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Government under fire for “neglecting Kilkee and Kilrush”

  The Government has come under fire for “neglecting” two of the main West Clare towns – Kilkee and Kilrush. Michael Haugh from Doonbeg is keenly aware of impact of rural depopulation in West Clare, having seen the closure of Baltard National School in recent years. He believes that urgent action is needed to secure a major new industry for West Clare. “The Government has neglected towns like Kilkee and Kilrush. They are putting no new industry into these towns. “I have been to towns in Kerry where ministers like Dick Spring got in industries to places like Tralee and Killorglin. “What can be done to create jobs? A big factory should be brought into Kilrush. They have these factories in places like Killorglin, Kenmare and Cahersiveen but not in Clare. “Our problem is we don’t have a senior minister. Brendan Daly brought the Kilrush Creek Marina to Kilrush, nothing else has happened since then. “We need a big industry …

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West Clare schools battle for survival

DISTURBING new figures have revealed that the projected number of enrolments in seven West Clare schools, in just three years’ time, will just be sufficient to fill a single classroom. Additional statistics also found that there is significant decline in full time residents living in Doonbeg village, with only 41% of houses occupied permanently. According to information obtained by the Clare Champion, the combined influx of Junior Infants in the three most westerly parishes on the Loop Head Peninsula, Kilkee, Carrigaholt and Cross, will be just above 30 pupils in 2021. Co-parish priest of Kilkee, Cross, Carrigaholt and Doonbeg, Fr Gerry Kenny warns that more national school amalgamations will have to be considered in the peninsula, unless there is a dramatic increase in population. Fr Kenny expressed grave concern about the generation gap, pointing to the lack of young people in their 20s and 30s, settling down to live in West Clare. “While urbanisation will always be a factor, current …

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Kilkee coast guard unit further down-graded

ACROSS the May Bank Holiday weekend, Kilkee had no coast guard service available in the event of an emergency. A source has told The Clare Champion that the limited service the Kilkee unit of the Irish Coast Guard had been providing was further down-graded, following a recent training incident. It has also been claimed that the current coast guard crew have not recently passed an Operational Readiness Assessment (ORA) in more than two years. The Clare Champion contacted the Department of Transport on Wednesday for a comment on the claims, but it had not responded at the time of going to press. “The coast guard will say that they have a boat. We all know they have a boat but they don’t have a crew. Every time they need to go in the water, they need to bring an instructor down from Maritime SAR to even get on the water to do the training. There are about six people who …

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Shock in Kilkee following tragic death

KILKEE was in shock and mourning on Friday following news that a local man, in his mid 50s, had died following a fall while taking down Christmas lights. The accident happened in the early afternoon. The man was airlifted to University Hospital Limerick where he passed away. He has yet to be formally named. However he was very well known in the community, particularly in sporting and business circles. He played football with St Senan’s Kilkee and was also a regular participant in the West Clare Mini Marathon, which was due to take place on Sunday but has been postponed as a mark of respect.

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Man dies in Kilkee drowning

A visitor to Kilkee died tragically at the weekend, when he drowned while at the bottom of a cliff on the Dunlickey Road in Kilkee. It is believed that the man was taking photographs. The man is understood to be a Hungarian national who had been living in Galway. The alarm was raised on Saturday afternoon with the local coast guard and Rescue 115 joining in the search, along with Kilrush gardaí. The man was located and brought to University Hospital Limerick where he subsequently died.

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Lending support to the Medicinal Cannabis Bill

A MEMBER of the Kilkee Cannabis Club has written to the county’s four TDs, asking them to support the Medicinal Cannabis Bill, which is to be debated in Dáil Éireann today (Thursday). The Dáil will study the report on Scrutiny of the Cannabis for Medicinal Use Regulation Bill 2016. John O’Regan is backing Ireland’s Cannabis Party in its fast protest outside Leinster House from today up to November 16, in support of the Medicinal Cannabis Bill. Organisers say the fast is being held to highlight the need for medicinal cannabis to be legalised and regulated. Mr O’Regan, who lives on the Kilrush Road in Kilkee, said, “It is our intention to highlight the desperate plight that parents with sick children face. One such person was even contemplating a hunger strike to try to help their child. This fast is intended to remind people of the lengths a parent might go to, if their child is denied a medicine due to …

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‘Lack of confidence’ in Kilkee coastguard

ONE of the principal organisers of a protest in Kilkee, aimed at highlighting concerns relating to the Irish Coast Guard in the town, has claimed that locals are not confident with regard to the local unit. “There is a big lack of confidence in the current service in Kilkee and that was borne out this summer. They only got a couple of call-outs. I got two call-outs to go out and pull people in and the dive centre got one call-out, instead of them ringing the coast guard,” Manuel Di Lucia revealed. Almost 50 people attended a second public protest in Kilkee on Sunday. It was emphasised that a year on from the tragic death of volunteer, Caitríona Lucas, the Kilkee unit of the coast guard has been largely land-based, with members not allowed beyond St George’s Head. “Most incidents happen way outside the bay, up and down the coast,” Kilkee Marine Rescue founder Di Lucia said. That service was …

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Kilrush man charged with Kilkee murder

GARDAÍ have charged a 21-year-old Kilrush man with the murder of Karl Haugh at the Marian Estate in Kilkee last August. Detective Garda Padraig Frawley gave evidence of charging Robbie Walsh of 20 Island View, Kilrush, with murder, at a sitting of Ennis District Court on Wednesday. In reply to the murder charge, Mr Walsh said, “Sorry, I didn’t mean to do it”. Mr Walsh, who is represented by Patrick Moylan, solicitor, had been charged with assault, intentionally or recklessly causing serious harm to Karl Haugh at Marian Estate on Sunday, August 6. However, on Wednesday, Inspector Tom Kennedy, prosecuting, said the State was withdrawing that charge and it was struck out. Judge Patrick Durcan pointed out that it had no jurisdiction to deal with bail in the case of a murder charge. Mr Moylan outlined that a bail application would be made to the High Court. A Book of Evidence is to be prepared and the matter will be …

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