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Tag Archives: Tom McNamara

Property Tax to increase by 15%

HOUSEHOLDS in Clare will be paying more in Local Property Tax for next year than they have in the past two years. Members of Clare County Council have voted not to reduce the tax as they have done in previous years, meaning a 15% increase for households. The decision to collect the property tax at the full rate will result in €1.5 million in income for the local authority. Clare County Council CEO Pat Dowling commented that the people of County Clare will see “clear evidence” of the added value generated by the decision not to reduce the tax. Over a third of all properties in Clare, 36.5%, are in the lowest valuation band for the tax, with a 15% change resulting in an increase in their tax by €13.50 per year, or 26c a week. The next two valuation bands account for over a half of all properties with the change impacting these bands by €33.75 per year or …

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Ennis nurses provide cover in Limerick

Regular transfers of nurses from Ennis Hospital to cover staffing shortages at University Hospital Limerick has heightened fears about future downgrading. HSE Forum West chairman, Councillor Tom McNamara, has registered his concern about why nurses who are rostered for duty in Ennis Hospital are being requested to report for duty at UHL on an ongoing basis. At a forum meeting in Galway on Tuesday, he said, “This is giving out the wrong message about Ennis Hospital. Clare people are worried that Ennis Hospital is being downgraded by the fact that staff are being moved out of the hospital to deal with a situation in UHL. “The HSE needs to deal its staffing shortage in UHL as quickly as possible. I know that it is not easy to get additional staff but the go-ahead has been given for more recruitment,” he said. While Councillor McNamara acknowledged there is a lack of staff at UHL, he claimed it is creating the wrong …

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Councillor Tom McNamara maintains Clare has taken one of the biggest hits nationally in Leader funding.

Dangerous lack of lighting at Kilmaley cross

THE “dangerous” lack of lighting at a crossroads in Kilmaley was highlighted at this week’s Ennis Municipal District meeting. Councillor Tom McNamara raised the matter in a motion and was told that the council does not have a community lighting scheme in place and has no means of funding the works. Councillor McNamara told the meeting that recent night-time funerals in Kilmaley had brought home the danger to the public in the area, where the two local roads meet the Ennis to Miltown Malbay road at Kilmaley. He said, in the past few months, since a funeral home opened there, it has been become obvious how dangerous the cross is. “In the interest of public safety, something will have to be done. In November and December, there were two night funerals and people couldn’t cross the road. The footpaths on the far side of the road are in an awful condition,” Councillor McNamara stated, adding, “I got more complaints about …

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Longer hours could shorten hospital wait

CLARE GAA players are spending up to 10 hours at University Hospital Limerick’s (UHL) emergency department with injuries, which could easily be treated in Ennis, if opening hours are extended. That’s according to a member of the HSE West Forum, who expressed frustration at the length of time that players are spending in the overcrowded emergency department in Limerick. During a discussion at a forum meeting in Galway, Councillor Ann Norton claimed it had been put to her that arriving in UHL by ambulance would avoid chronic waiting times on trolleys for admission to the hospital. The previous government was subject to sustained criticism over its decision to remove 24-hour emergency services from Ennis and Nenagh Hospitals in April 2009. A minor injury clinic now operates in the two hospitals from 8am to 8pm. Round-the-clock emergency services in Ennis and Nenagh have not been restored by the Fine Gael/Labour coalition, despite public representatives voicing their opposition before services were removed. …

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Councillor Tom McNamara maintains Clare has taken one of the biggest hits nationally in Leader funding.

Councillors back call for rates freeze

ENNIS Municipal District has backed a call for Clare County Council to freeze commercial rates at their current level in the old Ennis Town Council area for the next three years, to give stability to businesses, in order for them to grow and expand. Councillor Tom McNamara raised the matter at the monthly district meeting, telling members that businesses in the town need a timeframe so they would know exactly where they stand for the next three years, allowing them to “expand their businesses and create growth” and job creation. The Kilmaley councillor asked the meeting to back his motion and to allow it to go to the full council meeting, saying, “We need to give them [Ennis businesses] the security to know that Clare County Council won’t be increasing the rates in the town for three years at least and to hope the economy will improve in that time. Then we can have a relook at it and people …

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Councillor Tom McNamara maintains Clare has taken one of the biggest hits nationally in Leader funding.

Hike in child protection referrals ‘alarming’

THERE was a dramatic 134% increase in the number of Clare child protection referrals (CPR) over a five year period from 2008 to 2012, a new report has confirmed. Describing the statistic as “alarming”, HSE West Forum chairman, Councillor Tom McNamara has urged TUSLA, the new Child and Family Agency, to investigate the hike in the Clare child protection referrals from 255 in 2008 to 597 in 2012, which in percentage terms is the highest in the Mid-West. This huge jump was almost two and half times the rise for the western region, which went up by 57% over the same period from 2,614 referrals in 2008 to 4,108 in 2012. The Clare CPR figure of 192.7% per 10,000 is the 11th highest in the country and is also 28.6% higher than the national average of 164.1%. Councillor McNamara is also concerned about the 66% increase in Clare welfare referrals from 425 in 2008 to 707 in 2012. “The increase …

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Mountshannon’s grown-ups get a playground

LOCALS and visitors to Mountshannon seeking to keep fit were given a welcome boost this week, when new public outdoor sporting equipment was installed in the Aistear Park. Five pieces of equipment, which consist of a double air walker, rower, cross trainer, surf board and single rider, were fixed into position in their new home in the Aistear on Wednesday last, much to the delight of locals and visitors. The amenities formed part of a joint initiative between Mountshannon Community Council, which now runs the Aistear, and the local CE scheme, headed by Tom McNamara. It was made possible after the community council was awarded €3,000 in grant aid, under the Public Area Enhancement Scheme, by Clare County Council. Speaking about the latest addition to the Aistear Park, John Harvey, chairman of Mountshannon Community Council, said, “We have a playground for the children, so we thought a playground for the adults wouldn’t be out of the question. It was just …

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University Hospital Limerick.

Paramedic fought for trolley in Limerick

A paramedic who brought a patient to Dooradoyle had to argue with staff to get his trolley back, so under-resourced was the Regional Hospital, this week’s meeting of Clare County Council heard. Councillors also speculated that overcrowding at the Mid Western Regional Hospital is leading to people dying prematurely. Standing orders at the council meeting were suspended, as the members discussed the current situation at Dooradoyle, which all agreed was unacceptable.They called for A&E services to be restored at Ennis, while they also want urgent action to be taken to put an adequate facility in place at Dooradoyle. Councillor PJ Ryan said when he brought someone to hospital, he saw a “paramedic pleading with staff to give him his trolley back so he could respond to an emergency”. He said someone could have been dying of a heart attack but the driver wasn’t able to leave and it amounted to “a disgraceful situation”. Fianna Fáil Councillor Tom McNamara said the inadequacy of …

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