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North Clare

General Election count in Ennistymon

The unavailability of a suitable venue in Ennis has paved the way for a General Election count to take place in North Clare for the first time. A large function room and dining facilities are a prerequisite for an election count nowadays and the Falls Hotel in Ennistymon qualifies on both counts. With the Government giving the minimum required notice for polling day, county registrar Pat Wallace found that the West County Hotel, the traditional venue for major election counts, was already booked for Saturday, February 27. He said the move away from Ennis was unavoidable. The election count will bring a welcome boost for the Falls Hotel and other businesses.

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Moy garden creating a community impact

THE Get Involved Awards for 2015 have been underway over the last 10 months and it’s nearing awards day at the end of this month. The Clann Credo Community Impact Prize category has now been opened out to an online vote. This will allow communities celebrate their success and communicate the great things their projects are achieving locally. The online voting will commence on this Friday and close on Sunday, February 21. The Community Impact prize fund is €5,000; 1st €3,000, 2nd €1,500, 3rd €500. The Clann Credo “Community Impact Prize” highlights how outstanding community-based projects meet local and community needs in an innovative & collaborative way. In total six projects from around the country have been shortlisted for this year’s Clann Credo sponsored Community Impact Prize. Members of the local community are encouraged to get behind their local shortlisted project by sharing information about the online voting on social media (Facebook, Twitter) and through their other local networks All members of …

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Springfield roads now passable

Clare County Council has confirmed that a number of roads have reopened in flood-affected parts of North and Southeast Clare as water levels continue to slowly recede. All roads in Springfield, Clonlara are now passable. The N67 at New Quay has reopened but a number of local primary routes remain flooded in the North Clare area. Meanwhile, Clare County Council has received confirmation from the ESB of its decision to reduce the discharge level at Parteen Weir from 300 cumecs to 265 cumecs.

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Moy Hill project growing and growing

THE bitingly cool winter air swept across Moy on Monday evening, as the Get Involved 2015 Scheme’s judges visited Moy Hill Community Garden and a 17-acre farm located nearby, which was purchased five months ago. The volunteers who run the community garden have made it to the last six in the Local Ireland-organised Get Involved awards project, which is a competition run by 51 local newspapers throughout the country. The aim is that the national competition will drive voluntary sustainable projects, where local people collectively play a more proactive, inclusive and coherent role in shaping the future of their local environs. Matt Smith, along with his partner Sophie, Fergal Smith and Mitch Corbett, are some of the people who helped establish the community garden before purchasing the 17 acres. The garden grows a huge variety of fruit and vegetables and for much of the year, people visit on Friday evenings to enjoy the social setting. It also features an underground …

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Cliffs visitor numbers climbing

Visitor numbers to the Cliffs of Moher Visitor Experience were up 15.8% during 2015, it has been confirmed. 1,251,574 people visited the Clare County Council owned centre last year compared to 1,080,501 during 2014, meaning that the Cliffs of Moher broke the one million visitor figure for the just the second time ever last year. It is the fifth successive increase in visitor numbers to the Cliffs of Moher with year-on-year increases of 12.5%, 10%, 8%, 10% and 12.3% being achieved during 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014 respectively. Fully Independent Travellers (FITs), mainly travelling by car, made up 49% of the total, representing a 14.6% increase compared to 2014   Groups travelling by coach made up 45.6% of the total and increased by 16.1% on the previous year.  Others including walkers, cyclists and those travelling by public transport made up 5.4% and increased by 16.5% compared to 2014. “This is the highest number of visitors since records were first kept exceeding the …

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‘Bandaid’ for Liscannor sewage ‘geyser’

Work on a wastewater treatment plant at Liscannor will not begin until 2017, Irish Water confirmed this week however the utility said it had replaced an outfall pipe in the North Clare village, a move described as a “Bandaid” by Patrick Blake of the Liscannor Harbour Amenity Organisation. “We are very disappointed in Liscannor. €68,000 has been wasted in producing another pipe to allow the sewage to flow directly into Liscannor Bay. We recognise that they already have started to do work but we feel, at the moment this, is only a Bandaid treatment. We want to stop sewage going in to Liscannor Bay,” Mr Blake stated. The popular seaside village made national headlines back in August when a ‘geyser’ of sewage was spotted gushing from a pipe there. The people of Liscannor have sought a sewage treatment system for the past two decades. This study was to “look at possible solutions for the upgrade of wastewater infrastructure” but a …

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New Year decision on Ennistymon mart plan

People in North Clare will have to wait until next year to find out if controversial plans to knock Ennistymon Mart and build an Aldi supermarket will be allowed. An Bord Pleanála had been expected to decide earlier this week whether or not to permit the proposed demolition of existing buildings on the site and the construction of a single-storey discount foodstore, including off-licence and a carpark with in the region of 80 spaces. However, a decision on the future of the site will not be made until next month. The proposed project was given the go-ahead by Clare County Council earlier in the year, subject to 21 conditions, but this was appealed by three separate parties, Save Ennistymon Mart Committee, local residents and former Mayor of Clare, Flan Garvey. An Bord Pleanála held a lively oral hearing on the proposed development in November, at which all three parties were represented along with Clare County Council and Aldi Stores (Ireland) …

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Fight for climate change at Lahinch

Hundreds of people are expected to gather for a climate justice event in North Clare this Sunday. Part of a worldwide movement, people from around the county will gather in Lahinch to send a message about global warming to world leaders. “The tide will be out and hundreds of people will come together from all over the county, including children, especially those involved in An Taisce’s Green-Schools programme. We will write #EarthToParis, which is a hashtag people are using all over the world at similar gatherings on the same day, in the sand. I have a drone camera and will take an aerial photograph of the event and everyone gathered around the writing and tag it and Tweet it,” explained Róisín Ní Ghairbhith, event organiser. “World leaders are meeting on December 7 and 8 in Paris to discuss climate change and we are sending them a message that we want them to come up with good decisions and good solutions. …

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The Burren through Carsten’s lens

The Burren and the Cliffs of Moher is the subject of a new book by one of Ireland’s leading photographers. This Is The Burren, Carsten Krieger’s photographic ode to the world-famous region, will be launched by Rose Hynes, a native of North Clare and chair of Shannon Group plc, in Hyland’s Burren Hotel, Lisdoonvarna on  Sunday. The Burren and the Cliffs of Moher was last week designated UNESCO Global Geopark status. The 176 photographs featured in This Is The Burren capture the essence of the Burren, including its weathered karst landscape, the ever-changing light; the exotic flora; the elusive wildlife; the tombs, cairns, forts and churches, and the people who call the Burren their home. Carsten Krieger, who was born in Germany, visited the Burren after learning it was the inspiration for J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle Earth. More visits followed before he and his wife finally decided to move to County Clare to be close to the unique landscape. Cathaoirleach of …

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UNESCO designation for Cliffs and Burren

The Burren and Cliffs of Moher Geopark has been designated as a UNESCO site following a vote at the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) General Conference in Paris today (Tuesday). The Burren and Cliffs of Moher is now one of 120 UNESCO Global Geoparks across the world. The designation means that the Clare County Council managed Geopark, along with Ireland’s two other Geoparks, the Copper Coast Geopark and Marble Arch Caves Global Geopark, is now a UNESCO Global Geopark and is now at the same level as other UNESCO designated sites such as Newgrange and the Giant’s Causeway. Reflecting on the announcement, cathaoirleach of Clare County Council, James Breen said, “As a Geopark, the Burren is very much part of a global community that shares knowledge and expertise on heritage management and sustainable development, leading to well-managed protected landscapes with preserved local heritage. This approach, combined with a good working relationship with communities throughout the Burren has …

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