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Tag Archives: PJ Kelly

Kelly chalenges council’s legal spending

If Clare County Council were a private company, it would be insolvent and its directors fired, Councillor PJ Kelly claimed at this week’s meeting of the local authority. He made his comments while discussing legal costs incurred by the council, having sought information about costs awarded to and against the council regarding court proceedings over the last five years. The information he sought was not available and a written reply said it “will take time to compile this information and, should the councillor require, this information can be collated over the coming weeks”. Councillor Kelly said the council has “very scarce finances” currently, while he noted that €100,000 had been spent on the council’s entrance door. He added that the council is open for 250 days in the year and that the legal expenses incurred averages at in excess of €3,000 per day. “That would be high wages for 15 people; I can’t accept that it is justified,” he commented. …

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Lissycasey garda cover ‘doubled’

THE Garda service in Lissycasey has “doubled” since the local station closed on March 1, according to the county’s most senior garda officer. Chief Superintendent John Kerin was speaking after a meeting in Lissycasey with a 12-person delegation representing local organisations. The group was seeking to transfer Lissycasey from the Kilrush Garda Division to the Ennis division. This has been turned down for now, although it will be subject to review. The Lissycasey station closure coincided with the reopening of Kilmihil Garda Station on the same date. “In most cases, the closure of a garda station results in a diminution of garda services. What has occurred here is that they will have more than double the garda service that they had before this. I also stressed at the meeting that Lissycasey is in a more enviable situation than any other rural area that I know in Clare. There are about 12 gardaí, who are based in Ennis, Kilrush or other …

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Councillors distribute €50k at ‘secret’ meeting

CLARE County Council is to seek legal advice on the status of a behind-closed-doors in-committee meeting, held by West Clare county councillors, at which €50,000 of public money was allocated to two disability projects in Kilrush and Kildysart. Both projects were granted €25,000 and details of the meeting and the decision made at it only emerged publicly at a West Clare Municipal District meeting this week.Since then, Clare County Council has said they are not in a position to release the minutes of the in-committee meeting until they receive “legal clarification on the status of the minutes”. At Tuesday’s meeting, Councillor Richard Nagle, who was unable to attend the contentious meeting on October 20, described the holding of the meeting as “reprehensible and regrettable”. He queried why the meeting was held in private with the media absent. “Why was that meeting held in-committee? It was an issue deciding on the allocation of public money,” he stated. Municipal area chairman, Councillor …

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Councillors vote for 15% reduction in property tax

CLARE  county councillors have voted to slash the Local Property Tax (LPT) by 15% following a special meeting of theb local authority on Friday morning. An alliance of Fianna Fáil councillors and some members of the so-called Technical Group ensured the maximum reduction will be passed on to property owners in Clare next January after it was passed by 17 votes to ten. The reduction, which prompted some heated exchanges during the meeting, was supported by 11 Fianna Fáil councillors, Sinn Féin Councillor Mike McKee as well as Independents Gerry Flynn, James Breen, Ann Norton, Michael Begley and P J Ryan. Two members of the Technical Group – long serving Independent councillor Christy Curtin and Ian Lynch broke ranks by opting to oppose the cut with eight Fine Gael councillors. The council’s chief executive, Tom Coughlan told councillors in a report on the “Local Property Tax Local Adjustment Factor” a sum of €1.56 million would be available for additional services …

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West Clare demands one-third share of budget

THE first chairman of the new West Clare Municipal Authority is seeking at least 33% of Clare County Council’s budget to be spent in the west and north of the county. Councillor PJ Kelly was elected chairman of the body at last Friday’s AGM, attended by all eight of the recently elected county councillors, who serve in the enlarged West Clare constituency. The meeting also decided to restrict to six the number of the public who can attend the bi-monthly meetings, while senior engineer, Cyril Feeney, acknowledged the council is facing challenges in adequately staffing the district, which stretches from Loop Head to Ballyvaughan. Councillor Kelly produced figures which he said proved Clare County Council collected millions of euro in rates from West Clare. “The county council takes in €36.2m in rates. Ennis takes in €5.4m and Kilrush €0.7m. That comes to a grand county-wide figure of approximately €42m. One establishment in West Clare, ESB Moneypoint, pays €13m. That is …

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Kelly makes it eight in a row

Lissycasey county councillor PJ Kelly (FF) won his eighth successive election to Clare County Council when he was elected on the eleventh count. “It was good I got elected. I’m delighted. It was awful cheeky to go for eight in a row but I made it. There are a lot of lessons to be learned from this. If we were to have predicted who would win or lose, the bookies would have been in for a good day,” he said of a day of twists and turns in the west Clare race. Meanwhile Bill Chambers (FF) was equally relived to have pulled through at the same stage of the day long count. “It feels great and I’m delighted with the result but I’m really sorry too that we’ve lost two marvellous colleagues in Oliver Garry and Patrick Keane. Two thorough gentleman,” he commented. He described the new west Clare constituency as a challenging one geographically. “It has proved we were …

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Spring Water

Middle Eastern Promise for Lissycasey company

by Peter O’Connell A potentially lucrative export market to Bahrain, and possibly the greater Middle East, has opened up for organic water company Clare Spring in Lissycasey, which may lead to the company having to increase its current workforce of 15 full and part-time staff. Clare Spring has been approached by a fledging Bahrain-based firm, Bahsham, whose directors include Kilkee man Tom Byrne and Bahraini national Adel Al Sammak Bahraini, both of whom visited the plant on Monday. “The two of us set up the business with two other partners. Our idea is to import foodstuffs from Europe because organic goes down well in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia. We’d be hoping to order one 40-foot container per month. There are 26 pallets per container and each pallet weighs one tonne. We’ll be doing a mixture of glass bottles for hotels and plastic bottles for the shops. We’re also going to supply dispensers. Most of the houses over there have dispensers …

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Asbestos dumping under investigation

By Peter  O’Connell CLARE County Council is investigating claims that there are at least nine asbestos dumps in the Kilrush and Kilkee areas of West Clare. The asbestos waste was dumped on both public and private lands and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) confirmed on Wednesday that it has been contacted on the issue. The matter was raised by Councillor PJ Kelly at Monday’s Kilrush Electoral Area meeting. He later told The Clare Champion that he had discovered that it would cost up to €2.9m to pay for the clean up operation. The council maintains, however, that the figure involved cannot be determined at this stage, as cost associated with carrying out these works “are as yet undetermined”. In a statement on Wednesday evening, Clare County Council said, “All of the asbestos material investigated to date consists of broken pieces of asbestos cement water main. It is considered that all of this material originated on Clare County Council water services …

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