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North Clare

The private trail of storm destruction

RESIDENTS and business people along the Clare coast have spent the past week cleaning up after the recent storms. Clare County Council is looking for more than €23 million in funding from central government for work on public infrastructure but extensive damage was also caused to private property, including homes, by Storm Christine. Now, people with houses and businesses along the coast are wondering and worrying how they will pay for the damage done to their property. Noel Sexton owns White Strand Caravan Park outside Miltown Malbay. “I will have to pay for the damage myself,” he told The Clare Champion. “There are a lot of stones washed up onto the caravan park and sections of it were washed away with sea. The stones will have to be brought back down. I will have to get a machine in to do that. I will have to pay the man with the machine. The part that washed away was about a …

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Preliminary Clare storm damage bill hits €23.7m

CLARE County Council has estimated the total damage caused by Storm Christine in County Clare at €23,761,043 with Lahinch being the worst affected. At a specially convened meeting of Clare County Council on Friday, members were given an outline of a preliminary storm damage report, which estimated the total damage caused in Lahinch at €5,842,390. The next highest cost of repairs was in Kilbaha, estimated in the region of €3,423,950. Meanwhile, repairs at Cloughaninchy, Quilty are estimated at €2,581,250. Storm damage in New Quay amounted to approximately €1.854m, while the repair works necessary at Carrowdotia in Moneypoint are estimated at €1,115,400. Councillors viewed CCTV footage of the storm captured at Lahinch promenade. A contingency fund of €2,160,095 was also included in the preliminary report, and costs of non-coastal repairs were estimated in the region of €190,000.  Meanwhile, water services issues relating to the storm came to approximately €20,000. Senior engineer Tom Tiernan outlined in the report that the council also …

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Lonely Planet resolution for Lisdoonvarna

THE North Clare village of Lisdoonvarna is listed alongside the Chilean Atacama Desert, Australia’s  Whitsunday Islands and the French Riviera in Lonely Planet’s top 52 travel resolutions for 2014. The world famous series of travel books has just released an ebook called Travel Resolutions, 52 New Ways to Experience Planet Earth and Lisdoonvarna and County Clare features at number three. Publishers expect tens of thousands of copies of the free ebook to be downloaded over the coming year and businesses in the North Clare village say this could herald the start of a good year for tourism in the area. Marcus White of the Hydro Hotel and one of the people behind this year’s gay and lesbian matchmaking festival, The Outing, describes the inclusion of Lisdoonvarna on the list as “fantastic”. “We have noticed that since the end of last September, there has been an increase of bookings already for next year. That has never happened before. The economy is …

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€20,000 damage to coast guard office

FLOOD waters caused thousands of euro worth of damage to the premises of the Doolin unit of the Irish Coast Guard at the weekend. Station officer in Doolin, Mattie Shannon estimates the cost of the damage could be in the region of €20,000. High tides, heavy rain and strong winds caused severe damage to the road surface leading to Doolin Pier and to the nearby car park. It is here that Doolin Coast Guard has its headquarters. The prefabricated building was “wrecked”. However, the team will continue to operate out of it until their new premises on the pier is open in the early summer. The new building is still under construction but was largely unscathed in the storm. “The door and the portacabin is wrecked really because it doesn’t take the water very well. The portacabin would cost about €5,000 or €6,000 to replace. I would estimate the damage would be around €15,000 to €20,000, including the electrical equipment …

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Prom to reopen before the weekend

THE Promenade in Lahinch is set to reopen within days, while other facilities in the North Clare resort will take much longer, it has been confirmed. The surface of the prom, its railings, signs and the adjacent car park were badly damaged by the “ferocious” storm that hit the country last weekend. Commercial buildings in the area were also damaged by flooding and waves, which reached higher than many buildings on the prom. Lahinch Seaworld is closed until further notice because of flooding and associated damage, estimated to cost tens of thousands of euro. The nearby playground is also closed until it has been assessed by engineers. Clare county manager, Tom Coughlan described the damage to the prom as “extensive and damaging to the local economy in the short term”. “The objective of Clare County Council is not just to repair the damage but to put in place facilities which will further enhance Lahinch as a tourism destination. “We envisage …

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Miraculous escape for surfer in treacherous conditions

A SURFER had a miraculous escape in North Clare after he made it safely ashore in storm force winds and dangerous seas. Doolin Coast Guard team was called to the incident in Lahinch on Thursday evening at 5 o’clock when a member of the public reported what they thought was possibly a person in the water. The sea was rough at the time, according to Station Officer Mattie Shannon, and Doolin Coast Guard unit team members went to the location and searched the area. They found no evidence of anyone in the water until a surfer reported that another surfer was overdue. Against the odds, in darkness and difficult sea conditions, the surfer made it back to shore at approximately 6.50pm. He was assisted and treated for hypothermia by Coast Guard members until the HSE Ambulance arrived. He was then taken to the Mid Western Regional Hospital in Limerick.

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Cliffs of Moher closed to public due to strong winds

MANAGEMENT  at the Cliffs of Moher Visitor Centre in North Clare have announced that the tourist attraction was  closed to the public from 1pm on Wednesday, December 18 due to expected strong winds. Katherine Webster,  director of the Cliffs of Moher Visitor Experience, said, “We appeal to people not to visit the Cliffs of Moher from 1pm today as it will be unsafe to do so and the visitor centre will not be open.” Met Eireann has issued a National Status Red Weather Warning predicting extreme gale force winds from 3pm onwards and continuing through the night.  Gusts of up to 150km/ph are forecast. This weather warning runs until 3am Thursday. Visitors intending to visit tomorrow should check the website or call ahead to check if the centre is open.  

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Opposition to fish farm reinforced

Slow Food International has reiterated its position on fish farms, stating that the organisation “does not consider open net pen fish farms an environmentally sound practice”. The group made the statement ahead of any decision by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine on whether or not to grant a license to Bord Iascaigh Mhara for a giant salmon farm off the North Clare Coast. The movement said it wished to “reiterate its opposition to intensive open pen fish farms, correcting any misconception resulting from the mention of Slow Food in the Environmental Impact Statement published by BIM”. Piero Sardo, president of the Slow Food Foundation for Biodiversity, confirms, “Open net pen aquaculture is not a solution to the problem of overfishing: It damages natural ecosystems on a local and a global level, including wild stocks, habitats and water quality. Feeding carnivorous salmon in farms means other wild species must also be harvested, resulting in a larger carbon footprint …

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