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East Clare

Irish Water accused of ‘double standards’

Irish Water has been accused of engaging in “double standards” by meeting county councillors in private about some issues, while offering to make a presentation about the controversial Lough Derg abstraction project at their July meeting. The charge has been levelled by Councillor Pat Hayes, who has opted to boycott Irish Water’s regular meetings with his colleagues in the Killaloe Muncipal District Area, concerning billing and maintenance issues. Councillor Hayes took the stance after the national water authority refused to send one of its representatives to a full council meeting where issues could be debated in public and reported on by local media. The Fianna Fáil councillor believes IW is engaging in “double standards” by offering to send representatives to the full council meeting because of its desire to press ahead with the contentious water abstraction from Lough Derg. He said local councillors are strongly opposed to IW’s plans to take water from Lough Derg to boost Dublin’s water supplies. …

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Sea eagles cause economy to soar by €500,000

THE East Clare economy soared by an extra €500,000 last year, thanks to the lure of the first successful breeding pair of white-tailed sea eagles in the country in over a century. Clare County Council, which funds the popular White Tailed Sea Eagle Viewing and Information Point at Mountshannon Pier, confirmed the facility generated more than €500,000 for the local economy in 2014. A visitor survey conducted last year found that 43% of people reported the attraction of the sea eagles was the primary factor influencing their decision to visit Mountshannon. More than 10,000 people flocked to the shores of Lough Derg between mid-July and September 2014 to catch a glimpse of the eagles which had nested on Bushy Island, off Mountshannon Bay. A person from Northern Ireland on a sabbatical completed a visitor survey of those attending the viewing and information point. Dr Allan Mee of the Golden Eagle Trust acknowledged that some day trippers visiting Mountshannon last year …

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Tulla man fatally injured

Gardai in East Cork are appealing for witnesses to a road traffic accident in which a Tulla man was fatally injured. Thirty three year-old Cathal Torpey received fatal injures when struck by a car on the Cork side of Castlemartyr at approximately 5.15am Monday morning. He was removed by ambulance to Cork University Hospital where he later died. He is the only son of Margaret and the late Martin (Mar) Torpey. The driver of the car was uninjured. The road was closed to facilitate an examination by Garda Forensic Collision Investigators. Gardai are appealing for witness to contact Midleton Garda Station on 021- 4621550, the Garda Confidential Telephone Line 1800 666 111 or any garda station.

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Whitegate Races deferred for one week

  Pony enthusiasts in the Mid-West have been left disappointed following the cancellation of the eagerly-awaited Whitegate Pony Races. The main headline event of the May Bank Holiday Festival in Whitegate, which was due to take place on Sunday, May 3 at 1 pm, has fallen foul of adverse weather conditions. A decision was taken by the festival committee on Saturday morning to postpone the first meeting of the flapping season until Sunday, May 10 following a race course inspection. The Midlands Horse and Pony Association was immediately contacted so that the race participants could be given adequate notice of the race cancellation before finalising their travel arrangement. Equine enthusiasts from places like Cork, Dingle, Kenmare, Claremorris, Kildare and all over the country were preparing to flock to Whitegate for the nine-race card involving between 60 and 70 ponies. These races at Dromaan overlooking Lough Derg have gone from strength to strength since they were revived four years ago and …

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Scariff group on same wavelength

Thousands of euro has been raised for the first online community radio station in East Clare. A group of eight people from Scariff were all on the one wavelength concerning the need for a new radio station broadcasting news and sport online at weekends and the promoters of Scariff Bay Community Radio are planning their debut broadcast later this month. While a definitive schedule has not yet been decided, it is expected the internet radio station will be live for two hours on Saturdays and Sundays. After Raidio Corca Baiscinn, which is based in Kilkee, this will become the second community station that is currently operating in the county. Jet FM operated for a seven-year period in Shannon until it ceased in 2011 and this was followed by an offshoot Rinn Fm, which broadcast for about a year. A fundraising target of €4,000 had been set by the promoters to cover the initial start-up costs and the estimated annual running …

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Clare TD to keep party whip

Labour TD for Clare, Michael McNamara may not face automatic expulsion from the Parliamentary Party after voting against the Government. Deputy McNamara put forward a bill, not supported by the Government, to give effective trade union recognition to the Garda representative associations and remove a ban on them striking. The Clare TD voted against the Government coalition but Labour sources say he will not face the normal automatic rule of expulsion or lose the Government whip because it was his own piece of legislation. Deputy McNamara, however, still believes the issue will have to be tackled. “I’m disappointed that the relevant line ministers didn’t accept the legislation – I’m disappointed, but no more than that,” he said following the vote. “If you cannot introduce a piece of legislation, then what is the point of being here? I introduced a piece of legislation which I believe is necessary – it brought about changes which Ireland will have to introduce, both [in] …

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August start for Raheen extension

The planned extension of Raheen Community Hospital is to get underway this August, according to Clare TD, Joe Carey. Deputy Carey said he had received the up-date from Bernard Gloster, manager, HSE Mid West Community Healthcare. Deputy Carey said, “ “The extension to Raheen Community Hospital has the benefit of planning permission and detailed design documents are currently being developed. It’s my understanding that the procurement process for a works contractor is to be progressed over the next few weeks and when completed the project will be tendered to the short listed contractors. The HSE inform me that should all go according to plan, work will commence on site during August 2015. “This news will be of great comfort and relief to patients and their families who rely on the wonderful services in Raheen. This important development will enable the hospital to continue to provide appropriate care in the community for years to come. I want to thank the HSE …

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Taking a trail around Lough Derg

A new trail showcasing the rich natural heritage of Lough Derg will be officially unveiled next week. Lough Derg (on the Shannon) Nature Trail is produced by the county councils in Clare, Galway and Tipperary, and co-funded by The Heritage Council and Lakelands & Inland Waterways. The 130-kilometre trail takes visitors from Portumna in Galway down the western shore of the lake, to Killaloe in Clare, and back up on the eastern side to Terryglass in Tipperary. The stops along the route, which can be travelled in any direction, include walking routes, lakeshore access, great bird watching locations, woodland parks for adventuring, and quiet spots to enjoy the beautiful vistas of Ireland’s third largest lake. Among the 24 discovery points featured is the monastic site at Inis Cealtra, known as the “Jewel of the Lough’, as well as the ancient woodlands of Portumna Forest Park, Derrycrag Wood, Raheen Wood and Cominchas Forest, the sheltered bays and harbours at Rosmore, Mountshannon …

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