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Killarney worships at the altar of modern-day gods, money...

Clare
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Killarney worships at the altar of modern-day gods, money...

The Kingdom

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Killarney worships at the altar of modern-day gods

By: Donal Hickey

IF Killarney is so unpopular with tourists, how come millions of people from all over the world have continued to visit the resort over the past 250 years? And they’re still coming in large numbers, to the extent that there are now tourists in Killarney 365 days a year.

Tourist surveys and guidebooks criticise Killarney all the time, with the latest unfavourable finding coming from a survey conducted by a Kilkenny-based website, Do.Chara.com.

Killarney Mayor Tom Doherty has questioned the accuracy of this survey, given that it was carried over the internet.

We don’t know whether the 1,100 people who took part in the survey ever visited the places in Ireland they were commenting on, or if they were just depending on photographs, or hearsay.

There has been for many years a “knock Killarney” attitude which may arise from jealousy because of the perception that Killarney always seems to be doing well.

But, in spite of the critics, visitors are undeterred. They must be getting value for money and enjoying themselves in Killarney, seeing that they keep on coming. That’s not to say, however, that Killarney can afford to become complacent.

Cllr Michael Courtney has been involved in tourism for much of his life and he believes that what visitors say – especially when it’s negative – should always be noted.

He also made a point with which many people would agree – that Killarney town has suffered from overdevelopment in recent years.

“We’ve enough high-rise buildings, apartments and townhouses. A stage has been reached where you can no longer see the mountains from many parts of the town,” Cllr Courtney stated. Too late. The damage has been done. Kenmare and Dingle should be careful because they are heading down the same road.

In some ways, Killarney town has improved – floral window boxes, planting on roundabouts, more trees and the removal of plastic signage from buildings have all helped enhance its appearance.

But, some monstrosities of buildings have been erected in Killarney in recent years, out of character and out of scale with other buildings in the town.

Likewise with the old lanes which could have been tastefully restored for business and residential uses under the urban renewal scheme. Instead, the lanes have been suffocated by apartment blocks, some of which keep out the light.

Too many people are worshipping at the altar of the twin modern-day gods – money and development – which is not always in the best interest of public, or Killarney.

But, greed has taken over in some cases. Thank God for blessings like the National Park, which the cash-rich developers can’t touch.

Killarney Town Council should also review the whole planning scenario and visualise what the town should look like 10 to 20 year hence. A problem is, however, that the council is taking in big money in development levies – an incentive in itself to grant planning.

Meanwhile, it looks as if the council is at last prepared to tackle the vexed horse manure on the streets issue, which has been allowed drag on unresolved for far too long.

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Humptulips...
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1. Re: Killarney worships at the altar of modern-day gods, money...

Our horses wear diapers. :-). I went to Killarney not long ago. Others (Dub) frowned upon it. Oh how actually experiencing something can change the mind. I personally could take or leave the town, but the park is beautiful. Cheers.

Clare
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2. Re: Killarney worships at the altar of modern-day gods, money...

Ború

Is there anything that could be done to improve the town?

Limerick, Ireland
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3. Re: Killarney worships at the altar of modern-day gods, money...

Drummagh,

Ways of Improving Killarney Town....

1. More Sunshine, warmer weather

2. Clean the streets more

3. Stop the proliferation of Yellow (and other coloured) Houses in areas of outstanding natural beauty such as Black Valley and Carrauntwohill and on the Ring of Kerry

4. Limit building to the town confines - places such as Ross and Aghadoe have been ruined by large inappropriate developments

5. Open Muckross Post Office again.

Will add more as I think of them.

Humptulips...
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4. Re: Killarney worships at the altar of modern-day gods, money...

Bean gave good suggestions. I agree about the colors. Would I be right in thinking Dingle was one of the first to do that? At the time it was a novelty, was done to brighten up dreary overcast days and worked for there. Personal tastes vary greatly. In certain places I find the colors a bit tacky. It's hard to say how to improve Killarney. Some towns were lucky in their planning. Take Westport and the river for example. I mentioned earlier that I like Carlow. There's a nice fountain in the square. There's a market there on certain days. The hotel expanded the outdoor seating area, which is nice. Then you can venture to the other side of Dunnes and it's a different feeling with the tiny streets and little shops. I'm picturing Killarney around Main St. There are a couple of planters already. Maybe it could be up to individual owners to cheer it up with hanging baskets and such. I think the negativity is more toward the whole touristy thing rather than the town though. I heard more than once how we were going to holiday with the Americans. That's sort of true because of the convenience to the nearby peninsulas. I found alot more locals around than I expected really, and that was late June. You still see the little groups of locals gathered to share the gossip. I purposely stopped a couple of times to eavesdrop on the Kerry accent. Of course I was cool about it and pretended to be window shopping or something. Anyway, go to Killarney. You'll enjoy it.

Clare
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5. Re: Killarney worships at the altar of modern-day gods, money...

Bean & Ború

The dreaded yellow. It just screams at your eyes. Government legislation should ban it or would that send it underground?

Planning certainly needs to be tighten but the damage has been done. Aghadoe is an example of how not to do things.

During the 1980s the town sewage system was wholly inadequate and the Lough Leane was polluted with Killarney's waste. The lake was basically killing itself with algae. I'll leave to picture the scene.

The Kerry accent mmm...now that is a whole new post in its own right. I'm told I don't have one except when I'm angry!!

Any thoughts on the Tralee Road out of Killarney and the long mile of B&Bs? Should there be regulation or should the free market reign? Bungalowbliss springs to mind not that we're talking about bungalows here.

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6. Re: Killarney worships at the altar of modern-day gods, money...

Drummagh,

I'm not too concerned about the Killarney-Tralee Road. Its not pretty and at least there is a certain build-up of development there.

What really annoys me though, is finding the modern houses quite far up Carrauntwohill and Mangerton etc. Even deep into the Cumeenduff Valley there are modern, insensitive developments.

I don't know if you have read my piece on my visit last November, when I wrote about the proliferation of Hairdressers, Beauticians and Estate Agents in rural areas - a blight on the landscape.

Kerry County Council have done wonderful work on widening the roads and making them safer but the down side is now being able to see all these badly designed, insensitive and inappropriate buildings.

I'm going to end this - I could rant on for hours and ER is on very soon.

Talk Soon.

Clare
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7. Re: Killarney worships at the altar of modern-day gods, money...

Yeah love ER but we're just on You're a star at the moment

Mangerton I agree.

Didn't read your post but will do asap

God that Croatian doctor in ER

Humptulips...
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8. Re: Killarney worships at the altar of modern-day gods, money...

Drummagh- Just a quick note to say I heard John B had a great send off. His son was moving, and Brendan Grace was good at the church. Well, as good as he could be at the church. A funny one was from the week before. A couple of fellow characters brought him around the town. He went into a bar and ordered a joint. Typical. :-)

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9. Re: Killarney worships at the altar of modern-day gods, money...

Drummagh - by your comments on Mr Visnich or however you spell Goran's second name, I assume you are female!!

How come the local docs never match up to the standards of the ER ones???

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10. Re: Killarney worships at the altar of modern-day gods, money...

Ború

How did you know about the joint? I heard the same story, he smoked it too, allegedly. I was afraid to post that before.

Bean

Assume correctly.

I can only dream that the local doctor looked like Goran. MM... I wonder what ailment I'd suffer from ;->