That Footbridge on Barrack Street to Get a Killarney MD Airing

Building Bridges: Independent candidate, Charlie Farrelly (left) and Cllr. Bobby O’Connell (FG) at the recent retirement party for Sgt. John O’Mahony. ©Photograph: John Reidy

The next meeting of the Killarney Municipal District will be held at the Town Hall in Killarney on this Wednesday, March 6th at 10am.

Of the almost 80 questions being put down by councillors, only one pertains to Castleisland and that’s by Cllr. Bobby O’Connell.

Footbridge on Barrack Street

Under the heading: Operations, Safety and Infrastructure, it reads:  1. Cllr. B. O’Connell asked: That Kerry County Council provide a footbridge and footpath at the bridge at Barrack Street, Castleisland.

Close political observers in the Castleisland area will know that this is one of the issues which independent Kerry County Council candidate, Charlie Farrelly has been on about since he launched his campaign at the turn of the new year.

New Line Bridge

Which ever political camp you’re in – and it’s great if you’re one or the other – it is clear that a footbridge like the one upstream at Church Street or New Line Bridge.

Maybe it’s because we’re galloping towards the May 24th election I’ve been encountering a lot of disquiet about the chaotic state of traffic on Church Street recently.

One-Way Ring Road

There was a proposal a few years ago to make a one-way ‘ring road’ by linking up Church Street and Barrack Street. Maybe the merits – and there are many – of the proposal should be looked at again for the safety of all.

Cllr. Bobby O’Connell and then Cllr. Danny Healy Rae found themselves on opposite sides of that spat with the former willing to put the proposal on a trial basis and the latter in favour of leaving it as it was – and still is.

Increasing Pressure on Barrack Street

The residents of Barrack Street are under increasing pressure by the volumes of two-way traffic there and Church Street has been described as ‘a nightmare which could be ended by a one-way system.’

The proposed foot-bridge on Barrack Street – which was the old road or Cork line out of Castleisland – would add a huge safety bonus for the parents and toddlers who use the local playground at Tonbwee on a daily basis. Certainly, the footbridge inside the Church Street bridge is a gift to the many Castleisland Community College students who use it several times daily and for shoppers on foot to and from Garvey’s SuperValu.

A Satisfactory Answer

But anyway, Castleisland will get just Cllr. O’Connell’s question put to the Killarney MD area meeting on Wednesday.

Will it get an answer, never mind a satisfactory answer – that’s the question.

I can see a joint ribbon cutting ceremony on the new footbridge by the old Barrack Street Bridge sometime after May 25th when all the counting is done.

Provided, of course, that the two men in question get elected.

It will make a great year for sport: Cheltenham, Aintree and the local elections – all within a couple of months of each other.

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