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Munster GAA Council splash the cash

THE Munster GAA Council has announced details of the 2017 Development Grant Scheme, which has provided €1,004,700 in funding for club and school capital development projects. Clare received €118,600 from 10 applications, Cork received €344,229 from 38 applications, Limerick received €185,258 from 18 applications, Kerry received €93,308 from 15 applications, Tipperary received €202,413 from 23 applications and Waterford received €60,886 from seven applications. Funding is allocated based on the amount spent and on the category of development. Local clubs were presented with their cheques at Clareabbey on Monday. According to council chairman, Jerry O’Sullivan, “These grants have supported an impressive range of capital development projects, with clubs investing close on €7,750,000 million in upgrading their facilities. This level of expenditure is testament to the strength of the GAA in the province and reflects the impressive vision of our clubs to continually improve facilities for players and supporters alike. The grants provided would not be possible without the great support we …

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EPA file still open on asbestos disposal

THE ENVIRONMENTAL protection agency has revealed that a file concerning Clare County Council’s disposal of asbestos-containing wastes at a number of West Clare sites remains open, pending further local authority works. Clare councillors passed the 2018 Budget Estimates recently, in the knowledge that the council was still not able to make a financial provision for the cost of properly disposing of asbestos-cement materials from six unauthorised sites in Kilkee and three in Kilrush. Estimates vary from €1.5 to €3.3 million for the disposal of material, which was first reported to the local authority by Kilkee resident PJ Linnane in June 2013. It is understood that the exact cost will depend on whether the council has to remove all this material or whether it is allowed to remediate the different sites. Asbestos waste material disposal is governed by legal requirements and the requirements of the HSA and the EPA. Responding to Clare Champion queries, the EPA outlined that it has a …

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75 new jobs for Gort

A GORT company has been given permission for a large extension to its premises, which will result in 75 new jobs. Natus Manufacturing Limited, located at the IDA Park in the town, received planning permission for works with a gross floor space of 2,239m2. Their existing premises measure 3,800m2. While there are only 33 car parking spaces there at present, this is to increase to 90. The application says they are looking to construct a commercial unit for storage and distribution, which will be an extension to the existing manufacturing unit. Planning was granted, subject to 16 conditions, one of which was that, prior to the commencement of development, the applicant pay a development contribution of €31,346. Local Councillor Gerry Finnerty said, “There will be 75 more jobs; at the moment, there are 125 employed in it. The planning permission means a big increase in the size of the factory. Construction will start early in the new year and that …

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Illegal campsites causing stress and frustration

At this month’s meeting of Clare County Council, Councillor Ann Norton called for the local authority to allocate more resources into statutory enforcement on planning, waste, illegal camping “and all other areas that are being flouted”. The councillor stated, “Not a week goes by that councillors aren’t being contacted by people complaining about illegal dumping and encampments. Unfortunately, it is costing the council a serious amount of money.” Speaking about illegal encampments, she said that, in many cases, “unless there are legal proceedings brought, they won’t move.” “This is putting a lot of stress on people living in the area and is bringing down the value of houses,” she added. Councillor Norton pointed out that large gates were recently installed at the Rocky Road in Ennis to help tackle illegal dumping in the area. “This is unacceptable. We have to say no,” she stated. She asked for details of the cost of the gates and the executive said this would …

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Trump Doonbeg further information queried

IN a submission to Clare County Council, relating to the further information supplied to the local authority by Trump International Golf Links regarding their planning application for coastal erosion management works, An Taisce claims that the information has not adequately addressed the ecological issues with the application. Clare County Council is due to give a decision on December 21 on the planning application, which seeks to obtain permission to construct coastal projection works on Doughmore Beach. In recent years, the resort has been hit by a number of instances of flooding. “This is largely because they are erroneously conflating the erosion of the dune frontage, as a result of the golf course stopping the dunes’ movement with the natural erosion associated with normal dune dynamics. That, in turn, has led them to claim that the do-nothing scenario will be ‘profoundly detrimental’ to the dune habitats. So the premise of all of their arguments, that the proposed walls will help the …

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Court gives €49k to charities

MORE than 50 charitable organisations and community groups have benefited to the tune of €49,000 from the proceeds of the court discretionary fund. The amount raised this year is €7,000 more than the accumulated funds divided out last year, with 21 more organisations seeing the benefit. A payment to the court discretionary fund is typically ordered by Judge Patrick Durcan in minor cases, in particular in the case of first offenders. The payment is often ordered in lieu of recording a fine and conviction. This year’s fund has been divided across 51 local and national organisations, with the largest beneficiary the Bedford Row Family Project Ltd in Limerick, which supports the families of prisoners. The group has received €10,000 from the fund. St Vincent De Paul services in Clare was the next biggest beneficiary. Ennis received €3,000 from the fund and St Senan’s Kilrush Conference St Vincent De Paul received €2,000. Four organisations benefited from €1,500 each – the Garda …

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Miltown prepares to welcome Knockalisheen visitors

THE book club in Miltown Malbay, which is made up of 12 women, met six weeks ago to discuss the possibility of doing something for asylum-seekers living in Direct Provision in Knocklisheen, Meelick. The group decided that, as some of them have Airbnb accommodation, they would offer families in Knockalisheen a two-night holiday in Miltown. Over the past few weeks, this plan has become a reality. “We meet with the families – made up of 76 individuals, including eight single women, mums, dads and children,” book club member Lorna Cahill explained. “Over half of the 76 people we met are children. We met them every Wednesday and, sometimes, twice weekly. The purpose of our meetings is to plan the holiday, with complete consultation, to get to know the families and build relationships and trust. This has proven extremely successful so far. “As families cannot cook for themselves in the centre, the main focus has been acquiring self-catering accommodation. We have …

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St Aidan’s back on track

St Aidan’s National School, Shannon officially opened their new AstroTurf/running track facility last Friday afternoon. School principal Patrice Hayes said, “Going back about two years ago now, our students’ council wrote a letter looking for somebody to contribute funds towards an AstroTurf facility. Paddy Purcell of Mincon came forward and said he would be delighted to be part of such a venture. We sat down and spoke with Paddy, who came up with a project called Project Young Eagles, where every class would be timetabled to be physically active for 20 minutes every day. We would gauge the results and see if there was an improvement in children’s alertness and readiness to learn, as well as their physical activity, to see if there was an improvement in that and, ultimately, in their academic success,” Ms Hayes said. After a couple of months, it seems the initiative is doing what it was hoped it would. “We have been doing this since …

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