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Council defends decision to back Killarney and Dingle for Fáilte Ireland funding

Apr 21, 2021 13:04 By radiokerrynews
Council defends decision to back Killarney and Dingle for Fáilte Ireland funding Council defends decision to back Killarney and Dingle for Fáilte Ireland funding
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Kerry County Council has defended its decision to submit funding applications for a Fáilte Ireland scheme just for sites in Killarney and Dingle.

At the recent meeting of Kerry County Council, a number of councillors expressed frustration that submissions for other towns and villages in the county were not made.

The council intends to propose Kenmare Place in Killarney and the boat yard site, near the waterfront in Dingle for the outdoor dining scheme.

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If granted, funding will be used to upgrade streets and public spaces and implement weather-proofing to facilitate year-round outdoor dining.

Chief Executive of Kerry County Council, Moira Murrell, outlined that this scheme is only eligible for year-round tourism areas, and that eligibility is based on footfall.

She added it's not about bringing tourists to an area, but managing tourists outdoors in areas they will already go.

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Sinn Féin councillor Robert Beasley said he cannot express the frustration and anger felt in towns and villages along the Wild Atlantic Way that they had been overlooked for the scheme.

He said towns like Listowel, which are struggling, should be considered.

Fellow North Kerry councillor Aoife Thornton agreed with these sentiments.

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She said people flocked to the seaside last year and will do again this year, meaning the council could make a good case for those areas based on footfall.

Cllr Jimmy Moloney, also from the Listowel Municipal District, added the scheme was short-sighted and flawed.

Cllr Brendan Cronin from the Killarney MD replied that it's not true that other towns and villages were forgotten, as cafes, restaurants and hotels in other parts of Kerry can still apply for a separate Fáilte Ireland grant.

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Cllr Cronin added that he felt there were more locations in Killarney, aside from Kenmare Place, that are suitable for the scheme.

He requested a special meeting for Killarney Municipal District councillors and manager to talk through the criteria for this scheme.

In response to all councillors who spoke on the issue, Moira Murrell again emphasised applications have to be based on criteria and the council must simply try to get money into the county.

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She said we must support each other regardless of where in Kerry the funding is allocated.

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