Saying Céad Míle Fáilte to Pollinators and Visitors – In a Roundabout Way

Cllr. Bobby O’Connell at the Mick Galwey Roundabout in Dooneen on the Castleisland Bypass which is one of the three such local sites to be planted in the pollinators / visitor enhancement project. ©Photograph: John Reidy
One of the sections of the newly flattened median barrier posts bowing to the unveiling scenery of Kerry near the Mullaghmarkey Fly-over. ©Photograph: John Reidy

Even if the town of Castleisland itself has slipped off its ‘Gateway to Kerry’ status in recent years, its roundabouts have taken the associated caseload and volumes of traffic.

The late Garda Eugene Leonard and rugby players and Currow natives Moss Keane, RIP and Mick Galwey are all honoured at a junction each from Killarney Road to Dooneen on the Con Houlihan Bypass.

For Pollinators and Visitors

Enhancement work has been done on all of the roundabouts at various times since the bypass was opened in October 2010.

Now, Cllr. Bobby O’Connell feels it’s about time to inject an element of céad míle fáilte at the Gateway to Kerry to both our pollinators and our visitors.

This, he believes, is of interest not only to Castleisland itself but to the county as a whole.

Kerry Revealing its Charm

Cllr. O’Connell also believes that it’s here and on this stretch of the Castleisland bypass that Kerry begins to reveal its charms to its visitors.

It is on this stretch, after all, that motorists, beguiled by the vista before them, often collide with the median wire barrier posts which separate the fáilte and slán go foill sides of the bypass.

Bowing in a Post Accident Position

This is proven by the fact that the wire supports are almost always left bowing in a ‘post’ accident position towards the magnificent mountains and general scenery of the county.

Cllr. O’Connell said that the All-Ireland Pollinator Plan is managed by the National Biodiversity Data Centre and that both grants and guidance are available for this kind of enhancement work at such high profile locations.

Approach from Prominent Businesses

“There’s nothing stopping local businesses from getting involved in the project on any of the roundabouts here and a couple of prominent businesses in Castleisland have approached me with offers of support for the project,” said Cllr. O’Connell.

“This isn’t exactly a pilot project as the Heritage Council is involved and it has conducted similar projects in other counties – and very successfully just up the road in Limerick for example.

“Our roundabouts can make a statement about how we welcome our visitors to the county, how we look after our pollinators and our environment and about the state of the environment in Castleisland itself,” said Cllr. O’Connell.

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