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Breaking News

Crowe raises online marts outage with Agriculture Minister

MINISTER for Agriculture, Charlie McConalogue has pledged to keep restrictions on mart access under review, following a major outage with the online system, which affected sales nationwide, including those in Clare. Raising the issue in Dáil Éireann, Deputy Cathal Crowe told the minister there had been anger and confusion among local farmers over the issue that arose at the end of last month. “The system crashed for about two hours at Sixmilebridge mart,” the Fianna Fáil TD outlined, “with the result that many of the cattle already in pens in the back yard had to be loaded back onto trailers and returned to their home farms. There was consternation in the marts and considerable anger and frustration among farmers.” The Meelick-based TD said that while sales had managed to resume on the day in question, many farmers were unable to sell their animals. “The mart in Sixmilebridge continued and some sales took place, including the sale of my uncle’s yearlings, …

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Councillor appeals for support in promoting anti-Covid ventilation message

AN alternative to repeated lockdowns, in response to the pandemic, could lie in the promotion of ventilation and air filtration systems in homes and businesses, according to a West Clare member of Clare County Council. Addressing the November council meeting, Councillor Cillian Murphy asked the authority to undertake a campaign and to contact other councils “to build awareness at a national level of the impact better indoor air quality has in reducing the spread of Covid-19”. His motion was seconded by Councillor Patrick O’Gorman. Noting a written response from Senior Engineer Cyril Feeney saying that responsibility lay with the HSE, Councillor Murphy urged the authority to consider what it could do to promote the message. “To-date the health promotion message had focused on social distancing, hand washing and mask wearing, but there is now an increasing understanding of air-borne transmission and proper ventilation of buildings,” the Fianna Fáil member said. “Clare County Council has been instrumental in delivering HSE recommendations …

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Planning sought for windfarm with 175 metre turbines

PLANNING permission is being sought for a renewable energy development close to Miltown Malbay and Ennistymon. The proposed development, approximately 5km Miltown Malbay and 7km from Ennistymon, would consist of up to eight wind turbines with a height of up to 175 metres. According to the application, which was made by Slieveacurry Limited and is with Clare County Council, the development would encompass the townlands of Glendine North, Fahanlunaghta More, Curraghodea, Letterkelly, Cloghaun More, Cloghaun beg, Silverhill, Doonsallagh East, Shanavogh East and Knockalassa. As well as the turbines there would be a meteorological mast, that could be up to 110 metres high. There would also be underground cabling connecting the turbines to an existing 110kV substation in Knocklassa. The substation would be extended also while there would be an upgrade of access junctions and existing tracks and roads. An impact assessment included with the applications states, “It is proposed to access the site of the proposed development via the R460 …

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Springfield Residents Welcome Flood Protection Boost

A 25-YEAR campaign by flood-hit residents in South-East Clare has finally reaped dividends after An Bord Pleanála gave the green light to the construction of a €1.2 million flood protection embankment. Springfield resident, Geraldine Quinlivan has praised the dogged determination of the local community for securing the long-awaited flood protection works. This South-East Clare rural community has been hit by flooding in 1995, 2002, 2009, 2015, 2016, 2018 and in February 2020 when families had to be evacuated from their homes after their access road became impassable. More than 7,000 sandbags and pumping stations were delivered to houses in the locality as part of a flood management plan implemented by Clare County Council to assist other locals in the battle to keep water from entering their premises. Speaking to the Clare Champion on Wednesday, Ms Quinlivan said residents were delighted with the latest ruling from the appeals’ board after decades of lobbying. She hopes that no one will lodge a …

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Council appeals for ramping up of rules around online gambling

GAMBLING online was described as being “out of control” in Clare, at the monthly meeting of the county council. Calling on the minister for justice to update the legislation and appoint a regulator, Councillor PJ Ryan outlined how he had been contacted by the mother of someone who spent all of his money, overnight, by gambling online. “The woman who has a son in college forwarded him money on a Friday night and by the next day at 9.15am, he had used all of it for online gambling,” the Independent member said. “Online gambling is a serious, serious problem and there has been not update to the law on gambling since 1931. Another woman told me that her husband, who is working from home, is gambling most of his wages online and she never realised it. It is too easy to do it. If a ten year old child gets their father’s credit card, they can gamble online. It’s a …

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Tales of travel in a time of quiescence

THOUSANDS of people have learned new skills and developed new interests during this year’s lockdowns. Some of us have learned to bake banana bread or found a new found love of running or gardening, while others have gone a bit further from the beaten track. One of these is Fergal O’Keeffe, an Ennis native now based in Tipperary, who has been making a weekly podcast series called Travel Tales with Fergal. Each episode features a discussion with a different person about their travel experiences, and it has already included several Clare contributors including sports stars Anthony Daly and Keith Wood, as well as journalist Richard Fitzpatrick. Fergal is a son of James O’Keeffe, of the well-known Ennis bar, while his brothers and sister still live in the town. He now lives in Clonmel, where he is also in the licensed trade. He said he got the idea for a travel podcast because he was regularly listening to less positive ones. …

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Clare historian’s years of research into the Scariff Martyrs

WHEN Tomás Mac Conmara talks about history, both his passion and the depth of his knowledge become very clear, very quickly. It has been 100 years since the Scariff Martyrs – Michael Egan, Brud McMahon, Alphie Rodgers and Martin Gildea – were shot by Crown forces in Killaloe, and it’s an incident and period of time in Clare history into which Tomás has carried out a phenomenal amount of research. He has written a book The Scariff Martyrs: War, Murder and Memory in East Clare, to be released early next year which will be the most extensive publication yet on the deaths of the four men and the subsequent trauma. Tomás’ first recorded interview in relation to the killings was back in 2004, and while 16 years seems like a particularly long duration, he feels that history must be researched over an extensive period. “I’ve a really strong philosophy on that, I believe that the writing of history takes a …

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Council spends €150,000 on legal costs over Ennis encampment

A TOTAL of €150,000 has been spent by Clare County Council to-date on legal costs relating to an illegal encampment on the Kilrush Road in Ennis. The figure was given in response to a series of questions posed by Councillor Clare Colleran Molloy at the November meeting of the authority. Members were also told that the advice from the Department of Housing is not to remove families from unauthorised sites while the Level 5 restrictions remain in place. Councillor Colleran Molloy expressed surprise that all six of the unauthorised encampments are in Ennis. “My purpose in raising this issue is to find out that the council is doing to deal with it,” she said. “I was not previously aware that they are all in the Ennis district and all in a short distance of the Rocky Road roundabout and the Doora exit off the motorway.” A written response from Director of Social Development, Anne Haugh, outlined that the council secured …

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