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North Clare

Jobs boost at Smokehouse

SEVEN full-time jobs will be created in Lisdoonvarna, along with 10 seasonal ones, it has been announced. The Burren Smokehouse has signed a contract with global logistics company UPS, as part of plans to broaden its overseas footprint. The deal coincides with an announcement by the producer of Burren smoked salmon, trout and mackerel products to invest €150,000 in its existing operations and to create new jobs at its production facility in Lisdoonvarna. The collaboration with UPS will mean The Burren Smokehouse products sold online can be delivered around the world. As well as restructuring its e-commerce activity, The Burren Smokehouse is also expanding operations at its production facility and will be launching a new brand inspired by the Wild Atlantic Way later this year. Owner Birgitta Hedin-Curtin said, “We are investing in our integrated systems, allowing for greater e-commerce activity and higher efficiencies in terms of customer care and our global customer footprint. At our production facility in County …

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Council withdraw’s Blake’s Corner application

THE steps at Blake’s Corner in Ennistymon will not be back-filled, it emerged this week, after Clare County Council withdrew its Part 8 application to carry out the works at the contentious junction. The reason for the withdrawal, according to the county’s senior engineer, is that it would probably have been refused “as such a development would contravene the council’s own Development Plan”. Local Councillor Bill Slattery is livid at what he sees as a council u-turn on the issue. “After getting confirmation from Clare County Council that the Part 8 planning application would not proceed because it would contravene the County Development Plan, I was very annoyed and disappointed,” he said. “I am in the council four and a half years and after being selected to replace Senator Martin Conway, I immediately asked for the steps to be back-filled for the safety of pedestrians and motorists. I felt this request would have been adhered to due to the severe …

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A cold and damp caravan to call home

A NORTH Clare couple and their four young children are among the 6,239 people currently seeking accommodation in Clare. James Sherlock and his partner, Caroline Sherlock, have been living in a caravan at the front of Caroline’s family’s home in Ennistymon for the past year and a half. Now with four children, aged between four years and four weeks, the couple are at their wits’ end. “We have to go into my parents’ house to use the toilet, the shower and to do any cooking. Even at night, if my daughter wants to go to the toilet, we have to go out in the rain to get to the toilet in the house,” Caroline outlined. The family found this summer especially difficult because of the wet weather and are dreading the winter. “Like all children, they just want to play outside but, basically, they have been stuck in here,” Caroline said, indicating the one-room caravan. The caravan does not have …

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Inagh woman’s Calais crusade

SHOCKING television images of the migrant crisis in Calais has spurred one Clare woman into dramatic action. A conversation at the end of last week between Inagh’s Róisín Ní Gháirbhith and a friend of hers in Cork about the situation at the French port has now turned into a national humanitarian aid convoy involving two trucks, 10 vans, two camper vans, six cars and 40 volunteers. Desperate migrants from North Africa and the Middle East have been travelling to Calais in an effort to enter the UK. Some have attempted to walk the 31-mile Channel Tunnel, while others try to stow away on trucks using the Eurotunnel or on ships travelling from the port. Others try to climb aboard the Eurostar train. Now Calais is home to large, poorly-equipped camps and an estimated 3,000 migrants, mainly men and boys, many of whom paid large sums to people smugglers to get there. “I was watching all this on television and reading …

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Minke whale carcass not a health hazard

A whale that washed up on the North Clare coast last week will be left for “nature to take its course”, Clare County Council has confirmed. The body of the 6m-long adult female minke whale washed up on the Liscannor shore on Wednesday last. “In terms of disposal, that would normally fall under the local authority. This whale would be difficult to recover because it is a stony beach so you can’t bury it and it would be hard to bring it out. “It is not near houses and it is not on a popular beach so it is not a health hazard but we would still advise people not to touch it. It is expensive to recover whales and take them to an incinerator so we would see it as a waste of resources when it is not posing a risk,” Simon Berrow, chief science officer of the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group said (IWDG). According to the local authority, …

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Ennistymon mart site burial claims in affadivit

A discount supermarket should not be built in a North Clare town because part of the proposed site may have been used as a children’s burial ground, objectors to the project have claimed. Aldi Stores Ireland Ltd was granted permission by Clare County Council last month to demolish Ennistymon Mart and build a single-storey discount foodstore on the site. Now, the Save Ennistymon Mart Committee has submitted an affidavit, sworn by one of its members, to An Bord Pleanála claiming a woman who had lived in the town “had arranged for a priest to bless a part of the Fair Green below Doherty’s gate under which…the bodies of small children had been buried”. “These were unbaptised children whom the Catholic Church did not allow to be buried inside the grounds of the church and graveyard, which is nearby,” the affidavit from local farmer Tom Clair states. The group has opposed the closure and sale of Ennistymon Mart since it was …

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Liscannor ‘geyser’ of sewage

A ‘geyser’ of raw sewage was spotted gushing from a sewer pipe in a North Clare seaside village last week. The incident  happened at Liscannor on the Wild Atlantic Way on Wednesday and according to locals, the sewerage scheme in the area is so bad that it gets blocked up “about once every two weeks”. Patrick Blake of Liscannor Harbour Amenity Organisation described the scene in the seaside village on Wednesday morning. “When we saw the sewage geyser first, it was 20 feet high. It was around 11 o’clock and it took us about 20 minutes or a half an hour to get someone to take a photograph of it and, by that stage, it had gone down to about 10 or 11 feet,” he explained. “There was a group of people there in white coats and they said they were agents for Irish Water,” he continued. When contacted by The Clare Champion, a spokesperson for Irish Water stated that …

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Get involved with Moy Hill Garden

FERGAL Smith was destined to turn his hand to growing vegetables and various fruits at some stage. Living in North Clare for eight years, the Mayo man grew up on an organic vegetable farm before embarking on a professional surfing career for several years. These days, he is one of the key figures behind the operation of the Moy Hill Community Garden project, which is located close to Lahinch. The project has entered the Get Involved initiative, a competition run by 51 local newspapers throughout Ireland. The aim is that the national competition will drive voluntary sustainability projects, where local people collectively play a more proactive, inclusive and coherent role in shaping the future of their local environs. Before setting in Lahinch, Fergal learned his trade further up the west coast. “My dad is an organic vegetable farmer. He’s been at it 30 years. He started the country markets in Westport. So, I grew up with that. He got into …

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University Hospital Limerick.

Injured woman removed to hospital

A woman is recovering in hospital after she sustained a head injury when she slipped on rocks at Clahanes, near Liscannor, yesterday evening. The woman in her 50’s had been walking along the shoreline when the accident happened. The alarm was raised by a passerby who called the ambulance service. The Irish Coast Guard was requested to assist and the Doolin unit of the volunteer service assisted paramedics recover the patient and take her across the rocks to a waiting ambulance before being removed to University Hospital Limerick.

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Council employees have no time for lunch

SUCH is the workload of the significantly reduced number of people working out of the Clare County Council office in Ennistymon, it has been claimed that the three people employed there don’t have time to take a lunch break. Councillor Richard Nagle told the meeting of the West Clare Municipal District in Kilrush that it is virtually impossible for the staff there to provide a complete service to the people of North Clare, despite their best efforts. He predicted a “calamity” if this issue is not addressed. Councillor Nagle forwarded a motion at the meeting requesting that Clare County Council review staffing levels at the Ennistymon Municipal District offices. “I am not suggesting that officers in Ennistymon are not working efficiently. They certainly are. They are being put under intolerable pressure. If I wish to speak to somebody, I won’t ring. I’ll drive in because they are so busy in there that they simply haven’t time to be dealing with …

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