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Regional

Ennis slips in anti-litter stakes

ENNIS slipped way down the rankings in the new IBAL anti-litter survey but the findings need to be taken with a pinch of salt, according to some local public representatives.The town was ranked 46 out of the 60 towns and cities (down from a previous high of second place) surveyed with Ennis now categorised as “moderately littered” compared to previously being considered “clean to European norms”. All participating towns are monitored by An Taisce and the assessors found that Ennis had slipped badly with two black spots – the Department of Social Welfare on the Kilrush Road which they described “as shockingly dirty” and the link road from the Camus garage to Caheralla Road which was “heavily littered”.The assessors warned that there had been a very significant drop in the performance at Ennis since the previous IBAL Anti Litter Survey. “Being clean is a 365-day responsibility of the local authority. Five of the sites surveyed in Ennis were clean to …

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Lower insurance premiums for low-risk flooding says Flynn

INSURANCE companies shouldn’t be allowed to use flood-relief works in Ennis to line their own pockets, according to Councillor Johnny Flynn.At this week’s meeting of Ennis Town Council, he suggested that the OPW should issue certs for people who live or have businesses in areas that are now much safer from flooding, due to works carried. He said that lower premiums should now be charged due to the much lower risk of flooding.Councillor Peter Considine claimed “two well-known companies” had refused to even give quotes to people in Ennis. “Two people phoned for quotes and when they said they were in Ennis, they were told quotes weren’t being made up for Ennis.”At the meeting, councillors also complained about poor water pressure in the town. Mayor of Ennis Frankie Neylon said that pressure was being diverted away from certain areas at certain times and he said that before he had left his house for the meeting, the water pressure had been …

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Support for regular pedestrianisation

THERE is some enthusiasm among Ennis Town councillors for introducing extending pedestrianisation beyond Christmas and possibly providing free parking at certain times.At the meeting, town clerk Eddie Power said that some retailers felt more regular pedestrianisation would be helpful. “This year, we had pedestrianisation on three Saturdays and the last Sunday and Christmas Eve. One of the comments from the business sector was that the council might consider more regular pedestrianisation because when it comes in pre-Christmas, it leads to some confusion.”He said more consultation would take place with the commercial sector and more detailed views would be available to the councillors at the February meeting.Councillor Johnny Flynn expressed support for having some free parking while Councillor Brian Meaney said that anything making retail premises more accessible and the town more pleasant, needed to be considered.Councillor Meaney also said that the council should look at creating a position of town centre manager. Regarding pedestrianisation, Councillor Peter Considine said he agreed …

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Survey calls for litter to be addressed

SHANNON finished in 20th position out of 60 towns and cities surveyed in the latest Irish Business Against Litter (IBAL) survey.   While Shannon came in 13th position last summer, the An Taisce assessors still felt the town had performed well.“Another good result. Half of the sites surveyed in Shannon were clean to European norms, with the remainder moderately littered. “Some of the top ranking sites included Ballycasey Business Park, Bóthar Mór Approach and Bóthar an Aerphort Approach. The Newmarket-on-Fergus approach road just missed getting the top litter grade. The town centre was moderately littered and care needs to be taken to ensure it doesn’t deteriorate.”Five of the 10 parts of town surveyed were said to be clean to European norms. One of these was St Aidan’s school, which was praised in the report. “This was a very good site. It was clear of all litter and very well maintained,” it stated.The report was also positive about Finian Park. “Despite …

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Councillors seek date for Tradaree Flats demolition

THE Tradaree Flats are an eyesore, are being used for antisocial behaviour and should be knocked as soon as possible, according to Shannon town councillors.At this week’s meeting of the council, Councillor Cathy McCafferty put forward a motion requesting that the council “be informed of a date for the demolition of the Tradaree Flats and that this site be kept clean and litter free until that date”.In her reply, Fiona Mooney of the council’s housing section said that the council is still working towards getting the flats demolished.“In anticipation of a positive response from the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government to the council’s submission for funding for the Tradaree demolition, the part 8 planning application for the demolition of the flats is being prepared currently with a view to placing the advert under the planning part 8 process next week. The public notification process takes eight weeks and a report will then be on a county council …

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Mike’ll row the boat ashore

  An experienced member of the Killaloe Coast Guard Unit is poised to become the first person from the Irish Coast Guard service to row 5,000 kilometres across the Atlantic OceanMike Jones, who also works as full-time operations manager with the University of Limerick Activity Centre (ULAC) at Ballycuggeran, Killaloe, was due to join five international crewmates to embark on a gruelling endurance test from the Port de Plaisance Marina in Agadir, Morocco, to Bridgetown in Barbados this Thursday morning. The voyage will be the first to use Agadir as a start port for an ocean row and will only be the second ever ocean rowing voyage to start from a Moroccan port; a staggering 213 ocean rowing trips have left from the Canary Islands.Two charities, Milford Care Centre, Limerick and Marymont Hospice, Cork, will also benefit from Mike’s adventure. Having set a target to raise €25,000, half of all the money raised will go to the charities and the …

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Sandbags used for gritting in Westbury

Sandbags could become a must-have household accessory in South-East Clare judging by their versatility in dealing with different weather extremes in recent weeks.They proved to be vital in the successful battle to keep rising flood water out of homes in Shannon Banks when the Shannon burst its banks last November and were also used to ensure that no house was flooded in nearby Westbury.Once the water subsided, very few people realised that they would come in handy for another purpose a few weeks later – the gritting of paths and roads during the current big freeze.Councillor Pascal Fitzgerald and local businessman Tony Hayes used sand from spare sandbags to grit the car park and areas around St Nicholas Church and Westbury to facilitate a safer passage for motorists and pedestrians who struggled to get to grips with icy patches.Although the main parts of the Killaloe to Shannon Banks road was gritted, Councillor Fitzgerald said byroads didn’t receive any sand or …

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More dredging needed to reduce risk in Clonlara

More dredging is needed near Castletroy in Limerick to significantly reduce the risk of a repeat of the havoc created by flooding for residents in South-East Clare last November, according to a resident. The Office of Public Works (OPW) carried out some remedial works to remove sediment deposited over the years at the confluence point of the Old River Shannon and its Mulcair tributary in Clonlara last year.However, Fergal Marrinan, who was part of a delegation who met then Minister of State Tom Parlon in March 2007, claims a wider channel needs to be dug to prevent a repeat of the flooding, which caused devastation in Clonlara.Describing the most recent flooding as much worse than the previous incidence in December 2006, Mr Marrinan said that the scale of the remedial work carried out on the Old River Shannon wasn’t sufficient to prevent a repeat of the flooding.He hoped that the OPW would conduct a review of the work they had …

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