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North Clare

Some progress on Blake’s Corner controversy

Clare County Council has said today (Tuesday) some progress has been made following its engagement with a committee of residents and local representatives relating to traffic management proposals at Blake’s Corner in Ennistymon. Two three-hour meetings have been held, during which detailed discussions took place in relation to the environmental, conservation and traffic requirements that require to be met for any proposal. The appointed project consultants have outlined the range of options explored to date to address the serious safety issues at Blake’s Corner and have presented the variants of different options to the committee. Following discussion and assessment of the options, one of the parties previously affected by land acquisition has been removed from the proposal as an alternative has been identified.

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Apology over Blake’s Corner ‘fiasco’

The chief executive and a director of services of Clare County Council have apologised to the three families affected by what has been described as the “fiasco” of the council’s handling of proposals on Blake’s Corner in Ennistymon. Council CEO Tom Coughlan has privately delivered an apology to the families whose homes and businesses could face demolition if a new bridge, aimed at alleviating traffic problems at Blake’s Corner, goes ahead. Councillor Richard Nagle raised the matter at Monday’s meeting of the council in a motion that called for a protocol to be put in place that would outline clearly how individuals and communities are to be consulted concerning any proposals that directly affect them. “I put down this motion because I believe that it is important that we, as a council, have clear guidelines in place for projects that have a major impact on individual members and the communities in which they are to take place,” Councillor Nagle stated. …

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Great times ahead for Lisdoonvarna

Lisdoonvarna looks set to attract even more visitors to its annual matchmaking festival this September after its most famous son featured in the New York Times recently. The North Clare Spa town, by all accounts, attracted record tourist numbers during the five-week festival last year. However, one local hotelier says interest is already surging, from the United States in particular, following Willie Daly’s extensive coverage in the well-known paper. “This article appearing in the New York Times certainly is a bonus for us. Usually, interest in the festival really gets going in May and June but this is worldwide coverage and getting into something like the New York Times, a well established and world-famous paper, is amazing. That type of press coverage will definitely help Lisdoonvarna this year,” said Marcus White of the White Hotel Group, of which the Hydro Hotel, the Imperial Hotel and the Burren Castle Hotel are all part. The socio-economic demographic of NY Times readers increases …

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Big Apple or Ennistymon dilemma for Willie

North Clare matchmaker, Willie Daly has been invited to New York for St Patrick’s Day, following the recent publication of an interview with him in one of the best-known newspapers in the United States. The Lisdoonvarna man was invited to the city by a group of publicans in Brooklyn, to conduct a matchmaking weekend there, after an article about him appeared in the New York Times on February 3. “I was invited off the back of the article but, really, I always have St Patrick’s Day at home with my grandchildren and we always participate in the Ennistymon parade, so I have to weight it up against that,” he said. Last year, following national headlines made by whistleblowers, Willie and his family entered the parade as the tin whistle blowers. “I have suggested to the people who have invited me that maybe April 1 or May Day might be alternative times for a matchmaking weekend. St Patrick’s Day is busy …

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Residents to meet council over Blake’s plan

A committee set up in opposition to the route of a proposed new inner relief road in Ennistymon will meet with senior Clare County Council officials again later this month. The group, made up of residents and local representatives, met with officials from the local authority on Monday and had “a full and frank exchange of views”, according to committee chairman, Senator Martin Conway. The committee was set up at a large public meeting on January 23, after it emerged that the council’s “preferred solution” to congestion at Blake’s Corner would likely result in the demolition of three homes, including one belonging to a young family and another to an elderly couple. “Following our mandate from the public meeting, I have been in regular contact with senior officials in Clare County Council, regarding the threat to family homes and businesses as a result of the proposed inner relief road. These discussions culminated in a meeting between the committee and council …

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Ennistymon public meeting on controversial community centre ‘constructive’

The board of directors of Ennistymon Community Centre will meet next week to discuss the outcome of a public meeting about the centre, which was held in the town earlier this week. According to a statement from the board, its members are “at a complete loss” to understand some of the allegations being made about the centre and its governance. A public meeting was held in The Falls Hotel on Monday, organised by a newly-formed group called the Ennistymon Community Action Group. The group was set up “in response to concerns in the greater parish and community about the current vitality of the Community Centre”. The board of directors of Ennistymon Parish Project Community Centre Ltd did not attend the meeting but refuted claims the centre was unavailable to clubs, that it was alienating young people and that it was not meeting its objectives. The board acknowledged that it had been invited to Monday’s public meeting but declined to go, …

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Nine million hear Clare woman’s voice

A North Clare woman wowed judges on the hit television programme, The Voice UK at the weekend. More than nine million people tuned in as Burren resident, Sharon Murphy sang Bob Dylan’s Forever Young in the show’s blind auditions broadcast on BBC 1 on Saturday. “To be honest, I have done gigs here and done gigs in other countries but I was not prepared for my nerves. It is very surreal because you are dealing with cameras. I normally play the guitar but this time I decided to focus on my voice because that is the show,” she explained. “I got on the stage and there were two Xs on the ground. You do the rehearsal and there is one X and then, when I went out, there were two so I didn’t know which one to stand on and then, on the very last note, I thought, this might not happen for me,” she added. Throughout the performance it …

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alphonsus cullinan, bishop of waterford

Lahinch man new Bishop of Waterford and Lismore

His Holiness Pope Francis has appointed Lahinch native, Fr Alphonsus Cullinan as the new Bishop of Waterford & Lismore. Fifty-five-year-old, Fr Cullinan is a son of Christy and Rita and has four sisters and five brothers. He is parish priest in Rathkeale, County Limerick His family moved to Limerick city where he attended the Salesians for early education, John F Kennedy National School and the Crescent College Comprehensive (SJ) for his secondary education. From 1978-1981 he attended Mary Immaculate College of Education Limerick and qualified as a primary teacher and taught for six years in Castleconnell, County Limerick. He worked part-time during that time for four years with the Bunratty Castle Entertainers before going to Spain where he taught English for two years in a school in Valladolid. Fr Cullinan studied at Saint Patrick’s College Maynooth from 1989-95 where he completed an STL (Licentiate in Theology). He was ordained by Bishop Jeremiah Newman in 1994 in Saint John’s Cathedral, Limerick, …

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Parking problems at Mullaghmore

A CLARE County Council official has acknowledged that if there are issues with road safety at Mullaghmore that he will do anything within his role to “push any measures” that are required through. Senior executive engineer, Hugh McGrath made these comments at a recent Killaloe Electoral Area meeting, which covers the Mullaghmore area of North Clare, following a motion tabled by Councillor Pat Hayes. Councillor Hayes proposed that a review of the parking facilities at Mullaghmore be carried out in the interest of traffic movements and safety for road users and walkers. The Fianna Fáil councillor said that, particularly during the summer months, parking is a significant problem, with “cars parking all over the place”. He said there are issues surrounding public safety, as a result of having no traffic management plan at the popular location. Councillor Hayes said he was not aware whether parking issues were the full responsibility of the National Parks and Wildlife Service or not and …

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March 17 deadline for Aldi planning decision

A decision on whether or not a discount supermarket can be built on the site of Ennistymon Mart is due to be made before St Patrick’s Day. Clare County Council received an application in the past week from John Spain Associates, on behalf of Aldi Stores, for a proposed shop with 82 car-parking spaces on the mart site at Church Hill and Circular Road. The site has been the subject of controversy in recent years, with local farmers fighting to keep the mart open. In December 2014, officers of the Ennistymon branch of Irish Farmers’ Association, in an unprecedented move in the county, resigned their positions. They took the decision to give up their roles in protest over the sale of the mart to Aldi and what they saw as a lack of support from Clare IFA on the matter. The branch committee members took the united action “to highlight our frustration with the IFA on their approach to the …

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