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Ophelia causing damage across Clare

  THE impact of Hurricane Ophelia is being felt across Clare this afternoon, with trees down in numerous locations and many homes without power. Speaking to the Clare Champion Councillor Mike McKee said that about a third of homes in Shannon are without electricity, including many in the Ballycasey area. He also said a tree had fallen at Cluain Airne and a lamp post went down at Cill Cais. “It has been fairly wild over the last few hours, but I don’t think it’s as bad as when we had the last storm, three or four years ago,” he noted. Councillor McKee said that most business in Shannon Town Centre had closed, as had those in the Shannon Free Zone. He also said there have been dangerous driving conditions close to the airport, due to debris. In Ennis Councillor Mary Howard said the weather is very dangerous. “The gusts are very strong and its frightening,” she said. “My advice is …

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Crowe up and running in Dáil race

Councillor Cathal Crowe may become one of the youngest public representatives to contest the next general election in Clare but he chose an old style Fianna Fáil rally-type event to officially launch his bid on Wednesday afternoon. Standing on an open top trailer surrounded by political posters from the last three local elections, Councillor Crowe also turned back the clock by launching his election campaign outside the home of the last Dáil deputy from South-East Clare, Paddy Brennan. The fact that the Brennans were Free Staters and staunch Cumann na nGaedheal members didn’t deter the 34-year-old from declaring his intention to run in the next general election at Brennan’s Cross in Meelick. The passionate historian recalled that while on the run, the Brennans often took shelter at his grandparents’ house in Woodcock Hill, just three miles from the cross. With former Clare hurler Niall Gilligan providing the warm-up speech, Councillor Crowe then outlined his vision. “For 95 years, this corner …

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Covered Ennis market a step closer

THE redevelopment of Ennis’ market has moved a step closer this week with members of Ennis Town Council agreeing to seek a loan for the proposed plan for Garraunakilla. The council will be looking for a loan of €1.75 million from the government to facilitate the proposed works, with the construction of the covered market itself expected to cost less than half a million while much of the funding would also be spent on improvements to the general area. Members of the council gave their backing to the planned re-vamp of the market on Monday evening, with council officials stressing that this is just “one step in a process”. According to town manager Ger Dollard there will be full consultation, funding will have to be sourced and a tender process will have to be gone through before any works are carried out. He emphasised, “the users of the market will have to be happy with the facility, we want this …

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Marking the end of Ennis Town Council

THE abolition of Ennis Town Council is set to be marked with a civic event. Initial details of the planned event were unveiled at a meeting of the local authority which is set to be abolished this summer. At the meeting, Councillor Michael Guilfoyle stated that councillors, former councillors, staff and former staff should “receive recognition for their commitment and foresight in the development of the town.” He commented that “it’s sad to see the town council going, but unfortunately we have no control over that. The people did not get the opportunity to vote on this like they did with the senate.” Leonard Cleary, town clerk, told the meeting that it is intended that Ennis Town Council host an “appropriate event” to mark the abolition of Ennis Town Council. He explained, “In recognition of the service of current and past elected members, a roll of honour has been researched and compiled. This will be included as part of the …

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Ennis flood “danger has not passed”

ENNIS has so far escaped the brunt of Storm Brigid, however town manager Ger Dollard has warned, “the danger has not passed.” He outlined that river levels are in the “red zone”, with a high risk of flooding still in place. And he urged members of the public to remain vigilant as stormy weather conditions are expected to continue. The town manager was speaking at a meeting of Ennis Town Council this week where he pointed out that the town’s flood defences have been working well. “Despite the very heavy rain and high tide Ennis has performed exceptionally well over the last number of weeks,” he said. He outlined that there have been major improvements to flood defences in recent years with a number of works carried out at various locations including the Gort Road Flood Relief Scheme. While work on phase 2 of the Ennis Flood Relief Scheme continues. And he stated that since the flooding of 2009 the …

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Anti-social behaviour complaints down in Ennis

THE number of anti-social complaints about residents of local authority houses in Ennis has fallen. In 2012 there were six non-drug related anti-social behaviour complaints made to the council, while in 2013 that figure was five latest figures have shown. There were no drug related anti-social behaviour complaints made in either 2012 or 2013. A total of 46 complaints relating to nuisance or breach of tenancy were made to the council in 2013, up slightly from 44 in the previous year. While the number of warning letters issued is also down, from seven in 2012 to just two in 2013. The figures, contained in the annual report for the estate management unit of Ennis Town Council, show an overall downward trend in issues surrounding local authority housing in the town. Town clerk Ger Dollard attributed this to the council’s policy of early intervention, adding that CCTV and the support of the gardai have also been of assistance. The report was …

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Council reiterate flood risk warning

CLARE County Council has this Tuesday afternoon reiterated its appeal to land, home and business owners in flood prone locations to remain vigilant during the coming days with further heavy rainfall expected to cause localised flooding. Council engineers are continuing to monitor water levels on the River Fergus and Lower River Shannon and say the risk of flooding will increase as a result of rainfall from this evening’s frontal system and further rainfall up to and including the weekend. The council, in conjunction with the emergency services, is progressing contingency arrangements in terms of additional pumping capacity and other flood alleviation measures at flood prone locations along the River Shannon and River Fergus. Meanwhile, Clare County Council is continuing to assess the scale of the damage caused by Storm Brigid to local authority managed public infrastructure over the weekend.   It says it is focusing on the cleanup of storm affected areas and to undertake remedial works to local authority managed …

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The life of Brian for Paddy’s Day

PLANS are underway for this year’s St Patrick’s Day parade in Ennis with the theme ‘The Life of Brian Boú’. The parade will follow the established route from Áras Contae an Chláir, New Road and proceed along Newbridge Road, O’Connell Square, O’Connell Street and to terminate in the market. The parade will commence at 11am and is expected to take between an hour and an hour and a half to pass the reviewing stand which will be located in O’Connell Square. There will be some level of pedestrianisation at either side of the parade event, but it is not envisaged there will be full pedestrianisation. This year a delegation from Lagenfeld in Germany will be visiting Ennis for the St Patrick’s festivities. Invitations have also been sent by Ennis Town Council to St Paul de Fenouillet in France and Phoenix, Arizona who have twinning relationships with Ennis.

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