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Charles Thomson Award for Council

Clare County Council has beaten off competition from across the island of Ireland to be named winner of the Charles Thomson Award, an annual award scheme which recognises the work of Local Authorities in promoting water safety. Irish Water Safety (IWS) and the Republic of Ireland and Ulster branch of the Royal Life Saving Society (RLSS) presented the award to Clare County Council at a ceremony in Dublin attended by Councillor Paul Murphy (Leas Cathaoirleach), Pat Dowling (Chief Executive), Anne Haugh (Director of Services) and Clare McGrath (Clare Water Safety Development Officer). The Charles Thomson Award scheme organisers commended Clare County Council for its work in promoting water safety during 2015 including the completion of new lifeguard, training and public facilities at Whitestrand Miltown Malbay, the securing of a record number of International Blue Flags in spite of the damage caused by storms al local beaches during the previous year, the ongoing provision of professional training and upskilling opportunities for …

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scattery island

Scattery Island plans making progress

POSITIVE progress is being made on the development potential of Scattery Island as a tourism destination. The Office of Public Works has appointed conservation architects to prepare a Conservation and Management Plan, which will see Scattery Island as the first off-land destination point on the Wild Atlantic Way. Councillor Gabriel Keating said, “It is great to see Clare County Council, the Office of Public Works and the local community working together to deliver on the undoubted potential that there is.” He said the appointment of the conservation architects, combined with the upgrading of the exhibition in the Scattery Island Visitor Centre and the proposed enhancement of ferry services to the island, offer the prospect of Scattery further developing into a key and unique part of the Wild Atlantic Way. “I know also that the council is looking at a Rural Economic Development Zone (REDZ) project for the island, which will further develop heritage tourism in the wider Kilrush area. The …

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Councillor James Breen

Councillor moots crash barrier for ‘dangerous’ road

AN incident on a “dangerous stretch of road” along the N85 resulted in a signpost being “split in two” and the driver having a lucky escape from serious injury. Details of the recent incident have emerged as Councillor James Breen suggested that a crash barrier be installed on the road at the entrance to his property at Ballyknock, Kilnamona. According Councillor Breen this stretch of road been the site of a number of accidents in recent years. “This is a very dangerous stretch of road; 90% of accidents between Ennistymon and Whelan’s Quarry have happened on that stretch of road. Thank God nobody has lost their life yet and I hope in the future nobody will,” he stated. He told a recent meeting of the Ennis Municipal District that he had “no objection” to the council installing a crash barrier on his land. He said that the recent accident in the early hours of the morning resulted in a signpost being “split …

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HSE accused of failing to plan for GP crisis

Clare Deputy Dr Michael Harty has pledged to raise the Shannondoc cutbacks in the county at this week’s session of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Health. Dr Harty has acknowledged the changes to the Shannondoc out-of-hours services in Kilrush, Ennistymon and Killaloe are a reduction to the medical cover for patients. He claimed these changes are another manifestation of the mismanagement of the health service and highlighted the failure of the HSE to anticipate and plan for the medical manpower crisis which faces general practice and the wider health service. He said all out-of-hours services are experiencing difficulty in finding locums to supplement local GP rosters. “The working commitment and conditions of service required to work in single handed rural practice are too onerous. Consequently, GP positions are not being filled when they become vacant. The contract underpinning these working conditions is in need of urgent review and renegotiation. “Newly qualified GPs and established GPs are emigrating to work in …

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Kilrush engineer wins award

Kilrush native and former Dublin City Engineer, Michael Phillips, has won the ‘Outstanding Contribution to Engineering Award,’ at the Engineers Ireland Excellence Awards 2016. In his work at Dublin City Council, Phillips has been responsible for strategic planning of infrastructure and implementation of ground-breaking projects such as the Dublin Port Tunnel, Ringsend wastewater treatment works, the Santiago Calatrava bridges of James Joyce and Samuel Beckett and latterly, the Rosie Hackett Bridge, over the River Liffey. The overall Engineering Project of the Year Award was won by the Corrib Onshore Gas Pipeline. The winners were announced at the seventh annual Engineers Ireland Excellence Awards, in association with ESB, at a special ceremony held in the InterContinental Hotel in Dublin. Speaking at the awards ceremony in the InterContinental Hotel Dublin, Caroline Spillane, Engineers Ireland Director General, commented on the vast array of engineering talent that had gathered for the flagship awards ceremony. “The engineering profession is the real winner of this year’s …

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Lynch seeks better use of Shannon Estuary

COUNCILLOR Ian Lynch has hit out at a lack of investment in Clare and a failure to make proper use of the Shannon Estuary. In a letter to Deputy Pat Breen, Councillor Lynch stated, “I see a recent announcement that the Government is seeking preclearance for freight from the port of Limerick, making the port of Foynes a shipping hub for Europe. “While the announcement is a welcome one for the region, it again shows the Government’s lack of commitment to County Clare and long-term foresight to maximise the Shannon Estuary’s potential. It’s hard to imagine why the Government would limit such a positive prospect to a port that is restricted for vessel turnaround and draft. This is even harder to imagine when the Shannon Foynes Port Authority controls the shipping to the second-deepest water port in Europe at Moneypoint but yet it remains undeveloped.” He feels the estuary is West Clare’s best hope of economic recovery. “The Shannon Estuary …

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Newspaper champions water safety

The Clare Champion has been named winner of a national award in recognition of the newspaper’s coverage of water safety issues. This week Irish Water Safety presented The Clare Champion with a Media Appreciation Award at the annual awards ceremony in Dublin Castle. The award is presented to those who have excelled in media coverage that brings awareness of water safety to the public above and beyond others. Managing director of The Clare Champion John Galvin received the award on behalf of the newspaper. He commented, “We are delighted to receive this award. As Clare is a coastal county, water safety should be of vital consideration and be taught at an early age. We at The Clare Champion want to do our part to ensure that everyone is aware of the importance of water safety.” Roger Sweeney, marketing manager and deputy CEO at Irish Water Safety, stated, “It’s thanks to The Clare Champion that more people are more aware of …

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bill slattery

Nominations invited for Cissie Roughan Award

Clare County Council is seeking nominations for the Cissie Roughan Award 2016, a civic award honouring individuals and voluntary organisations that have contributed significantly to the town of Kilrush. Set up in 1993 by Kilrush Town Council to give public recognition to Councillor Cissie Roughan’s work as a member of the Local Authority from 1980 to 1991, the civic award promotes and encourages participation and achievement in the arts, social, business, education, sporting and general life of the town. The award scheme is open to anyone to nominate the person or persons, not necessarily resident in Kilrush, who have made an outstanding contribution to Kilrush society. Councillor Bill Slattery, Cathaoirleach of the West Clare Municipal District said, “Clare County Council is aware of the vital importance of community spirit and activity to the town, and of the positive contribution and effect of those who strive for community spirit and welfare in a range of endeavours. Such people play a vital …

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