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North Clare

Councillor ‘aghast’ at Doolin facilities

CLARE County Council are to upgrade or provide toilet and changing facilities at Kilkee, Lahinch and Spanish Point beaches, following criticism of the current “disgraceful” facilities. However, Councillor Ann Norton, who called for a survey of the toilet and changing facilities at council-owned or council-run amenity sites, said she was in Doolin to see the new pier recently and was “aghast” at the state of the facilities on offer to the public there. The Ennis councillor was also concerned over accessibility for impaired mobility users and asked where access to such facilities is deemed inadequate, that a programme be put in place for their upgrade. “Tourism in Clare is a huge part of generating revenue and to be able to bring tourism into Clare, we have to have good facilities. We have a beautiful scenic coastline and have so much to offer people but, I have to say, unfortunately the amenities and the changing facilities really need a lot of …

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Lahinch celebrations for Row-A-Round Ireland

A crew of 20 rowers who have been circumnavigating the island of Ireland in a self-built 15ft skiff – a round trip of almost 1000 nautical miles – will arrive in Lahinch on Saturday, marking the half way point of their challenge. To celebrate this significant stage in their gruelling challenge in raising funds for Cystic Fibrosis Ireland, the rowers will be greeted by a party atmosphere at the promenade from 2pm. Lyons tea, who are sponsors, will erect a large marquee and will serve refreshments including their renowned tea to guests while there will also be a large kids play area for children to enjoy. The Row-A-Round Ireland crew hope to raise some additional funds at the half way celebrations as they strive to meet their ambitious fundraising target. All money raised will go towards fighting Cystic Fibrosis, a fatal genetic disease that affects approximately 1 in 1600 births in Ireland – the country with the highest incidence of …

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Aldi decision to be appealed

DESPITE numerous local objections, Aldi Stores Ireland Ltd have been granted planning permission for the demolition of existing buildings at Ennistymon mart and the construction of a new discount foodstore, including off-licence, with a gross floor area of 1,590m2. Clare County Council granted their application subject to 21 conditions. These include a requirement that the development only operates between 9am and 8pm between Monday and Saturday and only between 10am and 7pm on Sundays and public holidays. There is also a requirement that there be no deliveries between 11am and 7am. The decision will be appealed to An Bord Pleanála, Pat O’Donoghue, chairman of the Save Ennistymon Mart Committee, confirmed on Wednesday. “We have decided to appeal and we have applied for an open forum because it’s much bigger than a farmers’ mart issue, there’s a lot of local residents quite unhappy with the location. There’s a lot of people who are employed in the town who are concerned about …

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Body recovered from cliffs

A post mortem is due to be carried out today on a body of a man recovered from the base of the Cliffs of Moher. While the body has not been formally identified its believed to be that of a man from Dublin who was seen falling into the sea at the Cliffs of Moher on Monday evening. Gardaí and the Doolin unit of the Irish Coast Guard were alerted, however, the body was too close to the shore at the base of the cliffs to be safely recovered. Coast Guard volunteers returned to the area on Tuesday and recovered the body from  the water in late afternon. The remains were brought to the Doolin Coast Guard Station before being removal to University Hospital Limerick for a postmortem examination.

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Exploring Burren mysteries by bike

A NORTH Clare man is introducing tourists to the mysteries of the Burren. Enda McGuane, founder of West Coast Cycle Tours, explained how visits from friends inspired his flagship tour, the Wild Atlantic Day. “I got a bike about seven or eight years ago on the Bike to Work Scheme and am living in Kilnamona so I’m close to the Burren and the coast, so I came up with this from cycling around on my own and with my friends and seeing what was out there that was good to do. When my friends from outside the county or from college would come up to visit, I’d take them to these places,” he said. “The one thing about cycling here is that it is not as safe in Ireland as it is on the continent but we have tried to pick the most scenic and safe routes. The Western Greenway and the West Clare Railway are great starts in providing …

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Out and about in God’s wide fields

THE President of the Federal Republic of Germany, Joachim Gauck, was in “God’s wide fields” in Ballyvaughan for the first of a two-stage visit to Clare this week. Mr Gauck, accompanied by his partner Ms Daniela Schadt, was delighted to be visiting the Droney’s 90 hectare Origin Green farm in Ballycahill, near Ballyvaughan and to be surrounded by 200 beef suckler cows and 200 sheep, a vista, he admitted, that brought him back to his childhood in post-war Germany. “For me, it is so good,” Mr Gauck told The Clare Champion. “In my youth, I saw so many cows outside and now, if I go back to my home area in the north of Germany, no cows are outside, sheep are a little bit but the cows are all inside in a shed. “This is a programme that works with the support of the Government and the influence of the European Union to support this kind of agriculture, not the …

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German President visits Cliffs of Moher

The President of Germany Joachim Gauck concluded a three-day state trip to Ireland this afternoon by visiting the Cliffs of Moher Visitor Experience. Councillor James Breen, Cathaoirleach of Clare County Council, welcomed President Joachim Gauck to the council owned Cliffs of Moher Visitor Experience and presented him with a photographic print of the Cliffs of Moher framed in local slate, designed by Irish Slate Crafts. Ms. Katherine Webster, Director of the Cliffs of Moher Visitor Experience, provided the German Head of State and the official delegation with a guided tour of the County Clare attraction. German visitors are the largest visitor group to the Cliffs of Moher after the USA with over 145,000 travelling to Ireland’s second busiest visitor attraction in 2014.

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US politicians visit Cliffs

US Ambassador to Ireland, Kevin O’Malley; Cathaoirleach, Clare County Council, James Breen and John Boehner, Speaker of the US House of Representatives at the Cliffs of Moher. A delegation from the US House of Representatives visited the Cliffs of Moher Visitor Experience on July 4, US Independence Day. The delegation was led by John Boehner, Speaker of the House and was welcomed to the Cliffs by Cathaoirleach of Clare County Council, James Breen. As Speaker of the House, Boehner follows the Vice President in line to the Presidency of the United States in accordance with the Presidential Succession Act. The visiting party included Rep. Mike Kelly (R-PA), Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-IL), Rep. John Shimkus (R-IL), Rep. Mike Simpson (R-ID), Rep. Ann Wagner (R-MO), and Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR). They were accompanied by the US Ambassador to Ireland, Kevin O’Malley.

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Tipperary man missing

GARDAÍ in Ennistymon are seeking the public’s assistance in tracing the whereabouts of 30-year-old John Ryan, missing from Faranaderry, Templemore. John is studying computers at Limerick IT and residing in Bunratty. He is is described as 5″10, slim build, short brown hair and has green eyes. He was last seen at Cliffs of Moher, Liscannor, driving a green Volkswagen Golf on the evening of June 7. He was wearing a light grey cardigan, black t-shirt, blue jeans and white runners. Anyone who has seen John or who can assist in locating him is asked to contact Ennistymon Garda Station on (065) 7072180, the Garda Confidential Telephone Line on 1800 666 111 or any garda station.

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Doolin Pier to be named after Lenihan?

A CLARE TD has proposed that the local authority should consider naming Doolin Pier in honour of the late Fianna Fáil Finance Minister, Brian Lenihan. The new €6 million pier at Doolin will be officially opened this Friday by Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Brendan Howlin. Deputy Timmy Dooley claimed it would be a fitting tribute to the former Fianna Fáil deputy leader, in view of Mr Lenihan’s family connections to North Clare and that “he allocated €6m for the development of the pier”. Labour TD Michael McNamara said he is “open to naming the pier after anyone” but added that “promises are one thing and delivery is another”. “There was a lot of promises made by previous governments but no money. There was a promise for a new primary school in Ennis and that only came about under a Labour minister for education, there was promises made for a new school in Tulla and that is only happening …

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