The ‘most wasted’ Square in Ireland?

FF Cllr Jimmy Moloney has described Listowel Town Square as one of the most wasted public amenity areas in the country, and called on Kerry County Council to begin formulating ideas and structures that would facilitate outdoor seating for businesses in 2021.

peaking at Monday’s meeting of the Listowel Municipal District, Cllr Moloney tabled the motion in the context of avoiding future situations whereby physical distancing due to covid-19 would continue beyond 2020.

He said that aside from the annual Listowel Race meeting and Revival Festival, Listowel Town Square is wasted as a car-park.

“I am urging that a plan be put in place in the Square that seating is available so they [businesses] can go about their business. At the moment its one of the most wasted Squares in Ireland,” Cllr Moloney said.

“If we’re in the same situation this time next year as we are now, we must avoid the nuclear option, and that seating will be provided outdoors. Businesses on the main streets don’t have the room, that’s why the Square needs to be used for restaurants,” he said.

In its reply, KCC said applications for street furniture may be submitted which will be assessed and accommodated where feasible.

The Business and Community Alliance and the Listowel Town Public Realm Plan are other avenues open to local businesses who may be considering outdoor furniture.

This also forms part of consideration under the Council’s Safe & Welcoming Streets Covid-19, and the Town Centre Mobility Plan for Listowel MD.

In a separate issue, Cllr Moloney also received cross-party support from councillors for criticising KCC’s placing of the parking bollards on Listowel’s streets as part of its ‘Safe and Welcoming Streets Covid-19’.

This plan sought to minimise footfall during the pandemic. But councillors called it overly bureaucratic and a ‘poor knee jerk’ reaction.

“What’s good for another town doesn’t mean it’s necessarily good for Listowel,” Cllr Moloney said. “ – News