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Minister to address housing meeting in Ennis

MINISTER for Housing Jan O’Sullivan will address a meeting in Ennis  today ( Friday), hosted by the Clare Citizen Information Service along with the Alliance of Social Protection of Recipients. The minister will speak on the recent funding allocations and plans for the future. The event has been organised to look at the key issues that need to change in order for those in the rental market to be able to source suitable and adequate accommodation that meet the required standards. Dermot Hayes of the Alliance of Social Protection Recipients said, “With almost 4,000 people on the housing list in Clare and a growing population we need to put in place a strong and sustainable strategy.” While Paul Woulfe of the Citizen Information Services added, “The rent allowance needs to be reviewed and restructured to bring it in line with the current market rental rates in order to avoid homelessness and couch surfing’’. Other’s to address the meeting will be: …

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Kinvara's picturesque harbour area. Photograph by John Kelly.

Fleadh na gCuach takes flight in Kinvara

By Nicola Corless MUSIC lovers from around the country will travel to Kinvara this weekend for the 21st Fleadh na gCuach.  Already, more than 40 sessions have been organised and will feature the cream of traditional musicians from across the country. Other events that will form part of the weekend are the Cuckoo Fun Run, puppet shows and musical activities for children, as well as a Café Trail with music, songs, singing sessions and a poets’ breakfast. One of the highlights of the Cuckoo Fleadh is the return of Buttons and Bows for an intimate concert in Johnston’s Hall on the Saturday evening. Jackie Daly, Seamus and Manus McGuire and Garry O’Briain came together 30 years ago, playing many memorable sessions in Flatley’s and Tully’s pubs, the result of which was the formation of Buttons and Bows. During the 1980s and ’90s their eclectic mix of music from Ireland to Shetland, as well as the fiddle and accordion traditions of …

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Cahill taking ‘no posters’ route to Europe

By Dan Danaher THE four main political parties have been accused of wasting hundreds of thousands of euro on electioneering for European elections, which would be better spent on delivering community projects throughout Clare. That’s the verdict of Richard Cahill, who entered the Euro South race on Monday, just before the close of nominations, to become the only new Clare candidate in this constituency. The Sixmilebridge community activist, who doesn’t have any money to spend on a traditional campaign, believes the main parties – Fine Gael, Labour, Fianna Fáil and Sinn Féin – are squandering money on posters, election fliers and advertising, while some people are struggling to put food on the table. “There are people who are wondering where they are going to get food to feed their family. Political representatives are spending hundreds of thousands of euro on posters and election literature. They are saying they are true representatives; they must be joking. This type of spending is …

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Kilmaley centre seeks HSE funds

By Dan Danaher Exclusive THE HSE holds the key to unlocking the full potential of a unique €4.73 million elderly care complex in Kilmaley. A second development of 12 homes for independent living for senior citizens in Kilmaley, costing €2.26 million, will be unveiled during an open day this Sunday. These new houses bring to 24 the total number of housing units being provided adjacent to the existing €670,000 Kilmaley Daycare and Health Centre. The purpose-built, state-of-the art units include two bedrooms, kitchen/living room, store room, toilet and shower room. The first 12 houses were built at a cost of about €1.8 million. Developed by Kilmaley Voluntary Housing Association Ltd (KVHA) and funded by the Department of Environment, with a 5% local contribution, KVHA has devised an innovative cost-effective proposal that would transform the existing residential care from independent to assisted living. It has requested the HSE to provide €250,000 annually, to cover the cost of five new staff members, …

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Labour’s ‘ancient’ front bench needs a shake up, says McNamara

WHILE Clare TD Michael McNamara has backed Eamon Gilmore to continue as leader of the Labour party, he feels the party’s ageing front bench needs to be shaken up. He has predicted that Labour will do well in the local elections in the Banner County, where, he says, their campaign is being well received. Regarding the leadership of the party, which has long been the subject of debate and which was questioned again this week by European election candidate, Phil Prendergast, Mr McNamara said a change of leader wouldn’t make any lasting difference. “If you changed the leader, I’m sure you would get a bounce for a while, until the next leader had to make unpopular decisions and then you’re back to where you were.” While he isn’t backing a change of leader, he does feel Labour has to make changes. “I don’t see an alternative to him (Gilmore) presenting itself at the moment and I don’t see an alternative …

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Ennis in the running for Ireland’s Best Kept Town

ENNIS residents are being urged to ensure that the town is looking its best this May with judges for the Ireland’s Best Kept Town Competition set to visit. Aine Purcell, chairperson of the Ennis Tidy Towns committee explained that the competition is separate to the national Tidy Towns competition which starts in June. And she said that strong efforts are being made locally to give judges for the Best Kept Town a good impression of our county’s capital. Ennis will be competing in the large urban centre category. The Ireland’s Best Kept Towns Awards ceremony will take place in S S Nomadic, Titanic Quarter, Belfast on Tuesday, June 24 at 12.30pm. This North-South competition commenced in 1995 and is organised jointly by the Department of Environment and the Northern Ireland Amenity Council (NIAC), a voluntary organisation. The competition provides an opportunity for some of the high achievers in the national Tidy Towns competition in the South, and the NIAC’s Best …

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Cliffs of Moher visitors increase despite storms

DESPITE the terrible storms which lashed the the West of Ireland, the Cliffs of Moher Visitor Experience recorded a 6% increase in visitor numbers during the first four months of 2014. The tourist attraction saw overall visitor numbers grow from 167,605 in 2013 to 177,878 between January 1 and April 30. Visitor figures at the Cliffs were boosted by a 57% increase in visitors during the four-day Easter Bank Holiday Weekend, compared to the same period in 2013. “Considering the exceptionally poor weather conditions of January and February and the fact the peak tourist season is not yet upon us, we are very pleased with the visitor figures so far this year,” commented Katherine Webster, director of the Cliffs of Moher Visitor Experience. “We are delighted that visitor figures are up by 11,000 on the same period in 2013 especially considering we were forced to close the site to the public on numerous occasions earlier this year due to strong …

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Gort to Tuam motorway contract signing

CONTRACTS to extend the M18 from Gort to Tuam will be signed today, Wednesday, paving the way for an economic boost to the region. The paperwork will be signed by Minister for Transport, Leo Varadkar, as well as representatives of the National Roads Authority The four-lane motorway, as well as additional roads, will cost around €550 million, and is expected to be completed in 2017. Theproject will involve the construction of 100km of roads. The long-awaited roadway will allow easier access to Clare and Shannon Airport for businesses and consumers in Galway and further parts of the West of Ireland. It will also solve traffic bottle-necks in places like Kilcolgan and Clarinbridge.  

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