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Call for joined-up thinking to drive Clare’s rural revival

HOUSING in rural areas was the focus debate at the July meeting of Clare County Council, with a call for all stakeholders to be brought together on the issue.  The issue was raised by Councillor Joe Garrihy who described rural housing as “one of the major challenges of our time”. He thanked Director of Service, Anne Haugh and Leonard Cleary for their “very progressive view” and expressed the hope that “an unprecedented investment in rural areas … will result in reversal in decline in West Clare”.  “This challenge merits a very specific focus and engagement with key stakeholders,” Councillor Garrihy said. “Unless we tackle the ability and capacity of people to live in the areas we’re investing in, there’s a danger that that investment will be undermined. The progressive nature and approach of the Council is to be commended, but maybe we could convene a specific group. We have a rural pillar and director who does extraordinary work. “Encouraging and …

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US-bound jet makes emergency diversion to Shannon Airport

A TRANSATLANTIC passenger jet has diverted to Shannon Airport this afternoon after the crew declared an emergency shortly after taking off from Edinburgh. United Airlines flight UA-37 took off from the Scottish airport shortly after 11am and was about 75 kilometres north of Donegal when the crew levelled off at 25,000 feet and declared an emergency. It’s understood the Boeing 767-400(ER) jet suffered pressurisation issues. The flight, with 252 passengers and crew on board, was bound for Newark, New Jersey in the US at the time. The flight crew made a Mayday radio call and broadcast an emergency squawk signal on the plane’s transponder. The crew requested clearance to divert to Shannon Airport and was quickly cleared to do so. The flight rerouted to Shannon where emergency procedures were put in place on the ground. That plan included alerting the local authority fire service, HSE and National Ambulance Service (NAS) and An Garda Síochána. Units of Clare County Fire and …

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Clare rapper jailed for dangerous driving causing death

A JUDGE has jailed recent Irish Traveller Pride Award winner and well known rapper, William Casey (30) for careless driving causing the death of a passenger in his car. At Ennis Circuit Court, Judge Brian O’Callaghan imposed a 15-month prison term, suspending the final 12 months, on Mr Casey of O’Briensbridge in south east Clare. Judge O’Callaghan also imposed a four-year driving ban on Mr Casey. Earlier this month, Mr Casey, better known as rapper, Willzee won the Music, Arts and Culture award at the Irish Traveller Pride Awards. Judge O’Callghan said that the case involved ‘aggravating factor after aggravating factor’ and said that Mr Casey had maintained a lie that the now deceased Christopher Moran was the driver of the car when, in fact, Mr Casey was the driver in the single vehicle crash at Ardclooney, Killaloe in east Clare on November 7 2017 in which Mr Moran was seriously injured. Judge O’Callghan said that Mr Casey “is now fully …

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Clare Museum maintains top national Heritage Council award

CLARE Museum is celebrating after maintaining a top national award from the Heritage Council. The museum in the heart of Ennis was among 13 honoured at a ceremony in Kilkenny Castle having achieved official accreditation under the Heritage Council’s Museum Standards Programme for Ireland (MSPI). Established to promote professional standards in museums, selection under the MSPI is a major accolade with accredited museums considered to have attained excellence across a range of areas. The museum assessors noted Clare Museum’s continued work on adding to its collections. With the assistance of the Friends of the National Collections of Ireland, the museum purchased a drawing by the celebrated artist, William Frederick Burton who spent his childhood in the Burren. The museum is one a handful of museums which has placed its collection online, and through the work of volunteers, opened a new temporary exhibition in 2019 on the War of Independence, enhanced by a series of public lectures. The museum also launched its …

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Ten years’ prison for significant player in Clare drugs trade

A MAN involved to a “significant level” in drug dealing in Clare has received a 10-year prison sentence. Paul Collopy (47) was part of a “sophisticated and well resourced drug trafficking operation”, Ennis circuit court heard. Judge Francis Comerford imposed the 10-year prison term on Collopy who was caught in possession of cannabis valued at €50,780 in a wooded area of the Carnelly House estate on April 16, 2021. Collopy, with an address at Childers Road, Cloughleigh, Ennis, and originally from Limerick, pleaded guilty to possession of cannabis for sale or supply at a time when the value of the drugs amounted to €13,000 or more. In evidence, Detective Garda Paul Heaslip said the Clare divisional drugs unit, supported by members of the Garda armed support unit, excuted a warrant on the grounds of Carnelly House on the date in question. The court heard, Collopy was observed exiting a car and retrieving from under the root of a tree, an …

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Clare primary school approved for move to lands at GAA Club

A GAA club on the outskirts of Ennis is set to become the new home for a busy primary school. The creation of a ‘decant’ temporary primary school for Knockanean National School at St Joseph’s Doora – Barefield GAA Club has been given the go-ahead by Clare County Council. The granting of planning permission to the board of management at Knockanean NS for the decant school paves the way for the construction of a multi-million euro re-development of Knockanean. The new temporary school, to consist of seven prefabricated buildings, will be used during construction of a long awaited new school development which has already been given the go-ahead. The decant school will accommodate 12 classrooms, five SET Rooms, staff room, principal office and administration. Other works planned include roads, parking and a drop-off area. According to a report lodged with the planning authority the temporary accommodation is for an approximate period of two years while the new permanent school is …

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Flooding fears among Ennis residents due to overgrowth in river

RESIDENTS living in an Ennis housing estate close to the Corrovorrin River are “concerned” that “significant” overgrowth in the river may lead to flooding, a meeting of local councillors has heard. The Ennis Municipal District at their recent meeting were requested by Councillor Johnny Flynn to arrange for the cutting back of growth and a clean up of the “overgrown Corrovorrin River” particularly at the bridge into Corrovorrin estate itself. The councillor described the river as “very important piece of the river network” which helps to deflect flood waters, alongside having value as an amenity. “The residents of Corrovorrin are concerned, the growth is quite significant, and they are concerned that any potential flood water might come on on the estate.” He referred to the “fantastic plans” contained within the Ennis 2040 document to develop a Wetlands and Enterprise Area, “linking the lung of Ennis” to the east of the town, expanding into lands between the town and the M18. …

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Three new airbridges worth €1.8m to enhance Shannon Airport

THREE new airbridges are being installed at Shannon Airport at a cost of a €1.8 million as part of a €10m investment to enhance passenger and staff experience. The installation of three 60 tonne airbridges form phase one of the airbridge investment plan, which will see the airport’s six airbridges replaced over the next three years. Airbridges are used to board passengers directly from the airport terminal building on to aircraft without exposing passengers and crew to the elements. The first of the three airbridges has just been installed at the airport and took over two days, using multiple cranes to fit it to the terminal building. The airbridge is capable of accommodating over 22 types of large aircraft, excluding some smaller regional jets. The newly installed airbridge, manufactured by CIMC-Tianda Airport Support in China, arrived at Shannon Airport after a long journey halfway across the globe from Shenzhen. A further two airbridges will be replaced later this year, and …

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