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Deputy Crowe emphasises importance of regional development

CLARE Deputy Cathal Crowe has emphasised the importance of the new Programme for Government delivering on regional development in the wake of stinging criticism of the lack of a senior cabinet minister from the West of Ireland. Deputy Crowe admitted he would have loved to have seen a senior minister from the Mid-West appointed to the cabinet. In an interview with the Clare Champion, he acknowledged quite a number of people had contacted him to express their concern about the lack of a senior minister from the region. However, the former Meelick Councillor pointed out he also respected it is the prerogative of the three party leaders to put forward names of deputies to become members of the cabinet. He was optimistic that the perceived geographical imbalance would be addressed by the appointment of junior ministers from the region. “It is always a good thing to have a minister in a county of from a region but we have seen …

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Anger at Fáilte Ireland response on Atlantic Way signs for Miltown

A NORTH Clare councillor has been sharply critical of the decision by Fáilte Ireland not to erect Wild Atlantic Way signage in Miltown Malbay. Councillor Róisín Garvey told the June meeting of the West Clare Municipal District that sometimes local authority members knew better than Fáilte Ireland when it came to tourism development projects. In response to the Green Party member calling for Miltown, “the real gateway to West Clare” to be put on the route, using new signage, the tourism authority said it had no plans to do so. A written reply to Councillor Garvey’s motion from Miriam Kennedy, Head of the Wild Atlantic Way, said it was felt that Miltown was already part of the destination marketing plan. “Being on or adjacent to the Wild Atlantic Way,” Ms Kennedy said, “offers destinations an opportunity to influence the visitor’s travel patterns as they navigate along the route and given Miltown Malbay’s immediate proximity to the route, it is considered …

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Three weeks Covid clear

It has been three weeks since the last positive case of Covid-19 was diagnosed in Clare. However over the last five months, 32 people have died from virus in the county while a total of 368 people have tested positive. The Health Protection Surveillance Centre confirmed this evening that there had been two further deaths nationwide from Covid-19 bringing to 1,740 the total number of people who have died from the virus. The HPSC has also been notified of nine confirmed cases of Covid-19. There is now a total of 25,498 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Ireland.  Dr. Ronan Glynn, Acting Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health, said; “Ireland’s 14 day incidence of Covid-19 is now less than three cases per 100,000. This is amongst the lowest in Europe and demonstrates that the disease remains suppressed in our communities. The key to maintaining this status is responsible individual behaviours and avoiding any complacency.” “HIQA’s report on mortality today demonstrates that …

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Shannon’s Managing Director to leave position

ANDREW Murphy, Managing Director of Shannon Airport, is to leaving to take up a position elsewhere. Mr Murphy joined Shannon Group in March 2014 as Chief Commercial Officer and took up the role of Managing Director of Shannon Airport in February 2017. His decision comes hot on the heels of Niall O’Callaghan announcing he would be stepping down as Managing Director of Shannon Heritage, the tourism arm of Shannon Group. Commenting on his decision, Mary Considine, CEO, Shannon Group said: “Andrew has played an instrumental role at Shannon Group since the early days of its establishment and we are very appreciative of his dedication and hard work throughout his career with us. I would like to wish him every success and happiness in his new career.” Owen Ryan

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€150,000 price tag for Quin woman’s vital cancer treatment

A QUIN woman, with an aggressive form of cancer, has hit out at the fact that so many sick people have to fight to access life-saving treatments. Maria Meade’s oncologist has recommended a break-through drug, but currently her health insurer doesn’t automatically cover the cost for patients at her stage of illness. A year-long course of Pembrolizamub, an immunotherapy treatment, will cost at least €150,000, a price tag which Fianna Fáil Deputy Cathal Crowe compared, in the Dáil, to paying a second mortgage. Maria and her husband Tom describe themselves as “very private people”. Speaking publicly on sensitive health issues is the last thing they would ordinarily do, but the couple said they have been left with no choice. After some physically gruelling surgery, carried out in the depths of the lockdown, Maria is cancer free. Her oncologist has told her that her best chance of staying that way is to start a course of the break-through drug, also known …

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Róisín shocked but ready for new Seanad role

RÓISÍN Garvey admits she is “still in shock” with her nomination to Seanad Eireann and acknowledges it will take her a while to get used to being called Senator Garvey. On Saturday, Green Party leader, Eamon Ryan contacted her around 3pm to inform her she would be going to the Seanad as one of the 11 Taoiseach nominees and only told her parents as she joked “people are very bad at keeping secrets, particularly good ones”. “I felt really good for the people who helped me in politics. When I lost the General Election I had about 100 supporters helping me. They were nearly more disappointed than me that I didn’t become a Dáil deputy. I think this is a boost for them. “I can now work on legislation that will help local authorities. Being a senator is an important role,” she said. She is just the third Clare female Senator following in the footsteps of Tras Honan and Madeleine …

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“They have to put on their Clare jersey”

WITH a range of challenges mounting for Clare, there was disappointment this week, as not only was the county denied a seat at the Cabinet table, there won’t even be a representative from the wider Mid-West Region. Cathaoirleach of Clare County Council Mary Howard said that while ability should be the first criteria, the lack of West of Ireland representation in the new Cabinet is striking. “The other night, when you looked at the map and there wasn’t a senior minister from Donegal down to Limerick, it wasn’t a nice thing to see. I’m hoping that the west of Ireland will have the majority of the junior ministries now. “It was glaring when you saw there was two ministers in Wicklow, three in Cork, six in Dublin and nothing at all from Donegal down to Limerick.” At the moment the Mid-West’s health services are a shambles, Shannon Airport seems to lurch from crisis to crisis, while there are fears that …

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Senator Dooley returns from political wilderness

AS one of the so-called ‘Taoiseach’s 11’, Senator Timmy Dooley said he is delighted to return to the upper house, where he pledged to leverage his close contacts at the cabinet table in the best interests of Clare. The Mountshannon native denied that the beard he sported during lockdown was symbolic of his stint in the political wilderness, after two two unsuccessful election campaigns, one for the Dáil and the other for the Seanad. A fund-raising shave raised over €2,000 for Sláinte an Chláir and sharpened his image for a return to Leinster House. The former Fianna Fáil TD is intimately familiar with the corridors of power, and his senator’s office is in close proximity to some of those who will be sitting at the cabinet table. “My close colleagues Micheal McGrath and Darragh O’Brien have two powerful portfolios,” he said. “I was in Ógra Fianna Fáil with Norma Foley 30 years ago. I won’t be slow to use my …

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