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Clarecastle solar farm ‘will not affect pilots’

THE global energy company behind plans for a proposed solar farm in Clarecastle have insisted that pilots flying in and out of Shannon Airport will not be affected by reflections of the sun from its solar panels. Engie Developments Ireland Ltd has applied to Clare County Council seeking a 10-year planning permission for the development of a solar farm on a site located in the townlands of Lissan West and Ballaghafaddy West, Clarecastle. The proposed solar farm will comprise the construction and operation of solar PV arrays mounted on metal frames on a site over 33ha, inclusive of a single electrical control building, substation, up to eight inverter units, one temporary construction area with ancillary facilities, boundary fencing with CCTV, an access track and all associated works. According to the developers, the solar farm, if given the go-ahead, will have a generation capacity of up to 19mw, enough electricity to power approximately 3,356 households. The planning application has been objected …

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Bishop celebrating family with a diocesan picnic

Bishop Fintan Monahan has invited families from all across the Diocese of Killaloe to join him this Sunday for a Family Picnic Day. The event will take place in the Showgrounds in Ennis, from 2pm to 6pm, and admission to the picnic day is free. The event is being organised by the Killaloe Diocesan Youth Council, in conjunction with the World Meeting of Families. While there will be some limited catering at the event, families are encouraged to bring their own picnic baskets and there will be prizes for the best turned out ones. There will also be lots of entertainment to suit all the generations, in terms of live music and family-friendly activities. Welcoming families to the event, Bishop Monahan said, “I look forward to the coming together of all the generations to celebrate and rejoice in all that it means to be a family. It is a wonderful preparation for when Pope Francis joins us for the World …

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Night nurse humbled by work

A Kilmihil-based cancer support night nurse says she is “humbled” by the welcome she receives from families while she is caring for their loved ones. Working with the Irish Cancer Society (ICS) since June 2002 as a night nurse, Anne Normoyle is one of the night nurses who are the link between the living and the dying. Speaking at the launch of the ICS’s Relay for Life, Anne admitted there is a huge trust issue when by families let a total stranger into their home to look after a loved one at a very vulnerable stage in their lives. “Night nurses are humbled by the fact we are accepted into peoples’ homes at such a delicate time for the patient and their family. “A person may be all dressed up the first night but, by night two, generally, they are in their pyjamas ready to go to bed. It is a good sign that they have their trust in us …

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‘IDA not supporting major Gort development’ claim

THE IDA has not provided any support to Natus Medical Incorporated in the development of a new Gort distribution centre . That was the claim made by Sean Langan, senior director of European operations for the company, when he spoke to The Clare Champion, following a sod-turning ceremony this week. “If anything, we’ve been hindered by them and slowed down by them,” he said. The company currently employ 125 people and Mr Langan said it is hoped to increase this to 200 before long. “The construction of the distribution centre will be finished in November of this year. We hope to open the building, probably in December of this year and begin to use it in January of 2019. There will be 25 positions initially in the warehouse but the target for the facility would be to bring it up to 200 people over time.” The initial 25 jobs will be in areas like distribution and customer services, with other …

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€8,500 grant for Carrigaholt Irish College

A grant of € 8,528 has been approved for Coláiste Eoghan Uí Chomhraidhe summer boarding school, in Carrigaholt. Minister of State Pat Breen said this grant will meet the costs incurred in relation to essential security and safety works, as the school looks to welcoming more students to this picturesque area of west Clare this summer. “I will continue to work with Minister Joe McHugh, and in the meantime I very much welcome this interim funding to assist the school for the coming season,” he added. Local County Councillor Gabriel Keating commented,“Coláiste Eoghan Uí Chomhraidhe is a fantastic amenity here in Carrigaholt with huge potential and I am delighted that both Minister McHugh and Minister Breen are so supportive of the school.” The grant is being approved under the Gaeltacht action of the 20 Year Strategy for the Irish Language 2010-2030.

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€63k funding to clean up Clare

A total of €63,000 has been allocated to help the county clean up its act when it comes to littering and illegal dumping. A total of €40,000 in funding has been approved to tackle illegal dumping in Clare, with a further €23,000 pledged to crack down on litter, dog fouling and graffiti. Minister of State Breen said the aim of this funding, allocated by the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment under the Anti-Dumping Initiative, is to reduce illegal dumping and nuisance litter by providing finance for projects tackling the problem. “The idea is to develop an integrated and effective combined approach with local authorities, communities and other state agencies. “This funding will empower people across Clare to take action against those in society who commit criminal acts against their communities by wilfully and irresponsibly dumping their waste and spoiling the most valuable asset we have – our natural environment,” added Minister Breen. “A wide range of clean-up and …

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Dr Hillery joins Deputy Dooley to contest next Dáil election

Dr John Hillery and Deputy Timmy Dooley were selected to represent Fianna Fáil (FF) in Clare at the next General Election following the selection convention in Hotel Woodstock on Thursday night. The son of former President of Ireland Patrick Hillery beat off the challenge of Rita McInerney as Deputy Dooley was returned without a contest. In total, 278 FF members in the West Clare Municipal District voted in this contest, Dr Hillery secured 154 votes while Ms McInerney got 123 votes. Interestingly, these two successful candidates also represented Fianna Fáil in the 2011 General Election when transfers from Dr Hillery helped Deputy Dooley to win a Dáil seat without reaching the quota in the midst of a national meltdown for the party In his acceptance speech, Deputy Dooley requested all his supporters in West and North Clare to give their first preference in the next General Election to Dr Hillery. Acknowledging this was a difficult thing to do, the Mountshannon …

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‘I was abandoned by the Irish State.’

SIX months into 2016, Áine O’Neill hadn’t a care in the world. The Ardrahan woman was expecting her second child and in June of that year travelled, with her partner, to University Hospital Galway for a three month scan. Literally minutes after the scan she stumbled away, her thoughts scrambled, her life derailed. Memories of that moment and the desolate days that followed will never dissipate. Her baby was not going to survive. Áine was devastated but even in those moments of despair, she was clear in her thinking, feeling that a termination was her only option. While she felt as if she was in an inescapable bubble, time moved on. “I was discharged from the hospital within 10 minutes. You don’t know what to ask for. You don’t know to ask for a phone number for support. You haven’t a clue and all of a sudden you’re out on the road. I felt completely disregarded. You wouldn’t get a …

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