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Protecting our built heritage

  AN allocation of  €121,000 has been provided to Clare County Council under a newly announced Government scheme aimed at the repair and conservation of protected structures and generating employment in the local construction sector. The funding is being provided by the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht under the Built Heritage Jobs Leverage Scheme, the closing date for which is Friday, February 7. Eligible structures include those listed in Clare County Council’s Records of Protected Structures (RPS), those proposed for inclusion in the RPS but have not yet been formally approved for inclusion, and those within Architectural Conservation Areas (ACAs). Risteárd Ua Cróinín, the council’s architectural conservation officer, explained that the scheme seeks to leverage private capital for investment in a significant number of labour-intensive, small-scale conservation projects across Clare and to support the employment of skilled and experienced conservation professionals, craftspeople and tradespersons in the repair of the historic built environment.

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Commercial movements slightly down at Shannon

COMMERCIAL traffic movements at Shannon were down marginally year on year going into December, according to statistics from the Irish Aviation Authority. According to their figures commercial traffic at the airport was up by 1.8% in November compared to the same month last year, but is down by 1.7% for the year as a whole. The negative growth for the first 11 months of the year is almost certainly due to the airport’s poor performance in the first few months. However, since the summer things have been improving and with increases in services to the US, Britain and Europe starting next year, things should improve significantly. It should also be noted that commercial traffic movements are seen as a less significant indicator of performance than passenger numbers. Commenting on the first eleven months of 2013, Eamonn Brennan, Chief Executive of the IAA said; “Recently Shannon has had some positive announcements from both Ryanair and Aer Arann and in November its …

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Electricity back in most areas

ELECTRICITY should  be restored to all homes in County Clare by the end of the day, according to the ESB. Power outages occurred in many areas, as a result of the storm-force winds of recent days. Throughout the West and South-West, ESB repair crew had a very busy few days dealing with power lines brought down by falling trees and damage to high voltage lines. In the Ennis area, as many as 200 houses were without electricity up to Sunday afternoon, while pockets of other parts of the county were also affected. Met Éireann’s forecast is for continued bad weather with a warning to motorists to watch out for ice on roads, especially minor roads, in the event of temperatures dropping below freezing on wet surfaces.  

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Clare U-21s celebrate

MAGIC  moments in an incredible year for Clare hurling were recalled on Saturday night when the U-21s were feted at a function in the Auburn Lodge, Ennis. There was a tremendous atmosphere at the packed to capacity event, as  team members were presented with their Munster and All-Ireland medals Tributes were paid to the achievements of the up-and-coming stars of Clare hurling, among them Hurler of the Year, Tony Kelly, in retaining the provincial and All-Ireland [beating Antrim] titles. The contribution which many of them made to the senior All-Ireland winning side was also acknowledged. The efforts of the management and backroom squad in having the side prepared to such a high level of fitness and skills was praised. Hopes were also expressed that the U-21s, with an infusion of some additional players from minor level, could go on to defend their titles in 2014. The achievement of Davy Fitzgerald and his charges in bringing the Liam MacCarthy Cup back …

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Horses escape injury

As County Clare took a battering from storm-force winds last night and in the early hours of this morning, the roof of a stable in Clarecastle was blown off. Two horses in the stables of Carole McLaughlin escaped injury. A few miles away, at St Flannan’s College a mature tree was toppled along with heavy branches from other trees. Around the county, there were other reports of some trees down but there were no reports of serious damage.   Met Éireann has downgraded the red and orange weather alerts to moderate winds and rain.

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Storm causes travel disruption

THE stormy weather conditions on St Stephen’s Day resulted in serious disruption to services at Shannon Airport. Flights due in from Heathrow, Stansted, Birmingham, Manchester and the East Midlands in the UK were cancelled, while services were also diverted to Cork and Dublin. Later in the night roles were reversed as flights bound for Cork had to divert to Shannon. The storm also resulted in disruptions to outbound flights from the Clare airport, but services are now returning to normal, with a number of flights having taken off this morning, although one to Manchester was cancelled. Passengers are still urged to check the status of their flight with the airline operating it.    

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Red weather alert for Clare

A RED alert weather warning has been issued by Met Éireann.  The wind warning covers the western coastal counties of Clare, Galway, Mayo and Kerry, as well as Wexford and Waterford in the south-east. Severe and damaging gusts of up to 140kmh are expected this evening. The gusts will reach 150kmh in more exposed coastal areas. Met Éireann have also warned of “very high seas” with a significant danger of coastal flooding. The red alert is in place for almost 24 hours – from 5pm today to 3pm tomorrow. The most serious weather alert is red, which means people should take action to protect themselves and/or their property. Met Eireann issued amber alert yesterday for today’s storm – but they upgraded this for some parts of the country before noon today. An amber alert remains in place for the remainder of the country. Meanwhile, motorists have been warned to watch out for falling trees and debris. A Met Éireann spokesperson said, “Southeast …

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Little Ark a potential visitor attraction

THE establishment of a visitor centre beside Moneen Church, Kilbaha, next to the location of the Little Ark, is to be discussed in the new year. Councillor Gabriel Keating is to ask for the help of the Diocese of Killaloe to bring his idea to reality. Moneen Church is situated close to Loop Head Lighthouse, which was opened to the public in July 2011. The Little Ark was a large wooden portable box used by then parish priest of Moyarta and Kilballyowen, Fr Michael Meehan, to celebrate mass on Sundays during the period 1852-1857. People were married and babies were baptised at the site. At the time, Marcus Keane, an agent of absentee landlord Westby, prohibited the celebration of mass. Keane tried to forcibly convert the local population to Protestantism. The Canadian Ambassador to Ireland, Loyola Hearn, has expressed a keen personal interest in the Little Ark and is hoping to visit the historic artefact in early 2014. At next …

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