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West Clare

Human side of storms ‘neglected’

THE human side of the new-year storms, which caused extensive damage along the coast, has been neglected, according to a group representing 15 households in West Clare. At a meeting last week, Michael Neenan was elected chairman of the Clohaninchy Action Committee. He wants to see some protection in place for people in vulnerable areas on the coast. “The 15 houses that were under threat, nothing has been done for them. There is no emergency funding coming for the protection of their homes in particular,” he said. Mr Neenan said while Clare County Council has been very supportive in relation to the clean-up in the area, not enough has been done for the people worst affected. “The human side of all this has been neglected,” he said. “The council did a lot of work on the piers and prom in Lahinch and so on but no work has been done for the families and people in the 15 houses yet …

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‘Hijack’ claim against task force

THE West Clare Economic Task Force has been accused by one of its own members of claiming credit for achievements that it had nothing to do with. Councillor PJ Kelly has claimed the task force “hijacked” initiatives, which had been led by private individuals, community groups, LEADER or individual county councillors. He made his claim at Monday’s meeting of West Clare Electoral Area councillors, all six of whom are members of the task force. It came during a debate on a motion put forward by Councillor Christy Curtin, who asked that an invitation be issued to Fáilte Ireland, Enterprise Ireland, Teagasc and the Local Enterprise Office to re-engage with the task force. In a written reply, Clare County Council listed five specific task force achievements, including the establishment of Loop Head Lighthouse as a visitor attraction, preliminary work on proposals to develop tourism infrastructure on the Fergus Islands and the adoption of the Shannon Estuary Integrated Framework Plan. “There are …

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The private trail of storm destruction

RESIDENTS and business people along the Clare coast have spent the past week cleaning up after the recent storms. Clare County Council is looking for more than €23 million in funding from central government for work on public infrastructure but extensive damage was also caused to private property, including homes, by Storm Christine. Now, people with houses and businesses along the coast are wondering and worrying how they will pay for the damage done to their property. Noel Sexton owns White Strand Caravan Park outside Miltown Malbay. “I will have to pay for the damage myself,” he told The Clare Champion. “There are a lot of stones washed up onto the caravan park and sections of it were washed away with sea. The stones will have to be brought back down. I will have to get a machine in to do that. I will have to pay the man with the machine. The part that washed away was about a …

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Sand disappearing off Kilkee beach

THE  sand has never been so scarce on Kilkee’s famous strand, according to Mayor Paddy Collins, who has also warned that the town’s luck will run out unless the seawall is maintained. “Sand levels at the moment in Kilkee have never been as low. Whether that sand is all pooled out in the middle of the bay and is going to come in on the next big tide, we don’t know,” Councillor Collins said at Monday’s meeting of Kilkee Town Council. “At a meeting we had here with Paul Moroney [environment section Clare County Council], we were talking about the sand shifting,” he added. Kilkee beach is hemmed in at either side by spectacular cliffs. The town mayor said Kilkee escaped the worst of the recent flooding in West Clare but said consistent high tides are a persistent threat. “We were very lucky in the storm. We were only an hour either side when the wind turned. Every tide this …

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EU aid for uninsured damaged property

EU funding for storm damage will cover both private and public infrastructure in Ireland, that is otherwise uninsured, which is a new departure from previous applications under the EU Solidarity Fund. That was confirmed by Sean Kelly MEP after his meeting with Regional EU Commissioner Johannes Hahn in Strasbourg today. Mr Kelly, who is Ireland’s only full member of the Parliament’s Regional Development Committee which oversees the Solidarity Fund, said Commissioner Hahn was very positive and supportive of Ireland making an application under the solidarity fund. “In a new departure, the fund will cover private and public infrastructural damage. So I am calling on all city and county councils to immediately prepare a comprehensive overview of the damage caused and the cost of repair so that the government can prepare an overall application under the fund. The deadline for the application is 10 weeks – but that is from the end of the storm, not the start, which gives us …

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Receivers appointed to Doonbeg Golf Club

Luke Charleton and David Hughes of Ernest and Young have been appointed joint receivers to The Lodge at Doonbeg and Doonbeg Golf Club in West Clare. The property is one of Ireland and Europe’s most distinguished five-star luxury resorts. “The Lodge and its facilities are recognised as one of the premier golf and leisure destinations in Ireland and Europe. The Lodge at Doonbeg and Doonbeg Golf Club will continue to trade as normal, with all employment being maintained and suppliers being retained. Additionally, there will be no change in the status of members of Doonbeg Golf Club,” Luke Charleton commented. There will be no disruption to services as a result of the appointment, events booked will go ahead as scheduled and all deposits and gift vouchers will be honoured. Mr Charleton said he was aware that interest has already been expressed in the property and is hopeful of concluding a sale as a going concern within a short time frame.

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West Clare surrogacy journey to India

A FILM following a West Clare couple as they travel to India to fulfill their dream of starting a family together was broadcast on RTE One on Monday night. Over the course of a year, from conception through birth, Her Body, Our Babies captured the trials and tribulations of an emotional process fraught with legal complications and ethical dilemmas. Fiona Whyte and her partner Seán Malone, from Miltown Malbay,  had been trying to have a child together, since they met eight years ago. Although parents, they wanted a child from their relationship. Sean has a son from his previous marriage. Fiona was also married and raised two boys in Dublin before returning home to Clare to be with Seán. For couples who cannot have children together, fertility treatment offers hope, but no guarantees. In recent years, an increasing number of Irish people are opting for surrogacy as a last hope of having a child. But it’s a costly and complicated process – which poses …

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Preliminary Clare storm damage bill hits €23.7m

CLARE County Council has estimated the total damage caused by Storm Christine in County Clare at €23,761,043 with Lahinch being the worst affected. At a specially convened meeting of Clare County Council on Friday, members were given an outline of a preliminary storm damage report, which estimated the total damage caused in Lahinch at €5,842,390. The next highest cost of repairs was in Kilbaha, estimated in the region of €3,423,950. Meanwhile, repairs at Cloughaninchy, Quilty are estimated at €2,581,250. Storm damage in New Quay amounted to approximately €1.854m, while the repair works necessary at Carrowdotia in Moneypoint are estimated at €1,115,400. Councillors viewed CCTV footage of the storm captured at Lahinch promenade. A contingency fund of €2,160,095 was also included in the preliminary report, and costs of non-coastal repairs were estimated in the region of €190,000.  Meanwhile, water services issues relating to the storm came to approximately €20,000. Senior engineer Tom Tiernan outlined in the report that the council also …

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