticketmaster outlets across the country today at 9am and are expected to sell out in minutes.

So some local fans decided to make sure of their tickets, by lining up overnight outside the ticket office.

Special delivery,

just minutes from Tralee hospital

Baby Orlagh McCann made a dramatic and miraculous arrival into the world last Saturday - safely delivered by her mom in the front seat of her dad’s car, two minutes away from Kerry General Hospital .

The little girl just couldn’t wait to be born, and arrived weighing 6Ibs 13.5 ounces in the passenger seat of the green Toyota Corolla, as parents Stacey Heffernan (37), and dad Johnny McCann (37) raced towards the hospital at around 2.30pm.

The drama began 40 kilometres away in Abbeyfeale, when Stacey realised little Orlagh wasn’t going to wait any longer.

After an emergency stop for petrol, Stacey and Johnny hit the road to Tralee in spots - urgently flagging motorists and lorries drivers out of the way.

But just two minutes away from the hospital - near the Manor West Hotel - Orlagh arrived as a shocked Johnny kept on driving.

“The shock was overwhelming,” said Stacey, who is originally from Marian Park in Tralee.

“Mother Nature kicked in and she just began pushing herself out - I don’t know how Johnny kept driving!

“I knew she was crowning. I could feel the top of her head and with one last push she was out.”

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Not guilty plea in

hit-and-run case

Family and friends of the late Paud O'Leary (42) from Gneeveguilla arrived in court this week as the trial into his death opened before a jury at the circuit criminal court in Tralee.

The father-of-four was out training for the Ring of Kerry Charity Cycle on the morning of July 1st 2012, when he died from head and neck injuries received in a hit-and-run collision.

At Tralee Circuit Court on Wednesday, Shane Fitzgerald (23), Upper Knockeen, Knockduff, Meelin, Newmarket, pleaded not guilty to the charge of dangerous driving causing Mr O’Leary’s death.

A jury of seven men and five women were sworn in at Tralee Circuit Court for the trial, which is due to last up to three weeks and hear from up to 150 witnesses.

Opening the case, prosecutor Tom Rice said that Mr Fitzgerald , who denies the charge,was the registered official owner of a dark grey Toyota Land Cruiser, with an 07 D registration.

“The first important strand of the case involves tracing the movements of Mr Fitzgerald on the evening of June 30th and the early morning of July 1st 2012,” said Mr Rice.

“There will be evidence from persons who were working and out socialising with the accused. It is alleged the accused travelled from Newmarket and joined friends who were socialising in Killarney, and parked his vehicle at the Railway Station car park.”

The court heard that Mr Fitzgerald went into a number of licensed premises, including Scruffys, Danny Mann and the residents bar of the Eviston House Hotel, where he remained until 4.30am.

“You will see from CCTV alcohol being purchased and consumed, and the prosecution will show the effect of that level of alcohol,” Mr Rice said.

“It’s important to say there was no breathalyser involved that night.

“CCTV footage shows shortly after 4.30am, Mr Fitzgerald returned to his car and drove out Upper Park Road to Kilcummin and Annablatha and around 5.15 am passed a premises at Gattabawn, Rathmore.

“You can track the movements of his vehicle by CCTV and  draw your own conclusions,” he said.

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Vehicle that killed Paud did not remain at scene

The vehicle involved in the fatal accident that killed Paud O’Leary did not remain at the scene, but forensic evidence will show that debris found at the scene came from a Toyota Land Cruiser, the jury was told on Wednesday.

Shane Fitzgerald (23), Upper Knockeen, Knockduff, Meelin, Newmarket, denies dangerous driving causing the death of Mr O’Leary.

Paud O’Leary was a long distance cyclist and regularly got up at daybreak to go on long cycles. The night before his body was found he went to bed at 10pm and went for a cycle at some point in the morning.

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Brave manager foils takeaway robbery

The manager of a Milltown takeaway was threatened with a knife in an attempted robbery on Tuesday - but the would-be robber was scared off when he stood up to him with a knife of his own.

The incident occurred at Mr Kebab on Main Street, at around 4pm on Tuesday, when a young male with his face covered, brandished a large knife and demanded cash.

Manager Ali Afzal picked up a knife from behind the counter and frightened off the would-be robber before the incident escalated any further.

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Locals oppose waste processing plans

Plans by a private company to develop a waste processing plant between Killarney and Farranfore are being opposed by local residents who voiced their concerns at a consultation meeting this week.

Kerry Central Recycling Facility Ltd. owned by Sean Murphy of KWD, proposes to process 134,000 tonnes of ‘municipal and dry recyclable waste’ annually when fully operational.

Scart/Caherdean Concerned Residents are fearful, however, of the environmental implications for the owners of 45 houses located within a kilometre of the proposed site.

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Priest whips up interest with ‘risky’ 50 Shades sign

The Kerry priest whose controversial posters linking Lent to 50 Shades of Grey says he hopes and prays that priests will soon be able to marry and that women will be ordained in the catholic church.

Fr Kevin McNamara, a curate in Rathmore, said the catholic church is in dire need of a radical shake-up and that things need to be done differently if it is to  survive and grow.

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