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Clare publicans and restaurateurs breathe a sigh of relief as indoor hospitality resumes

INDOOR dining and drinking is resuming across Clare today as Covid-19 restrictions loosen a little further. The move could hardly be better timed for publicans and restaurateurs as the heat wave has just ended and this afternoon is set to see the return of rain to the Banner. Ennis publican Mark Kelly reopened Dan O’Connell’s in June and today he will also reopen the Diamond Bar on O’Connell Street, one of the town’s best known pubs. The Diamond has only been open for a handful of days since the pandemic began in March of 2020. “We have only been open for a couple of days last year, that was it, so it’s great to be opening again.” He said a lot of work had to be done to get the pub ready to go. “It had be cleaned from top to bottom, we had to stock up again, everything.” Mark says it is quite difficult to find staff at the …

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Love Shannon extends deadline for feedback on its plan

THE Love Shannon Community Council have extended the deadline for feedback on its Shannon Community Development Plan, which can still be viewed online. The Plan has numerous suggestions for Shannon, including one for improving awareness of the level of facilities available locally. “58% of the respondents to the Shannon Community Development Survey proposed the need for a multipurpose community hall or centre for Shanon. LSCC analysed this proposal in detail and noted that a range of community centres and halls exist in Shannon, each providing opportunities for community based activities. There is a risk that people are unaware of the range of facilities, of the activities that may be taking place in each and/or how individuals and groups might access these facilities for community purposes. It proposed that “Love Shannon Community Council will develop an online resource, informing the population of Shannon of the range of community halls/centres available in the community and outlining the activities currently offered in each …

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Exceptionally busy A&E at UHL prompts call to consider alternatives

THE UL Hospitals Group has appealed to members of the public to consider all alternative care options rather than visit the extremely busy emergency department at UHL. People with less urgent complaints are advised to expect long delays at the ED today, and should first consider Injury Units, GPs, out-of-hours GP services and pharmacists before attending ED, which continues to experience record presentations. In the 24 hours to 8am on Sunday, 249 people presented at ED. Over the past five days, the average attendance has been 252, with a mid-week high on Wednesday of 274. This is far in excess of the 195 average daily presentation figure in the last full year pre-pandemic (2019). The exceptionally high level of emergency presentations and admissions UHL reflects the experience at hospitals across the country. As part of its escalation plan, additional ward rounds, accelerated discharges and identification of patients for transfer to Model 2 hospitals are all underway. A spokesperson for the …

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No joy for Clare’s Jegou in Tokyo as late mistakes prove costly

TWO late mistakes in the final section of the course cost Ballyvaughan’s Liam Jegou dearly denying him a place in the C1 canoe slalom final. Jegou missed two gates in the latter stages of his semi-final costing him a total of a 100-second penalty, giving him a time of 208.39. Speaking afterwards to RTE, Jegou said that he had been confident and comfortable coming into the final section of the course. “Maybe I let go a little bit mentally towards the end,” he said. “You’re always a touch away [from a penalty]. Too much weight on your left knee and it’s game over and that is what happened today.” 'I'm gutted, I'd done all the hard work. I don't know what to say'. @LiamJegou struggles to explain what went wrong in canoe slalom semi-final. Speaking to @joestack_ky #olympics #tokyo20200 #RTESport📺 Watch live – https://t.co/b2OI4OoWVJ📱 Updates – https://t.co/Oim1X2bjyR pic.twitter.com/ke48K6uEmJ — RTÉ Sport (@RTEsport) July 26, 2021 “Everything was going to plan, …

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Councillors voice concern over Clare planning department resources

THREE Ennistymon area councillors have raised concerns about the adequacy of resources in the local authority’s Planning Department, citing a backlog with access to pre-planning advice. In a joint, cross-party, motion tabled before the July meeting of the local authority, Councillors Shane Talty, Joe Killeen and Joe Garrihy described the pre-planning function as being “bedevilled by delays”. “Pre-planning should be the cornerstone of building a house,” Councillor Talty told the meeting. “Planning staff now appear to be swamped with full planning applications. Those have to get priority. This is not a criticism of the Planning Department, but there are delays, in getting pre-planning meetings, in some cases of four or five months and that’s not serving anyone. People are getting frustrated with the wait and they’re firing in their applications and then getting into conflict.” The Fianna Fáil member also described a “geographical lottery” for those looking for pre-planning advice. “There are huge build-ups in some areas and a long …

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Annoyance at lack of funding for Clare council housing upgrades

A SHANNON-based councillor has described himself as “very annoyed” at the lack of adequate funding to upgrade local authority housing stock. Councillor Gerry Flynn told the July meeting of the county council it is imperative that the authority make financial provision for the upgrades required to bring its vacant stock to a standard for rental, in order to assist applicants on the social housing list. The Independent councillor also requested that funding be provided for maintenance for existing tenancies in need of works. Acknowledging the fact that, at the same meeting, he had been one of only two councillors to vote against leaving the Local Property Tax in Clare at 15% above the standard rate, Councillor Flynn insisted his stance was “in no way contradictory”. “I received a brief form the Finance Department which outlines that there should be sufficient funds there,” he said. “However, €2m was siphoned off Housing to go to other funding streams. I’m very annoyed about …

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Clare cathaoirleach calls for free parking at Shannon Airport

FREE parking at Shannon Airport has been proposed by the Cathaoirleach of Clare County Council, as part of a bid to revive tourism and increase traffic through the Midwest airport. Councillor PJ Ryan received huge support for this call, at the July meeting of the local authority, for an incentive to use Shannon Airport over the likes of Dublin and other facilities. “It is crucial that central government support Shannon,” he said. “There are measure that we can look at on the ground and free parking could be one of those,” The motion was welcomed by Councillor Ann Norton. “Anything that can get people into Shannon Airport is something we should look at,” the Independent member said. “There was great excitement in our house with Ryanair’s Turin service. That will mean people can go skiing in the winter and any opportunity to get Shannon off the ground again is welcome. It’s great to have an international airport on our doorstep …

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Council’s pride at flying of rainbow flag in Kilrush

A WEST Clare councillor has described the response to the flying of the Pride flag at Kilrush Town Hall last month as “humbling”. Councillor Ian Lynch told the July local authority meeting of the positive impact of the move, as he called on the council to appoint a diversity and inclusion officer. “June was Pride month and, I put my hand up to this, I was relying on someone else to mark it,” he said. “I got a request to fly the Pride flag and I have to say a huge ‘thank you’ to Steve Lahiffe for making it happen. The response to that was one of the most humbling things I’ve experienced. There were people who woke up and felt better about themselves and about their town because the flag was flown.” The Independent member tabled a motion to have diversity and inclusion promoted. “We will be able to attract more people to the area if we can show …

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