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West Clare

Asbestos dumping under investigation

By Peter  O’Connell CLARE County Council is investigating claims that there are at least nine asbestos dumps in the Kilrush and Kilkee areas of West Clare. The asbestos waste was dumped on both public and private lands and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) confirmed on Wednesday that it has been contacted on the issue. The matter was raised by Councillor PJ Kelly at Monday’s Kilrush Electoral Area meeting. He later told The Clare Champion that he had discovered that it would cost up to €2.9m to pay for the clean up operation. The council maintains, however, that the figure involved cannot be determined at this stage, as cost associated with carrying out these works “are as yet undetermined”. In a statement on Wednesday evening, Clare County Council said, “All of the asbestos material investigated to date consists of broken pieces of asbestos cement water main. It is considered that all of this material originated on Clare County Council water services …

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Minister Ring in Clare

MINISTER of State for Touirsm Michael Ring is in County Clare this Tuesday for a number of engagements. At noon he will perform the official opening of the new extension to the Burren Outdoor Centre, at Turlough, Bellharbour. Following this he will meeet the board of directors Lisdoonvarna Failte to dicusss tourism in the North Clare area. Finally, he will travel to West Clare to visit the rebranded Trump International Golf Links, Doonbeg to be briefed on development plans. Minister Ring will be accompanied by Clare Fine Gael Oireachtas members.

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Tommy Comerford of the local Coastal Erosion Group with local farmer Paddy Doyle, whose land at Rhynagonnaught is damaged following the recent storms.

Farrihy farmers still facing flooding issues

By Peter O’Connell FARMERS affected by coastal flooding in Farrihy , which straddles the border between Kilkee and Doonbeg, have had to hire a private contractor to help save 300 acres of land extensively flooded in the January and February flooding. “The farmers have taken it on themselves because their land was getting worse and worse. Every time the tide comes in three feet of their land is removed. It is reaching the stage now where it’s going to reach the bog area of the land,” Coastal Erosion Group PRO Tommy Comerford said. “The flooding has just absolutely destroyed the whole place. What they have done is they have got their own private machine in. They’re doing it out of their own pocket to try and protect the piece of land that’s getting damaged. Doonbeg regards this as a real emergency,” he added. Mr Comerford has revealed that a land and householder in Farrihy, Gearóid Greene, has had to spend …

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John Collins at home in Cross.

Seven-month wait for angiogram patient

By Dan Danaher A WEST  Clare public patient is becoming increasingly fearful he will suffer a heart attack before  his “crazy” seven month wait for an angiogram at University College Hospital, Galway (UHG) elapses. John Collins, Cross, who can’t work for medical reasons and can’t afford private medical insurance, is worried about his health, after  an abnormality was detected after a stress test in the hospital on August 14, 2013. According to Mr Collins, he was told he needed an angiogram and would get one within four or five months to make sure he was ok medically. University College Hospital, Galway hadn’t responded to a number of Clare Champion queries at the time of press. Mr Collins has got a verbal commitment from UHG that he will get an angiogram on March 12 next. Still waiting to get written confirmation of his appointment in an official letter, despite a number of requests, he described the delay as “crazy” and “disgraceful”. He …

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Trump to employ 400 in Doonbeg

by Peter O’Connell THE Trump Organisation will employ 400 people at its newly acquired resort and golf club in Doonbeg, according to Donald J Trump. Claiming prospective windfarms would “absolutely destroy tourism” in West Clare, the billionaire developer, in a extensive interview with The Clare Champion, also said the company intends investing “many, many millions” in the Clare facility, which his company purchased for a reported €15 million. The deal was formally signed on Tuesday. “It was just confirmed and the money has been sent,” Mr Trump, who is chairman and president of The Trump Organisation, said on Tuesday evening. “I would say we’re going to employ 400 people in total. It’s a lot of jobs,” he revealed, speaking from the US. Mr Trump Snr, who will visit Doonbeg in about five weeks, said it was too early to say what the exact investment in the Trump International Golf Links Ireland would be. However, he said the investment would be …

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Kilrush RNLI put on standby

KILRUSH RNLI was put on standby for a short period this Monday following a report that an aircraft was experiencing difficulties on its approach to Shannon Airport. The volunteer lifeboat crew was contacted by Valentia Coast Guard at 11.50am and made aware that the plane, described as an air to air refueller, was experiencing engine trouble as it made its way across the Atlantic. John Lamb, Kilrush RNLI Lifeboat operations manager requested the station’s volunteer crew to launch and remain on standby. Within minutes, crew members were geared up and the lifeboat was launched. Valentia Coast Guard was informed and the crew remained on the water awaiting instructions. At 12.35pm, the plane made a safe landing at Shannon Airport. The Coast Guard requested the lifeboat and the crew to stand down. Speaking following the call out, Kilrush RNLI helm, Pauline Dunleavy said, “Thankfully, the aircraft was able to make a safe landing this afternoon. It is at times like these …

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Remembering Kevin Stapleton

By Peter O’Connell ONE of Clare’s best-known GAA supporters passed away recently. Kevin Stapleton, who was 92, was born in Limerick and reared in Kilkee but lived and worked for 46 years in England. Resident in Ennis since his return to Ireland in 1989, he was a regular at Clare hurling and football games. He was also a colourful contributor to The Clare Champion letters page. In an interview with The Clare Champion in October 2012, Kevin recalled growing up in West Clare. “I was born in Limerick but I was in Kilkee at nine weeks old. My mother died at birth, so I never saw her,” he recounted sadly. Kevin and his twin brother, Thomas, were reared by their grandmother, Bridget Stapleton, whom they treated as their mother. She was a woman with straightforward convictions, as evidenced by Kevin’s name change around the time of his confirmation. It turns out his name was not actually Kevin. “When I was christened, …

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Road works start in Kilbaha

WHAT a difference a week has made in Kilbaha. Early last week frustrated locals were protesting at the perceived inaction of Clare County Council in repairing the badly damaged R487, which is the main route through the most westerly village in the county. The road was badly damaged during storms in January and February, leaving some people in the village cut off from the main route out of Kilbaha. “There’s more work done than in the last six weeks in Kilbaha,” local publican Bernie Keating told The Clare Champion on Tuesday. “You’d get knocked down with the amount of trucks in Kilbaha at the moment. I can’t put into the words the response that we have got,” he marvelled. Last week Mr Keating has told The Clare Champion that locals would launch a further protest in the village this Monday if promised council works on the R487 did not commence. Locals opened the 80metre stretch of the regional road last …

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Kilbaha exit strategy for baby’s delivery day

KILBAHA woman Yvonne McNamara has been keeping a relentless eye on recent weather forecasts as the orange alerts mount up. She has particular reason to. Yvonne and her husband, Fergal are due their third child come the end of February. However, before they drive 70 miles to Limerick they first have to negotiate the leaving of Kilbaha. An 80 metre stretch of the main road in the village remains closed, although Clare County Council is due to start remedial work on Monday. On top of that the McNamaras live in Fodra, which is west of Kilbaha. The beach there regularly spits stones onto the access road, sometimes making it impassable. “It’s Peig Sayers time really,” Yvonne laughed. “You’d think you wouldn’t have to be thinking of that as well as the difficulty of being so far from Limerick. You’re going 70 miles from here as it is. It’s an added headache you don’t really need,” she said, as the wind …

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Clare needs “comfort letter” on storm funds

CLARE TD Michael McNamara has requested the Government to issue a “letter of comfort” to Clare County Council to provide reassurance that funding will be available for necessary repairs following the disastrous storms. The Labour deputy said the scale of destruction on the Clare coast and in the Shannon Estuary was underlined at Monday’s meeting of the local authority when members were told that the total estimate for repairs now stands at €36.8m. “Clare County Council has already spent €720,000 in temporary repairs and the need for further considerable expenditure is urgent. The council has spent this money without receiving any letter from the Government stating that the local authority will be reimbursed. County manager, Tom Coughlan has pointed out that further spending without written authorisation raises the issue of good corporate governance. Clearly the Council is caught between a rock and a hard place. “The scale of what has happened on the Clare coast is truly shocking and there …

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