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Regional

Hen harrier concerns for hill farmers

Following a series of public rallies in the West of Ireland, a new national farming organisation, the Irish Natura and Hill Farmers Association (INHFA) has been officially established. Since the draft Rural Development Programme was sent to the European Commission on July 3, 2014 by the Departments of Agriculture and broadly endorsed by the farming organisations, a passionate group of hill farmers and those farming designated lands, including farmers with hen harrier sites, have sustained a campaign to make changes to the RDP. The reasons for this was that commonage farmers could access the GLAS scheme as individuals and where Natura lands have been devalued  by designation, that measures would be added to help keep those farms viable. Massive rallies were held in Westport (1,700 farmers), Letterkenny ( 900 farmers), Maam Cross (1,000 farmers) to highlight the unfairness of the proposals in the draft and culminating in a march for fairness by 2,500 farmers in Castlebar.  

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Council calls for rejection of IAG offer

CLARE County Council has passed a motion calling on the Government not to dispose of its 25.1% share in Aer Lingus. At a special meeting of the local authority on Monday afternoon, the members passed the motion unanimously, while efforts are to be made to get other local authorities in the region to take a similar stand. There have been fears that if the proposed IAG takeover of Aer Lingus proceeds that Shannon will lose its Heathrow connectivity and several of the members called on Clare’s Oireachtas members to make sure this does not happen. Councillor Pat McMahon said that a future loss of connectivity would “choke future investment in Clare and the surrounding counties”, while Councillor Cathal Crowe warned that Shannon’s industrial base could be reduced to “large empty warehouses if these slots go”. Calls for the retention of the State’s holding weren’t confined to the Fianna Fáil members, with Fine Gael’s Mary Howard saying she would “be very, …

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Shannon’s needs “well understood”-Transport Minister

Transport Minister Paschal Donohoe has said he is very aware of the importance of connectivity to Shannon Airport and to business in Clare. There have been fears that Shannon’s Heathrow links could be lost if the mooted IAG takeover of Aer Lingus goes through, and while the Minister didn’t explicitly rule out a deal which could see the Clare airport losing connectivity, he stressed that he is very aware of how important the link is, and said connectivity would be an important consideration in making a decision on any bid for the State’s 25.1% stake. In an interview with The Clare Champion, he said, “We’re looking at all of the consequences that the proposed bid could have for connectivity. I’m very much aware of how important connectivity is for the Shannon region and how important Shannon Airport is. I have said throughout all of this that national connectivity and the particular impact on our regions will be vital if a bid …

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Success for Kate Purcell on The Voice of Ireland

East Clare’s Kate Purcell has made it through to the battle stages on the popular television series The Voice of Ireland. The talented folk singer appeared on Sunday’s episode of the programme where she sang her own version of Rihanna’s hit song We Found Love for the blind audition. She won over two of the four judges on the contest as Kian Egan and Rachael Stevens both turned around to offer the Tulla resident a place on their team. Complemented for stripping the song back by judge Kian Egan, Kate chose to go with the former Westlife singer and will now progress on his team to the battle stages. Kate is the second East Clare contestant to make it through to these stages of the competition, as Scariff resident Sarah McTernan will compete on Rachael Stevens team. By Carol Byrne  

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alphonsus cullinan, bishop of waterford

Lahinch man new Bishop of Waterford and Lismore

His Holiness Pope Francis has appointed Lahinch native, Fr Alphonsus Cullinan as the new Bishop of Waterford & Lismore. Fifty-five-year-old, Fr Cullinan is a son of Christy and Rita and has four sisters and five brothers. He is parish priest in Rathkeale, County Limerick His family moved to Limerick city where he attended the Salesians for early education, John F Kennedy National School and the Crescent College Comprehensive (SJ) for his secondary education. From 1978-1981 he attended Mary Immaculate College of Education Limerick and qualified as a primary teacher and taught for six years in Castleconnell, County Limerick. He worked part-time during that time for four years with the Bunratty Castle Entertainers before going to Spain where he taught English for two years in a school in Valladolid. Fr Cullinan studied at Saint Patrick’s College Maynooth from 1989-95 where he completed an STL (Licentiate in Theology). He was ordained by Bishop Jeremiah Newman in 1994 in Saint John’s Cathedral, Limerick, …

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Search for St Michael’s Villas photos

LOCAL historian, Cora (Hahessy) McNulty is working on a history of St Michael’s Villas, in association with the Clare Roots Society. The book will be launched on June 18 next. Cora is putting out an appeal for the names of the children in the photograph above and is seeking two photographs, which must be included in the book. One is a photograph of the St Michael’s Grotto Committee. This committee was formed in 1958 to raise funds for the construction for the iconic grotto in St Michael’s. A photograph appeared in The Clare Champion of the blessing of the grotto in March 1960. Cora has a very poor copy of this photograph and is confident that someone out there has an original. The committee members were as follows: PJ McGarry (chairman); P Considine (designer); M Ryan; M Coleman; J Lynch; P Sheehan; J McGuane; M Kinnane; T Coffey; M Culligan and R O’Brien. The second photograph being sought is of …

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Two gardaí for Kilmihil station

FOLLOWING the closure of Lissycasey Garda Station, Clare Garda Chief Superintendent John Kerin has said that he intends having two gardaí stationed at the re-opened Kilmihil station, which will be up and running on March 1. “There is going to be a full-time garda back there and, hopefully, a second one. That’s what Kilrush Superintendent Seamus Nolan wants to do and it’s something that I’ve said to him. If he can spare a garda from somewhere else and reallocate to Kilmihil to have two gardaí there, it certainly would be something I’d be in favour of,” Chief Superintendent Kerin confirmed. He said Kilmihil needs a full-time garda presence in the village. “Up to a couple of years ago, you had a garda station in Kilmihil, Doonbeg and Lissycasey. We’d see Kilmihil as being a central location for the three places and of the three centres, from a garda perspective, it would be by far the busiest. Perhaps there are more …

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Parking problems at Mullaghmore

A CLARE County Council official has acknowledged that if there are issues with road safety at Mullaghmore that he will do anything within his role to “push any measures” that are required through. Senior executive engineer, Hugh McGrath made these comments at a recent Killaloe Electoral Area meeting, which covers the Mullaghmore area of North Clare, following a motion tabled by Councillor Pat Hayes. Councillor Hayes proposed that a review of the parking facilities at Mullaghmore be carried out in the interest of traffic movements and safety for road users and walkers. The Fianna Fáil councillor said that, particularly during the summer months, parking is a significant problem, with “cars parking all over the place”. He said there are issues surrounding public safety, as a result of having no traffic management plan at the popular location. Councillor Hayes said he was not aware whether parking issues were the full responsibility of the National Parks and Wildlife Service or not and …

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