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Home owners urged to come forward amid hopes of pyrite scheme extension

A PARTEEN woman, whose home has been seriously damaged by the presence of a defective building material, has made an emotional appear for others affected to go public about their situation. Geraldine Kennedy is one of more than 35 members of the recently-formed Clare Pyrite/Mica Action Group. The group is calling for home owners in this county to be allowed into a scheme to address the issue of defective concrete blocks in Donegal and Mayo. The grandmother of ten has already spent thousands of Euro on tests to prove that her home has 95% pyrite. She later spent €6,000 to have a chimney taken down, after fears it might fall. During a meeting over Zoom with Senator Timmy Dooley, Mrs Kennedy urged others to go public to highlight the extent of the distress the issue is causing. “I would encourage people to get in touch with the media,” she said. “We have already gotten local and national publicity. It’s not …

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Minister O’Donovan predicts Springfield flooding will end with new scheme

A GOVERNMENT minister has pledged that the construction of a new €1.3 million flood relief scheme on the outskirts of Clonlara will ensure scenes of flooded homes will “become a thing of the past”. Minister of State with responsibility for the Office of Public Works, Patrick O’Donovan, has welcomed the approval of planning permission by An Bord Pleanála for the proposed flood relief scheme in Springfield, Clonlara. The scheme will involve the construction of a flood protection embankment, land raising, penstock / sluice, pump station and associated works at the townland and surrounding areas of Springfield. The project will protect 18 residential properties and will cost in the region of €1.3 million to build. “I think everybody who has followed coverage of flooding events over the past few years will recall the scenes of flooded homes and distressed residents trying to deal with the aftermath of significant flooding in Springfield/Clonlara. “Now that An Bord Pleanála has approved planning permission for …

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Big steps taken in South-East Clare greenway project

PROGRESS with a greenway project for South and East Clare has prompted optimism that the development will have a transformative effect on tourism in the region, in the near future. Deputy Michael McNamara has learned that Waterways Ireland, who secured €140,000 last July, is to go to tender for a feasibility study and preliminary design works next week. Contractors for the study and design on the 41km route, which will start from the existing greenway to the University of Limerick (UL), crossing the River Shannon over the Black Bridge and following the old Errina Canal to O’Brien’s Bridge and onwards to Scariff, are expected to be appointed before Christmas. “Both reports should be complete by the end of the first quarter of 2021,” the Independent TD told The Champion. “Because so much of the land along the route is in the ownership of the ESB, I would hope that issues that are affecting the development of greenways in Kerry and …

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Hayes secures briefing on roll-out of rural broadband

DETAILS of how and when the National Broadband Plan will be rolled out in rural Clare are to be made available, after representations on the issue by Councillor Pat Hayes. It follows a case, highlighted by the Fianna Fáil member where a Tulla resident tried a total of ten providers, but still could not secure a satisfactory service to enable her to work from home. The Caher native tabled a motion at the November meeting of the County Council calling on National Broadband Ireland (NBI) to outline its plans and to explain “how areas will be prioritised, [the] timescale of the project and how they plan to interact with other providers”. Councillor Hayes, who is Cathaoirleach of the Killaloe Municipal District, told the meeting that everyone had come to learn the importance of good broadband connectivity during the pandemic. Joining the meeting remotely, along with four other members, Councillor Hayes noted that good coverage was now essential to the business …

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Big drop in abandoned dogs and animals put down in Clare

THE number of dogs being surrendered to the pound has dropped by half in Clare over the last five years, new figures show. However, there were more dogs abandoned in this county in 2019 than almost every other. Only Tipperary saw a higher number of surrendered dogs last year. The number of dogs being put down, meanwhile, has seen a 12-fold drop in this county since 2015, largely down to greater cooperation between the dog control authorities and rescue organisations. Data released by the Department of Rural and Community Development show that a total of 182 dogs were voluntarily handed over the to the pound in Clare last year. The only county with a higher rate of surrenders, Tipperary, had 191 dogs given over to the pound in 2019. While still higher than the national average, the number of surrenders has been steadily decreasing in the last five years and is down from 393 in 2015. “The figures are still …

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€8.4 million for Shannon

THE Government has this week promised a major financial injection to Shannon and Cork Airports, both of which are reeling due to the impact of Covid-19. On Tuesday, the Department of Transport announced a revised €80 million funding package for Irish aviation. Shannon and Cork will share operational and capital funding supports of €22 million, of which Shannon will receive around €8.4 million. In a statement the department said, “In recognition of the very difficult winter season being faced by the aviation sector the government has decided to provide an extra €48 million in supports for 2021, in addition to those announced in Budget 2021. “The Department of Transport will provide further operational and capital funding supports of €22m for Cork and Shannon Airport, which is in addition to the €10m in capital funding announced in Budget 2021.” For years Shannon was precluded from receiving support from the State, but smaller airports such as Knock and Kerry were eligible for …

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Deputy McNamara Seeks Opening Date For 60-bed Block

CONCERN has been expressed about the lack of a definitive opening date for a new €19.5 million 60- bed block modular unit to tackle overcrowding at University Hospital Limerick (UHL) after a government minister recently pledged it would be operational at this stage. Minister of State for Mental Health and Older People, Mary Butler stated in the Seanad recently “from a construction perspective, the new ward block should be ready to be operational by Monday, November 9”. In fact, Minister Butler praised all those involved on their hard work and patience in seeing the much-needed additional capacity for University Hospital Limerick come to fruition. She also thanked Senator Martin Conway for his constructive approach as she was aware he had raised this issue many times. “The Government is committed to developing acute hospital services and infrastructure. University Hospital Limerick is an integral part of the University of Limerick hospital group, providing hospital services and care to the populations of Limerick, …

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Doonbeg group reiterates dire need for coastal protection works

WITH the US presidential election over and Donald Trump set to leave the White House, attention in west Clare has returned to more pressing local matters. The Doonbeg Coastal Protection Group has produced a new brochure on the need for protection works at Doughmore, which Trump International is keen to carry out. An application by Trump’s organisation to carry out the works was refused by An Bord Pleanála and PRO of the Doonbeg Coastal Protection Group Liam Ryan says the brochure highlights again why the protection is required. “If you look at the first page we say it is sustaining over 300 jobs in West Clare and that’s our main interest, to protect what is there. “We explain why it is not renewing itself; anybody can see that the grass and the topsoil is falling down on the sand, and there are no stones to protect it. “The Presidency thing, as we see it, is over, and it was of …

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