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Dooras Residents “Trapped” since Christmas

RESIDENTS at Dooras, O’Callaghan’s Mills have been “trapped” in their homes since water levels began rising on the road outside their homes at Christmas. Some locals opted to abandon their homes taking up alternative accommodation, while others who had managed to traverse the flood in jeeps and tractors over Christmas week, are now unable to leave as water levels hit upwards of three feet. Flooding on this narrow stretch of road, which is a cul de sac, has been a feature of the area for many years, with residents having to resort to boats, or abandoning their homes until it subsided. However, in previous years the water abated much quicker. There are four houses on this stretch of road. Residents say although their houses have not been flooded the road servicing the properties is completely submerged and is extremely dangerous to even attempt to travel on as there is an eight to ten feet drop on either side of the …

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Photo Gallery-Shannon Estuary Farms Flooded

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Shannon embankment breached – 1,000 acres flooded

UP to 1,000 acres of farmland in the Ballynacally/Kildysart area was flooded on Sunday, as a result of a major breach in the Shannon Estuary embankment. Over 50 farmers in the area have been affected – 43 in Ballynacally and the remainder in Kildysart. Kildysart graveyard has also been flooded, which has caused further distress to locals. At a public meeting, attended by elected representatives, in Ballynacally community centre, a formal appeal for Government intervention was made.  Efforts are to be made as soon as possible to assess the cost of the damage to support the appeal. There are no reports of the loss of livestock but in one instance fodder had to be brought to two horses isolated on raised ground. On many farms, however, silage bales have been left under several feet of water, which will cause an additional financial burden for farmers. John Joe O’Sullivan, whose farm in Ballynacally includes a parcel of corcass, said his holding …

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Lahinch prom remains closed

CLARE County Council has issued a warning to home, business and land owners in flood prone locations and along the coast that there is potential for further flooding tonight and tomorrow morning. Lahinch promenade remains closed to the public until further notice following the extensive damage on Friday. Met Éireann has today issued a new Orange Alert for Clare warning of the danger of coastal flooding due to the combination of the gale force winds, high tides and very high seas. Local spot flooding inland could also occur. Council senior engineer, Tom Tiernan said, “We are advising members of the public to stay away from the seafront, particularly at Lahinch where it simply is not safe for people to be there as the structure of the promenade is seriously compromised. The facility will be reopened for public use as soon as possible.” Clare County Council, in conjunction with the Emergency Services, says it is also progressing contingency arrangements in terms …

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Back to school

IT’S back to school for thousands of primary and second level pupils in Clare tomorrow after the Christmas holidays. This will mean a considerable increase in the level of traffic and pedestrians on the roads in the morning and evening. With bad weather conditions expected to continue, resulting in flooding and surface water on roads, both motorists and pedestrians should be especially vigilant.  Motorists should follow the simple guide of slow down and expect the unexpected, while pedestrians should  be alert in crossing roads, especially at busy junctions. Also, they should observe lights at junctions and other crossings.  

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Christmas tree throwing

HUNDREDS of people descended on Tim Smyth Park (Ennis Fairgreen) on Sunday afternoon to participate in, or enjoy as spectators, the annual Christmas tree throwing competition. A break in the bad weather enabled the event to progress in a very enjoyable atmosphere, much to the relief of organisers, Ennis Town Council and Clare County Council. The contest, which is based on age-old lumberjack traditions and is commonplace across Germany and Austria, sees members of the public competing to achieve the longest distance for throwing a standard 1.5 metre tree. Last year’s winner, John O’Dea from Limerick launched a Christmas tree 10.2 metres, just less than 2 metres short of the World Record held by Klaus Pubnaz who hurled a tree a distance of 12m in Germany three years ago.

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No respite from bad weather

WITH residents and local authorities in Clare trying to come to terms with the millions of euro of damage, particularly in Lahinch, caused by the severe storms of recent days, Met Éireann says there is more bad weather to come. Clare politicians, local authorities and business people are, in common with other areas of the country affected by the storm, appealing for emergency funding for remedial work. The damage caused to Lahinch, one of the top resorts in the West of Ireland, could have a major impact on the 2014 tourism season, Mayor of Clare Joe Arkins has said, in asking for a quick response from Government to the crisis. He is also concerned about serious damaged caused to others parts of the country. The forecast for the Munster area this evening is for further heavy showers,  some of  will be of hail.  It will remain cold with highest temperatures of just 4 to 6 degrees. Moderate, mainly westerly winds, …

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Nearly one million visitors to Cliffs of Moher in 2013

DESPITE a stormy December, visitor numbers at the Cliffs of Moher Visitor Experience in County Clare were up 10% during 2013. 960,134 people visited the world famous tourist attraction last year compared to 873,988 during the previous year. It is the third successive increase in visitor numbers to the Cliffs of Moher with year-on-year increases of 12% and 8% being achieved during 2011 and 2012 respectively. Management at the Cliffs of Moher say growth in the group travel market, good weather conditions during July and The Gathering Ireland initiative helped to deliver the increase. Fully Independent Travellers (FITs), mainly travelling by car, made up 49% of the total representing a 4% increase compared to 2012.   Groups, mainly travelling by coach, made up 46% of the total and this segment grew by 14.6% over 2012.  Walkers, cyclists and those travelling by public transport made up the remainder representing a 17.6% increase over 2012. “This is the highest number of visitors since …

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