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Regional

Public consultation on Blake’s Corner

CLARE County Council has announced that it is to hold a public consultation next week on the future of one of the county’s worst traffic bottlenecks. The council will show the “feasible options” aimed at resolving congestion at Blake’s Corner in Ennistymon. Each year, hundreds of thousands of people endure lengthy tailbacks caused by the narrow junction at Blake’s Corner, as they attempt to travel between Ennistymon and Lahinch. In January this year, the council announced that a report it had commissioned was recommending the construction of a new road and bridge across the Inagh River 80m upstream of the existing Conway Bridge and Blake’s Corner. However, it later emerged that three homes are on the proposed route of the “preferred solution”, including one occupied by a couple in their 70s and another by a young family. The subsequent backlash saw nearly a thousand people attend a public meeting in Ennistymon to discuss the proposal. A series of meetings followed …

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Mountshannon eagles hatch again

NEWS of the latest hatching of a white-tailed eagle near Mountshannon has been greeted with excitement locally. The white-tailed eagle pair, Caimin and Saoirse, have successfully hatched on an island close to Mountshannon for the third year in-a-row. In fact, white-tailed eagles have successfully hatched chicks across four counties in Ireland. Eight pairs of white-tailed eagles have nested and laid eggs, with five nests successfully hatching chicks in Clare, Cork, Galway and Kerry. The pair of eagles near Mountshannon created history in 2013 when they reared the first chicks to fly from a nest in Ireland in more than 100 years. The pair also reared the only chick to successfully fledge from a nest in 2014. Hopes are high that the five successful pairs will successfully raise chicks that will go on to form the basis of a viable population in Ireland. This would potentially be the first white-tailed eagle chicks to fledge successfully in Kerry, Cork and Galway. They …

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Our Lady’s Hospital for sale

The former Our Lady’s Hospital in Ennis, along with its 16.65 acre site, has gone on the market with a guide price of €1.25 million. In a prime location on the Gort Road [Limerick to Galway route], a short distance from the town centre and the bypass link at Barefield, the site is currently zoned as a proposal site PS3 under the Ennis Town Development Plan 2008 – 2014, which has been extended until a new development plan is adopted. The main building comprises a detached three storey over basement former hospital facility completed in 1868 and extended to the rear c. 1900. The property was previously in use as a hospital and has an impressive limestone façade. The property is located in a predominantly commercial environment. The property is listed as a protected structure Ref: E150 under the Ennis Development Plan 2008 – 2014 and is also noted as an architectural conservation area. Conditional permission was granted on February …

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Day two of the exams

It’s day two (Thursday) in the exam halls  for 3,000 Clare teenagers who are sitting the Junior and Leaving Certificate. Only a small number of Leaving Cert students at taking the engineering paper this morning but it will be the English paper 2 for everybody in the afternoon. For those following the Leaving Certificate  Applied course, exams include sign language and French/German/Spanish or Italian. Junior Cert students have Irish papers 1 and 2 today. Tomorrow brings geography, environmental and social studies and maths. The Leaving Certs it’s geography and maths paper 1, while the Leaving Cert Applied have maths applications and hotel catering and tourism.  

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Taekwon-Do medals for Quin trio

The Irish Taekwon-Do Team returned from the ITF World Championships in Jesolo, Italy with an impressive haul of five gold, six silver and five bronze medals, placing them fourth overall out of 60 countries. Among the Irish squad of 39 were three competitors from Quin Taekwon-Do club and each of them returned with a medal. Stephen Ryan, head instructor in Quin Taekwon-Do club was competing and coaching at the event and won the silver medal in 4th to 6th degree patterns, beating off opposition from Finland, Russia, New Zealand and Italy before narrowly missing out on the gold to his Canadian opponent, Maxime Bujold. The last time these two faced each other in the final was at the 2006 World Cup, with Maxime taking the decision on that occasion also. Stephen though feels his performances are only improving with age and experience, and will now reflect on whether to focus fully on coaching or to continue to compete at the …

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Killaloe crew to the rescue

Members of Killaloe Coast Guard Unit responded to two call outs on Saturday night – one to a man who suffered a suspected heart attack and the second to a cruiser which ran aground on Lough Derg. The man was airlifted to hospital after he suffered cardiac arrest on board a boat at Banagher. The Killaloe unit was alerted and responded as did the Shannon based search and rescue helicopter, Rescue 115. Ambulance paramedics and gardaí also went to the scene where the boat had moored at Banagher. The man was removed by the helicopter crew and flown to Galway University Hospital. While returning to their base at Killaloe, the unit was directed to a second emergency call. A 40-foot cruise boat with five people on board had run aground south of the Silly Island on Lough Derg. Conditions were bad with darkness setting in. Shore teams were also sent to the area by road and a stricken cruiser was …

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Gardaí treat fire as ‘suspicious’

Gardaí are treating as suspicious a fire at a Traveller accommodation site at Knockanean, on the outskirts of Ennis, in the early hours of Sunday morning. Emergency services were alerted to the fire just off Junction 13 of the M18 motorway at around 4am. Fire tenders, an ambulance and the gardaí attended the scene. The house, which was unoccupied at the time, was engulfed in flames. Gardaí say they’re treating the fire as suspicious and are awaiting results of a forensic examination before determining the course of their investigation. Anyone with information on the incident or who may have been in the Tulla Road area around 4am on Sunday morning tare asked to contact the bgardai at Ennis on 065 684 8100.

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Clare Tourism lauds EDEN win for Burren

Clare Tourism has congratulated members of the Burren Food Trail after the sustainable tourism initiative was named winner of the 2015 European Destination of Excellence (EDEN) award. The Burren Food Trail was one of four destinations shortlisted by Fáilte Ireland earlier this month in the prestigious EU-wide EDEN competition. The theme of the competition, which was previously won by Loop Head, was ‘Tourism and Local Gastronomy’ and the winning destination was chosen following on-site assessments by a panel of expert adjudicators. Martin Waldron, North Clare representative on the Clare Tourism Steering Group said the award win will help to promote and give official recognition to the “wide range of fantastic work” that is ongoing throughout the Burren through sustainable business practices. Mr. Waldron, whose operates Self Catering Accommodation through Corofin-based Burren Escape, added: “As PRO of the Burren Ecotourism Network, I have witnessed at first hand the benefits for food operators and businesses in coming together to develop and promote …

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