Council’s Plan To Develop ‘Landmark’ Entry Point To Town Celebrating Tralee’s Sporting History

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The vacant land opposite Austin Stack Park. Part of the wall from the original Tralee Athletics Grounds still stands there.

THE Council has applied for Government funding to develop a masterplan for the John Joe Sheehy Road area, which will include a ‘landmark’ entry point to the town centre which would celebrate the town’s sporting history.

Cllr Mikey Sheehy

Cllr Mikey Sheehy had a motion before the Council that they engage with the Kerry GAA regarding possibly adding murals of distinct Kerry GAA memories to the entrance walls of Austin Stack Park.

He said would provide a great entrance to both football fans and tourists alike entering Tralee through a main thoroughfare and let them know that they are in, what Tralee people consider, as the home of football.

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Cllr Sheehy said Tralee is very proud of its GAA heritage and this was shown in the past by the mural of Sean Walsh’s famous catch on the side of a building at Rock Street/Pembroke Street and the stained glass features in the Brogue Inn, to name but two examples.

He said he has spoken to Chairman of Kerry GAA Tim Murphy and he is open to discussing it further.

In reply to Cllr Sheehy’s motion, Kerry County Council said it had recently applied through the Urban Regeneration Development Fund for funding to develop a masterplan for the John Joe Sheehy Road area.

The Council would propose to redesign the entire area including the road layout to create a ‘landmark’ entry point to the town centre, celebrating the town’s rich sporting history. If funding is secured, this proposal can be considered further when developing this masterplan.

Cllr Deirdre Ferris.

On a related matter, Sinn Féin Councillor Deirdre Ferris said multiple attempts had been made to develop the site across from Austin Stack Park, where part of the original wall of the old athletics grounds, developed in the 19th century, still stands.

Cllr Ferris said the original gatehouse to that site is still there and a proposal had been submitted to put a structure there to mark its historical significance. She said the athletics grounds was also a location where the old IRA held training exercises over 100 years ago.

Cllr Ferris said it would be fitting that in the year of the 100th anniversary of the Siege of Tralee, that this part of the town’s sporting and political history would be recognised and celebrated.

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