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Tag Archives: Mary Howard

‘Shilly-shallying’ on Ennis flood relief

THE Office of Public Works has been accused of “shilly-shallying”, when it comes to the long-awaited Ennis South Flood Relief Scheme. A recent meeting of the Ennis Municipal District was informed that a timescale for the works is not currently available. This sparked criticism from members of the council, with acting director of service Brian McCarthy telling councillors that he “understands the frustration.” Councillor Paul Murphy initially raised the matter, requesting an update on the tendering and likely timescale of works on the scheme. He asked, “What is the latest delay and is it possible to separate the St Flannan’s and Ballybeg projects from each other in order to achieve progress?” Eugene O’Shea, acting senior engineer, replied, “The current status in relation to the Ennis South Flood Relief Scheme is that a tender recommendation has been received from the consultants for this scheme and sent to the OPW for their approval. “As the St Flannan’s and Ballybeg projects are both …

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Councillor seeks to protect defibrillators

An ENNIS-based Councillor Mary Howard has called for stricter penalties for those who vandalise defibrillators. At a recent meeting of Clare County Council, she also requested that the Minister for Health ensure that all future publicly-accessible defibrillators be fitted with a sensor that would notify emergency services once it has been removed from its holder. Speaking about the vandalism of the items, Councillor Howard said, “Last December, we saw CCTV footage of a group of 16-year-olds in Arklow in County Wicklow pull a defibrillator off a wall and proceed to kick it back and forth, destroying the unit. “In January, a defibrillator was destroyed in Cork for the fourth time. The list goes on. These life-saving devices cost in the region of €2,500 to be replaced.” She said it would be important to have defibrillators fitted with devices that would discourage vandals. “In the future, I would like to see these units fitted with a SIM module and internal camera, …

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Call for moratorium on evictions

THE plight of those evicted from their homes was highlighted at this week’s meeting of Clare County Council, with one councillor voicing fears that someone could take the law into their own hands. Calls were made for the Government to introduce a moratorium on evictions until the social housing crisis has been resolved. Councillor PJ Ryan commented, “One of these days I can see somebody taking the law into their own hands if the situation is not rectified. The banks are 95% the cause of the problem and they need to take a reality check.” Councillor Mike McKee raised the issue with the local authority where he outlined increases in the numbers of people evicted across the country, those in mortgage arrears and families being made homeless. “Hard-working families are being dragged through the courts by the banks, the very same banks that were bailed out,” he stated. “There is a crisis in social housing at the moment and until …

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Ann Norton new Mayor of Ennnis

Independent Councillor Ann Norton is the new Mayor of Ennis. She was unanimously elected at this week’s annual general meeting of the Municipal District Committee of Ennis. Councillor Norton was elected to Clare County Council for the first time in 2014 and succeeds Fianna Fail’s Pat Daly in the role. Councillor James Breen (IND) has been elected deputy mayor in place of the outgoing deputy mayor, Mary Howard, Fine Gael. Mayor Norton, in her acceptance speech said, “It is a great honour for me to hold this office in a year that will see Ennis host Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann for the first time since 1977. This is a huge occasion for the town and the entire county. “As mayor I also looking forward to supporting the various community initiatives and cultural projects that will be taking place over the next 12 months, including plans for the new flagship County Library project in Ennis. Another key priority of mine will be …

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Conway retains Seanad Seat

Fine Gael’s Martin Conway will be Clare’s sole representative in the Seanad. The Ennistymon man successfully retained his seat on the Administrative Panel of Seanad Éirean. He was first elected to this panel in 2011 and was the Seanad spokesperson on Justice, Disability and Equality. He is the first visually impaired member of the Oireachtas. Conway’s first foray into politics was in 2004 when he won a seat on Clare County Council, representing North Clare. He was re-elected to the council in 2009, topping the poll. However, outgoing senator Tony Mulcahy from Shannon surrendered his seat. He was one of 23 candidates seeking the 11 seats on the Labour panel. He was eliminated in the sixth count. Following his unsuccessful bid Senator Mulcahy said that one of the first things he has to do is get a handle on his finances. He said that despite perceptions of politics being ultra-lucrative, most of those who have lost their Seanad seats face …

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Phoenix sisters connect through art

CLARE artists with disabilities are being encouraged to speak out and express themselves using a voice of their own as part of an international competition. Each year Phoenix Sister Cities, which includes Ennis, host a competition for artists with disabilities. The genesis of the competition is to offer recognition to artists who have gone beyond their disability and utilised their creative talents to promote global understanding of disabilities. Art and photography are submitted by local artists in Arizona and from Phoenix’s 10 sister cities around the world. For 2015, there were a number of entries from County Clare-based artists, as Ennis is twined with Phoenix since 1988. Of these entries, four were award-winners under the theme of ‘A Voice Of Our Own!’ Local woman Theresa Davoren came in third place in her category and she was also presented with a cheque for €150. Awards were also given to Chime Browne, James Hehir and Gerard Arthur. Councillor Mary Howard, deputy mayor …

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Conway makes case for FG nomination

A date has been set for the Fine Gael convention to select candidates to run for the General Election in Clare. The convention will take place on September 11 in Ennis, with the county’s two sitting TDs, Deputies Pat Breen and Joe Carey, likely to receive the nod. Senators Tony Mulcahy and Martin Conway have both said they will seek the party’s nomination. Clare County Councillor Mary Howard may also seek to have her name put forward. Senator Mulcahy was on the ticket in the 2011 General Election but was not elected, while Senator Conway had expressed his desire to run for Fine Gael on that occasion but was not selected as a candidate. “In 2009, I topped polls in local elections with a significant surplus. I wasn’t running in the subsequent General Election, even though a senior cabinet minister living seven miles away from me had said he would not be running, so it left a vacuum. Fine Gael …

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Women should avail of BreastCheck

Ennis Councillor Mary Howard is encouraging all women aged between 50 and 64 to attend their regular mammogram, when invited. “All women in this age group should ensure they are on the BreastCheck register, so they can be informed about their free check-up appointments,” Councillor Howard stated. “It’s simple, just log onto www.breastcheck.ie, to register, or Freephone 1800 45 45 55. “There has been a drop of 6% in women attending appointments over the past four years, which is worrying as a minimum of 70% attendance must be maintained to deliver the most benefit to the women screened,” she pointed out. “The vast majority of screenings are found to be perfectly healthy. Where problems are detected, early treatment greatly increases the likelihood of full recovery. Over 450,000 people have attended regular BreastCheck mammograms since the programme began. “Under this Government, there has been a major expansion of screening including Bowelscreen, screening for diabetic retinopathy and newborn deafness and cystic fibrosis. …

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