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‘What they have done to the streets is an utter disgrace’

Several bars and restaurants have placed tables and chairs outside of their premises

FEARS have been voiced that unruly scenes like those witnessed on the streets of Killarney late on Saturday night will continue to occur unless a long-standing bye-law banning the consumption of alcohol in public areas is enforced.

Cllr Donal Grady said a law prohibiting the drinking in public areas was introduced by the former town council and, as it has never been rescinded, it should still stand and it must be implemented.

“The decision to allow bars and restaurants serving drink to put tables and chairs on the streets is to blame for what we are seeing now.

“Kerry County Council officials allowed it to happen and the local councillors were not consulted – somebody needs to tell the public that,” Cllr Grady told KillarneyToday.com.

Empty booze bottles and cans spotted on a main street in Killarney at the weekend

He said the former town council implemented the bye-law following repeated reports of people drinking in public and, as far as he is concerned, that law still stands.

“There are tables outside all over the place and people are drinking there but the elected councillors were not involved in that decision. Kerry County Council is to blame for it,” Cllr Grady said.

The council has allowed businesses to provide outdoor seating in a bid to ensure greater social distancing and safer areas during the Covid-19 crisis.

Cllr Donal Grady

Cllr Grady said he has no objections to offering support to business people during the pandemic but the situation has got out of hand and what is happening is in complete contravention of the legally introduced bye-law.

He said he has spoken to the gardaí about it but they are powerless to act because the council is giving people permission to put tables on the streets.

“Between tables and chairs and kerbing and bollards and footpaths Killarney has been destroyed. What they have done to the streets is an utter disgrace,” he said.

Cllr Grady said he has taken legal advice on the issue and he will raise the matter again at next week’s meeting of the local authority.

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