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Regional

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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Students’ flight from West Clare

UP to 80% of students educated at Kilrush Community School have no option but to leave West Clare, due to the absence of employment opportunities. That’s according to principal, Rock Kirwan, who is starting his 24th year at the 38-teacher school, which has a current enrolment of 430 pupils. “I would suspect that you are talking between 20% and 30%,” he replied, when asked how many of his past pupils live and work in the region. “That would be an interesting piece of research for some budding sociologist to take up in college, as to what is happening in rural areas. Most see that their futures lie elsewhere and not in the local area. Most are aware of that, particularly those that go on to third level, as most do. If you take what’s being called the recovery in the Irish economy, it’s being fed out of two or three major urban centres. I don’t see that that has filtered …

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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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Question mark over Knights’ future

THERE is a doubt about the future of Shannon Knights, according to accounts filed during the summer, which show accumulated losses of almost €1.75 million. Established in 1972, Shannon Knights has always been family run and has been one of the most prominent social centres in Shannon for decades. A little over five years ago, there was a multi-million euro revamp and in advance of its reopening in 2010, management spoke of expanding their clientele to Limerick and Ennis but economic conditions since then have proven difficult. The accounts, which were prepared by Curtin O’Friel & Co Chartered Certified Accountants and deal with the year up to the end of August of last year, state that the company had accumulated losses of €1,745,549. They state, “These conditions, along with the other matters explained in note 1 to the financial statements, indicate the existence of a material uncertainty which may cast significant doubt on the company’s ability to continue as a …

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Galway must match Kilkenny’s intensity

THE intensity and work rate that Galway will need to beat Kilkenny on Sunday must be twice what it was against Tipperary, according to captain, David Collins. The Liam Mellows clubman said the positivity that is in the squad this year has helped him. “If it wasn’t, I would be sitting down and out and would not be playing. The depth in the squad is massive and we need that going forward,” Collins told The Clare Champion. Asked at what stage in their semi-final against Tipperary did he feel that it would be their day, he replied, “When I saw Johnny Glynn hooking Maher and Mannion picking the ball up and putting it over the bar, I said ‘this is it, this is our game, we are on the curve’. The work rate and the intensity that the boys kept bringing was superb and we need to keep that going now. “We have kept it going in training and we …

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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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A wonderful time for GAA in Gort

HAVING players from one’s club involved with the county panel on All-Ireland final day heightens the interest within the club, Gort club chairman John Quinn believes but he equally holds the view that being involved in the All-Ireland final means as much to the clubs that don’t have a player on the panel. “Having club members involved creates additional interest and gives a connection with what is going on. It also creates a problem with the distribution of tickets, which is a challenge as well and it’s a nice problem to have. It is a policy in our club that members will be looked after first, in particular working members who are active in the club week in and week out. It would be the right thing to do to distribute the tickets amongst the grassroots of a club.” Aidan Harte and Greg Lally from Gort are part of the Galway senior panel this year, Jack Grealish is a member …

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Poll topper in Killaloe area Joe Cooney is congratulated by fellow Fine Gael candidate Johnny Flynn during the election count at The West county Hotel, Ennis. Photograph by John Kelly.

Woman gives birth in Scariff ambulance

AN East Clare woman gave birth in an ambulance in Scariff on Monday afternoon. The woman, who lives in Whitegate, had been driven to the medical centre in Scariff, who in turn called the ambulance service dispatch. The Scariff ambulance was immediately on the scene and the woman gave birth minutes after being placed in the ambulance. The incident follows concerns recently raised at the regular redeployment of ambulances from Clare stations to Nenagh and Limerick. A number of county councillors have stated the incident on Monday highlights the value of having an ambulance centre in Scariff and stressed the need for that service not to be further diluted or stretched. “The ambulance crew based at the Scariff Ambulance Centre received the call on Monday afternoon at 5.10pm. They were informed that a young mother was in labour and required assistance. The ambulance crew were on scene within minutes to assist the young woman. The crew immediately identified that the …

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