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Cats will not shirk from the Banner Roar

THE All-Ireland champions against the National Hurling League champions. It couldn’t be a better pairing for the opening round of the 2014 league. Throughout the past forty years, Clare and Kilkenny have provided some memorable contests in the league. Three successive final meetings in the ’70s led to capacity attendances at Semple Stadium, where Kilkenny were winners in 1976, after a replay, but Clare were crowned champions in 1977 and 1978. In Ger Loughnane’s first year as senior manager in 1995, Clare suffered a heavy loss to the Noresiders in the league decider at Thurles, after which the Clare boss boldly predicted that his charges would win the Munster championship. Not too many outside of the camp believed him at the time, but he and Clare delivered as Munster and All-Ireland success started Clare on the road to the most successful period ever for Clare hurling during which they won three Munster and two All Ireland senior titles. Meetings of …

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County Council workers cleaning up fallen trees at Kincora Park Ennis.

No power or water

AFTER the storm comes the damage assessment and the clean up in County Clare. Hurricane-like conditions, which swept through the county on Wednesday left a trail of destruction in its wake. Winds gusting up to 160kph brought down power supply lines, uprooted trees, leading to numerous road closures, while slates were ripped from houses and property damaged. At the height of Storm Darwin, the ESB estimated that as many as 20,000 homes and businesses were left without power across the county. The south east of the county was worst affected with power outages reported in Killaloe,  Cratloe, Sixmilebridge, Newmarket, Clarecastle, Tulla, Ennis and other pockets of the county. Despite the fact that ESB Networks crews have been out in force trying to restore power supplies, many of those areas still remain without power. The problems facing many home owners have also been exacerbated, as the knock-on effect of outages was the lack of water supply. Many householders could have to …

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Storm repair costs rising

BEFORE even a puff of wind blew on Wednesday, Clare manager, Tom Coughlan had told a meeting of Clare County Council  that almost €37m was required for repairs following Storms Catherine and Bridget. The latest damage means there will be a further revision of the repair bill. On Monday, Mr Tom Coughlan said the cash-strapped local authority is spending money it hasn’t really got on repairs. A report prepared by senior engineer, Tom Tiernan outlined the amounts needed for works in various parts of the county. According to their figures, €6,064,689 is required for Lahinch, the largest sum for any single area. The townland of Cloughaninchy in Quilty requires a massive €4.716 million, while just shy of €3.5 million is needed for both Kilbaha and New Quay. Seven figure sums are also required for Doolin, Liscannor, Carrowmore,Whitestrand/Doonmore in Doonbeg, Kilcredaun Irish College and Carrowdotia/N67 Moneypoint. Overall, 42 areas are identified, requiring a combined total of €33,455,713 and it estimates a contingency …

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Storm leaves trail of destruction

TENS of thousands of people in Clare were affected by hurricane-force winds which battered the county on Wednesday in the most recent storm to hit the country. More than 20,000 homes and businesses were without power on Wednesday evening with ESB Networks stating that this situation and that continues to be the case on this Thursday.  In fact some homes, farms and businesses may be without electricity and water for at least another day. Fallen trees blocked roads in many areas, buildings were damaged and a number of road accidents, including two incidents of trucks jack-knifing, took place as extremely high winds swept through the county from early afternoon. Shannon Airport was closed for much of the day due to high winds. A plane parked there was blown over on its side but was empty at the time and no one was injured in the incident. Met Eireann’s radar at Shannon Airport was also damaged by high winds. Clare County …

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Know my number, save my life

THOUSANDS of businesses and householders in Clare have been urged to avail of a new emergency brochure, aimed at reducing response times for emergencies in the county. Approximately 10,000 Know My Number brochures will be printed by promoters who say it is the first of its kind in the country and could become a pilot project for a national rollout. In addition to reducing the length of time it takes to get details during an emergency call, the brochure will also speed up the response times to get to the scene of major trauma calls. Inch woman Paula McNamara was compelled to develop the leaflet last January after concerns were raised over emergency response times in the West of Ireland. “My hope is this will shave off valuable minutes and hopefully save lives,” she said. Ms McNamara explained this leaflet was created as a way to direct emergency vehicles to your home faster in an emergency. “In the event the …

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Ennistymon Mart sold to Aldi

CLARE Marts has already sold Ennistymon Mart to discount supermarket, Aldi for a price tag believed to be in the region of €1.5m, despite strong opposition from the local IFA committee and local traders. Members of Ennistymon IFA staged a protest before a Clare Marts Board meeting in Ennis on Tuesday night, but the Clare Champion has learned Clare Marts is proceeding with the controversial deal. Clare Marts would not confirm the identity of the buyer or any of the terms and conditions, which it considers as “commercially sensitive information”. However, it is understood that the mart has been sold to Aldi subject to planning permission, which could take a number of years to secure. Aldi has also declined to comment on the deal. It is also expected that any planning application lodged by Aldi to Clare County Council will be vigorously opposed by some local traders and residents in the North Clare town. Fifteen sales have been held in …

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Storm puts pressure on emergency services

CLARE County Council, An Garda Siochána, the Fire Service and Clare Civil Defence are responding to more than 150 separate weather related incidents around the county. Several thousand homes in areas right across the county are without electricity. An emergency number – 1890 252 943 – has been established for members of the public to report fallen trees, blocked roads and flooding. This number will be operational until 7.30pm. The south-east of the county is one of the worst affected areas, particularly in Killaloe and around Sixmilebridge, with fallen trees reported on most routes. The north and west of the county have also been badly affected. Clare County Council says it expects storm conditions to abate later this evening but it is urging members of the public to avoid making any unnecessary journeys due to storm debris and traffic lights out of operation on the county’s roads.

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Shannon Airport reopens

AFTER closing for a number of hours due to this afternoon’s severe weather, when winds gusts reached 150k per hour, Shannon Airport has now reopened. An Aer Arann plane that was parked at the airport blew over during the course of the afternoon, while some of the cladding on the roof of the airport blew down. The terminal building also had to be evacuated after a fire alarm went off after a door swung open and struck it. A number of trees were also knocked in Shannon and Met Éireann’s radar suffered wind damage during the storm.    

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