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Drive to entice British tourists to Clare

Shannon Ferries in Killimer joined Tourism Ireland at the Classic Motor Show in Birmingham over the weekend in a drive to entice British tourists to the county by highlighting car touring holidays in Clare. The Classic Motor Show is an annual event which takes place over three days at the NEC in Birmingham. It attracts around 65,000 people, offering an excellent platform to spread the world about car touring holidays around Ireland among car enthusiasts – and prospective holidaymakers for Ireland – in Britain. Vanessa Markey, Tourism Ireland’s Head of Great Britain, said: “The Classic Motor Show was another excellent opportunity to highlight our superb driving routes, including the spectacular Wild Atlantic Way. Tourism Ireland is actively promoting longer-stay holidays and encouraging British travellers to come and discover Ireland by car. Visitors who use a car on holidays tend to stay longer, spend more and are more likely to visit more than one region. “Since the UK referendum on Brexit, …

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Lough Derg Canoe Trail to be completed early 2017

Canoe facilities and services blocks are being provided at various locations around Lough Derg as part of an initiative aimed at promoting water-based activities on Ireland’s third largest lake. Clare County Council has confirmed that the proposed Lough Derg Canoe Trail, which is scheduled for completion by January 2017, will see facilities installed in Killaloe, Ballycuggeran, and Scarriff, Mountshannon and Dromaan harbours. The Trail project is an initiative of the Lough Derg Marketing Group and is being funded under the Lough Derg Stimulus Fund. Waterways Ireland is leading the design and development of the project in partnership with the Clare County Council, Galway County Council and Tipperary County Council. Trail information signage is being provided at Canal Bank, Killaloe, where upgrade works to the existing slipway are also being undertaken. Works underway at the Mill Yard, Killaloe include the provision of trail information signage, a canoe storage rack and planting/screening of same. The works to Scarriff harbour include trail information …

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Tourism boost for Scattery Island

Clare County Council has submitted an application for funding under the Rural Economic Development Zones (REDZ) initiative to develop the tourism potential of Scattery Island. Uninhabited since 1979, Scattery Island – also known as Inish Cathaigh – is located approximately one mile from Kilrush in the Shannon Estuary and is home to a monastery founded in the early 6th century by St. Senan. The island features the ruins of six churches and one of the highest Round Towers in Ireland at 120 ft. high. The funding application by the Economic Development and Rural Development sections of Clare County Council coincides with the OPW’s appointment of Conservation Architects, to undertake a Conservation and Management Plan relating to the island. It is anticipated that a new ferry provider will also be formally appointed shortly to provide a service from Kilrush Marina during the summer months. Meanwhile, the OPW’s new exhibition of Scattery Island is approaching completion and a “fresh” exhibition will be …

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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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