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East Clare

Scariff family ties for Scott Medal hero

A GARDA with strong County Clare family ties has been awarded the prestigious Scott Medal for Bravery, for facing down an armed robber. Garda Michael Bolton, a grandson of the late Teresa and Michael Bolton and the son of the late Michael Bolton from Scariff, was honoured for foiling an armed robbery in Portmarnock, Dublin on November 16, 2012. When he responded to a credit union robbery on a bicycle, the garda encountered two suspects, one of whom pointed a gun at him. The suspect fired a shot at Garda Bolton and he was subsequently forced to dive behind a parked car for cover. The armed raider later approached Garda Bolton a second time, in an effort to frighten him away. Because of the persistence and courage of the Malahide-based garda, the culprits were later apprehended by support units and brought before the courts. The citation for the award stipulated that the Scott Medal was being awarded for “exceptional courage …

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Killuran Cemetery extension dead and buried

EAST Clare councillor Joe Cooney is pressing the National Monuments Service to change its guidelines on buffer zones around archaeological finds. Kiluran Cemetery Committee has just been refused permission to extend Kiluran Cemetery in O’Callaghan’s Mills due to a discovery of “significant archaeological features” at the site. The National Monuments Service is willing to allow the extension but only if there is a 75m buffer zone and that would bring the extension out of the committee’s land and into another landowner’s property. Councillor Cooney said it looks to be the end of plans to extend the cemetery but will press for a change in guidelines nationally. This week, Clare County Council refused the application for the extension to the more than 100-year-old cemetery on the grounds that, “it is considered that to permit the proposed development would injure or interfere with the historic remains and setting of the adjoining archaeological monuments”. “It’s very, very disappointing,” said Councillor Cooney. “We’re not …

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CELT’s funding for job creation

East Clare based charity CELT, has received €14,000 in funding for a project which aims to provide skills and create employment in the local community. An environmental organisation located in Tuamgraney, CELT were approved for the financial aid to fund their woodland management and skills training programme. Part of  a £2.5million Skills & Opportunities Fund from Ulster Bank, RBS and NatWest, €14,000 was awarded to five Irish organisations, including CELT, to enable them support disadvantaged communities by helping people to learn new skills, get into the world of work or set up their own business. Organisations were required to submit a project proposal which had a special emphasis on helping their communities to develop new skills. CELT’s Woodland Management Skills Training programme will run over a six month period providing eight one-day workshops which will each cater for 25 participants. Speaking about the organisations success, Bob Wilson of CELT said: “With the help of Ulster Bank’s Skills and Opportunity fund …

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Support for Lough Derg abstraction could drown out local opposition

Clare County Council’s opposition to the proposed Lough Derg water abstraction project may be drowned by the huge waves of support from vested interests in the east of the country, local councillors have claimed. Councillors have warned that the lack of professional, technical and engineering support for their objections makes it harder to fight the huge volume of submissions supporting the planned abstraction of over 330 million litres of water daily from Lough Derg, to supply the greater Dublin region. Local councillors expressed trenchant opposition to Irish Water’s plans to take water from the lake at a special briefing session for the Killaloe Municipal District. Councillor Pat Hayes lamented the fact there is “no one to fight for our side” and noted the former North Tipperary Council still had not made a submission after entering into an agreement with the previous promoters of this project, Dublin City Council, to get financial assistance for an independent assessment of the plans. Claiming …

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Temporary closure of daycare facilities at Raheen and Regina House

Elderly residents are facing into a period of time without daycare facilities, after the HSE made the decision to close both Raheen Community Hospital in Tuamgraney and Regina House in Kilrush. However,  Mary Cassidy of the Support Group for Raheen Hospital says the HSE’s decision to temporarily close the daycare centres in Tuamgraney and Kilrush will upset many service users and their families. In a statement, the HSE says the decision has come about because of a lack of nurses, and that this is caused by factors including annual leave, sick leave and them unavailability of agency staff. Long-term residents at the two nursing homes are being prioritised, with available nursing staff being used to cater for their needs, the statement read. The HSE insists the closure will only be for “a couple of weeks”.

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Holy Island in public ownership

Clare County Council has announced a comprehensive plan relating to the future tourism development and visitor management of Holy Island (Inis Cealtra) on Lough Derg. At a ceremony in Mountshannon today, the Local Authority confirmed it has acquired 41 acres on the island which, together with the two acres already in the ownership of the Office of Public Works (OPW), now means that the entire island is in public ownership. The Council also announced its intention to procure professional experts to prepare a Visitor Management and Tourism Development Plan for Holy Island which will provide a framework, in consultation with key stakeholders, for tourism development and visitor management of the Island, whilst also ensuring the cultural heritage and natural assets that contribute to the Island’s uniqueness are maintained and protected. Still used as a burial ground, the ruins and buildings still standing on Holy Island date back as far as the 7th century when the monastic site was established by …

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‘Shocking’ list of unfinished estates

Confirmation that there are 27 unfinished housing estates in the Killaloe Municipal District has been described as “shocking”. Clare County Council has revealed there are 27 estates on its Register of Estates in the Killaloe district, each at various stages of progression, waiting to be taken in charge. The register includes a claim on IBRC bonds to special liquidators for Power’s Court and Ardmore Estates in Tulla and a schedule of works agreed and funded by NAMA in lieu of IBRC bond at Churchfields, Clonlara. Councillor Pat Hayes described the list of work to be done as “shocking” at a recent meeting. The Fianna Fáil councillor told the meeting each estate had a different schedule of works to be done, with different costs associated with their deficiencies throughout the district. He proposed that funding be allocated from the Government to tackle this issue, as he said people are living “in no man’s land” waiting for works to be completed. “I …

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Mountshannon eagles hatch again

NEWS of the latest hatching of a white-tailed eagle near Mountshannon has been greeted with excitement locally. The white-tailed eagle pair, Caimin and Saoirse, have successfully hatched on an island close to Mountshannon for the third year in-a-row. In fact, white-tailed eagles have successfully hatched chicks across four counties in Ireland. Eight pairs of white-tailed eagles have nested and laid eggs, with five nests successfully hatching chicks in Clare, Cork, Galway and Kerry. The pair of eagles near Mountshannon created history in 2013 when they reared the first chicks to fly from a nest in Ireland in more than 100 years. The pair also reared the only chick to successfully fledge from a nest in 2014. Hopes are high that the five successful pairs will successfully raise chicks that will go on to form the basis of a viable population in Ireland. This would potentially be the first white-tailed eagle chicks to fledge successfully in Kerry, Cork and Galway. They …

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