Home » News (page 436)

News

Fish farm row is ‘unseemly’ says BIM chief

THE public disagreement between two State bodies regarding the proposed fish farm off the North Clare Coast is “a very poor reflection of the public sector”, the head of one of them has admitted. Inland Fisheries Ireland and Bord Iascaigh Mhara have come out on opposite sides of the plan by BIM for the development of a 456-hectare organic salmon farm between the North Clare coast and Inis Oirr. BIM submitted an application for the farm, which would produce 15,000 tonnes of salmon per year, to the Minister for Agriculture, Food and Marine last January. Speaking to The Clare Champion Bord Iascaigh Mhara CEO Jason Wholly described the disagreement between BIM and IFI as beyond unseemly. “Unseemly is putting it mildly and it shouldn’t be the case and it is a very poor reflection of the public sector in Ireland and, indeed, the Government that this is the case,” he stated. A key area of disagreement between the two sides …

Read More »

€2 million spent on six Traveller homes

STOVES and heating systems had to be replaced at six council-owned homes, which are just a decade old, at a cost of about €45,000, it emerged this week. A meeting of North Clare Electoral Area, councillors heard that over €2 million has been spent on six Traveller accommodation units in Ennistymon and it would cost a further €100,000 to install CCTV at the site. According to figures from Clare County Council’s housing section, the initial construction of St John’s Park in Ennistymon was €1.7 million in 2003. Maintenance costs to date have been “in the region of  €10,000 per annum. However, this will rise to €45,000 in 2013 due to the replacement of heating systems and kitchen units in the six houses.” Fires at two houses in the development caused a total of €85,000 worth of damage, according to the council. “Refurbishment costs for the two fire-damaged houses are estimated at €25,000 and €60,000,” Niall O’Keeffe, administrative officer in the …

Read More »

Loggerhead Leon on the mend

A LOGGERHEAD turtle, which is unsuited to cold water, was obviously uncomfortable in the sea around Quilty, where it was stranded last week. On November 9, the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) and the Shannon Dolphin and Wildlife Foundation were alerted after the stranded turtle was discovered. It was subsequently brought to the Galway Atlantaquarium, where it is being cared for. The turtle was given the name Leon after the famous shipwreck in Quilty. Simon Berrow of the IWDG said things are looking up for the unfortunate turtle.  “It’s in the Galway Atlantaquarium and it’s quite active now. The local county council vet in Galway is providing some veterinary input and she’s very thorough. As of Monday, it’s in a bigger tank and it’s now in fully salt water. It had been in fresh water because it was dehydrated and they can absorb water through their skin. It has a bit of an infection on its shell and they’re …

Read More »

Shannon Fianna Fáil candidates selected

FIANNA Fáil have selected four candidates to stand in the Shannon Electoral Area in next year’s local elections. Sitting councillors Pat McMahon (Newmarket-on-Fergus) and Cathal Crowe (Meelick) will be joined by former mayor of Clare Pat O’Gorman (Cratloe) and Louise Roche McNamara (Shannon). The newly defined electoral area is set to be the most competitive in Clare with eight outgoing councillors fighting for just six seats. The youngest county councillor in the country when he was elected in 2004, Cathal Crowe is hoping to retain his seat for the second time. While four candidates are standing, he feels Fianna Fáil can at best hope to win three seats. “At a minimum I’d hope we’d hold our two seats, but I believe we can gain a third seat. Four would be incredible, but I don’t think that’s realistic.” The re-drawn boundaries, which have brought him into the Shannon area, won’t do him any harm, he believes. “I’m happy with it, but …

Read More »

World AIDS day appeal

ON  World AIDS Day 2013, this Sunday, members of  Dóchas, the umbrella group of Irish development NGOs, are urging the Government to maintain its historic commitment to ensuring that HIV services reach everyone in need. The call comes on the back of a UN AIDS report, which states that in spite of progress on the whole, key populations, especially in African countries, are not being reached by the global HIV and AIDS response. “Ireland has always championed the cause of the HIV response internationally, and spent a significant portion of its development aid budget on HIV and AIDS responses. But a new government policy for international development, One World One Future, was launched in May of this year, in which it appears HIV is afforded less of a priority,” said Noreen Gumbo of Trócaire and chair of the Dóchas working group on HIV and AIDS. Ms Gumbo cautioned that vulnerable populations are often impeded from accessing life-saving services. “Just three …

Read More »

Positive momentum on jobs

ECONOMIC data has been less grim than usual lately, and when the CSO revealed on Tuesday that 58,000 more people were at work in the third quarter of 2013 compared to the third quarter of last year, there was more cause for optimism. The CSO figures also showed a decline of over 41,000 in the number unemployed, a decrease of 12.8% in the overall figure. In Clare the third quarter of the year matched the national picture, with 9,849 people signing on in July but the figure was 8,943 in September, a decrease of 906. Rita McInerney of Ennis Chamber said she was pleased things are going in the right direction, and said that the increase in the numbers at work is the most significant number, giving that factors other than an economic improvement can make a hole in the numbers on the live register. “I think that looking at employment growth is a much more realistic example or indication …

Read More »

MEP calls for online skills database

MEP Sean Kelly has called for the establishment of an online local skills database to promote Irish rural locations like Ennis, with a view to increasing the geographical spread of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). “In order to encourage a more regional spread of FDI in Ireland, we need to promote the advantages of our regions and the educated workforce people based there,” said Mr Kelly, who is MEP of the Year for Research and Innovation. He noted how an excellent initiative running in the US State of Indiana provides a working example of how Ireland could launch a skills database. “The Indiana Economic Development Corporation launched a website which provides prospective investors/business owners with a quick search facility listing population, percentage of people with degrees and other useful statistics for each town/region.So if we were to launch that service in Ireland, an investor could easily examine the possibility of locating a business in Ennis, for example. “We already have a …

Read More »

Prospect of Shannon barricades raised

THE Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Clare County Council were both under fire at this week’s meeting of Shannon Electoral Area councillors, as members discussed the smell that has plagued Shannon. One of the councillors, Fine Gael’s Sean McLoughlin, even said that locals might have to erect barricades to keep out trucks carrying hazardous materials. Both Councillor McLoughlin and Councillor Gerry Flynn brought motions to the meeting regarding the smell. Councillor McLoughlin was asking that the council request the Department of the Environment to organise an independent review of all industrial and waste licences in Shannon. He said that such a review should be carried out by an independent body, from outside the country, rather than the EPA, who he made it quite clear he didn’t have any faith in. A reply from the council’s Environment and Water Directorate stated; “Clare County Council are currently considering requesting the review of existing licences of a number of facilities in Shannon as …

Read More »