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Media traverse the Burren

A media group from Germany, Spain and the US are in the Burren this week to experience and sample one of Ireland’s best tourism and gastronomy destinations. Included in the visiting group is Frances Folsom who writes for the Boston Globe and Dallas Morning News, which have a combined circulation of over two million. The trip, organised by Fáilte Ireland, in conjunction with Tourism Ireland, will allow the journalists to enjoy the vast selection of seasonal and local produce on the County Clare leg of the Wild Atlantic Way. Welcoming the group to Ireland, John Mulcahy, Fáilte Ireland’s head of Food Tourism, said, “We welcome the opportunity to showcase our island, and indeed The Burren, with its range of food trails, festivals, farmer’s markets. “With the emergence of a distinctive Irish cuisine, our intention is clear; Ireland aims to become one of the world’s hottest new culinary destination and we want to highlight this to our visiting media where they …

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Trump would get Doonbeg nod

THE biggest employer in Doonbeg is set to become the Republican Party candidate to contest the US presidential election. On Tuesday, Donald Trump was all but confirmed as the Republican presidential nominee after his win in the Indiana primary, which led directly to main rival Ted Cruz dropping out of the race. Although Doonbeg is a small village in West Clare and will have no direct say in whether Trump or the likely Democratic Party nominee Hilary Clinton becomes the 45th President of the United Status, if a snap primary was held in the Long Village, voters would probably vote local, despite the odd reservation or two. Trump has threatened to build a really long wall between Mexico and the US border to help put people from Mexico off the idea of entering the Land of the Free. He is also insisting that the Mexican state pay for the wall at a cost of between $5 and $10 billion. The …

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Carbon footprint curbs Moy school light

A EUROPEAN directive relating to the reduction of the carbon footprint by 33% come 2020 has been presented as the reason behind Clare County Council being unable to erect a single public light outside Moy National School. Councillor Richard Nagle has said that the school is likely to be the only one in Clare with no public light, while senior engineer Cyril Feeney said that the council would ideally like to provide the light but they are restricted from doing so. “Funding for public lighting was reduced again in 2016, which was a retrograde step considering the challenges facing the local authority. Public lighting is the largest utility bill for Clare County Council but under European directives, there is a requirement that the public service reduce its carbon footprint by 33% by year 2020. Therefore, we are not in a position currently to install a public light at Moy,” Mr Feeney explained at this week’s West Clare Municipal District meeting. …

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Legal challenge to Killaloe bypass fails

AN environmentalist has lost his legal challenge to a grant of permission for a 2km bypass around Killaloe. Peter Sweetman, along with an environmental protection company, The Swans and the Snails Ltd, claimed the project, which includes construction of a 170 metre long bridge over the River Shannon, will result in the direct, permanent, and irreversible destruction of a woodlands habitat. The High Court, with Mr Justice Paul McDermott presiding, heard the habitat in question, an alluvial wet willow-alder-ash woodland, is located on the western side [Clare bank] of the proposed bridge. Mr Sweetman and the company argued permission for the project should never have been granted to Clare County Council by An Bord Pleanála. It was claimed the board failed to carry out an adequate assessment under the EU Habitats Directive. Mr Sweetman, of Bunahowen Cashel, County Galway, and the company, with an address at Rossport, South Ballina, County Mayo, claimed an environmental impact assessment carried out by the board …

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Trees at Feakle honour Proclamation signatories

The Woodland League, a not for profit NGO, visited Feakle National School this past week when fifth and sixth class students were introduced to the League’s Native Trees education manual. With all of the school in attendance, seven native trees were planted in a circle for the seven signatories of the 1916 proclamation. The children played Amhràn na Bhfiann, on their tin whistles to welcome the trees to their new home and Andrew St Ledger handed over the printed Introduction to Native Trees education manual with its Dunemann seed bed appendix to the School Principal Michelle O’ Loughlin, as well as presenting the school with a Dunemann copy nature forest in a box seed bed for the growing of native trees at the school. The seven native trees planted were, holly, hazel, guelder rose, wild strawberry tree ( arbutus ), hawthorn, wild crab apple, and elder. “Reafforestation of Ireland with native trees was one of the objectives of an Independent …

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Compensation sought for flood-hit Springfield

THE new Government has been urged to put in place an accessible compensation package to enable residents in South-East Clare restore their flood-hit properties. A local Sinn Féin activist has also called on the new administration to ensure that insurance companies will not be allowed to abdicate their responsibilities by compensating householders who have the necessary policy in place and should continue to give them cover in the future. In a wide-ranging address to the Sinn Féin Ard Fheis on Saturday, Margaret O’Connor claimed several insurance companies are now refusing to cover people in entire regions because they are what has been described as “designated flood zones”, even though they have never been flooded or are never likely to be flooded. Prior to the Sinn Féin Ard Fheis, the East Clare cumann member spoke to members of the Quinlivan family in Springfield, Clonlara, who are only getting back on their feet with much work on their house still to be …

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Galway council accused of parking U-turn

AN elected representative has accused Galway County Council of turning its meetings into a “farce” and warned he would be calling for legal advice if an adequate explanation was not forthcoming in relation to the non-implementation of a motion passed by the authority last year. At September’s monthly council meeting, Councillor Gerry Finnerty proposed “that all county towns have a (sic) two-hour, free parking where council parking charges apply, at any time during the day. I request that this be on an experimental basis for a period of time.” This was seconded by Councillor Karey McHugh and passed with 21 votes in favour, eight against and two abstentions. Hence, the motion was carried. However, the item was back on the agenda for the April meeting of Galway County Council, which took place on Monday. A lengthy discussion followed on proposed changes to parking charges in towns across the county. Councillor Finnerty said towns such as Gort need incentives to encourage …

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‘Epidemic’ of village signage thefts

THE theft of village signage has been described as “epidemic” by local Councillor Pat Hayes, who highlighted that signs have been stolen in four villages in East Clare. Councillor Hayes said Feakle, Caher, Flagmount and Killanena have had signage taken. He said some thefts have occurred in recent weeks, while others were some time ago. He said it is not the directional signage, which is usually the common problem, but in this case it is the larger signs for the villages themselves. “It seems to be specific to this side of the county. Directional signposts are also missing. The GAA one in Caher was taken down and a couple of business ones were taken as well. It seems to be an epidemic for the last while. I would very much be appealing to the public out there. There might be huge value in those signs but it is the communities that put them up and maintain them. They are part …

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