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Carey calls for talks on Ballycar flooding

Clare Fine Gael TD Joe Caey has called on Minister of State Kevin Boxer Moran to ensure that discussions get under way immediately to solve the ongoing flooding at Ballycar, Newmarket on Fergus which has closed the Limerick to Ennis rail line on several occasions over recent years. He was speaking after Iarnród Éireann reopened the line this morning following an eight week suspension of services due to flooding. “When he visited Ennis last month, Minister Moran told me he would instruct his own officials from the Office of Public Works to meet with Clare County Council and Irish Rail with a view to coming up with a resolution. Council chief executive Pat Dowling confirmed to me at the same meeting that he would ensure the local authority’s involvement in such a meeting,” Deputy Carey explained. “It’s not good enough that this section of rail would remain closed for extended periods of up to 20 weeks at a time and …

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“I endeavoured to do what I could do about it,”-Varadkar under fire over Doonbeg call

TAOISEACH Leo Varadkar is under intense political pressure today, after claiming he had sought to help Donald Trump prevent a windfarm being built near Doonbeg. At a lunch in Washington yesterday, he spoke about receiving a phone call from Mr Trump three or four years ago, at which time he was Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport. In the call, Mr Varadkar said that the future President told him he had a problem near the golf course, where a wind farm was being proposed. Afterwards, Mr Varadkar said he tried to assist Mr Trump. “I endeavoured to do what I could do about it,” Mr Varadkar claimed. “I rang the County Council and enquired about the planning permission and subsequently the planning permission was declined and the windfarm was never built. Thus the landscape being preserved. The President has very kindly given me credit for that. Although I do think it probably would have been refused anyway. But I’m very …

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Changes approved for former Two Mile Inn

A NURSING home developer has been given the green light to retain developments on the site of a former hotel in Meelick. Beech Lodge Care Facility had sought retention planning permission for changes to an application that was granted on September 15, 2015 on the site of the former Two Mile Inn Hotel, which closed in September 2010 with the loss of 15 jobs. All works have been constructed within the footprint of the permitted building works with no increase in floor area. Having regard to the approved care facility use on site, the policies of the current Development Plan and the pattern of development in the area, Clare County Council considered the proposed retention would not seriously injure the amenities of the area or of property in the vicinity and would be in accordance with the proper planning and sustainable development of the area. Modifications to elevations include reduction in window opening sizes, addition of new windows, addition of …

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Retail Excellence to nominate for Seanad

Retail Excellence, Ireland’s largest retail representative body, has been admitted to the register of nominating bodies for Seanad Éireann elections. Retail Excellence, which operates from Ennis, can now select a candidate to contest the Seanad elections on the outside panel of the Industrial and Commercial Panel. Deputy CEO of Retail Excellence and former Senator Lorraine Higgins, said, “I am delighted to learn that Retail Excellence has been admitted to the register of nominating bodies to Seanad Éireann. As the largest retail representative body in Ireland with almost 2,000 members who operate in excess of 13,000 stores and employ over 130,000 staff we are honoured and delighted with this news. “This is a huge opportunity for our membership and retail in general and will help put the industry and it’s challenges on the national political agenda should our candidate be elected. “We now intend to invite political parties to put forward suitably qualified candidates which our board will vote on. The …

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Alleged sexual exploitation of children

Gardaí from Newcastle West, Bruff, Henry Street, Mayorstone Park and Roxboro Road in conjunction with the Limerick Divisional Protective Services Unit on Monday arrested eleven (11) adults (six females and five males ranging in ages 20s to 70s) as part of an investigation into alleged sexual exploitation of children who were resident in the Newcastle West Garda District. All eleven were arrested in Limerick, Tipperary and Kerry and are detained at various Garda Stations in Limerick, Cork and Clare under the provisions of Section 4 – Criminal Justice Act 1984.

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Thaw underway as normality begins to return to Clare

WHILE a yellow weather warning remains in place for Clare until noon tomorrow, normality is returning to the county, following the heaviest snowfall in decades. Met Éireann has warned that lying snow and ice will continue to cause hazardous conditions, until at least noon tomorrow. In an update earlier today Clare County Council stated, “There has been a very significant thaw which started at circa 12 noon yesterday and continued overnight-temperatures averaged one to two degrees Celsius overnight. Depths of snow vary from 2-10cm in general terms away from treated roads-yesterday the equivalent depths were 10 to 25 cm.” By noon today the local authority was in a position to say that “Most roads are now passable with clear tracks made by traffic to tarmac level and in many cases, roads have become totally clear as a result of treatment the thaw and traffic activity on them.” By the early afternoon the N67 at Corkscrew Hill was the only national …

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Orange warning until Sunday as problems persist

WHILE some parts of Clare are seeing a thaw, it is expected that it will take at least a couple more days for all areas to fully return to normality. At the time of writing the temperature in most parts of the county is at two or three degrees celsius, but temperatures are slightly lower at more elevated locations. Clare County Council have seven gritter trucks and five snow ploughs currently in action. It is understood that all of the national secondary routes under the Council’s authority have now been treated, while they are working on the next tier of tertiary roads. However it may be some time before less used local roads receive any attention. Schools have the discretion to open on Monday, but it is thought that in certain areas where access will still be difficult, they may have no option but to remain closed for another day. Met Éireann issued a status orange snow-ice warning for Clare …

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Orange alert until 6pm

WHILE the worst of the snow is now over, driving conditions around Clare are still very poor in many areas, while a Met Éireann status orange warning remains in place until 6pm. The warning, which was issued at 6am, states, “Some snow this morning, widespread treacherous surfaces due to ice and lying snow. Rain will begin to spread from the south today and this will start the melting process with potential flooding. Updates will follow.” Shortly after 10am this morning Clare County Council tweeted that its crews are currently clearing streets and footpaths in the county’s main towns, while its trucks are out gritting roads. It has also said that the Active Ennis Leisure Complex, Lees Road, Cloughleigh Astro Turf and Kilrush Sports Complex will be closed all day. There was disappointment for a number of families after it was announced that Ennis CBS confirmation had been postponed. All Clare District Soccer League games that were fixed for this weekend …

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