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West Clare

Gold for Ennis and Kilrush in Tidy Towns

Both Ennis and Kilrush came agonisingly close to winning the national title in the National Tidy Towns competitions, the results of which were announced today (Monday). Ennis (321) and Kilrush (320) have both been awarded Gold Medals, finishing just 2 and 3 marks respectively off the overall competition winner, Letterkenny (323). Mountshannon won Silver and there were Bronze Medals for Ballynacally, Kilkee, Tuamgraney and Quin. Clarecastle won an Endeavour Award, while Ennis, Kilrush and Mountshannon claimed the County Awards. Cathaoirleach of Clare County Council, James Breen said, “Regardless of whether or not they have received an award in the national competition, each of Clare’s other Tidy Towns participants are already winners for the huge positive contribution they have made to their localities.” Chairperson of Ennis Tidy Towns Committee, Josephine Cotter Coughlan, stated, “We are delighted with our result this year and to have achieved an increase of seven marks on our 2014 score. The fact that Ennis finished just two …

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The road is reopened at Clonbony Bridge. Photograph by John Kelly

Contractor for Clonbony Bridge

Transport Infrastructure Ireland (formerly the NRA) has announced that a contractor will be appointed this week to undertake remedial works to Clonbony Bridge on the N67 near Miltown Malbay. The Bridge has been closed to vehicular traffic since September 11, following significant flooding in the area. Subsequent inspections of the bridge have indentified structural damage to one of the bridge abutments which has necessitated the closure of the bridge and the rerouting of traffic. Senior engineer, Clare County Council, Tom Tiernan, commented, “Clare County Council is conscious of the disruption that the closure has caused for local businesses in Miltown Malbay, as well as local residents. However, the continued closure has proven to be necessary on foot of inspections that have deemed the bridge structure to have been compromised.”

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Doonbeg expansion dependent on coastal works

UNLESS rock armour protection is put in front of the sand dunes in Doughmore Beach, the Doonbeg golf course will eventually be rendered unusable. That’s the stark message from the golf resort general manager, Joe Russell. He was speaking following a two-day consultation, held in Doonbeg community hall this week, on a proposed coastal protection scheme. The golf course was extensively flooded in 2014 and some holes were closed for long periods. “The golf course needs to be protected. Over the last number of years, the dune face has retreated approximately a yard per year. People have seen a huge retreat in these dunes. If we don’t do it, eventually the golf course will go and there is an over-riding question; what generation is going to do it? If it breaches the dunes, a lot of agricultural land behind the club is going to get flooded,” Joe Russell predicted. Up to 10 metres of sand dune front along the entire …

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Pharmacy owner to appear in circuit court

A WEST Clare pharmacy owner will appear in the circuit court in relation to charges of the alleged unlawful possession of veterinary medicine. Marie Kelly of Westpark, Spanish Point is charged with being in possession of animal remedies where the respective labels on the products were altered without the required authorisation from the Irish Medicine Board. Ms Kelly and her firm, Esterville Ltd of Main Street, Miltown Malbay, face a total of 29 separate charges relating to animal pharmaceutical products and subsequent breaches of EU regulations concerning the supply and administration of those products. The charges were brought following an investigation by the Department of Agriculture’s Special Investigation Unit. State solicitor, Martin Linnane outlined that the DPP had agreed that the accused, as a director of Esterville Ltd, could be sent forward for trial to the circuit court, an order approved by Judge Marian O’Leary. Ms Kelly is charged with being in possession of a number of animal remedies, including …

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A golden glow in Kilrush

Kilrush and Trim, County Meath have both won Gold Medal Awards at the European Entente Florale Competition. Extending congratulations to the winning towns, the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government, Alan Kelly said both Trim and Kilrush should be immensely proud of their achievement. The results of the European Entente Florale competition were announced at a special awards ceremony in Bristol, over the weekend, much to the delight of the Kilrush and Trim contingent present. Nine European countries participated in the competition, with Ireland the only country to win two gold medals. The candidates are generally chosen from among the top performers in the relevant categories in national competitions. The competition is judged on all aspects of the towns and villages under inspection, from the quality of road surfaces to the colour schemes of houses and from the planting of open spaces to the standard of public amenities.

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Kilrush firm building a high profile

KILRUSH-based manufacturing company, Nordman Profile Limited, is in line to be awarded at least part of the Dublin modular housing contract for homeless families. The company, which was established in 1990, is this week participating in a demonstration project, organised by Dublin City Council and the Dublin Region Homeless Executive Agency, to construct modular homes for homeless families. “This is a unique opportunity to help families in need, while sustaining employment in West Clare,” Nordman managing director Pat Kilkenny said. Dublin City councillors are being presented with plans to build up to 200 homes. There are more than 600 families living in emergency accommodation in hotels and B&Bs in the Dublin area, at an estimated annual cost to the State of almost €10 million. The homeless list is growing by about 75 families per month. Last month, 1,275 children from 607 families were living in emergency accommodation. Nordman Profile is participating in the Dublin modular housing project with Dutch modular …

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A dozen As for Kildysart student

THE vice-principal of St John Bosco Community College, Kildysart said the school is “absolutely delighted” that one of its students was among the highest achievers nationwide in the Junior Cert. Sixteen-year-old Ciara Kenny secured 12 As and Deirdre Convey said while the school is very pleased for Ciara, it is very happy with the results “across the board”. Ms Convey said Ciara is an “excellent student”, who excels both in academic and extra-curricular subjects. “Ciara was a winner in the Féile na hInse competition and she participates in the girls’ basketball team,” Ms Convey said. “She was also a member of the Green Schools Committee, which won two green flags last year and she took part in the young environmentalist competition last year and was one of the group who got to the Mansion House.” Ms Convey said overall the students in the Kildysart-based school did very well and were supported in their endeavours by the “committed and dedicated” staff …

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Planning review sought for €20m windfarm

CLARE County Council has been asked to conduct a thorough planning review concerning the start of civil engineering works for a €20 million windfarm amid claims it constituted unauthorised development. Councillor PJ Kelly has called on chief executive officer, Tom Coughlan, to conduct a review into how a windfarm company, Tullabrack Energy Limited, was allowed to start work on its site in  Tullabrack in West Clare despite a series of written warnings about its alleged non-compliance with planning conditions. The Lissycasey councillor wants a review to establish whether or not planning laws were administered in accordance with proper procedure and to put the necessary structures in place to ensure there is no repetition of “administrative confusion”. “It seems that one section of the council doesn’t know what the other section is doing. There is a management deficit and I am calling on Mr Coughlan to intervene,” he said. A seven-day commencement notice for an ESB substation on the site came …

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Students’ flight from West Clare

UP to 80% of students educated at Kilrush Community School have no option but to leave West Clare, due to the absence of employment opportunities. That’s according to principal, Rock Kirwan, who is starting his 24th year at the 38-teacher school, which has a current enrolment of 430 pupils. “I would suspect that you are talking between 20% and 30%,” he replied, when asked how many of his past pupils live and work in the region. “That would be an interesting piece of research for some budding sociologist to take up in college, as to what is happening in rural areas. Most see that their futures lie elsewhere and not in the local area. Most are aware of that, particularly those that go on to third level, as most do. If you take what’s being called the recovery in the Irish economy, it’s being fed out of two or three major urban centres. I don’t see that that has filtered …

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Lighthouse shines as a tourist attraction

Loop Head lighthouse has consolidated its position as one of West Clare’s best tourist attractions. Figures for the period April 3 to August 31 show that 23,000 people visited the lighthouse, a 13% increase on the entire figure for 2014. This is the historic landmark’s fifth year of operation. 47.5% of the total visitor figure up to Sunday, August 30, is represented by Irish visitors, with Germany, North America, UK, France and Italy collectively accounting for 42.2% of the overall figure. Clare County Council, which manages Loop Head Lighthouse in conjunction with the Commissioners of Irish Lights (CIL), says the facility will remain open daily (10am-6pm) until October 4. For the first time ,meanwhile, the attraction will be opened to the public during weekends in October. Councillor James Breen, cathaoirleach of Clare County Council said, “The 19th century West Clare landmark is certainly benefiting from its designation as a Signature Discovery Point on the Wild Atlantic Way and as one …

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