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West Clare

New chapter for Kilkee library

MINISTER for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Jimmy Deenihan opened the refurbished Cultúrlann Sweeney library in Kilkee on Monday evening and a sizeable gathering attended the event.The €1.6m redevelopment of the 1950s public library building in Kilkee includes a revamped library with 12,500 books, DVDs, magazines and newspapers and a 108-seat theatre including a sound and lighting system and two green rooms.Minister Deenihan predicted the new facility will play an important public and social role within the town, while Helen Walsh, county librarian, acknowledged the public’s “patience and understanding during the redevelopment process”.Bernadette Kinsella, director of services, Clare County Council said the library needed to be upgraded to meet modern requirements.“The main reason behind the redevelopment of the previous building was that it did not sufficiently address modern accessibility requirements, nor did it possess efficient heating, advanced stage technology and the expanding functions of a modern community library,” she said.“The primary changes to the internal layout are the demolition of …

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Ambassador’s wife traces her Kilrush roots

PATRICIA Dubois Zanini, the new Italian ambassador’s Belgian-born wife, her sister and the latter’s two children were in Kilrush on Wednesday morning to visit their ancestral Bulger and Scanlan family graves.The visit coincided with work being carried out under the leadership of Paul O’Brien and Kay Clancy in cleaning up the Kilrush Church of Ireland Graveyard.Patricia Zanini’s great-grandmother, Anne Bulger, was born in 1875 in Kilrush, where her father, Daniel Scanlan Bulger, ran a loan office and other businesses in Moore Street. The Bulger family moved from Moore Street to Dublin about a decade later. In 1896, in University Church in Dublin, Anne married Jules Tinchant, a Mexican whose family had a cigar business in Belgium, where they settled down.When Daniel Scanlan Bulger fell ill and died in Dublin in 1904, his wife, also Anne (née Delany), applied to be admitted a member of the Dublin Stock Exchange in his place but her request was turned down, apparently on account …

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Community input sought for Kilrush plan

Kilrush people are being asked by the local town council to participate in the public consultation process for the preparation of the Kilrush Development Plan 2014-2020, details of which were announced this week.Kilrush Town Council has commenced the period of public consultation as part of a review of the 2008 Development Plan for Kilrush, due to expire in 2014. The revised plan will determine the ­future land-use needs of the local ­community in terms of economic development, recreational and community requirements, as well as residential, transport and infrastructural needs.The review of the plan, which is being carried out in accordance with Section 11 of the Planning and Development Act 2000, will feature informal public information events at Moore Street (former Clohessy Electrical Sales store) on Tuesday, February 28 and Wednesday, February 29 from 12noon to 7pm. Council officials will brief also local children as part of development plan process during visits to local schools on Monday, February 27. Meanwhile, an …

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Kilkee Library to reopen after €1.6m refurbishment

Following a €1.6m refurbishment, The Sweeney Memorial Public Library in Kilkee will re-open on Monday at 6pm. The official opening will be performed by Minister for Arts, Heritage and Gaeltacht Affairs, Jimmy Deenihan. The library building dates to the 1950s and was designed to provide multipurpose functions including library, theatre, cinema and dance-hall.The existing building is approximately 415m2 (4,465 square feet) and the revised layout will provide approximately 682m2 (7,340 square feet), of which 492m2 will be at ground floor and 190m2 at first-floor level. The theatre and foyer/gallery facilities have been designed to accommodate approximately 130 people.In 2010, Clare County Council awarded a €1m contract to L&M Keating Ltd, Kilmihil, to carry out a refurbishment and extension to the library in Kilkee.Additional work brought the work to €1.6m. The proposed scheme comprises additional library space, theatre and exhibition space, and multifunction spaces. At the July 2010 meeting of Kilrush Electoral Area county councillors, director of services, Nora Kaye, acknowledged …

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Closed toilets a pressing problem

At the February meeting of Kilkee Town Council, members expressed concern that that the public toilet, which made a loss of more than €30,000 in 2011, may not be open for St Patrick’s Day or for Easter Weekend. In reply to Councillor Karen Reilly’s motion that Clare County Council outline their summer plans for staffing levels in Kilkee and the opening times of the public toilets, town engineer Derek Troy said outdoor staffing numbers will be reduced by 12% in west Clare this year. The town engineer also said the toilets would open from 8.30am to 4.30pm daily. However, he later added that if there was a demand for the toilets to be opened beyond 4.30pm, the toilets’ opening hours would be extended. On a related note, Councillor Paddy Collins expressed his disbelief that the public toilets may be closed for upcoming bank holidays, including March 17. “I think it’s amazing that we don’t have public toilets for the Easter …

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Shop front facelifts to boost business

TWO Kilrush streets are to benefit from a shop front scheme aimed at assisting in the business regeneration of both streets. Last week’s Kilrush Town Council monthly meeting heard details of the scheme, which was also discussed at the January meeting of the town council. Moore Street and Henry Street are the streets that will benefit from the initiative, which is being promoted by Kilrush Town Council, Kilrush Chamber of Commerce, Shannon Development and Kilrush Tidy Towns. The general plan is to encourage new businesses to open on these streets and to assist existing businesses to improve their shop fronts. The scheme will apply to owners and occupiers of existing businesses and to new ventures, although only one application per premises will be accepted. The maximum grant available will be €750, or 50% of the cost of the works, whichever is the lesser cost. The works must be completed before this August and all applications for the fund must be …

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Newry and Mourne honour Cooraclare man

COORACLARE man, Martin Donnelly has become only the third person from outside the Newry and Mourne area to be civically recognised by the Newry and Mourne District Council.At the recent civic reception in his honour, Mayor of Newry and Mourne, Charlie Casey, paid tribute toMartin “for his promotion of Newry and Mourne locally, nationally and internationally all, it must be said, done in a quiet and committed way”.“A renowned sporting journalist in an article about him declared, ‘Martin should be declared the patron saint of sports promotion. Everything the jovial Clare man lends his assistance to seems to turn to gold’ and when you look at his input and support for sports such as Gaelic games, football, hurling, camogie, ladies’ football, boxing, cycling and handball, you can see why this was written.“Former world champion, Bernard Dunne; like current Clare hurling manager, Davy Fitzgerald; cyclist Sean Kelly; former soccer player, Niall Quinn;Armagh’s Joe Kernan and Down’s Graham Clarke, are just a …

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