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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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Increase in water levels expected on Lower River Shannon

Clare County Council says it is anticipating an increase in water levels on the Lower River Shannon at Springfield, Clonlara later this evening and overnight as a result of forecast rainfall and the impact of the spill rate of 470 cubic metres per second (cumecs) being maintained at Parteen Weir by the ESB. The local authority, assisted by Clare Civil Defence and The Defence Forces, is maintaining a 24-hour presence to assist residents affected by flooding and to respond to any additional impact. Approximately 5,000 sandbags have been installed in the Springfield area to assist residents of up to 15 properties. Additional sandbags are on standby if required. Up to 30 pumps have been deployed to and are operating in the area. Met Éireann currently has a Yellow Weather Advisory in place for County Clare and is forecasting that a band of rain will move slowly northeastwards over Ireland through this afternoon, evening and tonight. Rainfall amounts of 15 to …

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Lough Derg water levels to reach 2009 high

The ESB has cautioned that the levels in Lough Derg have increased marginally in the past 24 hours and that the flow of water through Parteen Weir will remain at 470 cubic metres per second today (Tuesday). The situation will be reviewed again tomorrow. The levels in Lough Derg may reach 2009 levels in the coming days and, as a result, the flow through Parteen Weir may increase up to those levels (up to 500 cumecs). This level of water flow will continue to have associated flooding to land and property in the vicinity of the Shannon downstream of Parteen Weir including the areas of Springfield, Montpelier, Castleconnell, Mountshannon (Annacotty) and the University of Limerick. Other areas between Parteen Weir and Limerick may also be vulnerable to flooding due to local issues. ESB is continuing to monitor the situation and is liaising with the relevant county councils.  

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Death of Ballynacally/Lissycasey priest

The death has occurred peacefully at his home of Fr Tom O’Dea, assistant priest, Ballynacally/Lissycasey. Born on December 16, 1933 in Newmarket-on-Fergus, he was a pupil of St Flannan’s College, Ennis and he studied for the priesthood at St Patrick’s College, Carlow.He was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Tucson, Arizona on June 7, 1958. Fr Tom served in various parishes in Tucson Diocese and later in Phoenix Diocese, including St Thomas the Apostle Parish in Phoenix, Queen of Peace Parish in Mesa, St Anthony of Padua Parish, Casa Grande; St Francis Parish in Superior, St Patrick Parish in Bisbee, St John Vianney Parish in Goodyear, St Matthew Parish in Phoenix, Christ the King Parish in Mesa and Holy Spirit Parish in Tempe. He retired after serving as pastor of Ascension Parish in Fountain Hills in 2003. After his return to Ireland he served as assistant priest in the Parish of Ballynacally/Lissycasey. He died peacefully at his home in …

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President visits flood hit South Galway

President Michael D Higgins visited Labane in South Galway today (Monday) and met some the farm families and business people affected by severe flooding. “I took the opportunity of thanking all of the agencies and volunteers who have been assisting those affected and of paying tribute to the extraordinary sense of community that has prevailed for nearly a month now,” President Higgins said. Continuing, he said, “One particular aspect of the floods in Labane to highlight is the situation of those who are isolated and marooned and facing a painful wait for the waters to recede. It is only then that the task of recovery, in so far as possible, can begin.” The President expressed thanks to the Army who have been in Labane since December 9. “I had the opportunity as well of directly thanking the voluntary services, the State agencies and the local authorities, who are all working together with a great sense of cooperation. “While everybody was …

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Minister Coveney visits Clonlara flood victims

Residents on the outskirts of Clonlara, who have been left marooned by rising flood waters, have urged Agriculture Minister not to forget them ahead of Tuesday’s Cabinet meeting. Minister Coveney visited some residents in a flat bottom boat with the help of the Irish Defence Forces early on Sunday morning. The Cork Deputy, who was the first government representative to visit the devastated community, since it began to flood nearly a month ago, spoke to householders,  who are cut off from their homes due to the flooding of a local access road. Standing with the minister in the river of water surrounding her home, resident, Lisa Griffin asked the minister to save the community from the regular incidence of flooding, which first started in 1995. When the ESB-operated Parteen Weir reaches capacity, the company releases excess volumes of water, which in turn results in Springfield and the wider Clonlara area becoming flooded. “If you are going to protect Athlone you are going …

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New Year baby in Clonlara

Despite the terrible flooding in the area in recent weeks, the Clonlara community had cause to celebrate the arrival of a new year baby. Lynette and Padraig are the happy parents of Paddy O’Grady, who was born at 4:48am on January 1, at Limerick Regional Maternity Hospital. Paddy has two brothers, Jack (12) and Vinny (11) and sister, Holly (16).

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Ennis slips in litter league

  THE final litter survey of 2015 by Irish Business Against Litter shows Ennis has slipped to ‘moderately littered’, in 32nd spot among the 40 towns surveyed. The town was also 32nd in the 2014 rankings, but was Clean to European Norms. There was a slight fall-off in the number of litter-free towns across Ireland, but no towns were deemed ‘litter blackspots’ and only one was ‘seriously littered’. An Taisce’s report for Ennis stated, “Both the residential areas in Ennis got the top litter grade and Francis Street Bottle Bank has a novel design to prevent the accumulations of rubbish that so frequently occur at recycle facilities – clearly it is having the desired effect as it was a top ranking site. The two most heavily littered sites in Ennis were Knox’s Bridge Amenity Scheme and St Anne’s School.” Three quarters of the towns and cities surveyed by An Taisce on behalf of IBAL were found to be Clean to …

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