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Council take pro-active approach to renewable energy development

CLARE County Council plans to facilitate the development of Pumped Freshwater Hydro Energy Storage facilities in the county, similar to those already developed at Turlough Hill in County Wicklow. Three locations – Slieve Callan, Slieve Bernagh and Woodcock Hill in Meelick – have been marked as “indicative areas” for the proposed facilities, which are outlined in the newly developed Draft Clare County Renewable Energy Strategy. Commenting on the proposal to facilitate the development of PFHES facilities in the county, senior planner, Gordon Daly said such technology was “relatively underutilised in Ireland but presented significant potential for the domestic renewables sector”. Clare County Council is one of the first local authorities in the country to seek to incorporate such a renewable energy strategy into their County Development Plan. Mr Daly explained that a pumped hydroelectric energy scheme is a mechanical device for storing energy, consisting of two large reservoirs located at different elevations, typically between 200m to 300m, and a number …

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Lahinch takeaway decision appealed to An Bord Pleanála

A DECISION by Clare County Council to refuse planning permission for a takeaway at 1 Main Street, Lahinch, has been appealed to An Bord Pleanála. A letter sent to An Bord Pleanála on behalf of Tom Battersby, the appellant, said that he “is very aware of the significance of this prominent corner site in the physical streetscape of Lahinch and does not wish to detract from this significance in any way whatsoever. In this context, therefore, my client does not wish to introduce any type of business operation that would impact negatively on this or any part of Lahinch town.” It also stated that “a ‘takeaway’, in this particular instance, does not equate with the common or more usual definition of a takeaway facility. Typically, a ‘takeaway’ refers to a fast food facility for the sale of foodstuffs of a deep-fry variety or similar, for consumption off the premises and which are sold in paper/cardboard, cartons or the like. Generally, …

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Pounding the pavements in US markets

TOURISM Ireland’s 2014 series of ‘Jump into Ireland’ sales blitzes across the United States kicked off recently – in Atlanta, Georgia; Tampa and Sarasota in Florida. Together with a delegation of Irish tourism companies, including Vaughan Lodge, Lahinch, Tourism Ireland will once again ‘pound the pavements’ in the all-important American market this year – targeting hundreds of travel agents and influential journalists in key cities. The recent sales blitz involved a busy schedule of B2B events, which included a brand new 60-minute TV show format highlighting Ireland to the influential American audience, as well as networking sessions with travel and lifestyle journalists – providing an excellent opportunity for the tourism partners from Ireland to showcase and sell their product to the key decision-makers they met in the various cities. Tourism Ireland also took the opportunity to introduce the Wild Atlantic Way to the travel agents and journalists attending the sessions in Atlanta, Tampa and Sarasota. Similar ‘Jump into Ireland’ events …

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High percentage of fixed charges terminated in Clare

By CAROL BYRNE CLARE Garda District registered the highest percentage termination of fixed charge notices in 2012, and was a close second for 2011, according to a report of the Garda Siochána Inspectorate into the fixed charge processing system. Meanwhile the largest percentage termination of fixed charge notices in the country occurred in Kilrush in 2012 when 9.64% of the notices here were terminated. On 4 July 2013, the Minister for Justice and Equality requested the Garda Inspectorate to commence an inspection of the Garda Síochána fixed charge processing system and make recommendations they deemed appropriate. The report, which was released recently, is the result of this examination of policy and practices for the fixed charge system and makes recommendations for short, medium, and long term. In the report the professional standards unit gave a breakdown of the number of fixed charge notices issued by each garda division across the country in 2011 and 2012, and of those how many …

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Reduction in live register numbers

The number of people on the live register in Clare declined slightly in February. According to figures from the Central Statistics Office, there were 9,242 people on the live register in the Banner county in February, compared to 9,418 in January. There were reductions in the number signing on at each of the live register offices, Ennis, Ennistymon and Kilrush. In Ennis, the numbers went from 5,167 to 5,085; in Ennistymon from 1,605 to 1,567; and in Kilrush from 1,318 to 1,271. There were 10,058 people signing on in Clare in February 2013, meaning there has been a reduction of 816 in 12 months, a drop of just over 8%.

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Trump gets second chance to oppose windfarm plans

By Dan Danaher AMERICAN billionaire Donald Trump will have another five weeks at least to oppose plans for a new windfarm near his new Doonbeg golf resort, after the initial application was declared “invalid”. Clare County Council has ruled that revised plans submitted by Clare Coastal Wind Power, for the proposed development of a wind farm in the townlands of Carrowmore South, Einagh and Shragh, about two kilometres south of Doonbeg village, are no longer valid. The Clare Champion can reveal that, in a recent letter to the company, the planning authority confirmed it would be returning all plans, drawings and maps, plus a refund of the €3,018 planning fee for the proposed development. The planning authority noted that written consent from individual landowners, who are stated to have consented to the making of the planning application, was not included in correspondence to the authority. “Please ensure that when you are submitting your new application, it meets all the requirements …

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University Hospital Limerick.

Disabled patient left 10 hours on trolley

Dan Danaher A PUBLIC ambulance was not available to transport a 60-year-old severely disabled patient back to his nursing home, despite spending almost 10 hours on a trolley in the emergency department at University Hospital Limerick, it has been claimed. The HSE has been requested to implement a new treatment protocol for people with severe disabilities in the emergency department, after Margaret Morgan, from Ennis, witnessed what she calls “a very distressing episode” concerning her brother. Ms Morgan has decided to speak publicly about the incident involving her brother, who has Friedreich’s ataxia (FA), to ensure the HSE introduces measures to prevent a repeat of what happened to him. A long-term carer for her bother until he was admitted to residential care, she explained FA is a neuromuscular disease that mainly affects the nervous system and the heart. Neurological symptoms include muscle weakness and ataxia, a loss of balance and co-ordination. Having been furnished with details of Ms Morgan’s complaints, the HSE …

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Gardaí at Shannon Airport urged by AG to turn blind eye to US army aircraft?

Owen Ryan THE Attorney General urged gardaí at Shannon not to search US military aircraft, it was claimed in a petition to the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Public Service Oversight and Petitions, which met last week. The petition came from Doctor Edward Horgan and 19 associated parties. They called for an investigation into the use of the airport and Irish airspace by the US military and the CIA, focusing on Ireland’s involvement. Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan praised Doctor Horgan at the meeting, saying he believed the allegations. He also said that acting as a whistleblower isn’t easy. Also at the meeting, Sinn Féin TD, Aengus Ó Snodaigh, said some action is required on the petition, which sought an investigation on the US use of Shannon and extraordinary rendition, focusing on the Irish Government’s involvement. “We have received correspondence from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade but I do not think it addresses all the points raised by Dr Horgan,” he …

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