By Sean Moriarty
Killarney Municipal District Council is to make a second attempt at securing a cultural and sporting museum on the grounds of Fitzgerald Stadium.
A previous attempt, in the height of the Celtic Tiger, failed to get off the ground because Fáilte Ireland refused to honour a commitment to visit the proposed site and meet with a local committee.
It was also claimed, that at the time, the centre would only qualify for national funding if it was deemed a site “of iconic importance”, and to qualify for that status it needed to cost in excess of €5 million.
The Killarney committee had costed the project at €3.5 million and had secured a free site on the grounds of Fitzgerald Stadium.
At the time the committee had secured a €0.5 million bridging loan from the GAA in Dublin and planning permission was granted. It is not certain if that permit is still valid today.
Earlier this week elected members of Killarney Municipal Council met online with senior Fáilte Ireland officials to outline plans for the Kerry area over the next five years.
This prompted Cllr Michael Gleeson to reignite the initial proposal and he brought a motion before Wednesday’s KMD meeting.
“I was overwhelmed by the level of support I received from my elected colleagues,” Cllr Gleeson told the Killarney Advertiser. “Hopefully, by now the term “iconic” has been removed from the lexicon of Fáilte Ireland officials. This project will enhance the town – we badly need an all-weather indoor facility for those rainy days.”
Mr Gleeson added that the new museum, if it gets off the ground, would feature all aspects of Kerry sport and culture and will not be a stand-alone GAA museum.
“It will cover everything from Sliabh Luachra to Slea Head,” he said.