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Council handed €16.8m storm damage repair fund

CLARE County Council is to receive over €16million from the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government to undertake repair works to local authority managed infrastructure damaged during the recent storms. The €16,205,637 funding has been allocated in response to submissions made to Government by Clare County Council outlining details of  the damage caused to infrastructure along Clare’s Atlantic coastline and at some locations along the Shannon Estuary. The funding has been earmarked for a programme of repair works to roads, piers and harbours, coastal protection repairs, tourism infrastructure and other facilities which are in the charge of Clare County Council. Meanwhile, the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government has also made a once-off allocation of €608,878 to the local authority to recoup the costs associated with its response to storms during January. Welcoming the news, Mayor of Clare Councillor Joe Arkins said, “This is a very positive announcement for Clare and the people who live and …

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The Burren tourism story

TOURISM is one of the main drivers of the Clare economy and in the North Clare region the Burren plays a pivotal role in this sector. Next Wednesday night, an information and network event will be held to showcase the activities, adventures, food and heritage of the Burren Region. The Burren and Cliffs of Moher Geopark, in conjunction with the Burren Ecotourism Network, will host The Burren Tourism Story 2014, at the Pavilion, Lisdoonvarna from 6.30pm to 8.30pm. The event will feature information stands, food tastings, the launch of the Burren’s first adventure and activities trail, and guest presentations from author and green business lecturer Prof. Finbarr Bradley; head of programmes and delivery Fáilte Ireland, Fiona Monaghan and award-winning travel writer and journalist, Pól O’Conghaile. Tina O’Dwyer, sustainable tourism co-ordinator, Burren and Cliffs of Moher Geopark explained that the primary purpose of the upcoming event will be to highlight the variety and quality of visitor attractions and activities on offer …

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Tommy Comerford of the local Coastal Erosion Group with local farmer Paddy Doyle, whose land at Rhynagonnaught is damaged following the recent storms.

Farrihy farmers still facing flooding issues

By Peter O’Connell FARMERS affected by coastal flooding in Farrihy , which straddles the border between Kilkee and Doonbeg, have had to hire a private contractor to help save 300 acres of land extensively flooded in the January and February flooding. “The farmers have taken it on themselves because their land was getting worse and worse. Every time the tide comes in three feet of their land is removed. It is reaching the stage now where it’s going to reach the bog area of the land,” Coastal Erosion Group PRO Tommy Comerford said. “The flooding has just absolutely destroyed the whole place. What they have done is they have got their own private machine in. They’re doing it out of their own pocket to try and protect the piece of land that’s getting damaged. Doonbeg regards this as a real emergency,” he added. Mr Comerford has revealed that a land and householder in Farrihy, Gearóid Greene, has had to spend …

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Proud grandmother laid to rest

A PROUD grandmother whose young grandchildren were her “best work” was how the late Josephine, better known as Josie, Lucas was fondly remembered, as family and friends gathered for her funeral mass on Wednesday. The 74-year-old died following a tragic accident involving her own car in Francis Street, Ennis on Sunday afternoon. Emergency services were called, however, despite their best efforts she was pronounced dead at the scene.  Both Mrs Lucas’ grandchildren, who were with her, were treated for shock. Her brother, Kevin told mourners at St Joseph’s Church that his sister was “determined, confident and she spoke her mind” adding she was “very proud of being from Clare.” Mrs Lucas trained to be a nurse as a teenager, meeting her future husband, Tony in London before moving back to Clare where they joined the publican trade. Her family own Lucas’ pub on Parnell Street, with Kevin recalling his sister’s determined spirit during floods on the street. “I have great memories …

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‘Magnified’ economic decline in Gort

By Nicola Corless UNEMPLOYMENT and emigration rates increased more in Gort than any other town in the country, according to research revealed this week. Figures for towns in other parts of Ireland will not be released until April, but Professor Cathal O’Donoghue of the Teagasc’s Rural Economy Development Programme outlined details of the group’s research in Gort to a meeting of Galway County Council on Monday, as part of a presentation from The Commission for the Economic Development of Rural Area (CEDRA). According to its national town rankings, which take into account unemployment and emigration rates, Gort has seen the biggest fall nationally in a Teagasc index of small and medium sized towns. In 2002 and 2006 it was just outside the top 10% of towns in Ireland but by 2011 it had slipped to the bottom 10%. The South Galway town lost 400 jobs in just five years, between 2006 and 2011. While the population of the town dropped …

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Five Cars Crash on M18 at Newmarket on Fergus

GARDAí, six units of the fire brigade, and two ambulances were called to five separate car crashes, which occurred during a ten minute window on Thursday morning on the M18. Two of the three crashes occurred on the northbound lane of the M18, and a further two separate collisions occurred on the southbound lane between the Shannon flyover and the Newmarket-on-Fergus flyover. Gardaí at the scene outlined that all three occurred separately within a ten minute period around 8.30am and all during a “freak” “downpour of hailstones”. One of the cars lost control and hit the central median and was a write off. There was one person in this vehicle. A further car, also on the northbound lane left the road further up from this location and struck the crash barrier. There were two females in this car that had to be cut out of the vehicle. According to gardaí, a  further car that tried to avoid the accident spun …

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Media blamed for Dublin launch for Wild Atlantic Way

Nicola Corless THE  launch of the Wild Atlantic Way, a 2,500km touring route from Donegal to West Cork which aims to attract more visitors to the West Coast takes place place in Dublin this Thursday. Despite the route showcasing the Atlantic coast, the launch will take place at the Fáilte Ireland headquarters in Dublin City Centre. Minister of State for Tourism and Sport, Michael Ring told The Clare Champion holding it Dublin was the fault of the national media, something echoed by organisers Fáilte Ireland. “It is a scandal,” he claimed. “That is the trouble with the national media, it is Dublin orientated and that is one of the reasons we have to have it in Dublin.” He also noted that holding the launch in the capital would not guarantee publicity. The Minister has promised a series of other launches along the route. “We will be doing a number of launches around places where it is and we will do …

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Windfarms ‘a blow to tourism’ says Trump

By Peter O’Connell DONALD J Trump has told The Clare Champion he is completely opposed to any possibility of windfarms being given the go-ahead in Doonbeg or in the West Clare region. In an extensive interview from his New York office, he even said he would join any local group opposing such a development. He claimed windfarms are “destructive, destroy tourism, depreciate property values and kill birds”.  Confirming his support for any committee campaigning against windfarms in West Clare, he said, “Put me in that group”. Mr Trump acknowledged windfarm construction has caused issues for his company in Scotland. “I’ve been fighting it for years in Scotland. I think I’ll end up winning that battle. It’s a battle that just never ends. These are terrible, destructive things. They don’t work without massive government subsidies. They raise everybody’s taxes and they kill all the birds,” he claimed. “They wipe out the birds. You might as well be standing at the shore …

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